Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Darn, darn, darn!`

I know quite a bit about the operation of the human heart. Mine acts up. I have an irregular heart beat, it consists of something called premature ventricular contractions, pvcs and premature atrial contractions, pacs. I've had this condition for years although it was first diagnosed in 2000 at a Jackson, MS clinic. Once I was able to associate the sensation in my chest with what the doctor found on a EKG I realized I'd had that sensation for years before 2000. I did not give it much thought. As the result of the diagnosis in Jackson I underwent a heart cath procedure to see if I had blockage. I did not. So I was told the irregular heart beat is common and benign.

Fast forward to 2007, I underwent the stress of having a cancer diagnosis and successful removal of about six inches of my exhaust system to eliminate the cancer. Nonetheless to be told you had a malignant tumor creates a great deal of inner turmoil. Three months after the bowel resection I ended up in the local hospital with an A-fib episode which is a very irregular heartbeat. Once cleared up, I did take some medication for about a year until another heart specialist called an electrophysiologist or EP weaned me off the meds and I continued to march.

Monday morning, August 17 about midnight I woke up with that "old sensation." A-fib. I rolled over and went back to sleep, that is how numb you get to the problem after a while, and when it persisted for about 6 hours I told Terry that instead of going to work she and I were going to Jonesboro to the NEA Hospital emergency room. This is my fourth visit to this facility in as many years.

I was in A-fib and placed in observation for 24 hours. The problem still persisted after 24 hours, so I was admitted and moved to a private room. About 2:30 AM August 19 my heart converted to a good solid sinus rhythm. I was released and sent home with two new medications called rythmole, which I have taken before, and Cardizem which I have not taken before. I will probably be on these two drugs for the rest of my life. That is a sobering thought. I don't know why so much, Terry is a diabetic and takes insulin just ot stay alive. I take a blood pressure med and a cholesterol med, but I think of that as a part of life. I do not like the idea of a heart arrhythmia. Not that it is so scary, but I feel like I am being forced to give into age.

I am not happy with this situation, but quite honestly I did not get put on blood thinners yet. I hope I do not have to. In talking with the cardiologist I was told I have a slow heartbeat. The two new meds reduce the heart rate. I was told by the cardiologist that if my heart rate slows too severely I will have to have a pace maker to insure it keeps on a ticking. One of the interesting things is that a real slow rate is not a number, but is how you react. If you start having troubles rising from a seated position, or bending makes you dizzy or pass out, then that is too low a number.

None of this is doom or gloom. However, it is indicative of the aging process and I am very aware of that. So my heart is in actuality strong and will last a lifetime. It just needs some help. In the meantime my brain is dealing with another issue that marks the passage of time and the appearance of finality. Darn, darn, darn.

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