Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Becoming the patient - part 2

If you didn't get a chance - read part 1 first so this all makes sense.

So by this point, I had received the med to stop my heart and another iv med to hopefully prevent it from happening again.  I was supposed to get an oral med as well.  Given the chaos of the ED, it took awhile to get the oral med.  I sat up prior to getting the med, and my heart went back to racing mode.  Up to this point, they were actually going to let me go home.  (By the way - this was actually the day of our first snow fall- 32 degrees out - and roads were a total mess).  Well after my heart went back to crazy mode, we all decided that staying overnight would be the best idea.  I got the oral med and another push of the iv controller med.

One would have guessed that after all the meds that my heart would have taken a hint.  It got the hint, but not quite the message.  Drinking a glass of water threw me right back into svt.  And then when I sat up in the morning, it did it again.  So the cardiologists decided to get the special heart rhythm team involved.  And when one of the most senior heart rhythm/electrophysiologist (EP) specialists states that he has no idea what is going on with my heart, well - that just can't be good.

Normally when people have a heart that beats too fast, it comes from the right atrium - the side that the normal electrical wiring comes from.  It is kind of like adding a jumper wirer in- you fix it by removing/burning the jumper wirer.  I already knew that mine wasn't from the right side due to the previous attempts at fixing my heart.  You can have the same problem just in the left atrium.  I already knew that wasn't the only thing wrong.  When they tried to burn the left side of my heart before, they found numerous "wires".  You can only burn so many before you cause too much damage.

So the EP dr said he thinks I have a jumper wire and some other shorting wires in my left heart.  The problem is - one may be overlying my sinoatrial node (SA) - the normal pacemaker of the heart.  Not good.  And the left side is bad because the aorta is in such close proximity that things can go bad quick.

So the game plan is I take meds for the next 6 weeks.  I have to have a bunch of other things looked at outside of the heart to make sure none of them are contributing.  And then we will make a plan to go back for another ablation/burning of the heart.  He said they have a 95% success rate here.  So we will see.  I can't take the current meds and be pregnant, nor does he want me to stay on them long term especially if they can fix it.

My heart rate was in the 40's to mid-50's when I left the hospital.  That alone makes me feel like a slug.  I am hoping and praying that this can be fixed.  I don't like these meds.  The side effects are not pleasant.  I can't have any more babies until this all done with.  It is a bit scary to think of moving away from one of the few places that can deal with it.  And it is even scarier to think about having another ablation given how badly the last one went.

Until then - I just live with it.  And I was reminded by someone today that not everyone survives crazy arrhythmias in the ED.  So I am glad that mine can be relatively controlled, and that I CAN live with it.

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