Yesterday the cardiac clinic called in the first of many-to-be reports.
Puzzling, yet pleasing, was I aced the stress test. I also had an echo cardiogram which was not materially changed from 5 years ago-a leaky mitral valve common in women my age was all I remember.
I questioned them about arterial plaque I knew I had and had seen on various CT and PET scans. It was on the many pictures they took too, but was rated mild to moderate, far less than I expected. I had considered carrying my Bible and swearing I had at least one 100% blockage somewhere. I already knew the carotids were less than 30%.
Now if we can just find out the sudden acceleration of the atrial arrhythmia I also knew I had. I would bet on the drug Azithromycin which causes atrial fibrillation in 15% of trial groups, but then I have already lost one bet............................
I am now wearing an event monitor which I send signals over phone line to some company, every time I have a symptom no matter what, SOB, pain in big toe, whatever.
So I'm moving on down my social medical calendar, since Thursday night was open I chose to endure another emergency ambulance ride to the area local hospital, at least a tad earlier in the evening for my husband.
The rescue and EMT didn't know a woman could pee so much (6 times from transport to when I finally came home-twice in the ambulance--had to pull over the side of the road once). It is a life-long habit for me, evening/night is primary pee time. I know you all love such details.
Today we both have slept and slept and slept. After 3 other trips they just lay out the drugs and start injection. Blood works. X Rays never change.
I felt the fibrillation start and sent a event message to wherever the company is located. The next day the heart clinic called inquiring all the details. I was pretty amazed.
At the moment it appears I am looking at a pacemaker and/or defibrillator or something similar...and, yes, Medicare pays. It probably will not be a fancy gold-plated Cheney model (being facetious) but I will be happy if all this heart pounding stops . But we are all still speculating.
This facet of heart disease is scary, but the remedy overall is now more simply and more successful in the past. At least there is a symptom I can readily identify early, unlike strokes, most heart attacks, and TIAs (transient ischemic attacks).
Thanks to modern pharmaceutical advances I have a little box of advance 3 tablets to take at the first sign of trouble and a third added t day. I take them as blood pressure and heart rate pass a certain reading. This helps first responders, EMT, etc, who must communicate with the hospital where they are headed.
I may never be good and new, but I'm hoping and praying for a good enough used model for a while longer.
Awareness of this repetitious event is, of course, a major reason I have retired from political life and the opportune moment presented itself right under my nose. I did not let it pass. There will be some others. Then my church life group nicely offered us exemption from bringing food to come when we can. I may volunteer to bring the "bought" drink like Pepsi, etc. so I don't have to toil in the kitchen. I may take them up on that.
Some of my readers also have arterial fibrillation; it is more common than the name sounds. We appreciate the prayers and sympathetic remarks. The ones whom you don't hear about are those who ignore the signs, the flutter, the heart pounding, the weird body symptoms. Never ignore the unusual. They need our thoughts and prayers, too.