I haven't been in the hospital many times. In fact, only pretty much when each of my two girls was born, and my youngest is now 24. But, I just completed a 5-day experience in the heart center at a hospital near home.
I had a couple of episodes last week where my upper chest felt tight, and I felt a little dizzy. I had to stop and sit or lay down on the floor to let it pass. The whole episode would last about 5-6 minutes, and I knew it was strange but didn't really think about it being my heart. That tightness was up too high, and sort of fluttery, like a nervous/anxious feeling. FYI - do not ignore a feeling like that!
I called my Dr's. office after 2 of those episodes to see if I should make an appointment, and made one for Monday with the understanding that if it happened again and was any different, I would go to the ER. Sure enough, it started happening on Saturday at a family function, and happened time and time again throughout the afternoon. When it continued on the way home, I told my daughter & hubby to go to the ER. Not in a rush, mind you, we stopped to get gas.
Once in the ER, I had an EKG and much questioning, and when the episode started again, staff flew into action. THAT was when I realized it was serious, and got pretty nervous. So, EKGs, IVs, echo cardiogram/ultrasound, and x-rays began, and I was admitted for "observation".
To make a really long story short, it was discovered that I have a rhythm 'misfire' so to speak. Your heart has its own electrical cells that produce the rhythm of the heartbeat, and some of those cells decided to fight for position, which created a fast arrhythmic beat. During that fast beat, oxygen couldn't get to the brain between beats, thus the near passing out. Ugh. More than I wanted to know.
I have always been terrified of having a MRI, being a bit claustrophobic. Yep, had to have one on Tuesday. I had to be in there for almost an HOUR. I did it, but ugh. Then on Wednesday I had a procedure/study to determine the path of those renegade cells that were firing out of order. The doc had to recreate the arrhythmia to find the path, and once found, he burned the cells to kill the little buggers. This is considered a permanent fix, but unfortunately, he was not able to get all of the cells. It appears I have a larger area of those cells than usual, and there was some swelling occurring that prevented him from being able to get at them all. Defiant little buggers! After watching my response to meds, my doctor thinks that the medication I am on will be all I need to maintain a good rhythm without having the procedure again.
So, I did accomplish a little tatting on another egg cover in between vitals. Hopefully I can finish at least this egg before Sunday :) Sheesh - I've never had my temp, oxygen and blood pressure taken so much! The nurses and staff were fabulous, though - so fun and interesting to chat with while taking care of serious situations. They are truly gifted.
Home today after 5 nights in the hospital, and I'm so looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. I "get" to wear a lovely little monitor on a lanyard hooked up to 5 spots (snaps!) and remain within 10 feet of the phone that goes with the monitor, recording my heart rhythms. For 30 days. Not the jewelry I would choose, but better than the attire I was given in the hospital at least. Resting at home for a few days, and then back to work on Monday.
|Phone came in handy for random photos . . .|
I'm thankful for my sweet hubby and daughters visiting, sending me pictures and bringing me tatting supplies and books to keep me busy. What a weird week it's been!