The faces behind the stories!

The faces behind the stories!
My little Loves.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cardiology Visit... FINALLY!

For those of you who don't know "my story"... Have a look at my blog entry from 5/2/11

Since that entry, I have gone on to have more episodes.. getting to be 3 months apart for the last few. The Dr. in SoCal had told me if I let it go longer than an hour, I am at risk of a stroke. They did a stress test with the EKG machine hooked up to me while I ran uphill on the treadmill, and an ultrasound... both testing ok. We paid out of pocket for those things, because I had just changed our insurance to a 10k deductible since our industries were down and we were paying out of pocket for insurance... AND, we were all very healthy. So, needless to say, it was expensive to have a cardiologist run those tests on me. She gave me the grim news that just because I passed the tests that day in her office, didn't mean I would be ok the next day to work out. She referred me to an specialist... an Electrophysiology Cardiologist and said I should not work out in any way before being able to see him. That was 2.5 years ago now, and we JUST got good insurance again. I knew I wouldn't be able to afford that specialist without the right insurance.

So, between that visit, and my visit today... I have had anxiety any time my heart rate skyrocketed and I kept my eye on the clock to get to the hospital within an hour if I couldn't make it stop at home. My sons heard some of the concern and were worried for my heart, my husband had concerns, my family etc etc. I can't blame the SoCal Dr. for my weight gain since being told I couldn't work out at all... I chose to eat. BUT... I have gained between 40-50 pounds in the last 2.5 years and have lost all muscle tone I once had.

Now.... to today....

I WAS SO EXCITED to wake up and know I get to go get some answers and some help!

The Dr. better defined my diagnosis and showed me diagrams/explained EXACTLY what is going on inside of my heart. Nobody had ever done that for me before, and "Dr. Google" is scary! lol He told me that "SVT" is a diagnosis that just means there is trouble with the lower part of the heart (to put it in laymen's terms)... My condition is actually: Atrio-Ventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia (AVNRT).... (Don't ask me to say that with out my trusty paper just yet... I have to learn that one! lol) Again, in Laymen's terms... there's a "door" in our hearts where the blood needs to flow and it's controlled by the electrical system of the heart. After a flow, the door closes and you can't just open it back up again. There's another door in my heart that is inactive/dormant and doesn't typically get any flow. When my heart goes crazy, it's because it tried to send a flow down the closed door and it ended up going down the dormant door and bouncing back up to the top of my heart.... starting a funky beat reaction. (Just call me "Nic & The Funky Beats" Sounds like an 80's band).


My eyes filled with tears when he said this. I explained to him what I had been told, and he shook his head and apologized for the time I've spent living my life in fear of a stroke because of my condition. There are so many things I didn't do because I was concerned about being too far away from a hospital to get there within 1 hour etc.

Not only that, but he gave me a medicine to take at the onset of an episode. The Dr's in SoCal told me there was no medicine. WHAT? The pill he gave me will slow the rapid heartbeat and my heart will get itself back together... even with out the pill, it will usually fix itself within 2 hours.

Sooo... All these times I've figured out someone to watch my kids so I could get over to the hospital because I was getting close to an hour with an episode... I didn't need to. My eyes just filled with water again. It's very frustrating to me to have lived these 2.5 years with such anxiety every time I felt my heart beat differently etc.

The good news is... I'm ok. :) I have a medicine to help me when I have an episode (It's Verapamil 80mg for my medical friends who are curious! lol), I can work out again.... although my muscles are NOTHING and I'm so scared of what that will feel like! lol... He even said there is no correlation to my condition and caffeine.... He said, "But, there are studies that show coffee drinkers are less depressed!" LOL I no longer need to go to the hospital when I have an episode (although, it could be nice for him to get that data if I could go in and get it monitor while having one)...

There's no need for a specialist. There's no need for fear. I will have heart episodes, but they wont hurt me. It doesn't hurt when it happens, but if you see me start to cough a lot, or squat and hold my breath... I'm just trying to reset my heart! lol God is good, and I know there's a reason why I've walked this road and I'll be walking the rest with my funky beats. I'm a bit sad today for the 2.5 years I spent thinking I was more "messed up" than I actually am... but I'm looking forward to, when the next heart episode starts, continuing my day and not having a slight panic over making sure I get it to stop within an hour. I will not cry from this condition anymore, and I will not be angry at my heart... All good things.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for/with me, and has encouraged me along the rd. I'll be keeping tabs on my condition and keeping the cardiologist informed, but fear and anxiety over it are no more.

With a lot of thoughts and emotions whirling around today...... Nicole

(One detail I forgot... If the episodes get more frequent, there is a procedure they can do on my heart to help it stop... The Dr in SoCal called it a surgery... this Dr said it's an In/Out procedure that is very safe. So, if it gets frequent and really annoying... there's that option too.)

1 comment:

  1. Praise the Lord sis... happy for you.. Onward, let the old 2.5 years go and move forward with no regrets of 'losing' anything.... it all works together for your good. Live, Love and Grow.... you have grown from this experience!!Love Ya, A.Lo