Heart Smart

Been off-line for a few days listening to my heart.

Experiencing . . . again . .. light-headedness when exercising and blood pressure careening from too too high to too too low.

The funny thing is that I have reverse “white coat syndrome” – You know, when you get anxious in the doctor’s office and your blood pressure becomes elevated.  My blood pressure goes into a perfect range every time a healthcare professional takes it!

Yup, my heart is REALLY smart.  It knows when it’s going to the doctor’s office.  It knows when it’s being monitored.

I wore a 24 hour halter monitor to see if the light-headedness had anything to do with the electrical activity.

  • As soon as they put the electrodes on yesterday I went on a long fast paced walk — no light-headedness.  
  • An hour later I walked a bit over a mile to my office to see a client — no light-headedness.  (Thank goodness the client I saw is compassionate.  She didn’t blink as I sat wiping the perspiration from my face, neck and hair).  
  • When I got home I went on another 45 minute walk  — no light-headedness.

Knowing I had to turn the halter monitor in today and I had meetings all morning I got up at 5:30 am and walked for 60 minutes, up and down hills.  You guessed it.  No light-headedness.

I can visualize my heart smiling wryly!

Pacing My Pacemaker, Tallulah Pacehead – (winter)

Tallulah Pacehead, my pacemaker

Tallulah keeps working overtime and I feel her like a leaden pain in my chest, short of breath and exhausted.

I’ve been back to the cardiologist to have Tallulah simmer down a bit and not bump up my heart beat when it’s not necessary, like dusting or emptying the dishwasher . . . (hmmmm, maybe I shouldn’t be doing strenuous things around the house . . . )

Whatever they did with her computer made it worse so I was back to the cardiologist two days later.   After talking at length to The Physician’s assistant, she went out,  came back  and said the doctor didn’t know what to do next.  (He’s an expert in the area of electrophysiology . . .)

I jokingly replied,  “Tell him to get in here and cure me”.  No sooner were the words out of my mouth and she had left the room I felt the rush of tears.  Tears that seemed to come from nowhere.  I struggled to regain my composure. (In the past I’ve cried in front of too many doctors who dismissed my feelings or leave because they were uncomfortable)

I was, obviously, feeling much more vulnerable than I had been consciously aware of.

With fibromyalgia I know there is always that possibility of feeling better the next day, always the possibility of science coming out with more information and better medications and I know it’s not life threatening.

My heart, as I age, becomes more and more dependent on the pacemaker, on something foreign implanted in my body.  They are the same tears I had in my early days of fibromyalgia when no one knew what it was or what to do about it and doctors were just stabbing in the dark.  I feel like I’m being stabbed again.


Mechanical beats

Winter of my discontent

Heart felt discomfort

If you want to read more about Tallulah and see her pictures cut’n’paste  Pacemaker, Tallulah Pacehead in the search block at top of blog

Tallulah is Owed Apologies


Well, I think I can see part of the problem. Look at the picture of the delightful Tallulah and see what kind of shoes she’s wearing. Has she had to walk downhill AND uphill on your morning walks wearing those shoes? No wonder she was cranky and sending you messages.I am glad you listened and went to the cardiologist. Hopefully this takes care of things and you can enjoy your walks again. Maureen

My Darling Maureen,

You are obviously a discerning woman to have noticed my shoes.  Since I have to perform my job in the nude I pay extra attention to my hair and shoes.  You are absolutely right I was not given time to change into more appropriate attire before we walk.  I shall discuss this with The JudyJudith.

Yours Truly,



Judy and Tallulah … Judy I am glad you figured it was time to go to the cardiologist … and Tallulah – I am delighted you are keeping my new blogging friend on track … please continue with your excellent diligent work!! 🙂
My Dearest Becca,

You are so kind to point out how I keep JudyJudith on track.  It is absolutely delightful to be recognized by such an illustrious Poetess such as you.  You have a knowing beyond your years.

With the kindest of regards,



and…….? have me worried about you now. umm,, stupid question but what made you keep walking for an hour and a half when you knew you weren’t feeling well? Would that be Tallulah Stubbornhead?! Feel better, and please give an update. Love, Laurie F.

My Dear Laurie F.
The Judy Judith walked for about 20 minutes going downhill. I kept telling her I was beat but she thought it was because she was holding her breath too much while she was chanting her prayer. So she stopped chanting where upon I kept telling her I just was walking to the beat of a different drummer. When she finally got the message that I just wasn’t up to par it took her over an hour to get back home because she had to go UP hill.
Very truly yours,
P.S. You are a good friend to be worried about her. HOWEVER, I am a bit hurt, no make that WOUNDED, that you called me Tallulah StubbornHead.  I do believe an apology is in order.

