The Heart of the Matter

The past two days have been intense.

Yesterday: session with my new trainer (more on that in another post), 4 miles, three-hour new business pitch at work with a client whom I would really enjoy working with, communications training to the approximately 100 Junior League co-chairs, followed by another Junior League meeting. In case you’re counting, that’s two rounds of public speaking in one day. I didn’t pass out, so I consider both sessions a win.

Today, I had a follow-up appointment at the cardiologist’s. My heart murmured sweet nothings to him, too, last week, so he insisted on an echocardiogram today, or, as the nurse/technician lady so helpfully told me, “It’s a sonogram, like what they use on pregnant ladies.” I hoped there were no secret babies hiding in my heart.


This is not actually the echocardiogram machine, but Like They Use on Pregnant Ladies lady didn’t seem like she’d be too happy with me taking a picture, so I took a picture of the EKG machine instead. I had an EKG last week, too, so this is relevant to this post now.


Then, they covered my chest in electrodes and hooked me up to a heart monitor. But not one of those fun Polar monitors that tells you your heart rate and how many calories you’ve burned. No, this one will hopefully say “just kidding! She’s just fine!” I should also add that this wasn’t the shirt I was wearing to work today. Nope, I was the girl wearing a fairly sheer white blouse over a sea of black wires, because I know how to keep things classy.

I’m hooked up to five electrodes all over my chest, and sitting at my desk today, every time I slouched, they got really uncomfortable rubbing against me. As did the actual monitor.


I was really annoyed by the electrodes and the monitor and whined to any of my coworkers who would listen–until I whined to a coworker who has diabetes and has to wear a similar sized device everyday to moderate her insulin. I only have to wear this for twenty-four (annoying) hours. That totally put things in perspective and made me realize how lucky I am to have my health and that I am taking care of it.

They want to track a normal day for me, so I was allowed to exercise. Knowing that they wanted to also track my exercise, I slept in this morning and left my run for tonight. My plan called for seven, but it was getting dark when i started, so I did five to get home before it was totally dark. All I wanted to do was forget worrying about this (while I’m thinking and hoping it’s nothing to worry about, I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a little worried), so I went for a nice tempo run. One mile warm-up, three miles tempo effort, one mile cool-down. I was aiming for 10K pace (8:22) for the tempo miles, but I didn’t look at my watch and just ran. 8:17, 8:12, 7:58. I think I sweat all the worry out.

Do you remember when I went to the BrunchCritic launch last year? I just found out that they’re starting a Brunch Critic Buns ‘n’ Biscuits boot camp and brunch series. As you all know, I love a good brunch as much as I love a good workout, so this sounds like so much fun. Unfortunately, I’ll be out of town, but if you’re around, they’re having events on both Aug. 18 and Aug. 25. If you go, please have a mimosa for me.

EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to draw my Physique winner originally.

Screen shot 2012-08-08 at 11.19.48 PM.png

Thanks to everyone for your feedback and entries, but Becky, you are the winner! Can you please email me at theodora AT with your mailing address and phone number?

This is just a little bump to show me to not take my health for granted. What reminds you to not take your health for granted?

20 comments on “The Heart of the Matter

  1. Cathryn @ My Heart's Content

    I really feel for you…I have a heart condition and I generally take my health for granted until something scares me. The other week I was totally convinced I was having a heart attack at 1am and it completely freaked me out. I was so scared. Got checked out the next day (when I was still alive) and was totally fine, but it made me really appreciate my health and the things that are important to me. And running wasn’t as important as seeing my little boy grow up. A good thing to remember when I tend to obsess about running. It’s not the most important thing.

    Anyway, I really hope they get to the bottom of this heart scare for you. Thinking of you.

  2. Katie

    I am definitely guilty of taking my body for granted… It is easy to forget how lucky we are.

    I love Ali’s blog ( her Thankful Thursday posts always remind me to be grateful. But lately I have had some terrible digestion issues and have been feeling so discouraged about it…then I read about Ali battling Crohn’s and really being a champ and I am instantly humbled.

    Getting out for a run always makes me appreciate my body. It is bittersweet, but I know not everyone can do it. With a heart defect, I very easily could be one of those people but I have chosen a different path. When people ask me why I run, I simply tell them “Because I can.”

    I hope your tests come back with nothing but good results!! Fingers crossed 🙂

    1. Theodora

      @Katie: Truth. And I’m sorry to hear you’re battling digestive issues. They blow too 🙁

      I love the phrase “run because I can.” That’s what I have on my roadid.

  3. Mom

    Life sometimes throws you a curve in the road just to make sure you are paying attention. Yes, we have to take care of our health it is the most important thing you can do for yourself
    I know everything will be fine, good luck today
    Love you,

  4. Liz

    I’m actually getting fitted for one of those bad boys tomorrow, I just hope I can get it wet, I have a paddle board lesson scheduled for sat morning! Good luck, although I’m sure you are fine 🙂

  5. Dori

    I had to wear one of those heart rate monitors for two days back in 2006. I was fine though. In an unrelated story, I’ve also gotten an echo done because I have an ectopic atrial rhythm (another name for slightly irregular heartbeat), and that test was also normal. I want to hear more about your trainer. And my Aunt Dale who is home right now with hospice care reminds me not to take my health for granted…

  6. Kiersten

    I had to go through the same thing last fall- the tests, wearing the monitor, etc… because I kept passing out randomly. Wearing the monitor gave me a totally new appreciation for what people with medical conditions go through. It was a pain. They never found anything conclusive, but it all reminded me that just because I am relatively young and fit I am not immune.

  7. Linda

    You’re a trooper for really going about your day with that monitor on. I don’t know if I’d be up to running with that thing on, but I guess it would only make the results more accurate for you to run with it on.
    I hope all turns out okay. There’s not point in worrying until the doctor tells you something to worry about. For now, it’s all an interesting experience. Thanks for sharing.
    I want to hear about your new trainer. I like my trainer (not so new, now). When I was getting my ankle and knee checked out the doctor remarked on my very bad balance. I’m thinking maybe I should start going to Pilates again. I never had a stronger core than when I practiced Pilates.

  8. Liza

    I had to wear a monitor like that for months! I was fainting all the time and they didn’t know what was wrong with me. It sucked. I still have scars on my chest and stomach from those electrodes being ripped off daily.

  9. Sarah

    Thanks for talking about this Theodora! I had 2 heart attacks in January and they said running probably saved my life. I’m 31 and started running last year. I ran a half marathon last October and was hoping to run a marathon this year but that won’t happen for awhile. I’m just getting back into running and taking it slow. I write about it in my blog,
    Be well! 🙂

  10. Glenn

    My family history reminds me not to take my health for granted. My dad had many issues because of diabetes. I have to do extra tests at my doctor too. They may sound like an inconvenience, but the best news I can get from the doctor is that everything is fine. and we will check it again next year.

  11. Emily @

    Hope all is well lady! Keep us updated! It is so easy to take our health, family, friends, jobs, kids, etc. for granted. We really have to sit back and reflect on everything that is going well for us-there is always something to be thankful for!
    Glad you get that crazy gizmo off so soon!

  12. Mary

    I hope everything turns out okay! I have seen a cardiologist since I was small for an irregular heart beat. Come to find out I go in and out of Superventricular Tachycardia. I had a scary incident when I was running when I went into SVT and couldnt break myself out of it. As a nurse who works in a Cardiac ICU, it really scared me so I found a cardiologist to get checked out. They basically told me the same thing that they told me when I was a kid, but I still ended up on a holter monitor for 24 hours.


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