My son Arsal is eleven years old. Two and a half years ago, in the spring of 2012, we noticed that his heart was beating very fast. After a minute or two it started to beat slower again. This happened about once per week and after six months we took him to the doctor. At the hospital he got a Holter-monitor to wear for 24 hours to find out about if his heart was beating ok or if there were irregular heartbeats.
Unfortunately the results were not that good, and Arsal was put on medication, Verapamil, which has a widening effect on his blood vessels. The doctor also said he would most likely need to have heart surgery and have shunts put into his arteries a couple of years later, at the age of 14.
had side effects
Verapamil helped, and within ten days his racing heart was gone. However, the drugs had side effects, and Arsal started to feel pain in his chest. Four to five times a week he would get severe chest pain that made him cry.
Then about a year later, in October of 2013, Arsal was introduced to Conscious Breathing and occasionally started to do breathing retraining with the Relaxator and tape up his mouth at night with Sleep Tape. That helped to some extent, and the chest-pain then only occurred four to five times a month.
Then, on May 1st, 2014, Arsal did another 24-hour measurement with the Holter-monitor. Again, the results were not good, and the doctor said that because of the side effects of the drug (chest-pain), the dosage could not be increased, so therefore Arsal needed a pacemaker.
We scheduled a new appointment, fourteen days later, for a new 24-hour Holter-measurement. If the results were still as bad, a decision would be made about surgery for inserting a pacemaker.
The chest pain
My wife and I absolutely did NOT want our son to have a pacemaker, so we consulted Anders at Conscious Breathing. He asked me a few questions and it became obvious to him that Arsal could improve his lifestyle. He was only doing very little breathing retraining and he just loved sugar in all forms–candy, soda, cookies and ice cream.
For example, he never drank water when he got thirsty, only soda. Anders suggested that Arsal gave the breathing retrainng a lot more attention for the next 14 days, until the next appointment. Arsal started to use the Relaxator a lot and also he slept almost every night with a taped mouth. He also cut down on sugar a lot. From day one of the breathing and eating regime, his chest pain disappeared!
The next 24 hour Holter-monitor in mid-May turned out very well, and the doctor informed us that Arsal’s heart was working just fine and that he didn’t need a pacemaker!! We were all SO happy! This is now three and a half months ago, and even if Arsal is not doing the breathing retraining as often as during the first fourteen days, and also eats some sugar, he has not experienced ANY PAIN since May 1st.
Since Arsal forgets to have his mouth closed while playing, sometimes he gets to tape his mouth also during daytime. Today, August 25th, we did a follow-up checkup at the hospital, and the doctor confirmed that everything was fine.
A lot more energy
and less mood swings
Apart from the chest-pain being a thing of the past, Arsal is also more energetic, his appetite is better, he has far fewer cravings for sweets, his face is more lively and has a brighter tone. His mood is much better, and he is not at all as irritable as he used to be.
He sleeps far better, whereas before he was moving around in bed all the time (I know because I sleep next to him), but since the beginning of May he lies completely still in bed.
Arsal is very thankful for his new, pain free life. And, as for me and my wife, who used to be constantly worried about our sons health, we are now much more relaxed and very, very happy about life.
– Babar and Arsal Zaman, 42 and 11, Islamabad, Pakistan