Sunday, November 2, 2008


I participate in a forum for those who encounter irregular heartbeats. I have learned a great deal, not only from reading medical materials but from the many members of the forum and their personal experiences. Over the year and a half I have participated there seems to be a pattern. A person typically has some large stress event in their life, they become conscious of the irregular heartbeat, they are extremely frightened by the experience and find the forum where they get reassurance they are OK. The person undergoes what I now recognize as standard tests, EKG, Stress Echo-Cardiogram, Holter Monitor, perhaps an cardiac catheterization, and other tests that check out the structural integrity of the heart. They are almost always told they are OK, the irregular heartbeat is benign and they should try to ignore the sensation. Eventually everyone seems to come to terms with the condition.

You do find the occasional person who says they are not overwrought by the problem, but take a logical approach trying to determine first what causes the onset and second what they can to do prevent the onset. I have found many of these people seem to underestimate the impact of stress on our lives. I find some people who are dead set against any form of medication. I also find persons who seem to be on a never ending quest for some natural solution, zinc imbalance, potassium, magnesium, omega oil, and on and on. I end up feeling bad for these people. It seems as though they find meaning in life by searching for a cause/cure. I am convinced irregular heartbeats are benign and will not hurt me, so I've chosen to get on with my life. Others seem to spend endless energy in their search when there may be no answer.

I've recently seen another behavior I wonder about. I have encountered some people who talk about exercise and workouts that seem to be intended to stave off aging instead of enhance the quality of their life. I recognize the last statement could be considered a contradiction of terms, after all if I do stave off aging am I not improving the quality of my life. Normally I would say yes, however I find there is a possible difference in the motive. I find my exercise routine enhances my enjoyment of my daily living. A few people I've encountered seem to look down the road past today and be wrapped up in exercise as a means of creating immortality and forget to enjoy the daily life experiences. I wonder if they ever come to terms with that drive.

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