As I write, I am wearing a heart monitor, a Holter monitor, to be exact. It’s like a mini, portable EKG machine that you’re hooked up to and carry around for 24 hours. Actually, “wear” all day is probably a better description. I’ve got 4 leads, complete with their different colored wires stuck to my chest like Super Glue, which are reinforced with tape that would probably withstand a hurricane. The hair-thin wires lead to a thicker, main cord, and that long cord leads to a box about the size of a deck of cards. This is what records my heart’s electrical activity. I stuck the box inside my sweatshirt pocket. (No, Bionic Women is not venturing outside today!)
I feel like a character out of the Matrix, only I can’t move in slow motion through the air, and I don’t know Jiu-Jitsu. Also, I realized that if I make any attempt to straighten up or stretch, the super strength medical tape pulls on my skin, and man, that smarts!
So, why in the world am I attached to such a contraption? The reason is to rule out any problematic heart conditions. I started having heart palpitations last year. They felt like my heart did a “hiccup” followed by a strong beat or 2 before going back into its regular rhythm. The heart “hiccups” happened randomly, usually a couple times every other day or so.
Nothing hurt, I wasn’t out of breath, and I wasn’t having an anxiety attack. I don’t have a history of heart problems or high blood pressure either. While that’s all very reassuring, I was still was concerned! So after a few months I went to the doctor. (And of course my heart was behaving perfectly that day.)
I have my own opinions on why I started getting heart palpitations. I believe they were the result of too much stress on my body.When I started noticing heart palpitations, My work hours required me to switch from the day shift to nights in the span of a couple weeks. I wasn’t sleeping or eating well. I also came down with a really bad virus that left me coughing for quite a while. I believe my body was simply dealing with too much, and the heart palpitations were a result of all the imbalances occurring.
Another reason I feel that too much stress was the cause is the heart palpitations decreased in frequency once my body returned to a regular schedule. I changed jobs a few months ago, and I now have “normal” hours. I’m eating and sleeping better. Plus, I’m exercising a lot more regularly.
Now my heart palpitations rarely occur – one time a month at the most. Still, I’m not opposed to checking things out further just to be on the safe side! I’ve also learned a valuable lesson: My body needs a routine! Some people can stay up all night, get little sleep, eat at irregular intervals, and function just fine. I am not one of those people! My body seems to have stuck with its preschool aged preference of needing a regular routine, so it’s probably in my best interest to cater to it!
Well, I’ve been hooked up to the Holter monitor for a few hours now and no heart palpitations. Not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I’m going to go with “good.” I honestly don’t expect the heart palpitations to occur anyway …but I’ll go through with this just to make sure! (No needles involved, so no opposition on my part!)
I’ll let you know how things turn out once the 24-hours are over!