Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oh, Sweet Heart of Mine

I haven't blogged in forever.  This seems the easiest way to update everyone about my current condition.  For those catching up, I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation last June.  This was after YEARS of complaining of being tired and winded all of the time.  It was blamed on being overweight and diagnosed as acid reflux.  I was put on meds.

In December, I had a Cardio Aversion, which means they stop then shock my heart, hopefully getting it back into a good rhythm.  See, Afib causes the top part of your heart to beat faster than the bottom, so blood will pool in there running the risk of stroke.  So blood thinners are a must.  When I work a 24 hour heart monitor then, my pulse rate fluctuated from 189 to 59 in twelve hours.  The Cardio Aversion seemed to have worked, or at least I thought it did, see, I can't tell if I am in Afib.  I guess I am used to feeling like shit, so that's normal.

When I went for pre-op testing for my hysterectomy in July, I was found to be in Afib.  I will admit, I was surprised, since I thought I felt good.  So, who knows how long I have been back in Afib.

It was determined that I was a good candidate for a Heart Ablation, where they take a catheter into the top chambers of the heart and cauterize the areas that are misfiring.  They then try to put me back into afib and proceed until they can't.  The goal of this procedure is to get me back into rhythm and off of all of my meds, since I am young and essentially healthy.

I had this procedure on Friday.  They cauterized electrical activity on the front wall of my heart and all along the top.  I had a lot of electrical activity on the back wall of my heart, which they could not do anything with, due to my esophagus being right against it.  I woke up feeling great.  Then an hour later, I went back into Afib.

To day I was devastated, is an understatement.  I looked at the nurse and said FUCK.  She then looked at me and said "You want to cry, don't you" and you know what, I did.  And boy did I cry.  Like a big baby.  I had one hell of a pity party for myself that night.

Once all of the anesthesia wore off, which was a lot, since I was sedated over six hours, I remembered that this is okay.  That my heart was just burned and needs to heal.  I calmed down and made the best of it.  Sometime that night, while I slept I went back into rhythm.  The next day, right after dinner I went into Atrial Flutter, which is similar to Afib, just a higher pulse rate.  I stayed in it.

Yesterday, I finally came home after a three night stay.  Before I left, I went into and out of Afib four times.  The docs think that's a good sign.  It will take three months for my heart to totally heal and this may happen until it's healed.  If I continue to go into Afib and stay in it, they will shock me again.

So, I am hopeful.  I realize now, how long this has limited my life.  I have suffered with this for years.  Scarily, I suffered with this all through playing roller derby.  It is a miracle that I never had a stroke.  All those times, I was using my inhaler because I was told I had sports induced asthma, I was in Afib.  All of those times my legs were so tired and felt like bricks and I was screamed at to pick it up and had eyes rolled at me because some thought I was just fat and lazy, I was in Afib.  Scary shit.

So I guess what I want to say, is, stop judging people.  Yes I am overweight.  Trust me, I try to eat healthy.  I cook four meals a week and try to make them as healthy as possible.  Yes, I drink soda, however, I don't drink near as I used to and I totally drink clear sodas, which don't have caffeine.  I have given up coffee, expect for the one cup I am allowed each day, which I savor.  The only think I can't do is be active.  I just can't physically do it any longer.  Just walking up the stairs from our basement exhausts me.

I look healthy, I act healthy, so to most, I look like an overweight person, who is too lazy to do things.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  I want to do things.  I want to join my BFF at Zumba and have a good time.  I want to take my dogs for a walk.  Somethings, I just know I just can't physically do any more.  When we were in Vegas last week, there was a day we were all going to walk to shop at the mall, a favorite thing for me since there's a Hello Kitty store there.  I had to stop when we got to the bridge at the end of our casino, because I knew I wouldn't make it.  I sent everyone on without me and spent some quiet time alone.

I am sick of feeling like this and I pay to God that soon, I can get my life back and get more active.  So please stop looking at people as being fat and lazy.  There are some of us, who just can't fix it, even though we want to.


OlRedHair said...

Hang in there. I was diagnosed in 2009, but like you had had it for years. Thankfully mine is controlled with meds. But a good friend of mine about your age couldn't tolerate the meds and had the ablation. It didn't take right away, but after a few months and going back in for a tune up, he has been fine and in sinus for 4+ years. I am thinking of you, and so hope you will soon be exercising and doing the things you love.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing Rhonda..I didn't really know all about your suffering, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this! I pray your heart goes back to rhythm! In the meantime, do exactly what the Dr's recommend, please! Rest, relax, don't do anything strenuous! Love, Melissa xoxo

Renee said...

Rhonda,thanks for catching us up and letting us know what is going on. I had no idea of the extent of what you've had to deal with. I pray that you will go back into sinus rhythm and stay there, and be off all the meds. Many prayers that this will happen and all will be well with you. You'll feel like you have a whole new lease on life! Get well soon!

Jewell said...

My dear dear Rhonda, I am so terribly sorry to hear you have been dealing with such personal stress as health. You are very brave to continue to do what you love while being so challenged. And heck that Ghangman Style routine you did I know I loved, but now find it more priceless than ever. You are priceless. I always knew that. If you need anything from me, please let me know. Hang in there my friend. And by all means get well.



Joan said...

My gosh! I had no idea you were having such health problems. I had never heard of this condition until a friend of mine was diagnosed with it a couple of years ago, having had the shock treatment twice. I hope this solves the problem and you're back to good health and activity soon.

I wish I'd known you were in Las Vegas! I'd have loved meeting you face to face.