“I Have a Zit, Too”…(and my heart’s out of rhythm)

January 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm 4 comments

I got to the church to coach my Upward Cheerleaders and they were so much more focused this week than last week.  Except that I can’t keep them on the sideline for various reasons–working on that!  

I have a Down’s child who is a charmer of the heart-melting variety who likes to stand close to me because she’s afraid she will get hit by a ball.  We’d just reviewed our half time cheer and how to place on center court without my positioning them We were lined up, ready to run into to do our half time cheer (which didn’t go so swell last week) and she said to me, “I have a zit.  Right here.  See it?” 

I said, “Yup. ”

She said, “I have a zit.”

I said, “Yes, I see that.” 

She told me once more and added, “I’m afraid they will see it and laugh at me.”

I said, “Well, you want to know something, I have TWO.  I’ve had them all week!  We all get them sometimes.”

She said, “You do?” not quite believing me.

I said, “Yup, see, there is one here, and one here.”  I raised my hair to show her one I’d been hiding all week–got compliments on styling my hair differently

She smiled just a little bit, in her eyes, but still looked a little worried.

I said, “You know, sometimes that’s just life, and you just keep smiling and keep on going.”

A which, she smiled for me a really big smile, to show me she knew all about how to do that and had practiced.  I’ll just bet she has.  Talk about smiling through difficulties.  Look at her life!  What do I know? 

I don’t know if you’ve seen a Down’s child show you their smile, but there is nothing like it. 

I’ve  been “speaking to the Lord” about this zit issue this very week.  Zits at 34?!  Purpose?  Hormones…I’m not going there again today.  So, if that was the only reason I had two or three zits this week, it was good enough for me.  See…pray and you might just find out why you have zits.


Shortly after half time (they did GREAT today), I got ready to lead the next cheer, and at “Go!”, when my arm flew up, my heart flipped out of it’s normal rhythm before I could even take my hand down.  My head fell, and I knew it was over.

I can tell the beat it happens.  A 10 ton weight pounces down on my chest and stays there.  Actually, my heart skips a beat, and then triples in heartrate.  I got up, skirmished around for my purse, dug out medicines, and found a mom to sit for me until I could find our precious cheer coordinator.  Luckily, I found her when I went to the bathroom for a sec to dig for meds.  She just said, “Okay”, and disappeared into the sunset while I licked my wounds.  No panic.  No drama.  She just covered.  Man, I love that about her.  Just deal with it and go on.  Just what I needed.

My boys both had games, my kids needed me, my girls needed me…and I was out.  And it hurt.

God covered it.  I am so blessed.  I still cried and tried all my tricks.  It took 4o minutes of 170 bpm, two bottles of water, an ice pack and a lot of yoga-like brain work.  I finally called My Man at work and told him to pray.  I couldn’t do it.  He was so sweet and said he would.  He is always so calm, too.  As soon as I hung up, I felt a peace wash over me.  I tried the “bearing down” trick one more time and held it for 30 seconds until my eyes about popped out of my head, like when you are in labor.  As soon as I breathed deep again after holding my breath all that time, I felt the weight fly off with another skipped beat.  “Ah.”  And I waited for the famililar to take over again.  a few skipped beats, but I knew it was close.  Deep breaths, relax,  Wait.  And….slow…takes…over…again.  Steady.  Feelings of jubilation, conquer, survival replace those of worry, panic, and frenzied fast.  I listen for it:  beat…..beat…..beat…..beat.  Oh, I love that sound.  After 40 minutes of  bubububububububububububububububububububub…oh, mercy, what a beloved sound.  I make some calls and rest for a few minutes, my adrenaline totally spent.  I was freezing from ice packs and a cold room.  But, I began to rest, and breath and recover, tired, but done with a big battle for the day.

For the benefit of  those of you who are around me a lot, it’s a “normal abnormality“, meaning, not a life threatening arrythmia in and of itself.  It’s PSVT.  I’ve been to leading cardiologists in the country, and usually have to treat myself less than 5 times a year…but, I treat myself constantly for stress maintenance to make sure I’m not over-taxing body, mind, or spirit.  That helps a ton. 

