Friday 2 May 2014

An Ectopic Heartbeat?

  As you are all doubtlessly aware by now, I've been pretty obsessed over my writing for more than a month now. It's all I think about, it's all I want to do, I'm interested in nothing else. Call it empty if you like, but that's passion for you: empty for some, absorbing for others.
   Well, my heart has started to do funny things. Pounding very hard out of the blue for no reason - I've not thought of anything to stress me out, I've not thought of anything to get me excited, and I've got nothing I'm particularly looking forward to. Everything's quite normal, so there was no reason for it to do it. My heartbeat doesn't speed up, it just hammers. It went on for about a week and a half, at first it only did it a couple of times, mostly at night, but as time passed it started doing it in the afternoon, and it was literally every 5-10 minutes at night. Needless to say I panicked.

   I made an appointment with the doctor, and after explaining the situation, taking my blood pressure, listening to my heart and so on, they told me it was likely just an ectopic heartbeat. But here's the thing: I don't consume any caffine, alcohol, and I don't smoke. I keep away from 'energy' drinks, and I drink very, very little soda. I'm not pretentious, I just simply don't like the taste of any of it, and I find soda kind of like drinking fizzy syrup.
   Which meant the only other thing it could be down to was anxiety.
   "But your mother," you could be saying, "surely worry over your mother would cause it."
   Well, yes, it would if it wasn't for the fact that she's been the way she is for years and she's not really getting much worse (touchwoodtouchwoodtouchwoodtouchwood), and I'm coping with it all really quite well.
   I had suspected when it started it was book-related, because I'm at quite a tense and pivotal point in the story now. I don't usually manage to get any real writing done until the afternoon, and always most of it at night and in the evening. It usually starts about an hour before I'm finally able to get to work, happens periodically throughout, and continues to happen, and far more frequently, once I've put all the work away. At that point my head is still firmly in the story, but because I've run out of time that day and need to get some sleep, I start fretting that I'll forget my train of thought, or that what I wrote that day is full of problems that need to be ironed out, and sometimes I have no idea how to do that, and I start to panic.

   Ectopic heartbeats are common in adults and don't usually require treatment. It's only if the episodes last about 20 minutes that there could be a problem, but they're in the range of 30 seconds to a minute, and they said (yay!) that I'm too fit and healthy to have developed any kind of heart defect, though it's not impossible, but there are no signs of anything except anxiety.
   Still, it does panic me when it happens frequently out of the blue like that and I have way too many episodes in one night, but I'm going to trust her judgement and try to relax. Return to yoga in the evenings, I think.


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