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Atrial Fibrillation

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"Anesthesia for six hours" or "Rhythm feels okay" [Sep. 12th, 2008|05:49 pm]
Atrial Fibrillation

[Current Location |Home]
[mood |relievedrelieved]
[music |"Day After Tomorrow" by Tom Waits]

Another day, another heart flutter.

Yesterday, I was out to lunch with a friend of my mom's who I'm also really friendly with. We had Mexican. Really. Really. Good. Mexican.

Once I've done eating, I feel it start up. I don't want to alarm my friend, so I say my good-byes, get into my car and call Mom. She suggests I either wait at our friend's gallery for Mom to pick me up, or ask our friend if she can give me a ride. I went back into my friend's gallery, and let her know the situation. She offered to give me a ride, and we picked mom up outside her office on the way.

I actually get into one of their triage rooms real quickly, where we are met by the nurse practitioner, who had a really pretty blue skirt on. They give me an EKG and it's confirmed: I'm in flutter and need a cardio-conversion. Unfortunately, I had just eaten, which means that they can't give me any anesthesia for six hours. Even more unfortunate, my doctor insists on being there, but he has to leave at around 4:30 that evening. However, he can do the cardio conversion the next morning - I just won't be able to eat anything after midnight (I hate not eating). So, it's either go home and come back the next morning, or stay overnight.

I'm on the verge of tears. I don't like staying at the hospital longer than I can help it, then again I don't like going home in a flutter. The nurse practitioner says she'll double check with the doctor, see if he has a preference. In the meantime, the nurse finds a vein a puts some numbing cream on the inside of my elbow so I won't feel it as much when they have to draw labs and put in an I.V. While that's working its magic, I also go to pee in a cup, because if they're going to tie me down with all their tubes and chords and wires, I like to go to the bathroom first. Plus I'm Lasix, so I'm peeing all the time anyway. The specimen was a "just in case the doctor wants it."

I get back with my sample, but they need the triage room for another patient, and all the beds in the ER are taken. So they put me in a wheelchair and park me out in the hallway, along with other patients who are waiting. Mom and I work on a few Sudokus in her Sudoku booklet to pass the time. The nurse practitioner comes back to talk to us, and while she is, I realize that my rhythm feels okay. They manage to quickly find me a bed where I can lay down for another EKG.

The doctor checks it and, sure enough, I've converted on my own. Still, because the numbing cream has taken effect, and because the last time they checked my coumadin levels was last week (they like to have that checked about once a week), they draw labs anyways. Then, the discharge papers. I was in and out in under three hours. Still, it was incredibly frustrating. Essentially wiped out my entire afternoon and evening. When I got home, I pretty much zonked out until 9 last night.

I'm feeling better now - fortunate, in fact, that I didn't have to stay overnight. Apparently my coumadin levels were a little high, and I'll be starting an oral dose of potassium. Tonight Dad's making pizza and we're picking out a movie. Should be a good time.

cross-posted to imperfecthearts, cherish_hearts & missy42
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ACHD Matters on Tomorrow Night's "How to Look Good Naked" [Sep. 8th, 2008|01:49 pm]
Atrial Fibrillation

[Current Location |Home]
[mood |weirdweird]
[music |"Boys of Summer" by Don Henley]

My friend and fellow Congenital Heart Disease patient Heather Magee is going to be featured on Lifetime's "How to Look Good Naked" tomorrow night at 10 p.m. et/pt. According to the website, Carson helps her accept her body - surgical scars and all. According to Heather, it was also an opportunity to bring awareness to CHD, and because of it, Lifetime sponsored a benefit for the Adult Congenital Heart Association and The Heart Truth.

Heather is an amazing person and knowing her has been immensely therapeutic. The nurse practitioner at my clinic got the two of us in touch when I asked about being able to talk to other patients who have had the surgery that's slated for me. I've only met her in person once, but we were instant friends! And last week, when I was freaking out the night before my catheter procedure, I called her up and she gave me some words of encouragement.

For anyone who's known me long enough, you'll know that it wasn't until I was nearly done with high school that I was able to come to terms with my own surgical scars. I haven't been embarrassed about showing them for several years now, but with my surgery coming up, a new scar is something that will come with the package. A part of me has been wondering if the fresh scar will be something I may have to overcome once again. So I'm really looking forward to watching this program, both to see Heather be her beautiful self and to see what they'll say about surgical scars.

