Wednesday, October 10, 2018

My terrifying health scare


These past two weeks have been some of the scariest of my life. Usually, I take my health for granted, because I am super energetic and robust.  But when I went for a routine checkup, my doctor hit me with three concerns that made me dizzy and scared.

Two of them have been resolved, and it's fine.

But the third one has been heart stopping. Literally.

When the doctor listened to my heart, she told me that she really wants me to see a cardiologist. ME??? Healthy, vibrant, athletic ME? I thought I would faint right there when she told me my heart has a very concerning rhythm.

I've been feeling my chest thump in funny ways for months, but I've been to busy, distracted, or in denial the whole time.

Long story short, after an EKG and echocardiogram, the authorities established that I have a condition called Bigeminy, which causes my heart to beat irregularly. They want me to do a five-day test where I wear a “Zio patch” that monitors my heart activity the whole time, but my insurance doesn't cover it, so I'm still waiting to hear what the next step is.

Here's what I believe: I have put myself under so much non-stop stress, that my heart is doing this thing. I think that if (or when) I slow down, relax, de-stress and do less, my heart will in time find its normal rhythm. At least that's what I hope, and from my research, this is what can happen.

So I sold my goats.

Having raised goats for 15 years, milking them, making cheese, and basically playing with baby goats as my mental health therapy, these animals have been a part of my identity for a long time. You can imagine how sad I am. But it's nice to not have to go out to the barn every day, deal with the milk, cleanup and responsibility.

It's heartbreaking. Pun intended.


So that's where I'm at right now.

Keeping my head in the right place, knowing that I AM healthy. 

Knowing that I have to slow down.  

I've been working so relentlessly for so many years, and the thing is: I love everything I do!  But with raising three kids, having a varied homestead where we grow a lot of our food, preserving and dealing with all the bounty, teaching retreats, and being a life coach for women, marketing and promoting ... it gets to be too much.

This summer alone I've done more stuff than when I was 20 years old.  And I'm now 46, so age is another factor.

This summer, I canned many gallons of food: applesauce, pickled beets and dilly beans, chicken, peaches, nectarines, jam, tomato sauce ...

I hate seeing food go to waste, so I want to deal with it all.

And then there's the harvesting, wildcrafting, cooking, baking, medicine making...

And the chickens and egg collecting and cleaning out their droppings...

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining about all the chores.  Like I said, I LOVE what I do.  I love it!!!

But I need to start thinking about my priorities.  What is most important to me?  What can I let go of?




One of the stressful things about this summer was the smoke from the wildfires.  Finding time to be outside doing what we love was a challenge.  

So whenever there was no smoke and we had the day off, we hopped on bikes, boats or on our feet and enjoyed our beautiful Pacific Northwest playground.

Mountain biking to Cutthroat Lake, searching for lost hiker Sam Sayers at Vesper Peak, paddling on the Skagit River, going to the Methow Valley...

These activities all restore my soul.  And I realize this is all active stuff, which creates a different kind of stress on the body.  

I guess I'll have to buy me some yarn so I can sit and knit, yes?


Another thing that happened this year was the guys' fishing trip to Alaska.  My husband Steve took our two boys fishing in Cordova on Prince Williams Sound.

They brought back 200 pounds of fish, which will feed us for the rest of the year.

The boys had to miss a few days of school, which was fine with them!

They came home happy, tired and filled with stories.  One of them (and it's not a fishing tale, I guarantee you!) was about a Grizzly bear that got too close for comfort, walked towards them and caused my guys to flee, leaving behind their backpacks and gear. 

When they came back the next morning, the Grizzly had eaten all the fish my boys caught and left on the stringer.  


I'll leave you with these words:

~ Don't worry about me. I feel in my heart that I'm absolutely fine.

If I get any comments like "How dare you sell off your goats! You are cruel!", I swear I will delete and block that person.

