Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Musings: getting down to the basics

Well, I've had a few weeks to reflect on this new medical diagnosis: a-fib with PAC's (premature atrial contractions), which are precursors to A-fib, all of which means that every time my heart goes into its irregular rhythm, it is causing damage and I have no choice but to go on medication that will control the rhythm. I have not flipped out about this. I am not panicked. I am not slipping into doom and gloom and poor me mentality. This is new behavior for me.

What I am doing is working on acceptance. Yes, I am now someone with heart and thyroid disease when before I was very healthy. But meds can manage both of these things. So I will still be a very healthy person. The med I have to take is not an easy drug. I am praying I don't have any adverse side effects and that it does, indeed, regulate my heart.

But the other thing this diagnosis has done is force me to think even deeper about the rest of my life and what I want and need. I definitely need to finish my novel and figure out what to do with it once it's done. I definitely want to keep singing with Sugartime as long as the voice and the body and the energy hold up. But more importantly, I want to heal the connections between the people most important in my life. I want to not be afraid to be myself, flaws and all, and to know that even when I make mistakes, I am loved. I want to feel safe in an unsafe world. And I want to continue to grow spiritually.

My heart issues are not immediately life threatening. However, if I don't treat the irregular beats now, it will be. I have made a decision not to live the rest of my life afraid that I will have a heart attack or stroke. I intend to live the rest of my life full out, giving my best to everything I do. That's all any of can really expect of ourselves, isn't it?

How about you?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Something could happen to any of us - we can't live in fear of death. We have to live with the joy of living.
Hope there are no side effects and you continue living and loving for a very long time!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I think it's wonderful that this has caused you to think deeper about the rest of your life. Not wonderful that you have the heart condition of course, but wonderful that you're working on acceptance. This is quite an inspiring post Karen. BTW I am now following your wonderful blog :)

Manzanita said...

Arrhythmia seems to be inherited. I've had it since I was 14. (now I'm 83) My Mother had it and some of my kids have it. We don't take drugs for it. I've simply learned what brings it on and I try to avoid that but if it should begin, I also know in what position to put my body that will return my heart to a normal beat very quickly. I've lead a very exhausting life with dancing and heavy gardening.
You'll most likely die WITH it but not BECAUSE of it.
So cheers and be happy.

Tonja said...

Great attitude!

L.G. Smith said...

Best way to live. :)

Karen Walker said...

Alex, thanks for the good wishes.
Optimistic Existentialist, thank you so much for these kind words - and the follow. I already follow you!!
Manzanita, that is very encouraging. I've tried to figure out what brings it on, but it seems to happen when I'm just sitting and doing nothing.
Tonja, thanks

L. Diane Wolfe said...

My husband takes thyroid medicine and it's made a big difference. He protested it at first. But now he can live normal. You will, too.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm with you - living full out is the best of all possible choices! You'll be great!

Nancy La Turner said...

I wish everyone could follow your example -- you are an inspiration to us all!

Karen Walker said...

L.G., I'm trying...
Diane, glad the meds work for your hubby. It's the heart Im a wee bit more worried about. Thyroid is now stable.
Jemi, thanks for the vote of confidence
Nancy, hi there - don't feel much like an inspiration, but aww, thanks. How are you?

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Sounds like you have a great attitude. :) Good luck with everything!

Johanna Garth said...

Karen, I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. My mother has afib as well. Did they recommend taking Vitamin E? I know she used to do that and found it helped.

Arlee Bird said...

Doctors put me on Wayfarin and Diltiazem and I feel 100% better than I did before. No side effects that I'm aware of. Thankfully I had the malfunction diagnosed and corrected back 15 years ago or I think I might not be here today.

Take care of your condition. Hopefully the doctors know what they are doing.

Tossing It Out

Karen Walker said...

Rachel, I try to... thanks
Johanna, that's interesting - I'll look into it
Lee, that's great - I think I'm trusting the docs - at least for now!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm so glad it's something that can so easily be treated! That's wonderful. :) And a nice reminder...live for today, plan for tomorrow!

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Elizabeth

Patricia Stoltey said...

Great response, Karen. We just have to deal with these things one day at a time. I'm glad you're doing all the right things to get the situation under control.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Attitude makes such a big difference, and you have a good one. All any of us can do is make the best of each day, and not stress too much about tomorrow.