Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Atrial Fibrillation

I'm fibrillating like crazy. Resting heart rate of 157. This has been going on for months, maybe a year. This should give you some idea of how healthy I feel. Aside from the burning in my thighs when I take my dog for a little walk, I'm healthy as a horse--in the sick sense of no viruses, no bacterial infections, nothing that would make me feel "sick" enough to go to the doctor. So the fibrillating has gone undetected until I went in for a follow-up after getting an MRI and carotid ultrasound to get a baseline. I wanted these tests because I had a little episode that I thought might be a small stroke.

Every woman in my family has died of vascular dementia, and every man of massive cardiac events. I envy the men in my family. They all went along feeling fine, then, Wham, dead instantly. Lucky bastards. Not so, the women. All of them have died the long slow agony of a million little strokes, just enough each time to wipe out a little more of their brains, tiny bit by bit, until they start shitting their pants and forgetting who they are. Anyway, it was at the follow-up to the MRI and carotid ultrasound, during the normal taking of my blood pressure that they discovered an unusual rhythm. Then they did an EKG. Fibrillating like crazy. My doc ordered an echo-cardiogram. Fibrillating like crazy. Then, finally the follow-up with the cardiologist today. Another EKG, still fibrillating like crazy, with the resting heart rate of 157. So I am now on a blood thinner, something else to help stabilize rhythm, and some damn thing I have to inject subcutaneously twice a day. And except for the fatigued feeling in my thighs when I walk, I wouldn't have any idea anything was wrong with me. So, I could stroke out at any time, but I'm feeling fine. I wouldn't mind any of this except that I now have to go through a bunch of invasive tests and procedures that require a babysitter to take me to the hospital to have these outpatient procedures done, since they all require sedation or general anesthesia. Bummer.

All of this to say, I have not seen the news today, since I spent the whole late morning and early afternoon getting baddish news from my cardiologist. I will catch up and get back to you.

I have not written this for sympathy or condolences, since I'm really feeling fine. It's the scare factor more than anything that's getting to me. It's the prospect of multiple procedures that necessitate inconveniencing a friend that pisses me off. And unlike E, I'm not young, I have no children, and if I die now, my affairs are in order. No one will be the worse off for it, and a few friends will make out like bandits.

9 comments:

Ghost Dansing said...

grateful dead

MadMike said...

I had one episode of AF Utah and nothing since then. I take one pill to help control heart rhythm. I refused to take Coumadin, opting for aspirin instead. Good luck with that. It can kill you.

Beach Bum said...

I'm on high blood pressure myself after my lower BP number several times flipped out whatever doctor or nurse that might be taking it. I went to the doctor for the flu one time and ended up staying a couple of hours just because my BP sent the first year resident into a panic. What pissed me off royally was that the TV in my exam room was stuck on a channel that had a Suzie Orman talk show on. Sheer torture.

Blogging4Food said...

It's not torture unless it causes a body organ to fail.

E said...

Sister. I hear you. The worst part of medical issues is needing and having to ask for help--even if it's just a damn ride home.

Colonel Colonel said...

Not watching the news for extended periods these days seems to help my blood pressure. Hope everything goes ok.

TomCat said...

Of course you're scared. I would be too. Hopes, prayers and hugs.

Stella said...

You ARE the news today, Utah. Alas that things have been so crazy. I'll be sending you good thoughts. I wish I could be there to be with you at the hospital.

Ken said...

Cox Maze III. 'nuff said.