Nine months after moving to North Carolina, Ryan was laid off from his job. It was a terrible job that he could not leave due to a contract with the company. We saw the layoff coming, but Ryan could not avoid it by seeking other work. In addition, we had been unable to sell our condominium in Florida, even though we led the market selling price down by $40,000 and eventually sold it for one-half of its peak selling price 16 months after listing it. We had to pay rent and mortgage during the lay-off. Thank goodness his severance was generous.
Ryan picked up jobs here and there, continually looking for a permanent professional position that compensated fairly. I continued to work part-time and homeschool Colson. Our savings dwindled to nothing over six months. We were two weeks away from being out of money and homeless. Talk about stress. Talk about perspective. Then Ryan’s break came. He was offered a great position where he could lead, learn and grow. There is no way to explain our relief and thankfulness.
About a week later, the first health challenge hit. My heart began to flutter incessantly. It was very unnerving. I went to my family practitioner, who referred me to a cardiologist. Thank goodness that Ryan’s health insurance began on the first day of work!! I tried to see Ken at OHS, but his patient load couldn’t accommodate me for about two weeks. I had been seeing him monthly for ten months before this mini-crisis. Ken said that he thought my body was withdrawing from stress hormones because Ryan and I had been living in a fight or flight situation for six months. He was especially hopeful I would recover well because the flutters would disappear for a couple of hours after I ran a few miles. I hadn’t run in years due to a back fracture, but I felt that I needed to run, and I was in good enough shape to do it.
My visit to the cardiologist revealed nothing, other than the flutters were not injurious or life threatening. I aced my cardio test, and it became a joke as the Dr. maxed out the machine to see if I could make it another minute, and then another minute. The nurses were pretty freaked, but the Dr. wasn’t. Then they whipped me off of the machine and studied my heart. It was great. Blood tests were great. The Dr. had no answer for why my heart was fluttering non-stop. He said that Ken’s hypothesis of stress hormone withdrawal was as good as any that he could come up with.
A week later, I was treated by Ken. One acupuncture treatment resulted in a 75 percent decline in the flutters. Ken said that they would play themselves out over time as my body adjusted to the loss of stress. Ken was right.
Our lives began to happily normalize, and we continued to embrace our new perspective of detachment for material things and thankfulness for what we have. My health and our hope were returning.