~ As part of shifting my priorities, I want to invite you to join my Patreon site. On this site, I create content that's interesting, inspirational and educational to you (movies about homesteading, recipes, tutorials).  It means that you can pay as little as $1 or as much as $20 a month to support my writing, movie making and all the time I put into offering you content.

Check out my Patreon site here <---






33 comments:

  1. Sending love, appreciation and respect for who you are, the choices you make and the time your take to share your life with us.

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  2. Boy, oh, boy can I relate to what you've been going through. YOU ARE FINE. And if you are not EXACTLY fine right now YOU WILL BE. In 2011 after a life, a robust life of going and going some more with nary a hitch in my stride, I came down with Valley Fever which nearly killed me. Sixteen days in the hospital. Lost 16 pound in 16 days. Today I am FINE with medication to control it. I am as good as a 68 year old woman can be and, hey, maybe better! So you go, girl! Take care of yourself in whatever way suits you. I am 100% behind you and sending you pink healing light. These little kerfuffles always come with gifts. I wonder what this episode will give you.

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    1. Wow, that sounds so scary. I'm glad you are okay now. Isn't it scary to be hit with health problems when we're used to being so healthy? Thanks for your healing light, dear!

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  3. I am jealous of all those gorgeous fish! LOL. Love you, fish!

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    1. Yup! 200 pounds of fish in the freezer!

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  4. First - big hug! I am so sorry that you have been going through such a hard time but am glad that you are taking control and working on "a fix". I am so sorry that you had to sell off your goats. No more to say about that. I know it hurts. Take care.

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    1. Thanks for your sweet words, Terri. I so appreciate them.

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  5. I feel the same way about many of the activities that I do around here too, I want to do it all. But it sure can be overwhelming. I wonder sometimes if I'm meant to live in an eco village where it all can be more manageable! I'm having to say goodbye to my goats too, for moving purposes. And it's been a very hard process for me. I really feel like I did not do as much as I wanted to with them, though I'm thankful I got the chance to experience milking and a little bit of cheesemaking. My dream was to be a dairy maid specializing in artisan cheese and soapmaking. It's a good thing to take a break sometimes. But I look forward to seeing more of your (slower) adventures, even if they do not include goats! ;)

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    1. Dear Jaylyn,
      maybe your dream of being a milk maid is not over yet. Maybe this is just a change in the path for now, and later on, you will take it up again.
      I hear you about your wondering about the eco village idea... community sure helps when you live a homesteading lifestyle!

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  6. Only love.....wishing you restorative healing time.... we all have to slow down eventually.

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  7. We love you. Time to slow down a little and enjoy the bounty God has given you and you have preserved. Recharge and enjoy your happy life.

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    1. Awwww, so nice of you to send all this love and encouragement! Thank you!

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  8. Be safe and take care. I am disabled after a car accident 18 years ago, but enjoy farm life in the Cape, South Africa. I love your blog and wish you all the best....Thanks for sharing xxx

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    1. South Africa! I just love that I have readers like you so far away! Sorry to hear about your car accident, but happy to hear you are enjoying farm life!

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  9. Wow, so sorry for this news. Looking forward to hearing more about how you are simplifying your life - sometimes that takes big steps! We said goodbye to our goats after 25 years of goat-keeping and it was hard. *Hugs* to you!

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    1. Thank you so much. And amazing that you kept goats for 25 years. They are a huge commitment, aren't they?

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  10. I think you need to do what is good for you so don't listen to anybody that disses on you for selling your goats. I'm sorry you had to let them go, though 😯

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    1. Yes! I agree! I just deleted a comment of a mean person on Facebook that dissed on my for selling my goats...

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  11. Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear and I understand from personal experience how hard and upsetting heart things can be. I am 80% better but it has taken 10 months, though my problems were different to yours.

    Well done on paring back your responsibilities, I’m sure the new owners of the goats will give them a wonderful home. Rest is important.

