Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wired



Conversation with the cardiology nurse:

Me: "Um, hello, yes, I had a stress test on Tuesday and haven't yet gotten the results."

Nurse: "I have those in front of me. They are fine."

Me: "Great! I was assuming they were fine but it's still good to hear. And I have another question. I've been having multiple premature atrial contractions, at least I'm assuming they are premature atrial contractions, there were are few on my stress test ecg. And, it's my understanding that they, in and of themselves, are benign. But, the research also indicates that multiple PACs, especially greater than six in one minute, can lead to atrial flutter or fibrillation. So, do you think it is normal for me to be having these PAC's?"

Nurse: Silence

Me: "And, um, I've had a couple of episodes that may be flutter, only I don't know what flutter feels like but my heart can't quite decide how or when to beat."

(A side note here - the last time I had this type of episode I wanted to share it with someone - to prove I wasn't crazy. So, I had the hubbie feel my pulse while it was happening. He felt it then pulled his hand away like I was on fire. He started to cry. Aaaack. My intent wasn't to scare him but to share it with him. Clearly that didn't work out as planned.)

Nurse: "Flutter feels like a bird in your chest."

Me: "Okay. I don't know about a bird in my chest but it didn't feel normal to me."

Nurse: "Hold on a minute ..."

Nurse: "The doctor says that sounds like an entirely different problem. You can wear a monitor if you want."

Stupendous, an entirely different problem with the same vital organ. And if I want? Um hello! I'm not a cardiologist that's why I'm asking you!

Nurse: You wear it for several weeks. It's one where you are allowed to take a shower.

Excellent. I don't have to go an entire month without showering.

Me: "Um."

Nurse: "You don't have to decide now."

Flashback to husband crying.

Me: "Okay, I'll do it."

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Today I was fit with my new monitor. This afternoon I took my son's violin to get a string replaced. After climbing the stairs to the music shop I noticed a cord dangling from my shirt. Good thing I'm not an undercover agent:

Sydney: You will set up a meeting with Sark and Allison. You'll explain to them that their travel plans have been compromised. You'll then offer them assistance in revising their arrangements.

Sloane: And pass the information along to you.

Sydney: That won't be necessary. You'll be wearing a wire.

Sloane: And if they discover that it's a setup?

Sydney: Then I get to hear them kill you.

--Alias

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This device only records "events" when I push a button. Then the box on my waist spends 45 seconds screaming like a fax machine on steroids. It documents the current tracing, as well as, the previous two minutes. The tracing is sent over the telephone for evaluation.


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I'm afraid to make a tracing. I don't want to cry cardiac wolf. I don't want to record numerous insignificant events only to have a true problem ignored by a MedNet staff who is bored by my previously average tracings.


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I came home and drank a beer at 2:30 pm hoping it would get my heart going. It did. I'm having the palpitations, the supposedly benign ones. I made one tracing. I've yet to send it in.



2 comments:

Karen said...

It seems to me you have a broken heart. I for one would like it fixed and fixed for good. :)

jennifer said...

Yikes... have they read any of the results from your recordings yet? Isn't it frustrating how much research you have to do to be able to advocate for yourself with healthcare professionals? Good thing you have an awesome science background...