updates, wardrobe multiples, permanent jewelry, and a plant inventory

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:

Tradescantia Nanouk
jade plant
rosemary
rubber tree (outdoors)
grocery store flowers
jabily tree

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.

10 thoughts on “updates, wardrobe multiples, permanent jewelry, and a plant inventory

  1. So glad you are doing ok and I hope the ablation cured the SVT! That sounded terrifying but it’s nice to know the treatment wasn’t painful. I think most things are easier to deal with than the dentist.
    The necklace is beautiful. It feels so nice when you get something like that and it’s truly YOU.
    I have the first plant and two jade plants. The first one loves warmth and sun. Mine grew like crazy outside last summer but has taken a turn for the worse while inside over the winter. I’m hoping the weather will stabilize soon so I can leave it outside again. Jade plants may need more water than you think for being succulents. I notice mine do well with two small watering a week. That may be a bit different for you though considering the weather there.

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    1. Thank you! I’ve noticed the jade plant leaves start to look like they need more water pretty frequently. I’m watering it a tiny bit maybe once or twice per week and was worried I was going overboard. Nice to know this is actually what I’m supposed to be doing.

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  2. Glad to hear your ablation went well! Did you have the cryoablation or radiofrequency kind? I also have SVT and had this done in 2009 (my HR was over 200 bpm) and have only had 1 episode since. It sounds like Holter monitor technology has come a long way since then–mine sounded like a fax machine!

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    1. It was radiofrequency. I’m glad yours went well. I hope I never have another episode ever again. I’m feeling optimistic about it. I was surprised of the holter monitoring too. When I got it done several years ago I was expecting to carry a large machine around with me with wires attached to my body. But Kardia had just came out which is half the size of a credit card. You just put both index fingers on the metal plates and an ekg strips gets sent to your phone via bluetooth. It was pretty cool.

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  3. I’m glad to hear that the ablation procedure went well! Sounds like a scary issue, but good to hear the treatment was not too taxing to go through.

    I’m definitely a fan of base layer gold necklaces, mine have all been gifts from my family. My current necklace is a very tiny bezel-set diamond pendant in 14K gold, it goes with everything and was a law school graduation present from my mom. I’ve also thought about getting a gold herringbone necklace like yours, I think it’s a very chic look, but I haven’t quite been able to decide on the length of the necklace or the width of the chain.

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    1. I do wish my herringbone necklace was sometimes a little bit longer. I mostly wear crew tops and sometimes the short length causes the necklace to get buried in the neckline. But if you tend to wear v necks or larger necklines, I think the short length can be very nice, especially to serve as a base. I think the most important thing is to have the herringbone be shorter than the majority of your other necklaces to create a layered effect.

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  4. I have heart palpitations sometimes too but they seem to have gone for now. Glad to hear you were able to sort your heart problems out. I also have plants but I think they grow more out of luck than any care I give them!

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  5. I’m glad it went well! What a relief to have that behind you and not be in fear of new episodes.

    And so glad you’re back. Love hearing your wardrobe and house updates.

    Would love to see more photos of your updated wardrobe storage after the clean out and your new items.

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