A Change of Heart

Man in an ambulance wired up to an ECG machine.

Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by ADMIN-TOM

When it comes to health, I’m not one to ignore signs that indicate I may have a serious problem. There’s no point ignoring the signs and sweeping your concerns, or even fears, under the carpet. I will always face the problem head on and deal with it.

You probably realise, dear reader, that I’m recovering from cancer. That was a challenge, but I wouldn’t have known about the cancer if I hadn’t had an health scare with my heart.

It was about two years ago that I suffered a distressing scare on a Wednesday night. I awoke in the middle of the night and my heart seemed to be trying to fight its way out of my chest. I was breathless and panicky at the same time. To cut a long story short, I ended up calming myself down by taking deep breaths using a paper bag.

A visit to the doctor, an ECG and a few days in hospital showed I had Arrhythmia. It’s normal for your heart rate to speed up during physical activity and while resting or sleeping to slow down. Arrhythmia meant my heart had an irregular heartbeat, meaning the rate or rhythm of my heartbeat isn’t constant, it’s up and down no matter what I’m doing. My heart was sometimes beating too quickly and then too slowly. Medication was prescribed and a visit to a Cardiological Diagnostic Centre. After an initial check-up Arrhythmia was diagnosed. But over the following weeks I began to experience a shortness of breath when I did anything physical. Over the next few months I had so many tests and examinations the only place that was never examined was my head.

Long story short, it turned out I had Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma, cancer of the bone marrow. Over the next nine months I was under an Oncologist and having chemotherapy. My heart problems didn’t go away, but it was sidelined. Every-now-and-then I could feel my heart fluttering away, and no medication could be prescribed because of the chemo. I had to grin and bear it.

Fast forward to Wednesday, 20th September and I was back in the cardiology centre, being wired up for a 24 hour ECG. I received the results yesterday. My heart is fine, the medication is working and I should carry on as normal.

What is normal? Less than half the coffee intake. No wine, at all, only beer and only twice a week in moderation, though special occasions are acceptable. Eat less fatty foods, more fruit and veg (I hate most veg, but love fruit) and plenty of exercise.

It’s a strange thing though, having health scares. My first was discovering I was a diabetic in my forties. Since then, I have led a healthier lifestyle. The same has happened with the cancer and the heart. At this rate, the more health scares I get the healthier I’ll be.

See you around, into the 22nd century, dear reader. This should be an interesting journey.



Copyright © Tom Kane 2023


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