How am I…

Last Saturday I had two episodes of shortness of breath and chest pains.  On Sunday, it was extreme and my vision washed out.  I wasn’t doing anything extremely strenuous, not even lightly strenuous, it’s Chris remember.  Pam called 911 and the paramedics were there in about two minutes though the sirens seemed to go on forever.  It was hard to comprehend that they were for me.

They checked me out and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital.  I asked for the lead EMT’s opinion.  Obviously it was yes, so now I go for a ride.  Since I have the VA, that is where I told them to take me.  Two burly EMTs picked me up and off I went for a ride with the sirens blaring through the red lights.  Wow, I was the reason for running red lights.

Once I arrived in the emergency room, a heart monitor was attached and my heart was just going crazy and so my life turned upside down when I was admitted to the ICU.  For the next two days, they tried drugs to get it under control.  It was beating what looked like 156 time a minute to my untrained eye but in reality it was a lot faster since the parts of my heart were out of rhythm with each other, the top half beating over 300 times a minute.  It’s called Atrial Flutter and sometimes would go into Atrial Fib.

Since they were unable to get it under control with medications, now comes the medical procedures.  The first was an echo cardiogram.  Had to wait until Tuesday since Monday was a holiday.  The results came back good, there appeared to be absolutely nothing wrong.  So on Wednesday they did what is called an EET, an echo cardiogram down my food pipe to look at the heart from the back and see if there were any clots.  If there weren’t then off to next procedure, the shock.  I don’t remember any of this.  Basically, they reset my heart and then things started to get back to normal but not quite.

My heart was in rhythm but the Atrial Flutter was still there.  I am thinking it probably always was because I was never really able to get a consistent pulse out of my tread mill’s pulse meter.  So what does this mean.  Off to Little Rock for a procedure called ablation in a few weeks.

In a nut shell…the heart has backup pacemakers for it’s main pacemaker and mine are firing when they shouldn’t be.  The nerves to the backups are going to be burned.  For those who know electricity, the leads are going to be cut to them.  The signal is still there but obviously they don’t respond.  Problem resolved.  I was told there was about 90% success rate but I could also end up with a pace maker.

Incidentally, I also have diabetes.  Wow, like I really didn’t expect that one.  This last year I gained about 35 pounds about, all in about six months at the beginning of 2013.  Diet and exercise are my life now.  Guess I just need a reason to take care of myself.  Blindness and amputation, these sound like good reasons.  In the last week, I’ve already dropped about three pounds.

So, how am I…

I’m alive and I will regain my health in a few weeks.  I am married to a good woman.  I have a job that I really do like that pays me a decent wage.  I have access to an truly excellent medical network that costs me nothing.  I have a nice home with three dogs and a cat in the yard.

How do you think I am…