Do something nice for your heart

Let me first start off by saying it feels so weird to be writing about an issue with my heart. We’re young and active, that’s the whole point of writing this blog, right? I struggled with deciding how much detail to put here, and decided to keep it shorter rather than longer, so I can talk more in person if needed.

Last Saturday I experienced a panic attack and chest pain/heart palpitations while driving. The short story: I pulled over on the side of the highway, a state trooper miraculously driving behind me pulled over as well, said state trooper called an ambulance at my request (and his strong encouragement), and ambulance took me to the ER, doctors ran some tests and decided to transfer me to another hospital…

Where I stayed for four days.  Ugh.  Diagnosis: acute myocarditis, likely brought on by a flu virus I had at some point this year.

Pale as a ghost after the Lake Lansing Team Marathon
Running the Autumn Classic 8k after being sick with the flu – maybe the virus that is to blame?

I was easily the youngest person in the cardiac unit by a few decades, and several nurses and the chaplain were confused when they entered my room, to find me not in my bed/walking the halls/Eben napping in my bed instead of me.  Eben drove back and forth from Lansing to Ann Arbor on his birthday weekend to be with me in the ER and inpatient.

So what now?  Well, my blogging about running will not be happening, because I can’t run!  Or walk, or do any strenuous activity, probably for another month. I have medicine that basically slows my heart down, and the doctors anticipate that with a time of decreased activity, my heart will be able to heal itself, and I won’t need meds anymore.  Once the heart tissue shows in some tests that it is back to normal, then I hope I will be good to go.  Which is good, because tri team season is coming up!  I had an official DNS for the Mid-Land half marathon, but I don’t think I would have been able to run anyway because of taking time off for my foot.

Remember those Jump Rope for Heart challenges in elementary school?  I hated those, but I am grateful for what my heart can do, and am sad that my heart and I will be sidelined for a while.  In the meantime, I am scaling back on some things like caffeine (true story, I haven’t had coffee in nine days), doing some research aka Googling different ideas for food to help my heart heal, and using this downtime to read and do homework and snuggle with my cats.


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