Friday, November 30, 2007

My new best friend

Is my cardiac event monitor. It will tell things that some folks, like Taciturn, do not think is possible for me.

That is a terribly structured sentence, but oh well. Sometimes it is helpful to have your spouse be a physician. Other times, like now, it isn't. He (#1) went to medical school in the 1980's, when views on women's heart disease were much more patriarchal than now. Secondly, he is a pediatrician and we have been in situations before in which I, the certified adult critical care nurse, was much more knowledgeable concerning adult conditions than he was and stepped up to take charge because he didn't know what to do. I wouldn't know what to do if the situation concerned a child, so there you have it. Due to my experiences while working all those years in the ICU, I do not cut doctors much slack at all. I do not know everything they know, but I know they don't know everything.

I say that since he now thinks, since my stress test was negative, that all of this is in my head and I'm using this to get out of doing stuff. That is what physicians were taught in the 1980's. He even said that after I told him what follows.

As I was fitted with the monitor yesterday, I conveniently had chest pain while a test strip was run and transmitted over the phone (to demonstrate to me how to do it), and I noted several non conducted P waves. That means that somehow the electrical transmission from the atria (upper chambers) is not being transmitted to the ventricles, which pump the blood to the rest of the body. The transmission is blocked somehow. I said to the nurse, "Gracious! Do you see what I see?" She said, "Sure do!" "No wonder I'm dizzy and having chest pain!" I said.

Now there are several different types of heart block, some benign, some not. As an athlete, I'm more prone to a type of heart block called Wenckebach, in which the time for the electrical transmission from the atria to the ventricles gets longer and longer until a transmission to the ventricles is dropped altogether. But usually that is without symptoms, or very minor ones. In my case, I've been wiped out for a few weeks before this started and I'm dizzy and having pain more often than not. I've pressed my event monitor 4 times in the last 22 hours. I could have pressed it much more. I would have loved to have run off a strip and "marched out" (measured the intervals) the P waves to see if it was Wenckebach or another block.

To complicate matters, I'm changing health care providers. My current one is a PA; as much as I wish to support alternative health providers I need someone who can deal with all of my subtle and not so subtle health issues. This came to a head when she refused to change my current arrhythmia meds. So I'm headed to a female MD, as soon as my PPO gets the paperwork processed. I told T that I cannot continue in this state, constantly in pain and dizzy (I'm afraid to drive), for another month or so until I can get an appointment with her. Hopefully whoever monitors my events will see something and step on it to change my meds or do whatever I need done.

And by the way, the retreat was cancelled. Turned out so many folks cancelled due to illness, other obligations, etc that only two were going to attend. Plus, it is going to snow out there. I have to write out a report to email to the others about some research I did, which I will do later today. I'm going to lay down now.

1 comment:

Kirstin said...

Praying with you! It's good that you can document what's going on, now. Stay well.