Bye Bye Beta Blocker!

I’ve been taking a beta blocker (metoprolol) since the blood clot was discovered in my heart last year. In a nutshell,  the medication helps reduce heart problems by relaxing blood vessels and slowing the heart rate, which improves blood flow and decreases blood pressure. While that’s a good thing for a cardiac patient, I also experienced some side effects like constant fatigue and circulation problems with my hands. Which was getting a bit tiring (pun intended).

Yesterday I heard the sweetest words from my cardiologist: I can stop taking the beta blocker! And I don’t need to come back for a year!

I still need to take a daily 325mg aspirin, but I am so excited to get this drug out of my system. I mentioned the physical side effects, but there was an emotional impact too. Taking a medication like metoprolol makes you feel like you’re being actively treated for a condition, while aspirin seems preventative. Semantics, maybe. But it was taking a toll. Yesterday that was lifted.

Last month I wrote about the lessons I’ve learned through this experience, including gratitude. Today I’m especially grateful for the excellent care I have received from the team at Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute in Seattle. Not only are they technically very good at cardiac medicine, they are kind, compassionate and really listened to me as a patient. So a big shout out to Dr. John V. Olsen, Dave Panther, Scott and Bessie – you made a big difference.

See you next year!

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