These past couple of weeks has been the hardest for me. My week started with a visit to a doctor on Monday morning. I scheduled the appointment because I had been feeling chest tightness and heart palpitations (the week prior to the visit, I had an EKG and a heart monitor). After reviewing blood work and the results of the 24 hour heart monitor she diagnosed my condition as “Sinus tachycardia.” She told me that I needed to take Atenolol or I will have a heart attack. I asked her if the heart palpitations could be a result of a virus, but she said it wasn’t a virus. I did not have a good feeling about taking the medication, but took it anyway. After taking it for 2 days, I became very depressed and had crying fits. I called her office and she told me to cut the medication in half and that she was going to give me something “for stress.” I found out that one of the adverse side effects for Atenolol is depression, and the doctor had prescribed an anti-depressant for me. I didn’t take the anti-depressant, in fact later that day the Atenolol started to ware off and I did not have the crying episodes anymore.
I was on the ½ dose of Atenolol for 3 days until I noticed that my fingers were numb and cold. It felt like my fingers were swollen but they weren’t. I had a hard time gripping things and the color of my skin was greyish. It was too late at night to call the doctor so we called the nurse-on-call at our insurance’s hotline. She suggested I stop taking the medication (numb, cold fingers is another adverse side effect). For the next 2 days I worried that I would have some kind of major heart episode because I wasn’t taking the medication. On Sunday afternoon, I had a lot of heart palpitations and was very dizzy and light headed—I thought I was having a heart attack. Fran took me to a Quick Care facility and they ran their tests—EKG, blood pressure standing, sitting, and lying down. After all the tests, the doctor told me that there was nothing wrong with my heart and that I had a virus. She said that the virus can cause heart palpitations especially since I was dehydrated.
Needless to say, I am not going back to that one doctor anymore; but even though this was a scary week for me, I realize that there is nothing I can do to heal myself. I prayed for God to heal me, but I also realized that if I died that there was nothing I could do about it. The book of Matthew has new meaning for me now. Chapters 4 and 5 reminded me that Satan tempts people and causes them to be fearful, but that God blesses those who are faithful. This morning I read Chapters 8 and 9, where it recounts Jesus healing sick and demon possessed people. This afternoon as I sat in the living room, I felt the tightness of my chest go away. It happened so suddenly that I thought I had died. I sat still, waiting to feel my heart beat, and it did. God heals.