I love everything Christmas; the lights, the decorations, the food, presents, things to see around where we live, the music, spending time with friends and family and I was thinking about this post and what to title it, the song “This Christmas,” came to mind so the title, “This Year.”
This year has been unbelievably difficult, almost as difficult as my childhood which I will discuss in a future post(s), but out of the difficulty and pain, it has also been a year of healing, restoration and revelation.
On April 8th of the year, I was having breakfast with my daughter, Katarina, as I was leaving for a women’s retreat in the afternoon; I wanted to spend some time with her just the two of us. Our food had just arrived and after taking a few bites I felt nauseated, then my heart started pounding, I was sweating and I said to her, “I feel a panic attack coming on.” She responded, “Mommy, just breathe.” I put my head down and closed my eyes while taking deep breaths and when I opened my eyes, I was sitting on the floor. There was a gentleman holding me up, I was drenched in sweat, Katarina was crying, and everyone in the restaurant was standing around me and Katarina, consoling her. I had passed out and slid out of my chair so I was told and one of a group of ladies had called 911. Katarina had called Pedro, my husband, to let him know what had happened and he arrived shortly after the paramedics. They rushed me to the hospital in White Rock and after monitoring me for what seemed like hours, they diagnosed me with an irregular heartbeat.
They rushed me to the hospital in White Rock, they had to put the IV in my hand because I was so dehydrated, my veins had collapsed and after monitoring me for what seemed like hours, they diagnosed me with an irregular heartbeat. The doctor told Pedro and I that they were going to administer two drugs; one would slow down my heartbeat and the other would reverse it if that didn’t work then they would have to shock my heart. Thank God, the drugs worked and by then my sister, Becky, had picked up my son, Jonathan, from a school field trip and had arrived with my nephews. They were two and seven-years-old and were rightly so, freaked out. Nicolas, the seven-year-old, is extremely sensitive and I was worried about me but the doctor and Uncle Pedro convinced him that I would be fine. They sent me home and that night, Pedro went out and bought me a fibit that monitors my heartbeat because the next morning he and Jonathan were heading to Seattle for two days and he wanted to make sure that if my heart went hinky again that I would be able to see what was going on. My mom was coming to stay with Katarina because Pedro, Jonathan and I were going away but as I was cautioned to stay home, my mom came to take care of me. I wasn’t allowed to drive because of my heart so we had to walk; thankfully we have a Tim Hortons, a Starbucks and a grocery store all within walking distance. I lost ten pounds because of all the walking and eating healthier because we couldn’t get takeout, although Boston Pizza delivers so we had that for dinner one night. I was contacted by an internal medicine doctor from the hospital, I went to see her and she diagnosed me atrial fibrillation – an irregular heartbeat, and put me on medication which caused me to cough violently. The hospital has sent their records from my visit to my family doctor, she referred me to a cardiologist, he ran a few tests including a stress test and concluded that I didn’t have atrial fibrillation, that my heart was healthy. He explained that some people, like me, when they get stressed and overwhelmed their brain and body say “I’ve had enough” and shut down. My endocrinologist, diabetes doctor, after hearing what the cardiologist had concluded, took me off of the heart medication and the coughing went away. My family doctor, after me believing that I have suffered from anxiety for 20 years, said that I don’t have anxiety that I just get extremely overwhelmed and my brain doesn’t how to handle it so she put me on a mild antidepressant and after adjusting the dosage, it has worked like a charm. I am not saying that everyone who has been diagnosed with anxiety is just overwhelmed, it’s just true in my case.
This post is really long as it is and I don’t want it to be even longer, so I think that I will split this post into two parts…