Daily Archives: May 1, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened On My Way To Work

Well…that was interesting.

I have this heart condition called PSVT.  Go ask Uncle Google what that means, I’ll wait right here

*looks at purple nail polish, wonders if it screams ‘look at me’ too much, decides she doesn’t care*

You back?

So, it’s not  a walk in the park, but it’s not the worst thing you can have either. 

Up until last week it was, for me, more of an annoyance than anything.  I’d have these, these…episodes? spells?events?….not sure what they are called…once every couple of months.

Then, last Monday happened and the ‘ON’ switch was flipped and no amount of cold water, coughing, holding my breath, or any of the other tricks that didn’t involve live toads and a Mariachi band, was working to get my heart to simmer down.

By Thursday morning, when I went to see my cardiologist, I was going nuts.  The plan was to see him, get something to slow my heart, and go on to work.

Heh..heh..yeah, right.

I was also getting a kick-ass cardio workout every 20-30 minutes as my heart would zoom to 160+ beats per minute and stay there for extended periods.

Did I mention this is painful?

I should have, my bad.

In the doctor’s office I had two episodes – one they caught on the EKG – and when he examined me we had this conversation:

ME:  So, what is going on?

Dr. Cardio:  You appear to be having a significant *event*.

ME: Wha..?

Dr. Cardio: And, I want to admit you to the hospital right now.

ME: WHA…?

Dr. Cardio: We need to get *telemetry on you for 24 hours and do some other tests.

ME: WHA…?!  (yes, I am soooo glib)

Dr. Cardio:  And the hospital is right next door to this building, but I think I should take you.

ME: *finally regaining my composure* No, no…that won’t be necessary.

Dr. Cardio:  It is. I don’t want you leaving.

ME: I’m not leaving, but I’ve been dealing with this for four days and I think I can get myself next door.

Dr. Cardio: Okay, wait here and I will get the orders written for a direct admit.

*I use this time to call hubby and tell him what’s going on, and can he come right away and bring me some stuff.  He’s the only one in the room not surprised by the news*

I’ve found out something interesting about hospitals.

If you are admitted as a “chest pain” patient, you get really fast service.

Really.Fast.

Within an hour I was dressed in a lovely hospital gown – and really, is hideous, huge and not user-friendly the only way  these come? – hooked up to the telemetry, and being poked and prodded by lab technicians.

I was also given a *miracle* drug called Cardizem. 

Go ask Uncle Google.

*stares some more at her purple fingernails…decides they’re awesomesauce*

Within an hour of getting it my heart calmed.  In fact, it calmed so much that I’m pretty sure the nurses were beginning to think I was nuts as my rhythm was normal and perfect.

All day, all night my heart acted like I was a crazed hypochondriac screaming for attention.  It totally behaved and produced a beautiful picture for the technicians assigned to watch me.

At midnight all food, water and meds were withheld.  I was to have a couple of tests run in the morning. One involved a radioactive isotope injection and picture session for my heart, and the other was a chemical stress test.  Both are designed to check for blockages and functionality.

At 10:00 a.m. Friday morning I went to the lab for the first picture-taking session.  No sooner had I laid on the table, and been admonished NOT to move and NOT to talk for the 15-minute session, than my heart took off like a hunter being chased by a polar bear with a grudge.

Of course I had to lay still and say nothing, but when the tech was finished I told her what was happening.  She sent me back to my room and my nurse came in to show me the tape of what they’d captured when I was in the lab.

ME: See! That is why I’m here.

Nurse:  Yep, this is the first time we’ve captured it.  EXCELLENT rhythm, but at 165 beats per minute your heart is working WAY too hard and not pumping efficiently.

ME: Ya think?

Nurse: Lie down and I’ll see if we can give you some Cardizem before the second half of the test.

ME: Okay.

*I lay down and now my heart decides to imitate a hummingbird on crack..the nurse rushes back in a few minutes later*

Nurse: WOW! That was 180 beats a minute and lasted for 18 minutes!

ME: *exhausted* I know.

Nurse: I can’t give you anything until after the chemical stress test.

ME: If I had the energy, I’d curse…loudly.

Nurse: *giggles*

The second trip to the lab was filled with wooziness, a racing heart, and to add to the fun – nausea.

Yay.

The good thing is all the tests revealed a perfectly *clean* heart, and Dr. Cardio said I could go home.  He also said he’d never seen a case of PSVT as bad as mine.

Of course.  That’s me, setting new standards in all the wrong areas.

I went back to my room and finally got to eat.

More importantly, I got the Cardizem and a pain pill.

The resident came to see me a couple of hours later and said they were very glad I hadn’t had a heart attack, but I have to take the Cardizem….possibly for the rest of my life.

I can eat/drink anything I want (yippee!).  I was not looking forward to a life without caffeine – a known aggravator of this condition.

I was also ordered to take it easy for a couple of weeks and come back to the ER if my heart starts racing again.

So, that’s what I’m doing…taking it easy, taking my meds, and considering re-designing the hospital gown.

Somebody get me some chocolate and Calvin Klein’s phone number!

STAT!

*telemetry – electronic heart monitoring