A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about how to help slow your pulse rate when it gets too fast. That solution relied on a relaxation technique, and a good imagination. I think that I have now come up with an alternative which may help some. Many of us with lung disease have a pulse oximeter, which we use mostly to monitor our O2 levels. How many have noticed that when we get out of breath, particularly when doing something physical, that our pulse rate (heart beat) goes up? Mostly that's not too bad provided it comes back down in a reasonable time. Big question is 'What if it does not come down'? That can be indicator of something starting to go wrong, often the start of an infection, or maybe our drugs are getting out of balance.
Whatever the cause, and that can be sorted out a little later, we have the immediate problem of being short of breath, panting, starting to feel panicky, and all the rest that goes with the situation. As I said in the original article, we need to sit, use our inhalers, use our pulse oximeter (if we have one) and use breathing techniques to get our breath back. I also suggested that using a relaxation technique involving an imaginary bouncing ball, and controlling the bounce, and changing the colour, we can help to slow our heart rate down. Fine, that works for me, and I understand that it works for a few others. We're a lucky few, but what about all you others? Well, perhaps this may be a solution for a few more of you.
Online, I have found a little application that works in my browser, and I believe it works in all browsers. It's a metronome, a device invented to help musicians develop a regular rhythm. Set it to 'tick-tock' away at the same speed as your heart rate, then after a minute or two slow it down a little. Hopefully, after a very short while, your heart rate will slow to match the rhythm of the metronome, then slow it again. Keep repeating until you feel balance has been restored.
As with anything new we want to try, have a go when we are feeling 'normal'. If you like the idea, and it works for you, practice to get some confidence with it.
Another thing in it's favour, is that it is possible to get this as an 'app' to use on a smart phone.
Remember, this is one of those things that will work for some people, but not so effective for others. You don't know unless you try it.
The link to the metronome programme is: