Oops, I ghosted my blog. Last Tuesday, I freaked out. In writing. I ranted about my blood pressure, certain kidney failure and vertigo. I thought I was dying. I was so convincing, both of my brothers texted me the next day to check up on me. I got a dozen blog comments, all saying the exact same thing: “Wishing you the best, hope you don’t die.” Then I went silent.
I’ve been waiting for this to happen for six months. For someone to write about nonspecific health concerns and then disappear. No more posts, no more likes or comments on my blog, no activity at all. Seven weeks later, a brief blog post appears: This is so-and so’s wife. He died last month from Covid-19. I’m shocked it hasn’t happened yet.
No, I don’t have Covid-19. Maybe I had it in the past (more on that later), but I don’t have it now. My blood pressure returned to normal, if anything was wrong with my kidneys, it’s better now, but I still feel dizzy at times. And while I fixed my immediate blood pressure concerns that sent me off the edge last week, I still don’t know what’s wrong with me.
Last Wednesday, I saw my doctor. We began to troubleshoot. This isn’t the optimum treatment plan—troubleshooting. I floated my theory. I had Covid-19 in February, it damaged my heart or lungs, that impacts my oxygen uptake into my brain, I get dizzy when I push my body with exercise. He didn’t dismiss it. I asked about taking an antibody test. “Well, that will tell you that you had Covid-19 or you got a false positive, or that you didn’t have Covid-19 or you got a false negative. Essentially,” he says, “the antibody test is useless.”
I bought an oxygen monitor. You’ve seen these, it’s the little clip thing the nurse puts on the end of your finger as they prep you for surgery. It indicates when you’re not getting enough oxygen. This is something every family should have. My kids have had endless fun with it since it came in the mail. Besides giving your oxygen saturation level, which apparently is between 97% and 99% for all people all the time, it also tracks heart rate. Mine is in the fifties.
On Sunday morning, I went for a run. I intended to catch my low oxygen level right when the dizziness hit. The temperature was cool-ish, around seventy-five degrees, but with humidity of 114%. I found it hard to breathe. Two miles into the run, cresting a moderate rise, I began to get dizzy. I quickly popped the monitor onto my finger, and sure enough, it read 98%, just like it always does. But my pulse beated 148. I’m not the sort of person (geek) who tracks data points like heart rate, so I couldn’t be sure, but that seemed rather high to me. A mile later, pretty much all up hill, I tried again, 154. I spent the rest of my run jogging a slow pace, trying to bring my heart rate down to a more reasonable level, but even with frequent stops to check my pulse, it never got below 148.
Everything is on the internet, including this fancy chart that tells me how fast my heart should beat. I’m fifty-seven and change. My highest training heart rate (85% of maximum) should be 138. Not 154, I wasn’t even running a fast pace. The fact that I couldn’t reduce my heart rate below 148 tells me something. I’m not exactly sure what, but I now believe my dizziness is related to my heart rate.
If I stick with my Covid-19 theory, I seem screwed. Something broke in my heart. And five months later it isn’t better. A couple of my blog readers are doctors. They will undoubtedly tell me to stop guessing, and by all means, stop googling. To them I respond: I’d think you’d know me better by now.
This is my last post on this topic. There’s nothing left to say until I get concrete answers–if I get concrete answers. Thanks for bearing with me this one last time.