Garyclarkk's Blog

February 26, 2016, 2:41 pm
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Heart beat has been a little off for a couple of months.  Only happens when I lay down and nibble.   Only last for a short while.

So don’t nibble, right?

Been doing that for as long I can remember.  Nibble myself to sleep.  Doesn’t matter what I eat.  So what does that leave?  Perhaps it’s what I drink.  It’s usually diet something.  But the more I read, the more I’ve come to suspect the diet stuff is worse for me than the sugary stuff.

So . . .

I did a little more research.  All the diet stuff I drink is sweetened with aspartame.  WebMD, and the Mayo Clinic website both report that the artificial sweetener can cause irregular heartbeats.

So . . .

For a week, no aspartame.  No irregular heartbeats.


Until . . .

Yesterday, for the first time in a long time I experienced heart palpitations.  Like I said, first time in years.  Very different feeling than the irregular (v-tach/ a-tach) I was experiencing last year.

When I did had the palpitations, they lasted 5-30 seconds.  Not too worried about them.  Months in between episodes.

Yesterday I was walking down the hallway at work and all of a sudden, 180 bps.  Coughed . . .no helped.  Thumped my chest . . . no help.  3 minutes in I decided to leave the otherwise vacant building.  Walked our and sat in the steps.  Immediately the bps slowed. Less than 30 seconds later it’s back to normal.

Well dang.  Aspartame withdrawals?  🙂

Now . . .

To complicate matters.  In the beginning of 2015 the doctor changed my Coreg dosage from 1 20mg a day to 2 12.5mg per day. Well, silly me decided about a month ago to use up some old Coreg that I had.  So, 2 times a day I took 12.5mg.

Except . . .

The old Coreg was the 20 mg dosage.  So, I’ve taking 40mg instead of 25mg.


I fixed that.

But . . .

I think I’ll go back to my old medicine routine – take them 4-5 a week.  I feel so much better when I do that rather than everyday.  Been meaning to ask one of docs about that, but I keep forgetting . . . yeah I write the question down . . . but I keep forgetting the note.   🙂

Enjoy the weekend.



September 23, 2015, 12:33 pm
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A couple of months go I had a CTA.   My cardiologist’s nurse actually covered it with me over the phone.  The bypasses looked good and most everything else looked great.  That’s the reason I was sent to the phsiocardiologist.  Maybe something electrical was causing the irregular heart beat.

Anyway, the only thing that was a possible cause of concern was a little dot on my left lung. They suggested I talked to my PCP.  So I did.  3.5mm.  Guidelines suggest to just keep an eye on anything under 4.0mm.  So that’s what my doc and I are going to do.

I’ve known the guy for over 23 years.  We’re pretty good pals.  He was looking at the CTA and asked about the 3 arteries showing +70% clogged.  “Severe”.

I didn’t know.  Nobody talked to me about that.  He said, he wasn’t sure how to interpret the test results, but strongly recommended I consult with my Cardio’s office.

Well Dang! (and also sorts of other words)  I don’t want to go through that again.  So I leave a message for Linda, my Cardio’s nurse.  We’ve talked a number of times.  I have complete trust in her.

The problem is, I called her last Tuesday.  No call back.  I waited a week.  Still no call back.  Made an appointment with the Cardio yesterday, but it’s not till October 30.

Well, for the last 8 days I’ve kept thinking about 3 more clots.  The anxiety increased.  Last two days I felt little twinges in my chest.  I know it’s mind induced.  I know it.  I know it.  But there was enough doubt . . .

Anyway, I’ve been going on stress-reduction walks all day.  It helps.  Around noon, I get a call from Linda and I explain the situation.  She pulls my report.

“Ahhhh.  I understand what’s going on”

“The contrast sees the sections of the 3 arteries that were bypassed.  You’re good!”

Of course, that’s the Reader’s Digest version.  She did a really good job of calming me down with reassurances.

Whew!!!!!!  And the twinges have vanished.

Signs, Signs. Everywhere a Sign
September 12, 2015, 2:26 pm
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I truly believe in signs.  Sometimes they appear as dreams, sometimes as flashes of insight, sometimes as mis-directed text messages.   Laughed all the way to the Fish Shack.



Tonight’s the night, actually tomorrow’s the day
September 2, 2015, 2:58 pm
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Tomorrow’s test goes a long way in determining if I have a pace maker implanted. Yeah, it’s been a hell of a day.

Typical Me
August 27, 2015, 2:56 pm
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Wore a Zio cardiovascular patch. 1.7% of my left ventricular beats were wrong.  Yeah, that can lead to sudden death especially if the pumping function is low, like less than 35.  My echo = 47.  Great number.  A month later CTA = 37.

Cardio physiologist says the numbers are too different to make a decision on an implanted defibrillator.

Another echo in 2 weeks.

Surprise. Surprise. I haven’t been sleeping well. went to a psychiatrist today.  He wrote me a prescription. Said, “These will help you sleep and keep the nightmares of dying at bay.”

Sure hope he’s right.

June 26, 2015, 4:57 pm
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I been having uncomfortable feelings in my chest for a while; 2 years maybe more. Only happens occasionally. 6 weeks ago I got scared. Heart didn’t feel right. Got dizzy. Lasted about 30 seconds. 20 seconds longer than ever before and much, much more intense. 

Went to my cardio and saw his PA. She’s a little more conservative than he is; recommended a 30-day heart monitor. Got off that last week. 

PA told me this afternoon that my blood work looked great!!!   I was also down 10 pounds.  The echocardiogram was good. The monitor looked ok

Any questions?

Yes. If I gave you 2 dates and time can you look them up?


Gave her the first timeframe.  

Kind of a frown. What’s the second time?

Big frown

She said those were the only two times she made note of. What were the symptoms?

Not tightness, but more like my heart had no room to expand and contract. Didn’t last more than 8-10 seconds. 

She said, both of those times my heart beat from the bottom to that top. It’s called V-Tach.  Can be serious. Very serious.  But neither time did it exceed 5 beats. 

She wants to do more tests to determine if my bypasses are ok.  

Not want I wanted to hear.  Nowhere near what I wanted to hear

I’ve been exercising really hard for the last couple of weeks.  It’s the best I’ve felt in a year.  

I really expected good news. 

Oh well. 

It’s Not Always The Benjamins
June 23, 2015, 9:20 am
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Sunny.  Hot.  The first extended hot streak of the summer.

So Alex go a summer job.  Without getting into specifics, it’s in the automotive care industry.

The salary is not all that great . . .

but . . .

2 weeks ago they used his car to certify their mechanics in a couple of fields.  Last week the same thing.  More this week also.  Alex figures that he’s got about $1,200 worth of work and new parts for free.

Additionally today, the manager is buying a couple of parts for Alex at 1/2 price.  Then the 2 of them are getting outside-the-box training.  🙂

And the fact that he’s lost 20 pounds is a very added plus.

Nope, it’s not always the number on the check.