Author Archives: Mark Layman

Atrial Fib and Body Movement

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


My new word for ‘exercise’ or the ‘e word’ is now ‘body movement’. I’m discovering that the ‘e word’ frightens and intimidates many adults of all ages if they have normal family commitments, a demanding job, aches and pains or are frequently tired and depressed. I’ve had them all as well as just being lazy. However, I’ve always felt better and with elevated energy when I have a body movement routine.

I do feel that my past body movement routines have helped to keep me out of atrial fib for 11 years.

In last week’s blog, I mentioned my lifetime of health problems and how body movement has kept me going at a good pace. I also said that my 81 year old body requires that I change my ‘e’ way of doing things:

  • One year ago I stopped using a personal trainer. I had developed a pain down the side of my left leg and irritable bowel syndrome. I tried going to an ‘e’ class but had more leg and some back pain when I did, so I stopped altogether for several months.
  • I went to a chiropractor for treatment over a 3 month period. Along with an activator device to help spine related parts, he gave me some mild body movements to do as illustrated in a brochure. I’m able to do them in my pajamas in the morning on the floor or in my bed or standing while holding on to a wall or table. They took 7 minutes and nothing hurt.
  • Then Ed decided to do them with me. He had a more rigorous ‘e’ routine and his 82 year old body had just been diagnosed with atrial fib. We did the body movements together as Oscar, the cat, watched from the foot of the bed.
  • That was 6 months ago. We do more stretching movements and increased the time to about 20 minutes. It’s actually fun. We added a 15 second plank on the floor, 10 squats from a bench and pushups, not on the floor but from a table or the wall.
  • The back is better but I still use a heating pad while watching TV in the evenings, never sleeping with it though.
  • Leg pain is gone and the irritable bowel syndrome is much better, especially if I continue to eat small amounts of foods that I know won’t irritate my insides.

Best of all, the only body part that hurts is the right hand. That’s from carpal tunnel, scheduled for surgery December 17th.

Ed feels better from the daily body movements too. More next week about his atrial fib, sleep apnea, meds and his upcoming heart ablation.

Attitude is everything along with body movement. Meanwhile read my memoir, IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon and Audible.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


ATRIAL FIB … An Epidemic for the Aging?

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


I’ve been to 4 funerals in the last 2 months. They were friends and husbands or wives of friends; all but 1 were age 75 or older. One was just under 60 years old and had cancer. The other 3 died from a variety of heart problems.

I wrote a book about my experiences with atrial fib that began when I was age 43, young to have that problem in 1980 when it wasn’t even known to the public as atrial fibrillation, just “an irregular heartbeat”. My memoir, IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib, chronicles every issue connected with my heart until I had a heart ablation at age 70 in 2007. The issues, 2 heart attacks, 3 pacemakers, a robotic heart bypass and almost 30 years of atrial fib are just the ones connected to the heart. I’ve also had a lifetime of thyroid problems, 2 hip replacements, gall bladder removal, irritable bowel syndrome, vertigo and carpal tunnel.

None are cured. They are all being managed by medications that I understand and approve of with pharmacologists and my doctors. I advocate to readers that they establish a relationship with their doctors, nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants and partner with them in care and progress. Get 2nd opinions when in doubt. Get to know and take good care of your own body. Know your meds, what they do, when to take them, how to take them (with food or without food) and their compatibility with each other and over-the-counter meds you take.

Heart attacks do irreparable damage to the heart and the heart muscle. I have reversed all damage done to my heart since my own 2 heart attacks in 2000, almost 19 years ago. When doctors told me this news, they suggested that the damage reversal, though rare, was due to exercise, diet, and attitude. Exercise is number 1.

I’m 81 years old. Lots has been said and written about exercise. Cleveland Clinic researchers studied 122,000 people for 13 years concluding that not exercising is worse than smoking.

Thirty-five years ago I started to get serious about exercise. Started walking…15 minutes, then 30 then 45 minutes then checking distance…a mile and increasing a little more each month. It wasn’t long before I got to 4 miles then 4 miles in an hour. I walked outside mostly. Then I bought a treadmill. I walked 4 miles 4 or 5 times a week for 15 years.

After retirement from my job, I started working out with a trainer to get upper body training too. By the time I turned 80 the trainer had me doing 100 pushups, planks, squats as well as weight training and cardio.

My 81 year old back requires that I change my routine for working out. I’m still exercising every day. More about that in a future blog.

