I have mentioned this a few times now in previous posts that there can be a flow-on effect of other medical ailments as well as other things such as financial hardship, relationships etc. For me personally, I wasn’t to understand the impact that our period of financial hardship had on my health until last month.
As I had written in my last post “Financial Hardship”, I explained how my wife and I would control our own destiny under our conditions as best we can and as a result we came out alive and kicking. Go figure, it didn’t kill us but you certainly feel like your world is falling apart hence why it was important that we steered our boat.
Now whilst it didn’t kill us, it did take its toll on me in more ways than one.
Last month, I suspected I was experiencing pains in my chest and jaw so I made my way to hospital just as a precaution. As a result of this, I was admitted to hospital for 8 days whilst undergoing numerous tests which led to me having a couple of small surgical procedures done. One of these procedures included having a small Medtronic “Cardiac Device Implant” which is the size of a small USB Thumb Drive sewn under the skin above my heart. This is a loop recorder that monitors and records the hearts rhythms 24/7 which is monitored by the Cardiovascular team to see if there are any abnormalities that are of concern. If the team notice anything, then they will call me immediately and no doubt advise me to return to hospital. The implant can stay inside the body for up to 3 years recording the heart rhythm. They also provided me with a remote-control device that I carry with me wherever I go. If I have any pain in my chest or jaw then I hold the remote device over my heart where the implant is and press a button. This highlights the data at the time of an event which assists the cardiovascular team analyzing the data to see straight away when I experienced an event. Can you believe technology today?
To say it is a weird sensation having this thing inserted under my skin is an understatement but I’m starting to get used to it now. I do get reminders of its presence in the way I sometimes move or lay in bed but all in all I can live with it…so-to-speak! Below is a small diagram to provide you with an idea of what it looks like. I told my youngest son who is 15yr that I am getting close to being the next $6 Million Dollar Man however he just gave me a blank look. I said, you know, Steve Austin…still blank! Haha, we are getting older. I showed him a clip of this show on YouTube and he said it’s one of the best comedies he had ever seen…it is humorous looking back at it now.
Well I’m back at home now, healthy, happy and moving forward once again and ready for our next challenge that this life has for us. Keep throwing it our way I say for we are just getting stronger with each round.
What’s important to me in sharing this with you is that we all need to look after our mental health and wellbeing. Whilst I don’t look backwards these days and only focus on what’s ahead, it’s important to understand that this event is yet another consequence or flow-on affect that has stemmed from my initial heath scare in 2013. The Nurses and Cardiovascular team have said that my BMI is good, both my good and bad cholesterols are at healthy levels, my heart structure is good with no evidence of narrowing of blood vessels. I eat healthy food, exercise, sleep well and the list goes on so again the relationship between the Financial Hardship (a stressful event) that we had been going through with the stress, anxiety, depression experienced was detrimental to my health again.
As humans, we need stress in our lives however the levels and duration need to be controlled or it will control you.
“When stress is sustained or repeating or extreme, then all [the usual systems] gets disrupted,” says Huda Akil, co-director of the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute at the University of Michigan. “And eventually, you do it long enough and it starts impacting other systems … immune responses; it can affect the heart; it affects brain cells. It depends how long we’re talking about.”
“A lot of stress can be very disruptive,” Akil says. “But a little bit of stress is kind of like working your muscles, your emotional muscles. And you build them up and you learn how to cope. So, this is not something that’s irretrievably wired to be bad or good. It can be retuned and fine-tuned, and it’s never too late.”
Stress is, at root, a mechanism for adapting to changing circumstances. So, when a challenging situation inevitably appears, the trick is to get the stress reaction to work to your advantage.
All I see now is a bright future ahead!
HOPE – Hold On, Pain Ends