Sunday, March 13, 2011

No Answers...Time to Move Forward

So I write this post knowing that in comparison to what is going on in Japan, my health issues are completely manageable. Completely. I'm glad it is me and not a member of my family, and so far nothing is life-threatening. That being said, I haven't blogged in several weeks. There have been a couple of (very random) things going on for me.

Hearing Loss
I woke up three weeks ago with sudden hearing loss in my left ear. It feels like I am hearing under water. There is no infection/fluid/pressure in the ear. The hearing test two weeks ago showed that I lost hearing at the highest pitch in my left ear. They aren't sure what is causing it. The leading diagnosis is a viral infection of the nerve in my ear. I saw a Neurologist who is also an Ear/Nose/Throat specialist. No answers there- just orders for an MRI, a CT scan, and two more hearing tests.

As treatment for a potential nerve infection, they put me on steroids. It took about four days, and then I made the Energizer Bunny look lethargic. I was downright manic for two days. Both my sister and my partner at work wanted me to stay on the steroids (Mere so I can help her paint her walls, and Patricia because I was a data-collecting fool at work). Tommy was probably ready for them to stop! (I talk a lot to begin on steroids annoyed even me!). Unfortunately, the steroids didn't fix the hearing loss. I continue to feel like I have water in my ear, challenges with hearing in noisy places, and intermittent ringing in that ear. In the grand scheme, I will deal with it, but definitely frustrating.

SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia)
Since the hearing issue is out of my control, Today was my EP (Electrophysiology) Study. In preparation (as only a nurse would do), I painted my toenails (who wants skanky toenails when you are in a hospital gown?!). You can read more about the procedure here (if you are really that interested). The bottom line is, they put three catheters in the vein in my leg (ok-groin) and tried to induce the abnormal heart rhythm. My bartender (aka anesthesiologist) was incredible. He had me asleep before they even stuck my leg with a needle. Of course they had to wake me up during the procedure because they were having trouble inducing the rhythm.

When I run hard, my heart rate (normal rhythm) is in the 190s. With Isuprel (a medication) and a pacemaker, they were only able to get it up to the 170s-180s, and they couldn't cause the abnormal rhythm. I coughed, which was the only thing I could do. If only they had let me run on the treadmill or bend over and stand up...hard to do with huge catheters in the groin. They know I have two pathways for electricity, but couldn't burn on of them without inducing the rhythm (if they got the normal one, I would end up with a pacemaker). So from here I think it is just watch and wait. See if and when it happens again (frustrating because it isn't predictable), and consider a different medication. The first medication I was on (a beta blocker) really made me fatigued and down...I could not tolerate it for more than a week. (Of course I was on this the week before the steroids, so I went from loooow to hyper).

So no answers on the ear or the heart. I am a planner...I have pre-printed packing lists, and calendars, and like to PLAN. Apparently someone is teaching me a lesson. I'm going with the flow. I don't know if my hearing will come back, and I don't know if I will end up on another medicine for my heart rate. Again, in the grand scheme these are not insurmountable. They are just annoyances, and beyond anything I need to keep perspective. I said I would have my pity party today and then suck it up and move on.

I am so thankful for my husband, for never complaining about my issues and picking up my slack. He truly is my best friend. I'm also thankful for my wonderful family, friends, and teammates, who give me a boost when I need it (and sometimes a kick in the pants!). I got a nice email from my teammate Ryan today. His business motto is always at the bottom of his emails, and today it definitely resonated. "Don't look back....forward motion is everything." Time to move forward.


  1. I am so sorry to hear this. I am thinking of you. Yes, forward motion. Take care and let me know if you need someone to talk to :)

  2. when I started in triathlon people used to call me the Energizer Bunny. yet another thing we have in common :)

  3. I always paint my toenails before writing my midterms.

    I pray you get your heart issues under wraps!

  4. Ahhh, Kier, I am sooo sorry to hear about the issues. Hope you find answers and that it all works out well for you. Seems like you deserve it!

  5. Ugh. It is one thing to have health issues, but it is something different all together to not have any answers about what is going on with your body.

    Hopefully you get some answers soon.