Barbells and heart rates

It happened again yesterday. A work colleague reminded me that she was old and 50, at which point I had to say, “well so am I.”

After some back and forth, it was determined that I am a year younger than her, as my 48th birthday is in less that three weeks and her 49th is in June.

I have so much to say, and so much on my mind, that the words overwhelm me and don’t emerge as they should. But, here is my attempt.

Let me just say– so it looks less like I am whining– that yesterday was probably the first day since late January that I did not feel my heart pounding in my chest. Even at the gym. The Apple Watch reports that even as Andrew had me standing on balance trainers while swinging the heavy ropes, my heart rate stayed at around 150 beats per minute.

Yesterday I also felt strong and steady walking around all day. My back and hip pain never got over a three, and dissipated as soon as I got home from work. I didn’t feel like I was swaying standing there at my table.

Which, if you are curious, the Apple Watch counts folding clothes as steps, especially when it’s the aerobic clothes folding we do at Stitch Fix. So, I’m now routinely getting 15,000+ steps a day. I know they are not steps, per se, but it is activity. And about five minutes a day of folding clothes the watch registers as exercise.

My blood pressure has consistently been about 98/54 upon waking, 125/80 most of the working day, and 115/70 in the evening. I keep an electrolyte beverage at my bedside (electrolyte powder plus if you are curious) and chug about six ounces before getting out of bed. I’d have more, as the doctor suggested a full 16 ounces, but I have noticed that I have a tendency toward incontinence these days. If I feel I need to use the restroom, I have to go right away or I might pee myself on the way to the bathroom. It’s happened at home several times that once I registered the sensation, I just can’t hold it until I reach the toilet. Not fun.

And my pinky still tingles at work, during exercise and during postural changes– or so I think. I’m trying to figure it out.

The tilt table test to rule out Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is May 17. And my neurologist will be referring me to neurovascular for the aneurysm they found in my head on my CT scan. But good news, she said, is that she doesn’t think the aneurysm has anything to do with my symptoms.

My short term disability provided by my employer only provided two weeks pay of my one month leave, and it was only 66% of my wage at that. I’m still bickering with them over the last week, because they claim my doctor hasn’t sent appropriate notes to justify my last week. I know my doctor’s office faxed the forms twice and I sent screen shots of the office notes. Now the absence management company has switched my examiner.

This remains extra frustrating because my initial fall, on Stitch Fix property, happened March 1. I filed a claim at that point, and missed some working time because of the incident but no full days. I don’t think. They canceled that claim, and when I ended up in the hospital the evening of March 13, I had worked a full day that day so that meant my waiting week started March 14. All this bickering over $450.

In the meantime, my car insurance had been due on the day I ended up in the hospital and I ended up paying it from my hospital bed by credit card. Because I hadn’t anticipated being out of work mostly unpaid for a month, I had business and other household expenses, primarily groceries, on that card, with The Teenager’s unexpected car repairs, and a balance from the ceiling repair we had last year. By the end of April, I had $5,000 on my American Express. And not a dime in my checkbook or savings account.

I used my rest time during the weekend to research a personal loan. And I closed on that with my bank of 20+ years yesterday. I’ve been paying $300+ a month on credit card debt. This allows me to pay them off, have a bit of a cushion, and repay at a rate of 6%. That’s the one good thing about having a high credit score in a bad economy, it’s cheap and easy to borrow money. It certainly makes me uncomfortable to have “more debt” but I have to remind myself it’s the same amount of debt, just more manageable.

It’s a lot. It’s a lot to think about when you balance it all with the fact that I have a disability, work full-time, have a side business where many people depend on me, and I’m a mom. The jury is still out on whether whatever happened to be in March was a “single” event or whether now on top of everything else, I have a chronic condition.

Whatever it is, I’ll keep coming.

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