Working out relieves stress, promotes a good attitude and gives you the strength to enter old age in good shape.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon and Audible.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib and DNA

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


The gift of DNA was given to me as last year’s most interesting present at holiday time. My niece and nephew first asked for my permission to send for the information because it required my participation to provide a swab from the inside of my mouth along with payment to be sent to a DNA bank by the generous couple. They had each done it and were fascinated by the results. I was already part of a medically professional genetic study for atrial fib and other heart issues at the medical center heart hospital where I have been a patient for many years. The 2 genetic studies are not related. Read more about that in my most recent memoir IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

Six weeks later the results came back and my niece and I devoured the information on a Sunday afternoon. How fun. The report is one page of ancestral background percentages. It is not a medical document. Mine was not much of a surprise except for one minor detail shared by both studies. As first generation American on my mother’s side and second generation on my father’s, the report shows that I am 92.9% Askenazi (Europe) Jewish, 5.4% North Africa Sephardic Jewish and 1.7% Nigerian.

The medical center’s genetic heart study is research that can and will help millions. By measuring small genetic variations adding up to do harm in someone’s inherited risk, this study will calculate the most common forms of heart disease (atrial fib) and other serious disorders. The potential cardiac impact estimates that up to 25 million Americans may have triple the average person’s risk for coronary artery disease even if they haven’t yet developed warning signs like high cholesterol.

My participation was put on hold while the protocol for the genetic study was changed. A year ago I was called in by the department to come in for testing which consisted of a one-on-one interview and several vials of blood.

Almost 6 months later I was called back in for a meeting to reveal preliminary results of testing in a meeting with the doctor/scientist in charge of the study, his assistant and me. We were in a conference room at a long table. The doctor sat across from me with 4 pages of typed notes in front of him. His assistant sat next to me. I took no notes.

He explained that they had studied 25,000 of my genes. There are billions of genes in the human body. They compared them to all of the other people in the study comprising an international gene bank. He said that none of my genes were a match for anyone else’s and that it was surprising because of all the health problems I’ve had during my life. He indicated that their findings were good and could be used in research for which more study was needed.

Many other revelations came out during the 45 minute meeting, few if any that I can remember because my mind was focusing on from whom and why I inherited this ‘condition’. I asked if there was anyone with similar genetics to mine.

The doctor said that there was one other person with similar genetics and that person lives in Finland and while not revealing whether man or woman, said that this person is an Askinazi (Europe) Jew and is a direct relative. The mystery continues.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon and Audible.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


ATRIAL FIB … LESSONS LEARNED, Part 2

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


Life is so much better without the worry of going into atrial fib in the last 11 years. So much so that the seriousness of any other health problem is diminished. I tend to ignore or justify other issues that go wrong. That was the subject of the recent blog, Lessons Learned Part 1 about carpal tunnel and the surgical procedure I waited too long to have.

Now I’ll reveal another mistake I made resulting in an issue I encountered recently. It has to do with balance. Exercise is a key to solving many health problems. I owe exercise to be partially responsible for repairing heart muscle damage from my 2 heart attacks. Balance training was a big part of my workout. Most of the women in my work outs had a similar problem, more or less. Read about it: IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

As time went on my walking began a slight winding path like weaving. It wasn’t all of the time but enough that I noticed it and so did others, especially those walking behind me. I justified it as an aging symptom and treated it by being very careful using Ed for balance when we were together. I was in denial about getting treatment.

On 2 occasions I woke up during the night, sat up in bed because the room was spinning around. It lasted only a few minutes or less, then I went back to sleep. In the morning I was fine so I didn’t do anything about it until the next time which came sooner, not later.

I called my primary care physician who had me come that day. He put me through several tests. He had several suggestions and asked a lot of questions suggesting it might be a neck or spine problem, a mini-stroke or could likely be an inner ear problem.

Our medical facility has a whole building devoted to ear, eye and hand problems so I was familiar with the geography. The appointment was made at the ear clinic and I was put through a series of tests starting with a test for middle ear problems where crystals may have formed. That wasn’t the problem.

An appointment was made for an inner ear test taking 90 minutes of unpleasantries including equipment that blew 1 minute of warm air in each ear, then 1 minute of cool air in each ear. Eye movement was tested and retested and finally our consultation with the physician revealed that I flunked the inner ear tests, diagnosed with vertigo and 49% imbalance on the left side with similarly 25% on the right.

