Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, TickTickTickTick, Toooooccckkk....

In case you haven't figured it out, that's my heart beat. Its random, and unusual, and very undecided. Here's a much needed update of my heart saga!

I wore my cardiac event monitor for 30 whole days, with two stupid electrodes very-well-stuck to me chest, and wires coming off of them. They were attached to a box about the size of a deck of cards, which I had to keep attached to my pocket or belt loop. After two hours of wearing it, I was ready to be done. It was CONSTANTLY in the way, wouldn't stay clipped, and if I bumped it and it fell out of my pocket, the wires would pull on the electrodes, which in turned pulled on my skin. Ouch! But it is now (thankfully) returned to the doctor, and I am electrode free! Although I still can't seem to get rid of all the sticky residue on my chest....

Last Friday, I went in for a stress test on the treadmill. I showed up all ready for some serious running, expecting them to make me run until I collapsed (nearly... I doubt they'd let me fall on the treadmill and then fly into the wall behind it. Although you never know!) They hooked me up to the EKG machine, and took one EKG standing, and one laying down. They also took my BP, which was 130/80. But my pulse was at 112. A little too high.

Then, I waited in the room, while the doctor saw other patients, probably flirted with the nurses, and possibly ate his lunch, since I was in there waiting for AT LEAST 30 minutes. In the meantime, I braided my hair, checked my own blood pressure (it was still 130/80), and watched my pulse bounce around from 99 to 135. Isn't my heart lovely? NOT.

When he finally came in, I climbed onto the treadmill. They started me out walking VERY slowly, like you would walk if you were holding the hands of a one-year-old who was just learning to walk. And my pulse started its climb to scary-ness.

After three minutes, it sped up to a normal walking pace. Easy stuff. And it inclined. No big deal. But still, my pulse kept rising.

After another three minutes, I was speed-walking (not even near needing to jog), and I felt fine, minus the feeling that my heart was going to explode. I was breathing fine, and I wasn't tired, but I felt like I had just gotten done running a marathon. He only let me go at this pace for one minute before cutting me off. Because my pulse was...........................




That's 200 beats PER MINUTE. Its like I had the Energizer bunny in my chest!

Then they did two more EKG's, and he prescribed me a low dose of a BP medicine, Atenolol.

And let me tell you... me and Atenolol have a sort of love/hate relationship.

One one hand, the Atenolol dramatically reduced my pulse. I was going through my whole day without it rising above 80. I couldn't even FEEL my heart for once - it was amazing! But there were other effects too...

For one, I was nauseous ALL DAY. And I had bad headaches ALL DAY. And I was light-headed, couldn't stand up quickly, and I was just kinda "blah" feeling. So Monday, the doctor took me off of that for a week. Then on Monday, I will start taking half of a dose each day, and see how that goes. If I still have the yucky symptoms, we'll try a different medication.

In the meantime, my heart rate is back up, and I still have some of the residual symptoms from the medication being in my system still.

I'll update next week on how the new plan is working!