I haven’t written for a while and I am sad to report that I seldom get 10,000 steps these days. When I got a night job, it all fell apart. And so did I, apparently. I just couldn’t get used to the flip flop in my circadian rhythms and stopped doing everything. No more walking, no yoga, no meditation… just work and sleep. For added fun, I went back to school for my masters too. That wasn’t my idea. It’s a job requirement. So now it’s work, study, write papers, sleep. I gained 10 pounds and I am always tired. I put in for a day job, which I got last week! A big yay for me… however I have to straddle both days and nights for a while until they fill my night position. A big boo for me. And quality of life deteriorates…
Yesterday, as I was driving from work (days) to school (nights) my heart started to flutter. Hmmm…. I thought. But I was late for class, so I kept driving, of course. The flutters didn’t stop. I got to school and my heart’s doing cartwheels in my chest. Huh.
Eventually, I told my friend in class. It was a room full of nurses. They drove me to the ER, where I was put on a monitor and all the necessary tests were done. Since I’m a nurse too, I laid on the bed and watched the monitor. I saw a bunch of PACs. Premature Atrial Contractions. I was happy to see them, given the alternatives. PACs are known in the cardiac world for being mostly benign. Whew… right? But my inquiring mind wants to know… what triggered them to start and why weren’t they stopping?
They finally stopped around 1:00 am, but now I have to figure out what’s happening. Of course, I’ll follow up with my doctor, but I need to figure out what’s going on in my life. What made my heart want to throw PACs like it was throwing a party?
Too much caffeine? Not enough sleep? No exercise? Bad diet? Old age?
I don’t have the answer. But I remember last year, when I was walking 10,000 steps a day. I felt healthy and strong, and full of energy. And now I don’t. I know things start to go when people get old, and I’m 62. But I don’t think 62 is old. Is it?
It doesn’t feel old. Or at least it didn’t, until last night. Maybe, just maybe… I should take a minute to assess reality. Am I too old to work days and nights and go to school in between? Do I just need to back off a little, return to my walking, put my health first for a while and figure out how to make my life less crazy?
Things to think about this morning. No answers yet, but this is definitely a crossroad.