Friday - 10/22/2021 — While we’re looking at four-part memes (see last Friday’s post), here’s a good one. I’ve spent a great deal of the last year feeling tired—sometimes not stressed, but often with a barely-recognized stress underlying my every action. Naps helped; so did drinking water.
But the biggest help of all was getting a Watchman heart implant a couple of weeks ago.
I’m glad you asked.
People who live with A-fib, as I do—particularly women of a certain age—are 80% more likely to have a stroke than people who don’t have A-fib. That’s because there’s a little pouch thingy called the Left Atrial Appendage on the side of everyone’s heart where blood can pool and clot. Normally, a regular heartbeat prevents the pooling, but when the heartbeat becomes erratic, as it does with A-fib, the blood isn’t flushed out of the pouch. Hence the clot. Hence a stroke if the clot is pushed out of the LAA.
Did I worry actively about this possibility? No. But did the worry seep into my thoughts here and there? Yes. Hence the stress.
And, guess what? Drinking water—usually my answer to just about any ailment—didn’t help. I duplicated the naps in the upper right quadrant and plopped it into the upper left one. Sometimes two or three hours a day, which helped the tiredness a bit, but did nothing for that underlying feeling that at any moment my heart could send a clot to my brain.
Fortunately, the Watchman implant (like a little balloon) is placed in the LAA to fill it up. Then the heart muscle grows across the opening to the LAA, sealing it off so the pooling won’t be able to happen.
I still have A-fib, but now it’s just a bother rather than a worry.
And I’ve moved pretty much into the two right-hand quadrants.
Amazing, isn’t it?