Now what? For now it was explained that I would be prescribed entry into a rehab program for  ‘vestibular’ therapy twice a week and instructed to use a cane 100% of the time for balance to keep me from falling. The good news: no pills, no surgery and the rehab center is 5 minutes from my house. The handicap placard I was issued for my car is only good until March. This means I should be cured by then.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


ATRIAL FIB … LESSONS LEARNED, Part 1

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


Triumphing over heart issues during a 35 year period and ‘home free’ of them the last 10 years, I thought that overcoming atrial fibrillation, repairing damage from 2 heart attacks, settling in with my 3rd pacemaker, enjoying the comfort of artificial hips and periodic checkups on all of them was enough for one person to assume freedom from life-threatening occurrences.

In addition, there was the diverticulitis, which turned out to be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), back problems helped by trips to the chiropractor, and numbing of finger tips on the left hand which had been plaguing me for a couple of years. All of the above were nuisances, not a death sentence.

So, the fingers got worse and while I was getting my yearly checkup from electrophysiologist Dr. John Hummel, I asked if the numbness was heart related as all of my problems seemed to be on my left side. He said “probably not”, but that I should have it checked by a neurologist before the fingers on that hand became totally useless.

So, I did and after extensive testing, the result was proclaimed ‘carpal tunnel’ in serious need of treatment. And, the right hand was in trouble too. Not as bad as the left but should be treated too. The neurologist said the treatment would be an outpatient surgical procedure, usually easy to correct.

She made an appointment for me to see a hand surgeon. I had heard of, and even knew personally, people with this problem and was under the impression that it is not a ‘big deal.’ So I didn’t do my normal fact checking. The hand surgeon and staff made an appointment for 2 weeks later to have the procedure, but not before he said that I had put if off for so long that he could not guarantee that it would be completely successful, but that surgery would stop the hand from becoming worse.

The outpatient procedure was not bad and I was home and alert 3 hours later, hand wrapped in bandages that would come off in 5 days. Fingers were sticking out. Surgery was a 2 inch incision just below the wrist with 5 or 6 stitches.

Ten days later I went back to the surgeon with a scary complaint that the hand was worse. I had no feeling in any part of it at all. He was concerned. After his consultation with another hand doctor and their testing various parts of the hand with a sharp object they suggested that we wait 2 weeks to see if feeling started to come back. There was hope because a small section of the palm had some feeling.

Surgery on the other hand was canceled. If feeling in the left hand wasn’t restored and carpal tunnel repair was done on the right, even if it worked, the recovery period might leave me with 2 useless hands.

Lesson learned? When something in your body doesn’t work, don’t ignore it! Get it fixed or get treatment right away, especially if you have health insurance or Medicare coverage. I knew better but didn’t follow my own instincts.

If the carpal tunnel situation weren’t enough, I repeated a delayed reaction on another recent health problem with consequences. Read about it in next week’s blog, Atrial Fib…Lessons Learned, Part 2.

Meanwhile, read more in my memoir IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, electronically on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo and audiobook at Audible.com.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib and Stress … Are They Related?

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. This blog was first published on August 19, 2017.


How do you relieve stress? Now that I’ve been clear of A-fib for almost 10 years, it’s difficult to blame  stress. Plenty of it in today’s world but learning to contain or eliminate mental strain takes effort and sometimes the results are the biggest pleasures.

Take, for example, Oscar our Somali cat. Being a cat person myself, it was a blow to find out, when I fell in love with Ed 20 years ago, that he‘s always been allergic to cats. At the time I had 2 cats, a downer for continuing our relationship, but I married Ed anyway and my cats went to live with Megan, my great niece.

Seven years later Oscar came into our lives.

 

His breed is mostly hypo-allergenic and he hardly sheds, but we had to travel to Phoenix from Columbus to buy him from a special breeder for his Egyptian lineage. Oscar is 8 years old and the 3 of us are a family, apart from our 5 children and 10 grandchildren. We don’t dare have discourse in our household. It upsets Oscar. He’s social and wants to be around one or both of us always. He loves company and often performs for guests.  He’s an ‘in your face’ cat, but Ed’s allergy never bothers him around Oscar.

I have read and heard that pets are soothing and great stress relievers for older people. Dogs are great too but for me, I prefer cats. They’re less work. Oscar cleans and grooms himself, eats only cat food, plays and sleeps most of the day and uses an electric litter box.

