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That heart rate business again…

Posted Sep 29 2013 10:47am

I’ve had a number of experiences, in the past week, with being woken up by a racing heartbeat. Yesterday during my nap, I woke up with my heart pounding – it felt like it was coming out of my chest. I breathed slowly and kept myself from hyperventilating, although it was pretty difficult at times. I tend to think I’m going to suffocate, but the fact is, there’s plenty of oxygen and air still in my lungs, even if I’m not actively breathing.

This has happened to me, several nights this past week. I woke up in a boiling sweat, even though the room was cold. And my heart felt like it was going a mile a minute. I didn’t have the wherewithall to time myself, but yesterday when I woke up, I timed my heart rate at around 75, which is not terrible, but it was a lot stronger and more forceful than I was comfortable with.

It’s really bothering me, that my heart beating so madly is waking me up. First, it’s keeping me from sleeping through the night and I feel terrible in the morning. Second, it worries me because I have a heart murmur and have had some irregularities in the past, so I get a little concerned that something might be wrong.

I think this is due to all the activity in the past week, including that job interview situation. I have a lot going on in my life, right now, and the mis-matched job has taken up a lot of time and energy and has gotten me very revved up. Probably the biggest source of my getting “revved” has been doing all the mental gymnastics around “making it happen”. The folks I’ve been talking to would love to see me come on board, but frankly, I would be starting from scratch in a lot of ways, which would involve a lot of stress and pressure that I’m not sure would make my life better at this point.

It feels like it would make things a lot worse. And that’s got me revved. And that’s got me waking up at 3:30 a.m. and not able to get back to sleep till 5. I am doing better about getting in bed at a decent hour, but if I lose an hour or so in between and I can’t get “down” as far as I need to, that’s only partially helpful.

So, I’m going to pass on the job idea. And meanwhile I’m taking care of things that will help me level out my nervous system and help me sleep through the night… Getting back on my daily / weekly schedule is helping. Also, doing some meditation and breathing exercises is, too. Getting active again — going out for walks, as well as stretching and moving first thing when I get up in the morning.– that’s helpful, too. And getting back to my very strict diet of no bread, no processed sugars (other than some really dark chocolate), and plenty of water… That’s very beneficial as well.

It’s all a process, of course.

And it pays off — in large ways and small.

I cleaned out my study yesterday — cleared out a butt-load of old papers, organized them, filed some, threw away others — and made room for myself in this room. It’s my own space, which has been a safe haven for me over the years. Since my fall in 2004, I have found it to be both a blessing and a curse — sometimes I get too comfortable here, and I isolate and end up in my own little fantasy world.

For a few years, I have used the dining room as my “office”, since the wireless signal is so much stronger there. But then I am in the middle of everything, and my “stuff” tends to overflow and take over the room, which then becomes something other than a dining room.

I cleared a bunch of stuff out of that room, yesterday, which is good. I still have a ways to go, but it’s a start.

Yeah, cleaning out and clearing things away. It’s a theme, these days. Especially with the seasons changing — it’s time to break out the winter clothing, take the screens and air conditioners out of the windows, start thinking about rope caulking the windows, and generally get the house in order for the winter. I need to mow today. And spray down all the spider webs from the eaves. Yes, there’s a whole lot to do.

So, out comes my notebook with my list of things to do. Nothing helps my stability like my list of things I need to take care of. It frees me up to think about other things, and it puts my mind at ease, because I’m not constantly trying to figure out what I need to do next. It also lets me prioritize and put things in some logical order, so I’m not bouncing from one activity to the next without any good reason or direction or focus.

I love my lists. And I’ve gotten better over the years at not cramming them full of every single thing that needs to be done. That used to be a problem that would overwhelm me, but I’m learning. Slowly but surely. And it’s working out very well.

Speaking of working out well, I’ve got to get a move on. I’ve spent some time this morning reading and researching and writing a little bit, and now it’s time to shower and get myself out in the daylight. I may even have time for a nap later on.

We shall see.


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