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Atrial Fib … Know Your Numbers!

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. This post was originally posted on May 27, 2018.


My semi-annual meds check appointment at The Ross Heart Hospital took place a few days ago. It’s necessary mainly because of the sotalol medication I take for atrial fib. The drug has side effects but it and the ablation I had has kept me out of A-Fib for 11 years…so far.

The twice yearly meds check event goes like this: weight check, blood pressure, pulse and respiration check and an EKG. Then the discussion between the Pharmacologist and me; dosages and results from tests taken during the last meds check; changes resulting in lowering some doses because of my 40 pound weight loss. I was dismissed and sent to the lab for an up-to-date blood test including Lipid Panel (full cholesterol check).

Recalling a conversation with the endocrinologist several years ago, I was informed that the biggest change in aging health comes between the ages of 75 and 85. Soon I’ll be 81 and all the recent test numbers are better than I can remember in many years including cholesterol: LDL 52, HDL 55, Triglycerides 56 and Non-HDL Cholesterol 63.

What does all this mean? Constant Maintenance. It takes a lot of time and uses a lot of energy…the one thing that diminishes with age. Outer body checkup shows blood pressure at 137/66, weight 125, height 5’5”, BMI 20.80 (body mass index or body fat), respiration 16 and pulse 59 (with pacemaker set at 60).  Not too bad for almost 81.

What to do to maintain acceptable good health while aging:

  • Get plenty of sleep. Try to get in at least one short nap a day.
  • Don’t overeat. Along with this, try to eat healthy food so as not to get full on empty calories. Small meals. I find that it’s not so much what you eat, but how much…portion control!
  • Eat slowly, put eating utensils down between bites to slow eating pace. It takes 20 minutes for the brain to know that the stomach is full.
  • Exercise! Just moving the body can do it. Getting out of bed in the morning may take some adjustment and movement until the body parts (legs, back and neck) adjust to being vertical. I have gone from 100 pushups and other strenuous exercise last year to 8 minutes of stretching each morning that I learned online and in a pamphlet from the Chiropractor’s office.
  • Walking is a wonderful exercise. At the gym I do some stretching then 5 minute intervals on the treadmill. Try it.

Most of all, create your own state of mind. Be happy.

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 … Stay Fit: Train, Not Pain

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


Exercise is important in managing A-Fib. I’ve written several blogs about exercise. For the last fifteen years (since age 65, now approaching 81), I’ve done pretty strenuous work outs at least 3 times per week. Even before that age I did something to keep my body in shape…mainly walking 4 miles in an hour 4 or 5 times per week. You can read more about exercise in my memoir, IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

The phrase, “no pain, no gain” was a guide to how much I could do…100 pushups, a 3 minute plank, spinning bike, weights and more. I had several different personal trainers over the years. They were all good and made it possible for me to manage my atrial fib, my other chronic physical problems and maintain a lifestyle fit for someone much younger. I credit exercise for the reason I was able to reverse heart damage from the 2 heart attacks I suffered at age 62.

Two hip replacements are still in place since they were completed 20 years ago. I chalk this up to exercise and building muscle around the hip joints to protect them. Any pain I felt after exercising went away later in the day. I actually wore that pain as a badge of honor and am glad that I did.

When it was time to change my exercise routine, I knew it. I wear my age proudly and know that change is vital in everything we do. Harboring regrets and festering depression over getting older uses too much energy—energy that I need and want to use on positive movements and acceptance of fun things that I like. New experiences, new friends…even an afternoon nap are part of most days.

I still exercise. Because I am fit and energetic, I can do exercises every day that will keep me that way. Sometimes I do them twice a day. They all relate to stretching. The chiropractor and his qualified staff who assisted in treating minor back problems instructed me in what to do and for how long. Also, telling me that if it hurts, don’t do it, or minimize it. Low impact cardio is good. I’m back to walking, not a 15 minute mile for an hour. I prefer a treadmill but walking outside in good weather is ok. However, I find sidewalks and paths are sometimes too uneven. My balance is not so good, so it’s necessary to be cautious and pay attention…always.