[EDIT] For those of you without cable, full episodes are here, it looks like. I imagine Heather's episode will probably be posted after the show airs on T.V., though I'm not sure how long after. And now, I'm having way too much fun watching these clips. [/EDIT]

cross-posted to imperfecthearts, cherish_hearts and missy42
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cardiologogy check-in [Aug. 30th, 2007|12:11 pm]
Atrial Fibrillation

because of afib problems and an enlarged heart i'm back to 3-month check-ins with my electrophysiologist. bah. went today and wasn't expecting anything exciting, i've been feeling ~80% better from arrhythmia problems since changing up the meds. not 100% because i still have a little bit of afib, pvcs and pacs, but not to the point where it's very bothersome like before.

first - best news of my life - i got weighed. i've been TOTALLY depressed because about a month ago i suddenly gained EIGHT pounds! i've been freaking out about it. they always tell me to lose 5 pounds. honestly i could lose 20 and they are just being nice about it and giving me a simpler goal - when i've pinned them down on a goal weight they suggested ideally i should weigh 5-10 pounds under the normal suggested weight - the less body mass the less my sweet heart has to work.

then again, thinking about how many people are having serious weight problems these days, i am happy i'm not obese, just slightly overweight. (my bmi says slightly overweight, but then i am tall and i think have a lot of muscle since i work out often).

so i step on the scale and i tell the nurse, "umm yeah, that is wrong." she said "you think? it's close to what i'd guess you weigh and we get this calibrated all the time." i said "nope, sorry...it's wrong." she checked me then in kilograms and converted it. same result. and i'm still disagreeing. she steps on and weighs herself and says, "nope it's correct." WOOT my home scale apparently went wacky at some point! LOL. you'd think i'd figure something was amiss as i'm still wearing the same clothes and they don't feel tight. instead i've just been freaking out, analyzing how this could be: "i am a little lazy in the summer because i don't feel as well in the heat...but i don't think i've been eating more..."

so as it turns out i have not gained 8 pounds at all and weigh the exact same as i did 3-months ago when i was last there. RELIEF! i almost hugged her.

ice cream for all tonight i'm telling ya! (let's talk about the 5-lb loss tomorrow...)

so i told my doctor that i was feeling WAY better with the med increase and addition, some arrhythmia but not bothersome unless i drink caffeine or get really stressed about something. nothing suxs as much as walking around with constant afib and thank heavens i'm not feeling that way anymore.

btw she said that my event monitor was one of the hardest tests that she's ever come across = hard to evaluate and figure out what was going on. she said strange because my beats are so freaking irregular but my overall heart rate stays the same while i'm in afib. but that once she finally figured out the pattern she could distinguish persistent afib. i told her i was just trying to keep her job interesting. ;) (of course if she was looking at an echo the whole time she could put two and two together, but just going off the heartbeats on a monitor it's more difficult.

i mentioned what i perceived to be a minor side-effect of the meds, and bah, she said that wasn't working for her and she wants me to play again with meds, swapping out flecinide with something called propafenone to see if that would have less side-effect. (and still stay on cartia too.) bah humbug. i'm asked her if i could wait for a month as i'm going to europe and she said sure.

anyone here take propafenone? it sounds like a pain in the arse because you have to take it every 8 hours.
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Endocrinologist. ♥ [Aug. 23rd, 2007|12:43 am]
Atrial Fibrillation

So I am FINALLY going to be seeing an endocrinologist after about FIVE years. I guess now that I am older people may actually start to take me seriously. Hopefully they will listen to me now that I'm 20 and not 15.

My primary care physician truly believes there is something that is causing my atrial fibrillation. And I believe that as well. I'm just trying to figure out what that is.

I've been tested for low blood sugar before and suprisingly they said I do have hypoglycemia. This is rare for people who don't have diabetes. But then again, I'm 20 and have no known reason why I have atrial fibrillation, so I'm used to rare.

We have always checked my blood sugar since I was first sick in the sixth grade. Oddly enough, one night I was in atrial fibrillation and starving out of my mind, my parents decided to check it. My blood sugar actually dropped after I ate food. Pretty significantly too. All of my symptoms seem to point to an endocrinolgy disorder/dysfunction.

I'm looking forward to this appointment. Unfortunately, it's not until October.
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Ablation? ♥ [Jan. 24th, 2007|12:14 pm]
Atrial Fibrillation

So I've had a lot of recent episodes of flutters and switching in and out of a-fib.
I went to my primary care physician and he feels that it's time to have an ablation.
He thinks my medicine is not working anymore to keep my heart rate under control.
So now I have to see my cardiologist to talk about everything.
I'm extremely petrified because I don't even want to think about an ablation.
I knew I would probably have to deal with this later on in life, but not right now.
I'm completely scared. =\

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Welcome! [Jan. 8th, 2006|06:11 pm]
Atrial Fibrillation

Welcome to the community!!! :-)


<3 Christina
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