    I hope you get answers soon. Blessings, Emma

    Xx

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    1. Dear Emma, thank you for your wonderful words.
      I hope you will be healed 100 percent very soon!

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  12. I know where you are coming from when you are talking about your health issues. I had something happen to me on September 18 . I had been very busy trying to find out why I was gaining weight & having extreme diahrrea for 3 weeks. I had a ultra sound done but it only shower that I have extreme gas buildup in my stomach. I was on my way back from my doctor when I started having chest pains. the next thing I know they are unloading me at the hospital. I had wrecked my truck and took out 100 feet of guardrail & then rolled my truck down an embankment that required 2 wreckers to get it out. I was unhurt . simply by the GRACE OF GOD . they done every kind of test but only found out that I have acute pancreatitis . they said I had a seizure .I had been having them since 2015 . several days later I was at my brothers house & I heard a voice say CHECK THE SIDE EFFECTS OF YOUR MEDICINE . I did . the diabetes medicine I was on causes seizures the blood pressure medicine causes pancreatitis the other 2 meds I was on causes excess weight gain & diahrrea. check the side effects of your medicines to see if that could be part of your problems.GOOD LUCK

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    1. That is SO true about reading the labels! My doctor prescribed Prilosec for my heartburn but I read the label and there it said "interferes with azole drugs". I asked the pharmacist about it and she said Yes it's true. It does. I was taking an azole-type drug for my Valley Fever which I HAD to take and couldn't get along without it. So I told my doctor this. And she said... "Oh wow" (huh?) and I said.... I'm not taking the Prilosec and I'm going to eat less and earlier in the day and that's that. Always Read The Label. Ask your pharmacist questions. Sometimes they know more about the drug than the doctor does. Thanks for sharing that. It's a good admonition.

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    2. Oh wow, that sounds very scary! I'm glad you figured out what was going on. It sounds like there was some divine intervention there!

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  13. I'm so sorry to hear about your heart rhythm problem and hope it can be resolved in a simple way. I too developed a heart flutter (different from Bigeminy) as I was prescribed too much thyroid medicine. I had to have my heart shocked and now am on blood thinners. I'm much older than you are and way less active but it is very scary to deal with nonetheless I didn't feel the heart flutter which is the weird part and I too felt that I was totally healthy! Perhaps the knitting was a tongue in cheek joke but it has literally saved my sanity on many a day. You might want to read Kate Davies new book, Handywoman, to read about her journey after a stroke at age 36.

    I always tell people that we are something like an old car that needs to be worked on now and again to keep running smoothly. Your blog is such an inspiration of a life well lived. Sending good healthy thoughts to you and peace.

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    1. Knitting! Yes, it saves our sanity, doesn't it?
      Thank you for your encouraging words.
      I'm sending love your way!

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  14. go to the Mayo clinic in Rochester MN....You will get the best treatment on earth. Miracles happen there. I have spent many days there with my parents.

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  15. Hi irregular heartbeat is a mineral deficiency when you are under stress you use more minerals also at your age you would be premenopausal and entering the time of life where you both need more minerals and absorb less see a good medical help who understands this and start taking magnesium asap you may need other things but you definitely need magnesium blessings grace

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    1. Oh, yes, the premenopause thing is definitely happening.
      I am taking magnesium and am researching the whole sodium and potassium issue, too. So interesting how our bodies can be thrown off by mineral deficiencies, isn't it?

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  16. Hej Corina, checking back with you again after a long time.... and you scare me like that!
    Yeah, health is a wacky thing. I am sure you'll be fine, because you appear to know the source.
    With me my annual springdepression blew up into a fullscale depression, due to a variety of reasons. Been dead in the water ever since and only now slowly reemerging. Take care of yourself!

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    1. Awww, Ron, I missed seeing you here in this space! Glad you're back!
      So sorry to hear about your depression. That mental stuff can suck so bad! I know it well, my friend, I know it well. Although it's not so much depression for me right now, it's over the top anxiety!!!
      Be well, my friend!

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