Technically, I could pass out, which isn’t a great idea–so immediate rest, meds, not walking around.  The alternate in the beginning was a trip to the ER, being admitted, panic amonst staff and nurses, calling several doctors because people aren’t used to administering the drug I need if treated medically.  The crash cart is rolled in, heart leads are placed all over my chest, I’m stripped down, an IV is started (which a heart rate that fast and some stress, my veins strink some, it would seem, so it’s hard to get), and they give Adenison (I think that’s the spelling).  It has a very short “half life”, but it takes my heart from sometimes over 200 down to zero, and back to 60 in about a five second time period.  Talk about whip last.  I’m usually sobbing from the swing, and everyone is relieved when it’s over.  I personally don’t prefer that route.

Meds I keep at my side all the time get it down to about 150 if I stay very still.  Still too fast, but easier to get it out with other means (ice packs, rest, naps, bearing down, coughing…cycles in succession that will wear you out, but necessary).  Until it’s “time”, those tricks can only sky-rocketing again.  That’s not fun.  You rest again.  Try using the bathroom, try again.  Talk about feelings of panic. 

I’m better alone when it happens.  I have to stay at rest and be totally aware of my body and when it’s time, when I have reserve to try it again.  It can’t be forced.  Conversation and thinking and talking any more than necessary just make it higher…worried groups of people don’t help.  I tell one or two key support people who know and keep them updated, but that’s why I have to go hide from others.

Thanks for those who were trying to check on me!  I was hoping for 15 minutes.  More realistically, 15 minutes of meds, 15 minute nap or slowing breathing, controlled thinking zen-like state, plus 15 minute of treating myself and then I’m usually back  If I get lucky, a good cough or bearing down early on within minutes will pop me back out immediately.  I didn’t have that treat today.  It was a long round.  It had already become an established pattern before I could fool with it.

I’m so thankful for those who helped me, cheered for my boys, calmed my kids, and got them to their games.  They were just right in their care. 

Today, I’m resting fine, but tired.  I feel like I ran a 45 minute race.  My safe work out heart rate is like 125 or so, so 178…yeah, I feel it).  I’ll take some preventive meds for a few days until things calm down again.  I was dry today from some salty foods, more heat running, AND took a Sudafed this morning.  It caught up with me is all.  I’m in recovery phase and hope to stay there for a good long time.  Thanks for your care and your great comments on the last post–so precious when I woke from a rest today and longed for company for a minute.  Yes…just a minute.  I’ll be restful most of today.  Love you guys! 



Entry filed under: Health.

In Need of My Hero Follow Up…(Where I Answer Questions You Didn’t Ask, But Likely Will)

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. touchofglory  |  January 19, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks for the sweet comments. Everything worked out fine – your kids handled the situation very calmly and we’re all glad you are ok!

  • 2. Stacey  |  January 19, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    SVT just isn’t fun. I’m so sorry that you had an episode today.

    I have actually given Adenosine on the ambulance before. It is frightening how it works even when you know what to expect. 😉

    Rest up and stay warm!

  • 3. Merrie  |  January 20, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Oh, Maggie… thanks so much for sharing.
    I love the zit story and the precious little downs girl. My husband’s little sister had downs. She died not long after we were married. She was only 6, but oh so precious!
    I so appreciate your sharing about SVT. I will be praying for you. I pray for your total and complete healing and that you will never have another “attack” again. I’m so glad you know your body and know what to do – and hope that the ONLY time you ever need that knowledge is to minister to somone ELSE.
    Blessings and rest today!

  • 4. Rachel  |  January 20, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Wow, Maggie, how scary that all sounded to me as I read it! I will be praying for you. Have you ever tried Tai Chi for stress reduction? I have been doing it for several months now (I tend to get stressed out alot!) and it has made such a difference in my life. It is so calming and has even helped with my migraines.
    And by the way, I am 42 and I still get zits!!!
    Blessings be upon you in the mighty name of Jesus!

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Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

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MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)



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