Don’t forget to exercise your brain. I play brain games with myself to remember names and things from the recent past. Sometimes it’s easier to remember details from the long ago past than from the recent past. Make plans with friends and relatives and schedule some activity you like doing each day. Reward yourself with sitting and watching TV for a limited amount of time or playing solitaire on your computer for a half hour: Read, play bridge or a board game. Then, get up and move around. Train, not pain!

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


Heart Disease and Diminishing Diabetes

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

“Guess what?” my younger cousin Becky asked; “I just came from my doctor and he said that I don’t need medication for diabetes anymore.”

I can picture her jumping up and down with glee. I couldn’t get over it. I’d never heard of reversing diabetes. I thought it got worse as we age. I felt like jumping up & down for her.

Above are photos of Becky. The one on the right was taken 6 years ago on her 60th birthday at her first Arnold Classic Sports Competition in Columbus. The other one was taken 20 years before when she was diagnosed with diabetes.

Becky’s mother was a diabetic. Becky also has a history of heart problems. Her father, my first cousin, had a history of heart problems. I’ve written several blogs about health and genetics. There’s no dispute any longer that they are related.

She used to be overweight. Not any more as you can see. I used to be overweight. I often heard that regular exercise diminishes the appetite. It did for me and it did for Becky, but not for either of us without knowledge and counseling and over time, making both diet and exercise a habit. Sometimes it takes years.

I’ve lost 40 pounds over the last 5 years. I‘m not diabetic. I don’t exercise everyday anymore but I do stretching twice a day. For being 80 I’m in good managed health and can get up from a floor position without help. The only aches and pains I have are from arthritis which is lessened from stretching.

Both of us are food disciples of not only what to eat, but portions. Portion control is half the battle. Eating too little can also be a problem. Exercise has been touted as the best medication of all. Both need to be taught and tracked.

Twenty years ago I had 2 heart attacks. Heart attacks cause heart muscle damage. It’s rare to reverse damage done to the heart muscle. Nine years ago I was informed by doctors that tests (echo cardiograms) show that I have reversed heart muscle damage and there is no evidence of heart attack damage any longer. Guess how it happened.

Find out in Chapter 20, specifically on page 193 of my memoir IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups and Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. Just click here or on one of the icons below.  You might want to click on iTunes or Audible.com icons for your audiobook version.

I asked Becky for permission to use her story and photos on this blog. She quickly agreed by saying that if this information can help even one person, it’s a blessing. Thanks Becky.

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 … When is a stroke not life threatening?

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


Atrial fibrillation patients read this: Strokes may not be life threatening…in the future.

Clinical trials are underway in Columbus, Ohio, to remove blood clots in patients whose stroke symptoms started as many as 24 hours before. Trial participants see overwhelming positive results that could lead to changes and save hundreds of thousands of lives all over the world.

Immediately, I put myself into such a situation as I recalled a conversation with my electrophysiologist 5 years ago. It was in his office during my annual checkup 6 years after my ablation to eliminate 30 years of atrial fib and 5 electrical pathways that needed to be ablated. I stayed on warfarin for a year-and-a-half after the ablation at which point my electrophysiologist reluctantly eliminated it from my list of meds. I had been on that blood thinner for 12 years and atrial fib free for 5 years.

When I turned 75 years of age and was feeling terrific, better than I’d felt in 20 years, I related this info to my doctor and told him I was writing a book about my 35 years of life with atrial fib. Sheepishly he said he wanted to put me back on a blood thinner. I looked at him through squinting eyes. “Why?” I asked. “I don’t want to take a blood thinner,” I said.

He told me that there is a point system for A-Fib patients and that 4 points is the median. Because I am over 75 gives me 2 points and being a woman is 1 point.

