Monday, January 11, 2010

It is better and it is my heart

Since New Year's eve I have been fighting with a bad cold that has progressed to bronchitis, which we have been treating with various drugs. Sunday morning I had a typically disturbed kind of sleep, waking up at 4 A.M. possibly because of the steroids I had been prescribed. I did make it back to sleep and woke at around my usual time a couple of hours later. There was one odd thing I noticed at the time, though, and that was the way my heart seemed to be racing, regardless of my trying to induce a relaxed mental state. I got up, had breakfast, took my medicines, and was just getting dressed to go out to the gym when I noticed a feeling of pressure around my chest. Going up a flight of stairs made me feel winded, and the rapid heartbeat was still unchanged from before. Time to ask my wife to drive me to the nearest emergency room.
It had been a couple of years since my last trip to the E.R. and the hospital we went to that time is not even in business any more now. We went to the very new facility at Englewood Hospital a couple of miles away and was soon set up with medications to treat the condition. After a few hours, I was set up in a room in the Cardiac Step-Down ward waiting for my heart to "flip" back over to a normal rhythm, or, failing that, schedule a cryoablation to reset it. I didn't know that a person's heart could fibrillate for twelve hours and still be alive, but now I do.
I spent the night and was released today after they had a chance to image the malfunctioning part with ultrasound, apparently not sustaining any permanent damage. I'm on a couple new prescriptions and advised to avoid going on a "bender" which can set this sort of thing off. Wilco. Also, pleased to be here.

Artrial fibrillation. from just leenarts on Vimeo.


Daryl McCullough said...

Hmm. I thought I left a comment, but it hasn't appeared yet. I'm sure it will appear after I make a double post.

What I said was that I was glad to hear that you are home and doing better (at least well enough to blog--I haven't been well since 2005).

RichM said...

Oh, it's that pesky Google captcha that's got you again.

Thank you for your well wishes during this bout of unpleasantness. In my observations I have reluctantly concluded that this contraption, which throws together chemical, mechanical, and electrical elements in disregard of any national or international standards, and lacks any useful control interface or even adequate documentation is a case of poor design up with which we must put.

Daryl McCullough said...

Well, hearts run continuously for between 60 and 110 years. I doubt you could get an internal combustion engine to do that.

RichM said...

Also many of them nowadays are from abroad where they may not have to meet such strict regulatory standards as are typical of manufacturing companies in the U.S.