Celebrations and Setbacks

My Story

This week has been a weird one.

I knew the first half of March was going to bring a lot of indulging; calories don’t count on your birthday, right? One thing my therapist and I talk about working on for me is being more social… it’s HARD when eating out is too much of a temptation to overdo it, and leaves too many opportunities to overindulge, but I can’t withdraw too much… I’ve done it and it’s hard to get out of that hole. But last week was particularly packed – I went on a date, we had a work event where drinks were FLOWING (hello open tab!), and was followed up by a second date and a bridal shower on the same day, and culminated with my birthday. Now, sure, I could have suggested an alternate location for the second date – I’m not one to pass up BBQ when faced with a pulled pork benedict – but I didn’t. I could have kept my alcohol consumption to a minimum at both the work event and the bridal shower… but I knew there was no way I’d take it easy on my birthday… I knew what I was getting in to.

Obviously, as a seemingly normal (now) 32-year old, I want to go out and have fun! I don’t want to be tethered to this invisible disease, but I need to remember that I’m NOT like everyone else. I need to be mindful of my sodium consumption and drink water accordingly. When I went to bed last Sunday night, after a solid week of overdoing it, my body had had enough. I woke up an hour later, unable to get my heart rate down – thanks to my Fitbit, I could see that my heart rate was hovering around 100. I was just laying in bed – how could this be possible? As I lay in bed, practicing some deep breathing, and drinking water, I contemplated calling my sister – I didn’t want to freak her out! But after about 25 minutes I caved as she I and I troubleshot over the phone what could be happening. I finally suggested going to the ER and after a whole hour, I was in an Uber on my way to meet with her.

On intake, my blood pressure is taken (yikes!) and an EKG (normal) and at that point, was directed to the waiting room until a doctor was ready to see me. I wasn’t keeping track of time, but I’m guessing it took about an hour. And, while annoying, it gave me some peace of mind knowing that I wasn’t in bad enough shape to be considered for immediate care. My sister and I went back, I made contact with no less than 6 different people. They took some blood to run some panels and then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. The blood pressure cuff was left on my arm to take readings every 20 minutes (I timed it) and eventually was given the word that everything was normal. I mean, my blood pressure was still very high, but was advised to take it easy, HYDRATE, and handed a packet of paperwork all about heart palpitations and told I most likely had a case of “holiday heart syndrome.” COOL. Within that packet were suggestions like no alcohol (easy), chocolate (yeah, okay), or caffeine (WHAT?!).

I finally crawled into bed around 3, where I ended up not falling asleep until closer to 4 – now I had sleep anxiety! Was it going to happen again? I wrote to my boss and said I wasn’t going to be in on Monday and proceeded to finally fall asleep until about 9:30am. I was embarrassed and assumed people at work would think I was just hungover from birthday celebrations. In all actuality, all I got was a case of dehydration and a fancy $300 plastic bracelet with my name on it.

So, here we are today, a full 5 days later. It was a long, non-caffeinated week and after talking to my PCP today, my plan is to work on hydrating appropriately (and apparently LaCroix doesn’t count) and not obsessing over checking my blood pressure – he said once a week, right after I wake up is sufficient. We’ll reassess at my annual physical in July.

So, what did this teach me? I know that I had been a little too lax in my diet and that I need to get back into the gym. So, my goal is to ease back into working out – maybe start back in with some walking and yoga, up my water intake, and I really just need to put myself first.

I went to the grocery store and can’t wait to get back into the kitchen this weekend to get back on my meal prep and planning with some old standbys and something new, too.



How do you deal with setbacks? What do you do to stay motivated when you find yourself too far down the wrong path?