Friday, September 28, 2012

Heart Update: Staying Alive

I woke up Monday morning feeling exceptionally bad.
I mean, I have felt bad for about 2 years, but I was feeling REALLY bad in particular that morning.

I headed on to class.

By 2pm I was feeling so bad I didn't think I would be able to make the drive home.
During my break in class I shot my cardiologist an email.

At 5pm I was told by one of my professors that I didn't look too well, when I explained that I didn't feel too well he told me to go home.

The 2 hr drive from campus to home was miserable. 
I felt scared, depressed, and defeated.

I cried the whole drive. 

Once at home I was notified by my cardiologist that he thought it would be a good idea if I went ahead to the nearest ER.
I was hesitant.  Over the past 2 yrs I can't tell you how many times I have been told to "head to the ER," only to find nothing but a BIG bill.

I decided to wait it out.

Surely, this was all in my head.  right?

Tuesday was spent on the couch... all day long.... in agony.
My heart kept skipping beats, my chest, left arm, back and side of my neck were tight.
I had no strength to move.

I KNEW something wasn't right.

By Tuesday evening I had had ENOUGH.  
I needed to go to the ER.

My cardiologist called the Hospital, sent over all my paper work, and sent a list of things that he wanted them to look for.    

After a few tests, I was admitted.

Surgery was a big possibility.

My little brother and his wife happened to be in town for a play and hurried over to the ER when they heard the news.  Mom and Dad were 3 hrs away. 

That night Roger slept in the chair beside my bed.  With the possibility of heart surgery hanging over me, on top of the fact that I felt as if I were to about breathe my last, I insisted that he stay.

Tuesday night was very rough.  My pulse and blood pressure kept dropping dangerously low.
My mind would not stop running through the "what ifs."
I told Roger that if anything happened I wanted them to try their best to bring me back..... for the kids.

To make a long story short, by Thursday the doctors had FINALLY figured out what they thought was going on.

So, here is the short version.

My pacemaker was set too low, the bottom wire leading to my heart's bottom chamber was malfunctioning, and the 2 new medicines that I had been placed on were making my blood pressure too low.  

Because the pacemaker was set too low (on a low pulse), I was having a LOT of Premature Ventricular Contractions in my bottom chamber.  Because the bottom wire of my pacemaker was malfunctioning it was picking up the massive amount of PVCs that I was having and telling my pacemaker that I was having regular heart beats.  Because of THAT, my pacemaker was not sending a pace to my top chamber.  My top chamber has lost function of it's natural pacer and uses my human made pacemaker over 90% of the time.  Because it was being told by the bottom wire that I WAS having a heart beat, it wasn't beating.   Thus the reason why my heart kept stopping/skipping.  

By Wednesday evening I was feeling MUCH better.  
My pulse was set up to 75!
When a good friend came to see me that evening she said, quote, "Jess, you are so perky!!"   

I couldn't stop smiling! 

The doctor allowed me out of the room to walk around the halls.  I ran up the stairwells.  

They kept me over night on wednesday for observation.  
By Thursday morning my PVCs had virtually disappeared.  
My heart rhythm was stable, even though my blood pressure was pretty low.

My meds were changed up and I was discharged at noon.

Thursday evening was spent cuddled up on the couch with the kids, watching the sun set out the window, while we enjoyed one of our favorite Disney movies. 

Thankful!   Thankful! Thankful! 

(this ones for you dad)

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