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.”