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Measuring a wave with Garmin HRV


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[st...]

Hi everyone, I wanted to share something I have been trying to capture on my Garmin. Since I started going through withdrawals I wanted to capture some physiological information on what’s going on during a wave. I noticed now that I am mostly healed, I still have waves, but they are more infrequent and shorter. Therefore they are easier to capture on a wearable device like the Garmin watch. The following photo is a comparison between a time period last December where I was going through a moderate wave, I was sleeping poorly and feeling overall burnt out. My Garmin watch captured a change in my HRV as measured with their body battery function. 

What is HRV? Heart rate variability is a measurement of the time between heartbeats and is a reflection of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems working together. As you get excited or stressed your heart rate increases, sympathetic, or also known as fight or flight. To calm down your parasympathetic nervous system, or relaxation system will calm your body down. The higher the HRV the more variable your system is and the faster you can get excited and then relax. If your HRV is low it means you can’t calm down and your parasympathetic nervous system is unable to calm your body down. 

What did I see in the Garmin data? I noticed that during the wave my HRV decreased showing signs that my parasympathetic nervous system was offline. I was not able to calm down during the weeks where a wave was occurring. In fact I was not able to do anything to correct this despite my best efforts. You will notice one day in the middle where my body battery spikes back up, this was a day that I spent almost entirely on the couch trying to rest and reset. It was not feasible for me to do that for two weeks. 

What does this mean? Well it means that what I was feeling is not “all in my head” and that the waves we experience do have actual measurable physiological changes that a doctor could potentially measure with something and give feedback.

In the photo, the left image is the wave, the right image is from a healthy normal week. You can see that on a normal week almost each day starts with a body battery at 75 or higher. Days where do I dont wear my watch are shown with tiny bars, one is circled for reference. 

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[st...]
2 hours ago, [[d...] said:

My brain is too stupid to comprehend this right now. 

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Ok what if I say “heart go boom boom boom during wave, Garmin measured it. Heart normally go boom____boom____boom when not in wave, Garmin measure it.”

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[Id...]

@[st...], thank you for sharing. I should be a lot more knowledgeable in this but I’m dumb too right now. I’ll try to read it in a better moment, as for now thanks!

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[Le...]

unusual compared to me. i had a heartrate almost consistently 140 for well over a year that slowly went down to 90 again. 

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[Ho...]

On the left the bars are too short, too long and kind of all over the place. On the right, the bars are closer to a consistent length. I think it's just cool that the Garmin captured something that clearly was measurable—and shows that something was off!

I had to have a mandatory check in with my pdoc to get my mirt liquid prescription refilled. The last time we spoke, I asked her if gabapentin helped lower anxiety. (I didn't ask her for any, just asked her about it.) Apparently because of my question she'd made a note that I was anxious, so now, during this visit, she wanted to know how my anxiety was.

Honestly, I'm not anxious. My body is, but I'm not. Fed up, exhausted, longing for this to be over, yes, but anxious, no. So I told her, "It's a chemical anxiety. It starts and then builds, and builds and builds and is awful, and then I suddenly break into a sweat and it's gone. Until it comes again." She just stared at me. Then she made a face as if to say, okay, but I've never heard of that before and it's WIERD.

But it's totally true. This is a physical thing that can hijack our emotions but it's not something that started with emotions. It started with the benzo. So your experience makes perfect, perfect sense to me!

Thanks for sharing! I love it!

HCHC

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