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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

When it rains, it pours...

I have always been a very healthy person.  I don't even take Tylenol on a regular basis.  So this process of having my Band repositioned followed by two months of constant sickness hasn't been easy.  I'm so happy to be getting back to normal.  More than happy, ecstatic, and very relieved.

But in the process of getting ready for that surgery, a funky EKG revealed that I have Wolff Parkinson White (WPW) syndrome.  So I will be having a cardiac ablation on Friday to correct the arrhythmia.  During this procedure, they insert a catheter through a vein in my groin up into my heart to destroy the accessory pathway.

Sounds kind of freaky, right?

I very seldom talk about things like this in my real life.  Very few people know I had surgery in February and fewer know what the surgery was for.  Only those closest to me know how sick I was.  I didn't say anything about what was going on on Facebook. I'm kind of uncomfortable telling all of you about the heart procedure, but I want to talk about it so I'm not so...scared isn't the right word...stressed out? freaked out? worried?...I don't really know how I feel about it.

It is weird to have so many things going on all at the same time, especially when I've always been so healthy.

So for those of you who don't know about WPW, it is an abnormal arrhythmia, or heart rhythm.  It is not caused by lifestyle or heart disease.  It may not be a really a dangerous condition for some people (although I looked up some stuff on Google to write this and read about some examples where it was very serious so it must vary).  It isn't progressive (as far as I know).  If you have WPW, you were born that way.  The symptoms of the condition are kind of disturbing, though.  Most of the time when I have had an incident, it has felt like my heart was stuck in a super-fast rhythm.  My heart POUNDS really fast like it is going to explode.  It last 60-90 seconds or so.  A few times I have blacked out when it has happened.  Once I was driving when I blacked out.  I did not lose consciousness, however, which was a good thing.  I was driving on a quiet road without much traffic and I wasn't going very fast.  Everything started going black, like static on a TV, so I stopped the car in the middle of the road.  I couldn't see well enough to pull over.  And then the lights came back on in my head and I resumed driving to my destination.  I felt out of sorts for the rest of the day.  I'm so grateful that I wasn't doing 80 down the freeway because that would have been a much worse scenario.  So that is why I'm going to have the cardiac ablation.  After that is done, I will no longer have the condition.  The treatment will correct the abnormality.

If you happen to be a fan of the show Modern Family, this is the same condition (and treatment) that Claire had in the Season 4 episode called Heart Broken.

The first time I had a WPW episode, I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.  I had the racing heart and dizziness.  We called my OBGYN and they sent us to the hospital, where the checked me out in the maternity ward.  They did not perform an EKG.  They took vitals and had me sit with a fetal monitor for a while.  Finally they told me they thought I'd had an anxiety attack and sent me home.  I told this to my cardiologist in February and she said that people with WPW are often told they are having anxiety attacks.  Isn't that a bunch of shit?  A simple EKG shows the irregular rhythm.  Why wouldn't they have done that if I was having racing heartbeats all the way back in 2000?


Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers on Friday.  Hopefully I don't have to take much time off from my work out routine because that will piss me off.


Bonnie said...

Wow. Sounds like you've had some close calls. It's good they found out what's wrong and that they can fix it. I will definitely be thinking about you on Friday and sending healing thoughts.

Amy W. said...

Well I am glad you are putting it out here at least. And yes, anything with the heart is freaky...because you know that the heart is kinda vital to our being...just in case you DIDN'T know that ('s hard to think of something funny to say right now). Anyways, thank goodness they caught it! Keep us posted.

Linda said...

I'll be thinking of you. As much as having to get your band repositioned it's a blessing they found this before something worse happened.

Stephanie Martin said...

I work in a cardiology office and we do ablations right in the office. Freaky? Yes, a little. But everyone walks out feeling better than they walked in. You'll do great. :-)