About a year ago I began experiencing heart palpitations. If you’ve never experienced a heart palpitation it feels like your heart is skipping a beat, and, well… it is. That’s what a heart palpitation is. It may flutter, it may stutter, but it feels like your heart literally stops for a second. I generally find that I gasp for breath and immediately feel a rush of adrenaline as my body tries to sort out if I’m about to die or not. It’s unpleasant. It causes a lot of anxiety.
I thought, initially, that it was somehow brought on by running because it seemed to be a bit more pronounced while I was training for the half marathon, but the reality is, I can remember having bouts of these spells ten years ago when we lived in Texas. It’s not exactly a new thing, but it was consistent enough recently that I decided I had better get it looked at.
If you know me, or if you’ve read my blogs for a while now, you know that I’m the weirdest when it comes to medical abnormalities. It’s kind of a thing with me. From sudden hearing loss, to septal holes, to extensive abdominal surgeries- I’ve been around the block a time or two. So to overlook when my heart began to stop beating seemed like a silly plan.
After an echocardiogram, which is basically an extensive ultrasound of the heart, and a MONTH of wearing this little beauty day in and day out , where I had to report every time I worked out or showered…
… they discovered that I have a normal irregular heartbeat.
“I’m sorry, what? That literally makes no sense at all,” is obviously what I said to my doctor. A normal irregular heartbeat?
She went on to call it other names like: Normal palpation (which is the heart acting abnormally), and an abnormal heart rhythm that’s completely normal (yes, she said that). So you can imagine my confusion.
But then, as I was driving home laughing at myself for another random health diagnosis to pop in the old suitcase, I realized that this might be the most accurate diagnosis I’ve ever received.
Readers, do you ever recognize those moments when what you thought you were doing or thinking was completely strange and unique when in actuality, thousands of people were thinking the same thing? I have to be honest with you, I’m feeling a lot of that recently as seemingly everyone I know in California is moving, has moved or is thinking of moving out of California. Just when I thought we were the weirdest, most rebellious kids on the block to do something so audacious as move across the country, it would appear that we’re actually part of a nationally recognized trend.
What I’m getting at is this: You’re not special. I mean, you’re totally special in that God made you super cool and absolutely original, but when you say ‘you’re busy’ or when you think that no one could possibly understand or empathize with what you’re going through… it’s just not the case. EVERYONE is busy and you’re liking walking through a statistical norm, it just feels really isolating because you’re the one going through it.
Again, I hope you guys get me by now and know that I’m not ever here to be a meany pants. I’m actually known in my business for delivering on what has been deemed a ‘Wendy smack down’ when I know someone has bought into a garbage story and it’s time someone takes out the head trash. That’s always my goal. I don’t want y’all to settle into a story that isn’t serving you.
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it from me again, but one of the most life altering quotes I’ve ever heard was one I heard from Jim Rohn and he says, “The same wind blows on us all. It’s the set of the sail that determines our direction.”
Y’all, what Jim and I are getting at is THE SAME WIND BLOWS ON US ALL… you’re completely normal in your irregular. You’re abnormal moments are statistically average. We all walk through crisis. We all have seasons where we can’t take on one more thing. We all have THAT child, or THAT family member, or THAT super specific schedule conflict, or THAT moment of devastation.
It’s the same wind. We can’t avoid it. We’re all getting blown around here.
And do you want to know what’s funny? Now that I’m aware of my normal irregular heartbeat… now that the crisis has been taken away and I know I’m not dying- I’ve confirmed it’s just more wind- I hardly notice the problem anymore. I’ve maybe acknowledged 4 or 5 palpitations in the last two months, where I was experiencing that many in a day.
We’ve all got the same two words to focus on: Normal and irregular. It’s the set of the sail that determines your direction.