October 19, 2008

Finally, the belated sequels.

Part 2:

I can't even stay out of trouble 24 hours. I was getting my early-morning vitals (about 4 a.m.) taken and chatting with the nurse when I felt it starting to happen again.

"Kim. Check my heart rate again, please?"

And in a few minutes, the RACE team was back in here, I had a bunch of extra wires connected to me, and I was yet again explaining my cardiac history.

Seeing that the previous doctor had gotten my heart rate down using just beta and alpha blockers, this doctor opted to try that as a strategy rather than put me through the adenosine.

I appreciated the effort, but it wasn't to be. The first dose was the most effective, dropping my pulse by about 20. Then it was just diminishing returns: he used up the rest of his store bringing it down another 20.

So, hello, adenosine. I asked for my mom to be in the room with me and gripped her hand as the familiar but unwelcome crushing sensation returned. (It wasn't as intense this time, but it did last longer than earlier.) Finally, my heart rate returned to normal, and consequently everything else around here did too.

Part 3:

After I wrote Part 1 but before I could finish Part 2 (again, within 24 hours of Part 2; this time Vicky was with me instead of my mom), I had a third incident. It was almost boring. I was connected to two pulse/oxygen saturation monitors and two blood pressure machines again, as well as an EKG and yadda yadda. As RACE members filed in I said hi to the one person who had been present each time (man, I don't want her hours, I thought).

Before Vicky moved her chair out of the way, she surreptitiously handed me the PSP and whispered, "Put music on." It was still on "The Healing Place," so I pressed Play and put it to the side of my head.

Then the doctor showed up and he read through my chart. Based on the previous incident he was all set to go with adenosine again, and I anxiously pointed out that adenosine only worked the second time. As we talked about the recent incidents (and, of course, my previous history again) someone piped up: my heart rate had gone down on its own. The doc hit me with a few beta blockers to bring things down to an even more comfortable level, and after some observation they left.

I joked that it was David Sylvian that did the trick, but after a few moments' thought I realized this is the way these incidents usually happen to me.

Postscript: Over the next few days I was visited several times by cardiology and RACE, and both talked about temporary dietary restrictions, of sorts: no caffeine, and no excitement -- meaning, nothing that would get my heart racing, which might lead to tachycardia.

The first is no big deal (I've had the same restriction since March, when my reflux started), but the other two--? No Battlestar Galactica finale. No Macross Frontier. No Gatchaman, which was just getting to the good part. And don't even get me started on music restrictions. Sigh.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by Emru Townsend at

5 Comments:

Blogger Will Shetterly said...

No excitement? Feh.

Well, maybe it's just time to expand your appreciation of meditation and artists who focus on the quieter things of life. But still, that's harsh, no denying.

October 19, 2008 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Scary stuff about the heart... Apart from these palpitations, though well worthy of explanations, how's the transplant going? Do they have an ETA on your getting out of that bed and back on your feet anytime soon?

October 21, 2008 9:47 AM  
Blogger Barbara Spoerri said...

was one of the incidents from Sunday to Monday after midnight ? ...the one that faded away ?
thinking of you & sending healing vibes !
hang in there ! I stared the coyote down on Saturday @ the Eco museum....LOL ! he was very friendly !
take care !
oxox Barbara

October 21, 2008 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emru....I'm flattered, I'm famous now that I'm in your blog.

Stay well my friend & see you around 4 a.m.

October 22, 2008 5:56 PM  
Blogger DaProkah said...

Gaargh! No BSG Finale? You'll get to it soon enough.
Thank you for your posts. You are helping out a lot of people by documenting your experience. You're a trooper and an inspiration!

Have you listed to Jill Scott? Her latest isn't exactly recent, but her voice is mocha fudge drizzled on your soul...

October 30, 2008 12:07 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Updates Home


Message Archives

Where's My Local Registry?

Updates