It’s time for an update guys.
For the past 6 years, I’ve been dealing with an abnormal heart rhythm issue called supraventricular tachycardia (spoiler alert: don’t worry, this ends with good news!). Most cases of SVT are relatively benign and manageable. Mine started out as random bouts of palpitations that resolved after a few minutes. Sometimes the episodes were triggered by physical exertion or a little too much caffeine. Other times they happened out of the blue, while I was at rest, and not particularly stressed or excited about anything. Luckily my primary care physician took me seriously right off the bat and referred me to a cardiologist, who instructed me to carry a portable Bluetooth enabled EKG machine to capture the events as they happened. The first arrhythmia I captured had a rate of 160 beats per minute, the second one 180 beats per minute. Because initially the episodes were sporadic, short-lived, and didn’t seem to interfere much with my life, I decided to decline cardiac ablation and decided to manage the issue with medication instead. (Of note, SVT is something that can happen to otherwise young healthy people and are often misdiagnosed as a panic attack. In between episodes, the EKG will usually look normal.)
Eventually though, the episodes were breaking through despite the medication. A few weeks ago, while I was working, I had a severe episode that persisted for over an hour. It caused chest pain and shortness of breath. My portable EKG was showing me a rate of 218 beats per minute!, the highest I had ever experienced. We called an ambulance. My blood pressure had dropped extremely low (60/40), but somehow I was still conscious and able to walk. I probably would have lost consciousness if the paramedics hadn’t quickly converted me back to normal rhythm with IV adenosine. Long story short, I ended up seeing another cardiologist who strongly recommended I get an electrophysiology study and cardiac ablation procedure this time around to identify and definitively cure the problem. It involved inserting multiple probes through a vein into the upper chambers of the heart, mapping out the heart’s electrical activity, and ablating the problem areas with heat. The whole idea was unnerving but the more I looked into it, the more reassured I felt. I’m happy to say that it all went well, my cardiologist felt pretty certain it was a cure, and the whole ordeal was actually pretty easy. Honestly, going to the dentist was much worse than the ablation. Thank God for modern medicine and anesthesia! I’m feeling a lot better now, and relieved that it is finally behind me.
During the week before the procedure, I tried to do things to distract myself from thinking too much about it. Aside from binging on Adrianne Lenker’s lyrics while she was played on repeat, I spent some time pruning my wardrobe again. I ended up letting go of some pants that no longer fit and a few other things that I was certain I’d never wear. And in the process of digging around piles in my closet, I rediscovered a few favorites that I had thought I lost. I reorganized my storage system as well, arranging the most worn items in the most accessible areas of my closet, which makes getting dressed a lot quicker. There’s no more digging around to find things.
After this was done, I had a bit of a shopping spree. Stress shopping, yes, but it wasn’t reckless. Taking inventory of my wardrobe usually leads to smarter purchases for me. I felt really confident about what I was buying. I bought a few tops that were multiples of some of my most worn tops, some new and some secondhand. These were pretty low risk decisions. Take this ES mock neck (pictured) for example. I already own one in yellow and love it. I’ve worn it weekly since I received it. I wanted the black one for a while but it was sold out until recently. When it came back in stock, I bought it right away, but this time sizing up to medium. Size small can fit, but I wanted a looser style. I’m going to size up to medium more often now. Larger sizes often look better on me. I want to break the habit of defaulting to the smallest possible size that I can fit into.
In other news, for the first time in my life, and maybe the last time, I spent a significant chunk of money on jewelry. I used some of my wedding gift money on this beautiful Pamela Card 14K solid gold necklace. I was really getting into the idea of wearing a base layer of jewelry everyday-all day, almost permanently, like a tattoo. I wanted something that was timeless, easy, and can be the foundation for other jewelry added to it. For a base layer, something water and sweat resistant is necessary which is why I decided to go for solid gold. Vermeil or gold plated will be fine for occasional layering pieces, but they aren’t durable enough for everyday. I never really gave much thought to jewelry, but the right pieces can really add a touch of elegance and bring a whole outfit together. Now that most of my stylistic self expression is from the neckline up on zoom calls, it is even more important to adorn those areas. I think a simple base layer of jewelry is a nice way to consistently create looks that appear put-together no matter how understated the rest of my clothing is. I’m really happy with my Pamela Card pieces. I first heard about her through Audrey Coyne and Dearly Bethany on YouTube. I love that each piece is hand made by the designer and have a beautiful old world feel to them.
And finally, I wanted to end this post with an update on my house plants. You might recall my olive tree sapling from last fall. Well it didn’t do so well and we were forced to get rid of it after it got infested with some mysterious parasite. I made the mistake of using a dead tree branch that I found at the park to offer structural support for the sapling. This branch must have been the source of the infection. I don’t know what it was but hundreds of ugly bumps appeared all over the trunk of the tree and the tree started emitting a sticky substance. Since then, my confidence about caring for plants have taken a hit, but I’ve started to get back into it. So without further adieu, here are all my plants:
This last plant is the newest addition. The jabily tree is a hard to find succulent that is native to Madagascar. They are often shaped into bonsai trees. Mine is still really young, but as it gets older its trunk will thicken and it will start to branch out a lot more. With pruning, propagating, and wiring, I want to eventually get this tree to look something like this:
If ya’ll have any plant care tips for me, please do share!
All the best, M.