Monday, August 15, 2011

Not running for now

  I just deleted a big old boring recap of this year so far instead deciding to curb my crappy attitude and remember that I am working on my stress reduction.   I have not been running much at all and it bums me out. 

  The chest pain has been going on since late January.  I had been treating it like an ulcer however after having a stress test done and finding that there were issues with my heart the onslaught of tests began.   One test revealed that I have a wonky artery that is a bit different than what normal is however they were not sure that this artery's placement was a problem.  The tests so far have not shown that there was any restriction of blood flow through my anomaly. My heart looks fabulous from the results.  No plaque, no cots, not damage.  The only one that was disconcerting was the stress test and it doesn't match up with the others nor give any answers as to why my chest hurts.
  Now I am scheduled to talk with a surgeon on Wednesday and was told about another stress test to try when I was speaking with the nurse practitioner on Friday when she was going over my list of test results.  I am talking with the surgeon because my cardiologist suggested I get his perspective as well.

  Basically they don't know why I am having chest pain.  I am famous in the Iowa Heart Center.  I am all the buzz. Fitting for this bee.   They all seem to have a theory and can't agree and don't know.  So for now I am taking a very small dose of beta blocker and stopped taking just about everything else.

  Through some introspection and my dear husband helping me figure this out I discovered that I have become a damn pill popper.  This is pretty typical behavior but not what I want to be. Benadryl at night to sleep. An anti-anxiety pill for just in case I feel a panic attack coming on, ect.   How was I ever going to figure out the issue if I had all of these variables.  I didn't know that Benadryl is a vasoconstrictor.  I didn't know it and was taking two every day.  I didn't know because I didn't bother to read up on what I was taking.  So I have stopped taking most of what I was taking.  Crutches that allowed me to stay the same.

  The night before last I lay awake reading an entire book while I struggled with chest pain that radiated through my left arm and into my neck.  The more I lay there the more it hurt.  If I were to go to the hospital they would inevitably tell me I am fine and give me some pills just in case.  Last night I was able to sleep more.  I still woke in the middle of the night not able to turn off all the thoughts but I didn't have insomnia like the night before.

   Yesterday I discovered through my brilliant superhero husband's suggestion that I try and consciously relax the pain in my chest.   I have practiced conscious relaxation before but its been a while.  Its hard to be still.  I was feeling so stressed that it was difficult to quiet my mind without wanting to break down but after a while I let it work.  I did let it work and have been practicing and doing some yoga since.

  I still have a bit of chest pain and it seems to get worse when I eat but I can control it for the most part.  I don't know when I will try running again but I have accepted that this year is going to have to be a chill out year.   No New York City barefoot run trip.  No Des Moines Marathon and maybe very little more running.

  I must say that this limitation has made me really appreciate running.   Its one of our theories that long slow long distance running might help at some point and thats just fine with me. 

  We are homeschooling all four of the spawn this year and I am really excited about working with Milo and Medes and having more freedom to keep Jupiter in the programs that are working for him.  Life is good.  I am off to go do some relaxation and breathing and maybe some lite yoga.



Ewa said...

Hi, Angie. I am sure stress is not helping much, does it? I hope that the mystery will be solved soon and you will be able to feel comfortable running. It is interesting that you feel worse at rest.
I hate it when doctors don't know what is happening.
I am keeping my fingers crossed and sending you lots of positive vibes. I know soon you will be amazing us again with your distances. Just relax if you only can... :-)

misszippy said...

Oh Angie! I can't stand it. There has to be an answer out there and one that comes soon! Reading this makes me want to shut up about my stupid feet.

I'm thinking about you and keeping fingers crossed for answers--easy ones--asap!

MCM Mama said...

I'm so sorry, sweetie! I hope they can figure out the problem soon. I'll be thinking about you!

Laurie said...

Hang in there and do your best to relax and breathe. Look at your beautiful boys and smile. :) You're in my thoughts.

Penny said...

Hey Angie, So sorry to hear that they have not figured out what is wrong. You are in my thoughts and prayer. Hang in there girl.

Anonymous said...

I'll be praying for answers, and whatever else is needed.

We will miss you here at the NYC run. I've been looking forward to meeting more of the running bloggers I follow. Maybe some other time.

BTW: We (mostly my wife) homeschooled our 4 kids too. They are all grown now. It was rewarding and challenging and run and exasperating and worth it.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

Oh, so sorry to hear about all this, Angie! I'm glad they're making an effort in figuring things out, but I'm sure it must be frustrating not having any definite answers yet. Keep practicing your relaxation techniques and positive attitude. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Jill said...

I'm so sorry to hear about all your chest pain frustrating to not know what the problem is and find a solution. God made you a strong woman and you will figure this all out. Big hugs to you!!

Tricia said...

hope you get some solid answers soon

Anonymous said...

I'm sure they've checked for this, but could it be heartburn? It can cause the same symptoms, is worse after eating and when lying down. Sorry for your suffering!

Retired Spook said...

My wife and I went through bouts with unidentified "chest pains", and did all the cardiac tests know to modern man, to no avail. Turned out that hers was a hiatal (sp) hernia, and my was an h. pylori infection. Might be something to look at

Hope you get to feeling better really soon!

John Welty said...

Hi Angie, thanks for the update and glad to hear you're finding ways to manage the pain and restlessness and able to give yourself a rest for now while you get this sorted out. You remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Unknown said...

I can't get over how strange this is. You are a striking portrait of health yet you are suffering from these chest pains. I hope this mystery is solved soon and you start to feel better.

(Long time reader, FINALLY commenting!) :) Sending positive energy your way.

Richelle said...

I hope the docs figure out what's going on soon! Hang in there!

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