Several years ago I was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia, or IST. I’m told that my heart is structurally sound and totally healthy, except for it has a really annoying habit of beating really fast sometimes. When I asked my doctor — a bigshot cardiac electrophysiologist — what causes it, he got all excited and was all, “We have no idea! Isn’t the human body amazing?”
Right, TELL THAT TO SOMEBODY WHO DOESN’T NEED A PACEMAKER AT THE AGE OF 24.
He actually assured me that I don’t need a pacemaker. Then he said a lot of technical crap that basically can be boiled down to this: Most people’s hearts save a rapid heartbeat for important things such as running fast or meeting Patrick Dempsey. My heart is like, “Oh, we’re crocheting a scarf? BETTER PICK UP THE PACE.”
If I ever meet Patrick Dempsey I’m pretty sure my heart will explode. Hopefully he picked up some medical skills on the Grey’s Anatomy set.
Mostly I’ve been able to manage my condition with beta blockers, but it always bothered me that I have to take the same meds as my 74-year-old grandma. So I got the blessing of my doctor to try and taper off the meds. It’s been six days now and I’m mostly doing fine, except for when I work out. Last night my heart was beating so fast during Ripped in 30 that I actually thought I was going to throw up, which is unacceptable because JILLIAN DOES NOT ALLOW BREAKS.
I kind of remembered my doctor saying IST can impact exercise, so I did a little Googlin’ and lo and behold, “Presenting symptoms are palpitations, fatigue, chest discomfort, exercise intolerance, and dizziness.”
First of all, where was this shit when I was in high school? It kills me to think of all the times I got in trouble for cutting gym when all along my heart was hiding a solid excuse for my laziness. As tempting as it is to take that news as a sign that it’s time to trade my gym shoes for a beer helmet, I think I’m going to try sticking it out for a few more weeks. And if I suddenly stop posting, I’ve either died from exercise intolerance or I’ve met Patrick Dempsey.