LESLIESENIOR
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Matters of the Heart (and other medical stuff)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

One of the most important things I do on my summer vacation (now eternal vacation in retirement) is to get all my medical, dental, and optical appointments scheduled. So far I have seen my cardiologist, my dentist, and my optometrist.

My heart~ I've had two heart attacks (1989 & 1991). Despite a small amount of permanent damage remaining from the 2nd heart attack, I've been doing very well and leading a normal life, especially since getting sober in 2002. However, I have been experiencing "electrical problems" that are common to many. My particular defibrillations are called Supra-ventricular Tachycardia. It is an annoying arrhythmia that has no real trigger and can happen at any time. They have gotten more frequent and more severe this past year. I had a new treadmill test last winter and passed it with flying colors due to all the walk/jogging I do. In March I had an incident that didn't subside so I was transported to the ER. The great news was that they were finally able to "catch a defib in the act". The ekg's gave my cardiologist the information she needed to make a great recommendation.

I am now being sent to "special specialists" who can perform what is called an ablation.
It is performed much like an angiogram (had some of those) where a catheter with camera and electrodes is inserted in the groin and passed to the pacemaker part of the heart. Arrhythmias are triggered to find the exact location of the miss firing. They ablate or burn the spot, breaking the faulty circuit. It has become a more common procedure, I've been told, in recent years.

I am so excited that I have a solution. It will give me a new freedom and relieve my husband's constant worries, especially when I leave the house for a run. The insurance company is now in charge (lol) so I'm awaiting approval and the next step.

My eyes~ I had severe cataracts that developed rapidly after steroidal meds. for an autoimmune disease in 2008. I had implants in both eyes. Today my optometrist affirmed again that my eyes are still in perfect condition. I had a slight change in my prescription and ordered new, sorely needed, glasses. Hurray.

My teeth~ My dentist replaced some 20 year old crowns right before I retired and all's well with the chompers, too.

Next comes mammogram and annual physical.

The purpose of this blog is to share my sense of hope with all my Spark friends. For those of you who know me a bit better now, you know that I was not always very nice to my body. That is a huge understatement!!!!! But, the great news is that it is never too late. I do not know what the future holds, but for now I am continuing to improve the state of my health. The doctors are always so happy when I tell them that I exercise regularly, take my vitamins, eat reasonably well, no longer drink(10 years), and no longer smoke (21 years), and pray and meditate.

So, once again............If I can do it, anyone can.

And, once again...........I thank my Spark friends for all the encouragement, care, and mutual love of good health.

Peace to you all,
Leslie
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • PAMATX
    So wonderful to hear. You're right, it's never too late to take good care of yourself.

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    2156 days ago
  • SUSIEWHITE1109
    Hey Leslie,
    Catching up with you -- good for you, getting all those appts done. I'm glad they can do the ablation (have they already done it?). My mom had atrial fib, and over the years, it caused her many difficulties until we finally got her to a doctor that really knew how to manage it well.

    Your story is always inspirational to me...the big picture, and all the little steps you take along the way to stay healthy!

    Blessings on you!
    Susie
    2156 days ago
  • IMAQUALITARIAN
    I smiled when you mentioned getting all of your appts. in during the summer. I do this for me and my four children. It feels like we have had appts. every day this summer. Actually, between the orthodontist, dentist, family physician, optometrist, pediatrician, physical therapist, radiologist, oral surgeon and dermatologist; I believe we have!

    My friend had a heart ablation a few years ago. She was one of the first, locally to have it done! Works great to this day!

    What you have accomplished and the changes you've made are inspiring! Baby, you're a firework!
    2202 days ago
  • MAESTRAPLANK1
    I will be praying for you and your doctors that perform the ablation, With your attitude and faith, it will be a piece of cake and a gift of freedom from worry! You deserve the best, Leslie! emoticon
    2203 days ago
  • BC062012
    Hi, Leslie! I know you are excited bout the new procedure. You are emoticon and a emoticon inspiration to me as I am beginning my journey to take better care of my health.

    emoticon Bev
    2204 days ago
  • 1_AMAZING_WOMAN
    It's been a long time since I even thought about those words; Supra-Ventricular Tachycardia. They talked for years about doing an ablation on me too, but so far it hasn't happened, and I don't think it will cause my main problem any more is a-fib.

    It is nice you are taking care of your health, and nice you got your teeth fixed before retirement (I gather you had insurance for that up until retirement).