Read about life before Oscar, IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups and Downs of Life with Atrial Fib, a memoir in paperback, e-book and audio book, available on line everywhere.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib … Too Close to Home

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


My husband, Ed, was diagnosed with atrial fib just over a month ago. At 82 he is extremely fortunate not to have any chronic problems for which he needs medication and he takes only one prescription med, a water pill for slightly elevated blood pressure. His weight is perfect and he exercises 3 or 4 times a week. We eat a healthy diet, though I eat more vegetables than he does.

His only inpatient stay in a hospital was in 1941 when he had his tonsils removed. Now he is dealing with a problem that I had for 35 years, but which I have not had since my cardiac ablation 11 years ago. You can read about it in my memoir IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups and Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

Ed’s heart arrhythmia was discovered during a routine checkup by his internist who immediately recommended that he get an echocardiogram and referred him to an electrophysiologist. An echocardiogram or echo is a test that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to make pictures of your heart. Also called echocardiography, it shows the size, structure and movement of various parts of the heart.

For the echo and follow up, Ed was able to get an appointment with my electrophysiologist, Dr. John Hummel. Results of Dr. Hummel’s examination show atrial fib. There may be other things happening suggesting immediate testing must be done:

  • A blood thinner was started to protect Ed in case of stroke. Most A-fib patients are on one. I was on warfarin for 12 years, but not anymore since no longer having A-fib.
  • Ed is wearing a monitor for 30 days taped to his chest where the data on heart activity is recorded and goes to a data center, notifying his doctor if problems occur. The doctor then gets in touch with Ed. This has happened twice. Both times, he was informed that he was in atrial fib.
  • After the 30 days of monitoring, Ed has to take a home sleep apnea test. That’s coming up.
  • Following the sleep apnea test Ed will go through a 4 hour stress test.

Once all this is completed, a plan of action will be created. Ed is experienced. He has gone through all of this with me. His attitude is good and he is knowledgeable about the treatment and medication and knows that preventing a stroke is key. Other than that, atrial fib is not a death sentence…and neither is a stroke if precautions are taken. However, an adjustment to one’s daily habits may be necessary. Can do! Even Ed who’s never had a serious illness in his life. Attitude is everything.

Read more about life with atrial fib in my memoir IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups and Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. Click on the icons below for your paperback, or electronic read or audiobook.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib … ”All Diseases Begin in the Gut” – Hippocrates: Connection or Not?

This blog was first posted on April 15, 2018. Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


After 81 years of body maintenance and repair, I thought that I could relax and enjoy life and do what I want, eat what I want and continue at the same pace as before. Not necessarily.

I have triumphed over heart problems including 2 heart attacks, 3 pacemakers, a robotic bypass and 36 years of atrial fib. Along the way were 2 hip replacements, cataracts and Hepatitis A. Now new wrinkles to deal with…excuse the pun…that too.

For the last few years along with acid reflux in the upper digestive system, I’ve developed lower digestive problems related to the colon and intestines. They were subtle at first. Acid reflux was the easiest to manage except from early on I mistook it for heart problems.

The lower abdominal problems were next. Diverticulosis produced pockets in the colon that can be managed by reducing stress and possibly diet. I’m working on both by eating uncomplicated foods in small quantities and adjusting my thought processes to ignore that which I can do nothing about.

The most recent problem occurred 6 months after my 80th birthday: pain in the left hip. Oh no, I thought. Initially I was told that replacements would last 12 to 15 years. Mine have lasted almost 20. The orthopedic doctor’s x-rays concluded that the hip replacements were fine. My problem is tendonitis which takes a ‘long time’ to heal. The doctor offered an anti-inflammatory drug that produced more stomach problems to my already sensitive “gut”.

Next: the fingers on my left hand became numb and tingled. It’s difficult to put on jewelry, button my clothes, open jars and plastic bottles. I asked electrophysiologist Dr. Hummel if this is related to heart problems. He doesn’t think so and suggested I see a neurologist.

The most recent problems are on the left side of my body where besides the tendonitis, colon, lower intestine, and numb fingers are the lower back aches almost constantly. I figured that this is from lack of exercise due to tendonitis.

All of the above was concluded by Certified Nurse Practitioner, Sasha Oumanets, at OSU Wexner Medical Center division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. My appointment with her was the most informative discussion between patient and medical professional that I could ever imagine and hope for.

In conclusion she offered this advice, “Why don’t you see a Chiropractor? All of these problems seem to be located on the left side. Maybe they are all related.”