“That’s only 3 points. I don’t want to take a blood thinner even if it isn’t warfarin. I haven’t had atrial fib for 6 years, I eat a heart healthy diet, I exercise, my cholesterol numbers are good and even though there are more choices for blood thinners, I don’t want it.”

He told me that I am still a candidate for a stroke.

I asked him, “What are the symptoms of a stroke? Will I know I‘m having one at the time?”

He told me that I would and that stroke symptoms aren’t subtle. I would have 1, maybe 2 hours to get to the hospital to break it up or remove the clot.

“A side effect of the blood thinner you recommend, a brain bleed, is rare. Nevertheless I’ve had rare side effects before. I choose not to take the blood thinner. ”

A compromise was at hand. With that, my electrophysiologist wrote a prescription for a new- to-the- market blood thinner. He didn’t date it and asked me to carry it in my wallet wherever I went. If I go into atrial fib for 6 hours or more, I should get the prescription filled and contact his office. I promised that I would.

That was 6 years ago.  No atrial fib so far. Each year he gives me a new prescription for apixaban. Last year he also gave me a coupon for 2 free weeks of the drug. Next month I’ll be 81. I feel great. A 24 hour window between the beginning and the road to recovery of a stroke will be amazing.

Read my memoir for more about this:  IN A HEARTBEAT, The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib

Buy it from my website: www.rosalieungar.com. Now on audio book too, click on one of the icons below.

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: Find a Support Group

This blog, which was first published on October 29, 2017, has been updated and reposted.

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


Suppose you are all alone and you feel like your heart is going to jump out of your chest. You don’t know what’s happening. You ask yourself: Is this what they call heart palpitations? You sit down and try to catch your breath. It’s difficult. Your breath is coming fast and in short spurts.  You’ve seen dozens of TV commercials about A-Fib and blood thinners, showing middle age men and women together riding bikes, taking walks, holding hands advertising blood thinners with names you can’t pronounce. Minutes go by then it stops. You feel better. Your breathing goes back to normal. Then, you forget about it…until the next time it happens.

That could be atrial fib also known as atrial fibrillation or A-Fib or AF. It’s an arrhythmia that can cause strokes.

I had it for 35 years. A-Fib came and left and lasted sometimes for minutes then hours and sometimes days. I don’t have A-Fib anymore, or I haven’t for the last 10 years. It didn’t go away by itself. It was a difficult journey that included 2 heart attacks and 3 pacemakers and a wonderful team of electrophysiologists, cardiologists and other partners in medicine that handle related medical problems. All of them keep me in good health with a lifestyle better than I ever dreamed for an 80 year old.

How did I get to this point? It’s called maintenance. Choose your team with care and knowledge. A-Fib is an electrical problem of the heart. Start with an electrophysiologist and a cardiologist.  Ask questions and be educated in new techniques and meds. Talk to others with similar problems. FIND A SUPPORT GROUP.

I belong to 2 heart support groups. Healing Hearts of Central Ohio meets each month at the Ross Heart Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. After a quick heart healthy supper starting at 6 PM, we talk to each other about our problems and treatments then watch and listen to one or two doctors who specialize in caring for the heart. Talks cover subjects like atrial fib and heart rhythm devices, heart failure, valve problems, congestive heart failure, heart transplants, nutrition, exercise, by-pass surgeries, care givers, medications, sleep apnea, and genetics.

Yes, sleep apnea goes along with atrial fib. It’s more likely to appear in men. Does gender play a part in atrial fib studies? Yes, but studies change and new information and managed cures are happening all the time.

I learned an interesting theory in the Pour Your Heart Out support group meeting that I attended last week. Dr. John Hummel, my electrophysiologist and hero, was one of the speakers. When a question from the audience was asked as to why there are so few female electrophysiologists, it was suggested that it’s because of the constant radiation and women in their child-bearing years are very careful not to be exposed to radiation.

