Wednesday, August 17, 2011
heart skipped a beat
no, i'm not referring to an earlier blog post i wrote last year about my liking the XX's song, heart skipped a beat.
rather i'm referring to my experiencing premature ventricular contractions for the past couple of weeks.
it began right before our one year anniversary at work. out of nowhere, i felt a disturbing thump in my chest. one booming heartbeat followed by a suction feeling. like the heart having one strong hiccup. whoosh.
and i would get it throughout the day. on my most stressful day, i would experience a couple dozen or so thumps. hypochrondriac that i am, i imagined the worst, like a heart attack waiting to happen. but there were no other symptoms: no fainting, shortness of breath, pain in the left arm.
but as soon as i got home, the PVC would diminish. i may get a few but not nearly as strong or frequent like when i'm at work. so i thought it has be stress related. i have been going through a higher than normal amount of stress and internalizing a lot of what was going on in my work life. one bad trait i have is that i tend to compartmentalize things because i think, if i fall apart, everything around me falls apart.
i'm working on that.
unfortunately, i have a high tolerance for pain and i can push through any stress i may be experiencing. i can be a machine, that way. that is, until it suddenly backs up on me. and like a toilet, there's spillage everywhere.
it's happened in past jobs where i worked round the clock, for weeks, due to production schedules and under the gun deadlines. and every time, my stress physically manifested itself in different ways.
when i was the associate producer and director of sales of a bridal trade expo, i worked all day and burned the midnight oil for weeks, preparing for our annual show. then one night after work, i looked at myself in the mirror and bam! i became my panda namesake, ling ling. i was shocked because i have NEVER had black circles in my life. and there they were. my boss forced me to go on an extended weekend to recoup.
stress also reared its ugly head when i worked at vancouver opera. during one particularly stressful crunchtime, i suddenly developed a twitch on my right eyelid, followed by a facial rash that took a week to subside. i NEVER had a eye twitch before. it was interesting. and my boss forced me to take advantage of the lieu days off that i had been banking throughout the year.
and now this.
so i visited my doctor on monday and upon trying to describe what exactly i was feeling (how do you say it feels like my heart flashed a beat without sounding all new age-y?), she knew exactly what is was.
my doctor described the feeling as if someone scares the pants off you. that first fight-or-flight heartbeat you feel. the sudden bolt of adrenaline. and as i don't have a family history of heart disease, don't have high blood pressure, don't smoke, do drugs, drink alcohol or caffeine, that it's most likely stress-related.
but she's ordered an EKG just to be on the safe side.
it's a blessing and a curse to be so highly tuned to the workings of my own body. i know straight away if something's normal or not normal. and because i used to read medical books for fun, i'm usually spot on at self-diagnosis.
i DID say that i have a touch of the hypochondria. did i also say i was slightly neurotic too?