A Hard Goodbye...

As I was sitting at lunch today with my mom, looking at her Wild Cherry Pepsi, it caused me to think about how much I miss drinking Coke, sweet tea mixed with lemonade, and Dr. Pepper. I'm telling you, I really miss it!

The summer that I was seventeen (2003), I was on a girls' trip with church... when we were at Sliding Rock, NC, they had to call an ambulance for me because my heart started racing wildly and wouldn't stop (no... it was not due to the "cute" life guard, as my friends like to tell the story...). When I got home, it did it several more times, so my parents took me to the cardiologist. As it always happens, whenever I would go to the doctor, my heart would be beating regularly. So, they ran many tests, and found out that I have a prolapsed mitral valve (MVP). No big deal, right? They said I would live a normal life.

Well, I had a handful of episodes between 2003 and 2007, but did not think much of them. I knew what was wrong with me. However, while I was on fall break last year, my heart started racing and palpitating again. This time, it wouldn't stop. So, David and my parents took me to the ER (against my will). This time, they were able to put me on a heart monitor to determine what was actually happening. They found out that I have Lone Atrial Fibrillation (read about it here). I had to stay in the hospital overnight (That is miserable, by the way) for observation, and they let me go home the next day. Since November, praise the Lord, I have only had one episode that lasted about 30 seconds!

They put me on a beta blocker for a while, but the cardiologist doesn't like "young people to be on medicine" so he took me off of it after they had my heart rate stabilized. I have looked into "natural" remedies or preventatives, so I might try those one of these days.

One of the reasons things have been going so well is this: I don't drink any caffeine. Caffeine naturally causes the heart to beat more quickly, which can trigger A-fib. My husband has turned into the caffeine guru! He won't even let me have sips anymore! So, while I'm glad he's helping me with my health, sometimes I would like to give in just a tad and have one glass of coke. Caffeine-free coke simply isn't the same.

Anyways... talk about randomness! If you think about it, pray for my heart. It would be wonderful if the Lord would simply heal the problem that I have. I worry about it more than I should because I know that there can be complications... I was especially worried when we tried to change our medical insurance to a different company, and couldn't because it's very difficult to get insurance when you have A-fib.


~Tori~ said...

My sister, too, can't really drink caffeine or really anything with citric acid. So, she hasn't any pop since last fall. So, she's in the same boat as you! :-)

I will be praying for you!

Anonymous said...

Oh my... not ever being able to have soft drinks!
I usually try to stay away from them myself (they kinda make my stomach hurt) but I do enjoy a Root Beer every once in a while, but I drink hot tea every morning! Bless your heart!


Dear Abbi said...

I have the same condition (I think) though not diagnosed with the same title. Do you have PVC's and PAC's during "rest" periods? I assume you did a 24-hour holter monitor when you were being diagnosed. My holter showed PVC's and PAC's even when I wasn't monitored.

Caffeine is a big no-no for me, also. But I notice that stress, lack of (or irregular) sleep, and bad eating or too much sugar make my heart go crazy. Normally slight amounts of all of those things combined! :)

I'm sorry you can't have the soda you love. I last saw a cardiologist almost 9 years ago, so I am used to no caffeine, etc. I've become very accustomed to life without it though, and I can't imagine downing "jolt-like" ginormous coffee cups from Starbucks...though I do LOVE their decaf frapps! (But they really AREN'T decaf) Ah, whatever. Such is life, right! I don't need the calories that come along with most forms of caffeine (or the pricetag)!! That's one of my consolations!

The Herd said...

Just think...when that time comes for you to start the extended part of your family(aka kids) you won't have to give up caffeine, b/c you already have! I will pray for your heart and your will power/strength for not drinking the caffeinated sodas.

~Tori~ said...

I had a quick question, Lauren. How did you get your posts "signed" with your "signature"? I think it is so neat - I saw it on another person's blog as well. If you wouldn't mind sharing, could you maybe tell me how you did it? :-)