    Keep taking care of yourself as you have been,
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    Amber
    2207 days ago
  • MEDDYPEDDY
    Loved reading that, my heart has been "electrically funny some times during the last year - I know what it is because when I had cancer I had a "port-a-chat"- installed and when they did that I was awake and looked at the heart monitor and when it jumped I could feel what it was like...sort of tickling in my throat... anyway, I do need to get some check-up at this so thanks for the inspiration.

    AND thanks also for showing me that it is possible to turn things around - never too late!
    2207 days ago
  • AJDOVER1
    You are awesome! Thanks for this blog. I've neglected my health and I'm blessed that I haven't had any serious problems.

    I'm especially impressed that you had the foresight to have you dental work replaced before you retired. I'm VERY SLOWLY taking care of that myself.

    It's amazing how far cardiac treatments have come in the past decade or so. Scary experimental procedures are now routine. Keep us informed on what you're going through. You're always in my prayers!
    2207 days ago
  • LITTLEBO
    ...doesn't it make you wonder who on earth ever came up with the idea of inserting a minuscule camera into your groin to get to your heart? Sort of like, who on earth thought to mix flour, eggs, water to make cake.....

    Glad you are getting things taken care of......
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    2207 days ago
  • TRAVELGRRL
    Hey Leslie,

    I think probably all of us could qualify for "not always kind to our bodies". I know that's true of me, and it's something I still struggle with.

    But you are so right; mentally and physically we are resilient beings and it is never too late!

    Glad modern science has caught up with your particular issue and there is a solution. Continued best wishes for a happy retirement!
    2208 days ago
  • SHERRY666
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS LESLIE......... I AM VERY INTERESTED IN ANYTHING TO DO WITH HEART ISSUES..... MY MOM HAD A TRIPLE BY PASS SURGERY YEARS AGO....... BUT NOW IN THIS LAST YEAR SHE HAS PROBLEMS WITH HER HEART RACING.... SO FAR EVERYTHING THEY TRY HAS NOT WORKED THAT GREAT........ SO IT'S WONDERFUL TO KNOW HOW FAR THEY HAVE COME WITH HEALTH AND HEARTS.... I'M SO HAPPY THAT YOU ARE TAKING CARE OF YOUR BODY..... AND THEY HAVE FOUND SOMETHING THAT WORKS FOR YOU........... IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CHOICES WE MAKE..... IT'S AWESOME YOU MADE THE RIGHT ONE.... AND MANY OTHERS... AND TURNED YOUR LIFE AROUND......... YOUR AN INSPIRATION MY FRIEND......... emoticon
    2208 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/28/2012 2:31:57 PM
  • SHARIBEAR2
    You are truly a remarkable person to have weathered so many physical and emotional challenges. What strength...and not just strength, but your attitude! You are a beautiful example to follow. At once you give perspective and you represent proof that challenges can be faced and overcome with grace. I've never met you in person, but I feel enriched by your sharing. BTW, Happy Retirement! God bless you.
    2208 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Good news on finding a solution for your heart! I hope you get the approval soon.
    You are very inspiring in seeking a healthy life for yourself. You have overcome many challenges and are taking excellent care of yourself.
    It is never to late to take care of your body!

    emoticon
    2208 days ago
  • MEADSBAY
    I had no idea of your past health issues, my friend, and am so happy that things are so much better now, albeit nerve-wrackingly so.
    You have really turned your life around in so many ways and are a personal hero of mine.
    emoticon
    2208 days ago
  • SHEILA-45
    So glad your checkups have produced good news and solutions. Here's to continued good health, a strong ticker, solid teeth, clear vision, and a sound mind! I still have a few of those to clear before school resumes in a month. Stay strong and enjoy your permanent vacation! emoticon
    2208 days ago
  • CURLYHEAD1
    Great news on all fronts! And very inspiring that it is indeed never too late to be good to your body, then reap results. Thanks, Leslie, and very glad for you.
    2208 days ago
  • BETHGILLIGAN
    Great blog, Leslie!! So glad everything is checking out great for you!! Good news about the procedure for your heart. As I whine about mine, I'm hearing more and more people who've had this procedure and it's made such a difference for them.
    2208 days ago
  • YDAVIS23
    What a beautiful post! I'm glad the details are getting ironed out, but I'm even more glad that you have the clarity of mind to prioritize your wellness!

    You are an inspiration!
    2208 days ago
  • LITTLEROX20
    Good advice. I am making changes now so I can be healthy in the future. I already have similar medical problems (at 28) and would like to live healthy and long.
    2208 days ago
  • VIMVIGOR
    Welcome advice that needs to be repeated often. Thanks Cheryl
    2208 days ago
  • EOWYN2424
    Hang in there! continue taking care of you!
    2208 days ago
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