News From the Land of Perfusion

This time last week I was lying awake trying to get sleepy before my ablation. I was pretty sure that with my luck the surgeon wouldn't be able to find anything and I'd have wasted time, money, and energy with the procedure and be stuck right where I was---which was NOT PRETTY.

But I was wrong! I had dinner with the friend who took me and talked to the surgeon afterward, and she said he was beaming ear to ear and said, "I didn't find what I thought I'd find, but I found something better, and I fixed it!" I assume he meant "better" in the medical sense, as in "stranger and rarer." Which actually both of mine (arrhythmias) are. I've been researching them a bit at a time. I still have one (inappropriate sinus tachycardia) because to ablate it would probably mean a pacemaker, and I'm not ready for that yet. (First Table of Contents, THEN Pacemaker.)

So, after a UTI, a central line site complication, and a presumably unrelated ear infection, how is life without SVT? It's pretty good. Today I had both cold medicine and chocolate with no ill effects (unheard of previously), and I am growing accustomed to standing up as fast as I want because I don't run the likely risk of falling out and hitting the floor. I still have the fear in the back of my mind "am I randomly going to start feeling sick or faint?" and probably will for a while because that kind of constant anxiety is hard to get rid of.

I sort of realized how stressful it was to live like that, but like anything else it's more revealed in its absence. IT SUCKED. Some people have SVT, they convert, and they move on with their lives. Maybe because I had two arrhythmias, maybe because they're both rare and weird, maybe because I have bad luck, it wasn't like that for me. When my heart flew, it didn't last long, but I'd pass out OR break out into a sweat and start puking OR one followed by the other, and generally with no warning. And in the last 2 months my heart beat so fast all the time I had chest pain and my oxygen saturations would drop into the low 80's because the old stroke volume just wasn't there. I was exhausted all. The. Time. I was pale and eventually afraid to move, because if I so much as twitched my heart got irritated and who knew what it would do?

So it can be appreciated that I feel like I won the lottery. I still feel worn out from the procedure and complications, but that's temporary. I have had zero chest pain since last week, and my heart rate hasn't gone higher than 130 (I do still have the one weird arrhythmia, and new meds may need adjustment). It's not the same type of "worn out" I had before, though. It feels like the type sleep might cure. Before I was totally hopeless. I totally get how heart patients get depressed and anxious. You just can't do anything.

I keep taking my pulse out of habit and I love it when people say "you look great!" or "your voice even sounds perkier!" (I'm not making this up. "Perky" has been used a lot this week.) So like I say, perfusion looks really good on me.

And thank god I'm done with all those awful meds. I was taking atenolol 50 mg BID and Flecainide 100 mg BID. Now just Cardizem CD 125 mg. My heart is probably going "hold up...do I beat, or not?"

I am looking forward to things like...ENERGY. Perhaps even exercise. Doing extra things like cleaning the house and cooking. Not just getting home and dropping into bed because that's about all I can handle. God bless technology.

This is pretty much like the giant room I got wheeled into...SO MANY TOYS. It was at that point I required more Versed.

This is pretty much like the giant room I got wheeled into...SO MANY TOYS. It was at that point I required more Versed.