Feeling pretty good lately!

For the first time since this whole journey began, and definitely since I was shocked on Dec. 4th, I have been feeling pretty darn good. The PTSD from the shock was pretty interesting to navigate for awhile, every little thing set me off and I spiraled down the rabbit hole with new symptoms daily. But I think I've worked through most of those issues and once again am feeling encouraged and positive. 

Anxiety is underestimated, cruel, and not at all descrimitive. It can mimic most of the bodily symptoms our minds can create. While most of us just put up with the daily reminder that we aren't 100%, it's another thing entirely to succumb to it. I have learned over the last few years that anxiety can literally cause me to believe I'm sick, it can give me chest pains and brain fog... and a long list of other uncomfortable symptoms. It can make me feel like I've lost control over everything, sinking deep into despair. BUT... usually it's wrong. Usually it is nothing but a severe case of anxiety driving the symptoms. Heart problems are difficult at best, we don't need our nervous system attacking us. And by nervous system...I mean NERVES. 

Learning how to determine whether our symptoms are real or produced by our own anxiety is KEY. Once I learned to manage those thoughts and emotions that started the symptom avalanche, I became my own saviour of sorts. Anxiety is a train, coming at us from seemingly no where. But like any train, it makes noises. Audible noises we can hear if we are paying attention. We can derail that train if we know how, therefore avoiding hours or even days of miserable symptoms. Get to know your triggers well. Avoid them if you can. If not, learn some soothing methods to convince your brain that you're really okay. Whatever works for you, DO THAT. 

Personally I love stuffed animals... yes, I know I'm 58 years old, but adulting is optional when you're trying to prolong your life. The softer the critter, the better. Some days (at home) I just sit and hold a stuffed animal, snuggle the soft fur, and look at it's face to calm me. I've got some pretty cool ones too! I also collect a wide variety of crystals and palm stones. Smooth pretty ones I can look at and hold in my hand. I take some to my doctor's appointments and hold one to keep from getting nervous. Believe it or not, it works. And whatever works, DO THAT. If you think you feel good, then you feel good.

Meditating or just sitting quietly and going through positive thoughts in your head is helpful too... breath deeply and remind yourself that you're okay. Sometimes I say it out loud until I feel like I am less stressed. 

If you know something is going to stress you out, avoid it. The people in your life who really matter will understand you not going to a dinner party, or being at a crowded concert. (those things stress me, but maybe not you) The point is, stress and anxiety have the ability to cause heart flutters, arythmia, skipped beats, PVC's... any way you spell it, avoiding stress if you can is the best thing for your condition. 

That's just my advice for the day. Hopefully it will help someone. 


4 Comments

What a lovely post

by LondonAndy - 2024-01-15 18:29:32

I am very glad to hear how well you are now doing, and thank you for sharing. I am lucky: I have never suffered anxiety, but a lovely lady neighbour did when I had a flat in London and I saw how much it affected her daily life. the impact on her health was enormous. I hope your advice helps others who go through this.

What an inspiring post for winter

by Gemita - 2024-01-16 06:48:49

Thank you for your thought for the day Janene and for your uplifting post.

Yes anxiety is under-estimated and cruel.  There have been times when I have made my health far worse from “anxious” thoughts alone, than from any disease process present.  Anxiety is so powerful that it can cause severe illness if it is not controlled.

You sound renewed, as though Spring is just around the corner.  What an inspiring post and success story.  Your disease is going to have a hard time progressing with such a positive, happy patient.  

I collect plants for my small urban garden and am fast running out of space, so find pruning therapeutic and keeps me active and outdoors, year round.

Stress

by piglet22 - 2024-01-17 06:08:45

Stress is certainly something to avoid.

Mulling over things pushes my blood pressure up and controlling breathing and slowing things down does reduce BP.

That's easy enough while sitting in bed, but real life is different and stress creeps in.

It can be anything. No bread in the supermarket, even the health service frustrations.

It's almost unavoidable.

I think it's important to have things to look forward to.

It can be a meal, meeting a friend. I find hobbies are great stress busters and should be on prescription.

As a child, I loved making things, planes, trains, boats and lately have revived my interest.

Finding a 1927 Singer sewing machine in a charity shop started another hobby.

Basically, all these are distractions and work by taking your mind off the gloomier things.

Governments and organisations have a lot to answer for and if done badly can have a huge effect on public health.

It's difficult to control your own life, but getting older makes me less fearful of taking on these people. All strength to the likes of the the private individuals grinding our Post Office down after years of injustice. They must have had a real boost in well being.

So Glad You are Feeling Good

by SeenBetterDays - 2024-01-17 11:00:50

Hi R2D2

What a great message.  You have faced adversity and are tackling your challenges with courage and strength, whilst also finding the time to try and help others who may be struggling with anxiety.  Thank you for your post.

You are so right about anxious thoughts driving symptoms.  I completely relate to what you say.  I know that whatever physical challenges I am facing, they are without exception worsened considerably when I fall into the dark place where my mind spirals into worry.  It's tricky to do, but self reassurance and distraction (I loved your comments about furry animals and crystals) really do help.  I try to recognise when I am starting to get anxious and have a little chat with myself.  How much of what I am thinking is factual and how much is pure conjecture? Nine times out of ten my anxiety is fed by the stories of doom I am inventing in my mind.  I am very much my own worst enemy.  If I can get myself into a more positive mindset I know that I will be better able to deal with whatever symptoms I may be experiencing.  Not saying I succeed every day but I continue to try! It's people like you who inspire me to find ways to help myself and make the best of things.  I hope you continue to feel better physically and mentally and fingers crossed that ejection fraction will see an upward turn in the near future.  

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