Learn more IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib available at all book stores in paper back and ebook and soon an audiobook on Audible.com, iTunes and Amazon. Meanwhile, I invite any of the blog readers interested in the topic of atrial fibrillation to contact me to guest blog on this website. I would be happy to guest blog on other related blogs. Contact me at rosalie@rosalieungar.com. Click here to visit the Healing Hearts of Central Ohio website.

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 Gets Attention … Finally!

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


The new Bob & Corrine Frick Center for Heart Failure and Arrhythmia is being created as part of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Ross Heart Hospital. Yes, I repeat, arrhythmia, which now affects millions of Americans. The Fricks are contributing 18 million dollars for this center.

Atrial fib is the most common form of arrhythmia and A-Fib affects 3 to 6 million Americans. When I was diagnosed with A-Fib over 30 years ago, very little treatment was known. Now it’s in the news almost every day. Read about my 35 year battle with A-Fib and other heart problems including 2 heart attacks, a robotic heart bypass, 3 pacemakers and an ablation.  Read my story: IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. Click here.

Besides the new Frick Heart Center, so much is going on in this field and much of it at OSU Ross Heart Hospital, as well as other major medical centers:

  • Heart doctors and engineers are collaborating to save lives at OSU Medical Center where they’re working together on a 3D printed aortic valve replacement. Cardiologists and engineers make 3D printed aortas and computer models that exactly match the patient’s anatomy.
  • Atrial Fib is the biggest contributor to strokes. Most A-Fib patients take a blood thinner to prevent this, but there are more factors involved. Genetics play a big part in stroke risk factors. Research groups from around the world are working together identifying new genetic risk factors.
  • Breaking up the clots that cause stroke damage before it occurs is being worked on. As it stands now, if a stroke victim gets to the hospital within an hour or 2, there’s a good possibility that the stroke damage can be repaired and do very little long-term damage. Research is now addressing protocols on doing the same within 24 hours of stroke occurrence. Learn symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately on feeling the symptoms and get to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Last week at the Ross Healing Hearts meeting our speaker was Electrophysiologist Dr. John Hummel, head of genetic heart studies and research. He spoke to a group of 139 members, the biggest crowd our meetings have ever attracted. He spoke for an hour holding the group at full attention, then answered questions for another hour.

His question to us was why only 30 per cent of all women with atrial fib get treatment while 70 percent of men diagnosed with A-fib get treated for the same problem.  Puzzling because treatment is readily availble.

IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib is now an audiobook as well as in paperback and E-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Kindle, Nook and Audio.com. Click on an icon below.

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 Desserts

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


Thirty five years with A-Fib and 10 years without it after an ablation. That’s 45 years of heart arrhythmia fear…more than half of my lifetime. Some of it has been controllable and some not. I’ve tried to follow the rules to be stronger and listen to the experts, the latest research and when in doubt, trust my instincts.

Diet, exercise, body maintenance and knowledge of what is being prescribed have led me to take charge of my own body. Collaborations and partnerships with doctors have given me the courage for my own convictions…one of which is to eat dessert! Not all desserts and not every day. Discipline comes with experience.

Recently I was asked to bring dessert to a small dinner party of friends. My standard ‘bring along’ dessert is meringues. I’m not a great cook, especially of complicated dishes, but quick and easy meringues are not complicated. They draw compliments and the plate of at least 24 for 4, 6 or 8 people is always gone at the end of the meal. Rarely have I indulged with the guests, until now.

One of the guests asked for the recipe whereupon when I gave it to him, he remarked that meringues are a heart healthy dessert…except for the smaller than average amount of sugar. I decided today to give you the recipe too.

MERINGUES:

  • Two egg whites in mixing bowl. It’s important that they are at room temperature.
  • ¼ tsp cream of tarter
  • ¾ cup of sugar (I use a little less)
  • Beat with electric mixer until egg whites are stiff
  • Add ½ tsp vanilla
  • Add one 11 or 12 oz. package of dark chocolate chips
  • Line cookie sheet with brown paper (I use 2 cookie sheets and cut up brown paper bags from grocery store).
  • Spoon onto cookie sheet. I put 12 to on each cookie sheet.
  • Pre-heat oven at 300 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool and remove with spatula.