Find out what happened with the Chiropractor. Meanwhile, check out IN A HEARTBEAT, The Ups and Downs of Life with Atrial Fib

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


No Sex in St Tropez by Rosalie Ungar

Atrial Fib and the Nap

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. This post was first published on April 7, 2018.


I once referred to sleeping in the daytime, a nap, as a precious waste of time. I have since changed my mind as with many of my own discoveries from forty or fifty years ago when life was a merry-go-round and I didn’t want to get off.

Mentioning this proclamation in my first memoir, NO SEX IN ST. TROPEZ, written about 1974 Europe, I experienced the short (30 minutes) afternoon rest or snooze while living and working in a French home. After lunch, the major meal of most days, we all retired to the bedrooms or the living room couch or porch lounge for quiet time…the parents, children, aunt, the cat and me.

I rarely slept. Instead I wrote letters or entries in my journal. After naptime, we had a strong cup of French coffee then everyone went on with the day going back to work or shopping or the beach. Shops closed during naptime.

During the last few years between 2:30 and 4:00 PM my memory (short term mostly) doesn’t work as well as it did that morning. I figured that it was the morning exercise that exhausted me, but memory and productivity was even worse on days I didn’t exercise. The work outs became a stimulant for an extra hour or two in the afternoon especially after a short nap.

Finally I saw what was happening when I noticed that along with others we were fighting the aging process. My bouts with atrial fib forced me to rest. Read more about it…IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups and Downs of Life with Atrial Fib–Here

My list for successful naps:

  • Sit in a comfy chair or recliner. Don’t lie down in bed. This tells your body you are taking a nap, not going in for the night. Don’t turn on the TV.
  • Set the clock for 30 to 40 minutes. I use my Smart Phone timer. When it goes off, it’s gentle. It won’t scare you out of the chair.
  • Sleep for 15 or 20 minutes only. It may take you 5 or 10 minutes to fall asleep, but you must clear your mind and not think anything negative or with pressure.
  • Sometimes I fall into a deep sleep, sometimes a light sleep calling it surface sleeping.
  • Upon waking up, try not to jump up with a jolt. I like to get up slowly. By sitting quietly for a few minutes, it gets the mind and body in sync.
  • It’s not until later that the value of that nap is realized. Without the nap, I’m ready for bed after dinner. With the nap I feel better with dinner and for several hours after dinner before retiring for the night.
  • If we have plans to go out for dinner, an event or guests coming over, I can handle it if I’d had a nap. If not, I’m grumpy and little dumb things bother me, using the energy I need somewhere else
  • Best of all, sleep is better that night waking up refreshed the next day.
  • Good sleep is a key to good health, especially good heart health.

Next week’s blog tackles ‘the gut’:

“All disease begins in the gut”– Hippocrates

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


ATRIAL FIB: Managing Your Meds

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. This blog was first posted on September 24, 2017.


Chances are that those diagnosed with atrial fib, or any heart related problem, are taking medication(s). Many of us have other health problems for which we take more meds and some of us take supplements as well.

Managing them can be a full time job…an important one. A friend of mine once told me that she was tired of taking pills. She decided to take Sundays off from her meds.

When asking others what specific medications or medications in general they take, I have often heard from them, “I don’t know. The doctor told me to take it. So, I do.”

I have a tough time understanding this philosophy. I am not a doctor. Having health issues for most of my 81 years, none of my issues are cured. They are managed because I want to be in charge. I credit my doctors who partner with me and I ask a lot of questions.

Here are some suggestions to help manage meds:

    • Ask your doctor what the prescriptions he recommends are for precisely. What is the brand name and is there a generic available for that drug? Example: Eliquis, a blood thinner is also known as its generic version apixaban.

 

    • What are its side effects?

 

    • How often and what time of day should it be taken? (Some heart meds are suggested to be taken at night before bed.)

 

    • Is it compatible with other meds, even supplements? Also, ask your pharmacist this question. If not compatible, would a waiting period before taking other meds with it be advised?

 

    • What if you miss a dose? This can be avoided if you schedule your meds by week and by day using a Sunday thru Saturday pill box for each day of the week. I have 3 such pill boxes and fill them for a 3 week cycle. This also helps you keep track of when you will run out and can judge reordering.

 

    • On a budget? By sorting meds for 3 weeks, you can schedule ordering to coincide with your payment needs. Many pharmaceutical companies have coupons available and help patients with other needs. Check this out on the internet. Above all, partner with your doctors, be in charge and make friends with your pharmacist.

 

All of this and more is covered with detail IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib, the memoir that reads like a novel.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes