Saturday, October 31, 2009

Localvore and my heart

On September 2nd in the middle of the night, I experienced what felt like a heart attack. I was too weak to even get down my own stairs. I suffered through the night, went in to work like a fool and collapsed while taking the fruit out of the refrigerator and putting it on the shelves. Rick deYoung, who works for the Douglas County News and is an all-around great fellow, drove me in to a clinic until Mom could arrive from the coast. The doctor didn't find much beyond an enlarged heart, tachycardia and edema. He didn't do any further testing, thinking I was exhausted and stressed and should have gone to the hospital DURING the crisis if I wanted answers.

The tachycardia I've had since childhood previously only caused scary symptoms when I didn't get enough sleep or used my inhaler too much. Weak heart valves run in the family, and so do heart attacks. Weak valves often cause edema (fluid build up) that creates so much pressure while lying down that very little blood actually gets to the lungs and elsewhere.  I went home, started myself on diuretics and used a wedge to raise my torso while sleeping. I have been a lot better, gradually increasing the distance I can walk and the amount of work I can do.

I am closing the store; I don't see what other option I have.  It's not making money and I DO get paid at my night job.  I don't have a partner, so I can't just negotiate less work hours.  I also need to fix up my house for sale and I really want to go back to school. 

My plans are to devote more time to OCFA, to change the Localvore website to one  celebrating Oregon foods and promoting OCFA, and to HEAL.  I will start attending OSU next fall, majoring in Nutrition Science.

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