In damp climates meringue consistency may change from light and fluffy.

These meringues are especially delicious with the last sips of red wine from dinner. Don’t forget that dark chocolate is heart healthy and contains antioxidants. Exercise portion control. One or two is a healthy portion. More than that at one sitting is excessive. Read more about healthy foods IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib, a memoir. Click here.

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


Pacemakers … Not Just For Atrial Fib

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


At age 61 my first pacemaker was inserted. I had been an A-Fib patient for almost 20 years before my heart stopped for several seconds during a hip replacement surgery. I woke up from that surgery in the hospital’s ICU (intensive care unit) surrounded by my orthopedic surgeon, an electrophysiologist, nurses, my husband and children. It was immediately suggested that I have a pacemaker inserted the next day. I could have had a stroke, or even died. For more details you can read about it in my memoir, IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

Leaving the hospital with a new hip and a pacemaker set at 60 beats per minute, I decided that new body parts were the way to go. The hip is still in place and working great. Pacemaker batteries last about 10 years.  Usually replaced by a whole new device, the replacement pacemaker is often attached to the same wires. I have since had 2 replacement pacemakers, each representing a new level of technology. My 3rd pacemaker is using the original wires that were attached to my heart in 1999.

At almost 81, I hear more and more about aging adults getting pacemakers at 75. In an article by Sari Harrar In the April/May 2018 issue of AARP The Magazine about general health, it is explained that the number of “pacemaker” natural cells in the heart is declining at 70 plus and at that age there may be 90% fewer than you had in your youth. Approximately 225,000 people per year in the U. S. have pacemakers implanted. Only some of them are atrial fib patients.

A pacemaker battery can keep you going for decades, according to this article in AARP The Magazine. My life has been easier and full with the small device. Many of my friends now have a pacemaker. Often the insertion procedure is outpatient.

With each new pacemaker the technological advances have enabled greater capability. Early pacemakers were checked every 3 months by telephone transmission. My 3rd one is checked by a transmitter that works on the Wi-Fi in my home. The transmitter, that looks like a small speaker, sits about 6 feet from my bed. It records heart activity in its internal memory and communicates to a central data system. Automatic checks have shown no disturbances at all.

My heart rate without the pacemaker is as low as 30 beats per minute. The pacemaker keeps on tickin’ at 60 beats per minute and is keeping me alive. Now, if it could only cook dinner, it would be perfect.

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 New Beginnings – Part 2

After 35 years with atrial fib and 11 years with no atrial fib, I consider myself managed and maintained without the heart arrhythmia. During that time I have reversed heart damage from 2 heart attacks. Read my memoir about it, IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


Recently I wrote a blog about negative new beginnings since turning 80. Always looking ahead, I have since taken the advice of Sasha, Certified Nurse Practitioner to the Gastroenterologist that I have been seeing for colon and intestinal problems during the last few years. Tests were taken. Nothing of consequence was found.

The tendonitis in my left hip was not getting better after 5 months. The orthopedic doctor told me it would go away in several weeks and gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory. The tendonitis didn’t go away, but the anti-inflammatory meds did…with my help. Then 4 of the fingers on my left hand became numb.

Sasha commented that all of my problems have settled in the left side of my body and maybe, just maybe, could be related to a complication having to do with the spine and back.  Could those bones have moved causing organs and/or bones to be crowded and out- of-whack. After all, those bones are 80 years old and I haven’t been easy on them.

“Why don’t you see a chiropractor?” Sasha asked. Chiropractor? Is that a real doctor, I thought, but didn’t say. Well, why not, I asked myself.