I think Tallulah StubbornHead is totally appropriate.  My goodness, you cannot mess around with Tallulah PaceHead, especially when she’s being cranky.  You and Tallulah have many people, including Max, relying on you, you know.  I think the early morning prayer walks sound wonderful.  I may try that myself.  Please, please take care of yourself.  Raffie

My Dear Raffie,

YOU TOO with the StubbornHead!  That is totally inappropriate.  Let me tell you . . . if I weren’t stubbornly ticking day and night, night and day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 24 hours a day, with no time off, no vacations, no sleep, stubbornly stimulating JudyJudith’s heart she would be kaput. I do believe I am owed an apology.

Sincerely yours,


P.S. You are a good friend to be worried about her. HOWEVER, I am a MORE THAN A bit hurt that you, of all people called me Tallulah StubbornHead.


Cranky folks often need more attention — and often cause they are cranky, we would rather ignore them.
I hope that this new level of crankiness for Tullulahcrankypacehead gives you back your morning walks!
Tell Tallulah for me that you are special, and she shouldn’t be so hard on you, even if she is a crankypacehead.

Dear Dear Lorraine,

TallulahCRANKYPacehead!  You are adding even more insult to injury.  NOW I REALLY AM GETTING CRANKY.  I am beyond hurt, beyond. beyond, beyond



!P.S. You are a good friend to be worried about her. HOWEVER, I am a MORE THAN A bit hurt , I am decimated that you  called me TallulahCRANKYpaceHead.

THESE shoes were made for walk'n

My Dearest Darlings Maureen & Becca,

YOU alone are the ONLY ones who STOOD up for me.  You shall have my undying (no pun intended) admiration and gratitude.  We are women hear us roar.

Pacemaker Activity Guidelines

Before they discharged me last night the nurse read the guidelines, which I had to agree to or they would not let me leave with my pacemaker:

• You should limit use of your arm and shoulder where the pacemaker was placed for the first 1 to 3 months. You should NOT do any heavy pushing, (Read: Be more lenient with my clients) pulling, (no tearing out hair when being more lenient) or raising your arm above your shoulder (do not hit clients you are TRYING to be lenient with) until told otherwise by your cardiologist.

• Do not drive until advised by your cardiologist. This is usually 1 to 4 weeks. (Choice – Take the bus and buy new walking shoes to get to a bus-stop)

• You may do light housework such as (watching your husband . . .) wash dishes and cook. Avoid vacuuming, lifting laundry, overhead cleaning, and activities that require frequent reaching. (Good to know I can continue avoiding all of the above, as usual)

• Ask your cardiologist before doing any sport activities such as golf, bowling, wrestling, hunting, fishing (there goes all my passions) or weight lifting. (there goes my dream of the Ms. World title)

Pacemaker Precautions

• Avoid being near areas with high voltage, magnetic force fields, or radiation because these can cause pacemaker malfunction. (!!! Whaaaaaa?) These areas may include high tension wires, power plants, large industrial magnets and arc welding machines. (There goes my career) Symptoms of pacemaker malfunction are dizziness, lightheadedness or changes in heart rhythm. (Hey!  this is what I got a pacemaker for!) If symptoms occur, back up 10 feet (I thought I wasn’t allowed to drive?) and check your pulse. (Read:  If you have no pulse you don’t need to backup 10 feet)

• Pacemakers inserted today are not affected by microwave ovens. (Yes!  My cooking appliance of choice) Pacemakers have built-in safety mechanisms protecting them from this electrical interference. (Why don’t they have built-in safety mechanisms protecting me from power plants, large industrial magnets and arc welding machines?)

• When you go to an airport, always carry your pacemaker card with you. Because the pacemaker contains metal, it may trigger an airport metal detector. Explain to the airport attendant (Have YOU ever tried to “explain” to an airport attendant anything?) that you have a pacemaker so that special arrangements (read: strip search) can be made for a security check. The metal detector itself will NOT harm the pacemaker. (Read: But the attendant could . . )

• Do not have an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test because it can damage your pacemaker. (From now on all diagnostics will be done through exploratory surgery)

Call your cardiologist if you have:

• severe pain at your pacemaker site  (With Fibromyalgia I always have pain at the pacemaker site- long before I had a pacemaker)

• frequent or constant hiccups (Read:  Lay off the beer & peanuts)

• twitching of your abdominal muscles (No sex?)

• shortness of breath  (Yup, no sex)

• dizziness, light-headedness or blackouts (Positively no sex – oh well, what’s sex without beer & peanuts . . .)