Asking friends and relatives about who and where to go for this new adventure, I discovered that chiropractors are more popular than I knew. Friends told me to see Doctor Marc Varckett. I Googled him and found his education and background quite impressive so I made an appointment and took my skeptical husband, Ed, with me for the “meet and greet” interview.

Doctor Marc and his partner Dr. Karen have almost half of the first floor in an office building. The bright and airy entry, and offices lead to 5 treatment rooms, a physical therapy studio and x-ray rooms. The walls in each room are decorated with paintings by local artists, two of whom I know personally.

The x-ray of my back and spine showed one side of my body to be lopsided. The left side is lower than the right or maybe it’s the other way around depending on which side the x-ray film is showing. Definitely one side is crooked, causing me to wear an extra shoulder pad to even the shoulders up under my clothes.

Dr. Marc said that a treatment program of 12 weeks should make adjustments that would help to correct the spine. His clinic does not use hand manipulation. They use an activator device that looks like a TV remote control, then there’s stretching and about 15 minutes in a therapy room on a table with a heating pad the length of my torso. There is adjustment therapy equipment for patients with other spine problems. The whole treatment takes about 45 minutes or less.

I go 3 times per week for 5 weeks, then 2 times weekly then once a week. After that it’s suggested that if I want, I can come back once a month for adjustment maintenance…sort of like maintaining our eyes and teeth with periodic checkups and adjustments. Why not the spine?

I have now completed the first 5 weeks of treatment. Next week I start with 2 times per week  then once per week. I feel so much better. It’s not perfect yet but the tendonitis pain in my hip is gone most of the time. The colon and intestinal problems are not as bad as before and I’ve added small amounts of foods I like but haven’t eaten in a long time. If I overeat, I do have a problem, so I concentrate on the process of eating and stop before getting full.

Three points are important:

  • A positive attitude.
  • My treatment is covered mostly by Medicare.
  • Amazingly, 2 of the 4 numb fingers are no longer numb. One is less numb and the middle finger is still numb. Skeptical Ed is no longer skeptical. He sees the changes.

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 New Beginnings

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


Finally. Spring has come to Central Ohio. Winter was brutal. The 2nd season of the year is late in its arrival, but it is beautiful as is the tree in our front yard.

With Spring comes freshness… new beginnings. For me changes are constant. Nine months ago I turned 80 and thought nothing of it. Health problems like atrial fib had become manageable. Workouts 3 times a week became a little harder. Back problems crept up but I thought ice and a heating pad would take care of it. One hundred pushups became harder, then impossible.

Food in taste and quantity became a problem digestively and intestinally. Mealtime wasn’t so important. I had lost 40 pounds over the last few years…not a bad thing. Since I couldn’t consume a lot of food, I made what I did eat healthy and stayed away from junk food which made me sick anyway. My balance was off. I was tired and bedtime started earlier. Sleep  interruptions have occurred several times each night.

Eighty was not looking so good. It was stressing me out which in itself was causing me problems. My annual physical with electrophysiologist Dr. John Hummel was successful. Eleven years without atrial fib after the ablation. Reversal of all heart muscle damage from 2 heart attacks. The anti-arrhythmia medication, sotalol, continues to work well as does the new 3rd pacemaker.

Numbness in the fingers on my left hand is not heart related, I was told.  Dr. Hummel mentioned that at my age and heart history I should be on a blood thinner. He has told me that every year for the last 5. Each year I explain that I prefer not to take it and again, why. We compromise: He writes a prescription for apixaban, a blood thinner. I carry it in my wallet. I take my pulse twice a day. If I should go into A-Fib, I am to get the prescription filled and call his office. So far, I haven’t had A-Fib and the prescription remains in the wallet for another year.

Learn more about this. Read or listen to IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. Click on an icon below.

How am I learning to manage new problems after age 80? I’ll write more about it in the next blog. Stress is the worst. I think I’ve figured it out and am on my way of dealing with it as well as the exercise, back, balance, digestive, diet, numbness and even sleep. It’s all part of “new beginnings.”

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