Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The last post about my heart (I promise this time)

I know I said I was done talking about my heart. I know I know. But I had my follow up appointment a couple months ago and thought I should update the blog with what I found out, because it’s sort of interesting. Better late than not at all? Maybe? (Full disclosure: this post would have gone up much sooner but it got lost in my drafts.)

Before my ablation, I had three major complaints about my heart. First, it would race or beat abnormally out of the blue, often when I was just sitting around relaxing, sometimes causing me to black out. Second, I had exercise intolerance – my heart rate would skyrocket within minutes of even moderate exercise. And third, I had chest pains when I laid on my left side. I never mentioned that symptom on my blog because my doctor told me in my first appointment that it wasn’t related to my arrhythmia and I didn’t want to sound like a hypochondriac.

After my failed ablation, he diagnosed me with underlying atrial tachycardia (which explained the exercise intolerance) that originated too close to my natural pacemaker to attempt to fix. So now I had two heart conditions, one of which they’d failed to fix and one of which was incurable. Plus the mysterious heart pain.

BUT! I found out at my (hopefully) last appointment that what I ACTUALLY had the whole time was a subset of super-tacky called atrial FLUTTER. Symptoms of atrial FLUTTER include arrhythmia, exercise intolerance (!) and chest pains (!!!!!). One condition to explain ALL of my symptoms. So I’m fixed. 100%. All my complaints, even the ones my doctor didn’t think could be resolved by ablation.

Which begs the question, “Uhhh…..why didn’t he suspect atrial flutter earlier?” Well apparently atrial flutter is really rare in young patients. So rare that he didn’t even suspect it – so rare that when one of the techs first suggested it during my second mapping, he replied, “That’s not possible.” He admitted/apologized to me in my follow-up that that’s why my second electrophysiology study took so much time – he’d never heard of flutter in an otherwise healthy heart before, so he refused to ablate it until he’d successfully triggered it multiple times to be absolutely certain. Luckily my heart was cooperating that day, and it all worked out, and now I can walk up the stairs without having to stop and gasp at the top before composing myself enough to walk into the office, and I can sleep however I want without angina waking me up (I don’t think it was actually angina, I just wanted to say agina. ANGINA.).

Also, note that I said it was hopefully my last appointment. Apparently arrhythmias can sometimes regenerate in young patients. BUT, if it ever did, we know exactly how to fix it, so my doctor’s not worried about it and neither am I. OH, and here’s something that’s weird. I still regularly feel like a TACH ATTACK! is imminent, but with the pathway destroyed, it can’t get into that sustained abnormal rhythm. So my dummy heart is still trying, but it can’t go through with it. My doctor says that’s normal and I’ll continue to have those sensations forever. It feels sorta like when you’re driving and your car goes into a dip and your stomach lurches …except it’s in my heart.

That’s all.


See also:
Part 1 of ?
Part 2 of ?
Part 3 of ?
Part 4 of ?
Part 5 of FIVE!!!
Stuff I Distinctly Remember Saying During the Operation

Friday, February 15, 2013

Texts out of Context: Episode XII

Dad picked up his own phone and said “is this your new phone?”

You’ll never guess what just happened to me! I was cleaning the basement, and I had that part from the second Harry Potter movie stuck in my head where Ron says “follow the spiders. Why couldn’t he have said follow the butterflies?” Then I saw a big ball of lint on the ground and went to grab it, and at the last second I noticed that it was a giant spider!

When I get a real phone I will be able to tell you but I can only keep like thirty messages now

I think my uterus is normal. She had a good long feel today anyway.

It was enough to gag a maggot


I know him! He ate with us in the Lima MTC a few times! Poor guy….guaranteed immediate diarrhea…

There’s a boy in our ward this semester named Saylor Taylor.

So it’s finals week and I went to bed at 1 and got up at 4:30 but I guess I’m still better off than the girl who just whispered “I’m so tired” to herself in the bathroom stall next to me. But I’m the one in the stall on my laptop so I guess she’s not the crazy one after all.

I agree, gargling is so scary.

I’ll be the one sleeping and/or stabbing my eyes out!

You are a taco

I thought you might want to post my picture on your fridge for a month.

Ham bonus

Just finished watching Return of the King. I just didn’t really like the plot.

It would be awesome if Jon got something for Penny to give to you

Bring the cheese

Ok. Did you have a lesson? Are you watching the weirdo Miss America pageant?

I sent you an emell.

La Bomba!!!! That’s the name of the pill they gave me my last day in Peru!!

Does it cause butt problems too

Are you 80?

I love Christa.

Ada was so cute she kept wanting to hold my weird gloved hand and kept calling them my robot hands.

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you’re gobbling til you’re wobbling! No, this is not a mass text. It’s for you, Jessie Sweet Jensen. Just in case there was any doubt.

There was a freaking kleenex on my side of the bed you nerd

Please don’t ever tell him how much I had to touch his ween. I’m going to have permanent wiener hands.

Your turn!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Texts out of Context: Episode XI

It's long past time for new texts! This is only HALF. More tomorrow.

A girl sitting next to me just plugged her ear as I ate an apple! Am I THAT loud?!?!

He was naming them and telling me their personality traits. Roxie landed on my head.

Dumps like a truck truck truck guys like what what what the hell was in that dentastix

Girl snow or boy snow

These are weird sentences I’m writing.

Go get some cream and call it a night

Are you watching the puppy bowl?

I am eating samples at sams club I have a problem

New fave: I’m Alive. It’s an Animal Planet show. Even better than I Shouldn’t Be Alive because it’s all animal attacks. Just don’t watch the one with chimps.

Steve puts it in his mouth! As long as you move it around fast enough it won’t hurt.

Holy crap bag sandwich annie sent us a shload of food

I saw a young guy dressed up as an old woman on my street corner this afternoon. Complete with walker.

Don’t forget the ham

Gross I ate one and almost got a brain malfunction

is there yogue

Ok. Nothing else mean tonight. I’m way over my quota. Probably for a lifetime. Going to bed.

WHAT?!?!?!?! When/how did this happen? And on a related note, how did you find out? Was it your aunt’s connection to the MoTab underground?

Hello mister gooch

There’s a new Reba sitcom. Malibu Country. I think you should check it out.

Ada was in tears this morning because she wanted her boobies to be big. “I don’t want wittle ones!!”

Just invented the word duhfcourse (duh + of course). Please spread it like wildfire.

We are at the pet store and I pointed out the goldfish. She says, “I like goldfish. I like to eat them.” Also—the mice are “happy to see me.”

Did you eat a gum drop cuz I did

Yeah it’s the scraping that gets me.

Ada: “my crotch has a face.” No idea on that one.

You should buy me something real nice.

Oh. And in the tire store I overheard a girl say she heard the government is hiding the fact that there is a planet behind the sun on a collision course with earth. And that some famous guy with a blonde ponytail was on TV saying they wouldn’t let him in to Area 51 and that they control the weather and caused the tsunami.

The teacher that substituted steve’s class while he was gone wrote “all hear” on the attendance sheet.

Friday, February 08, 2013

The Stuff of Family Legend

My parents live in a beautiful house on a breathtaking acreage, with a stunning view of the Teton mountains, with gorgeous horses and a riding arena and the greenest lawn you’ll ever see, and spectacular, beauteous, staggering, awe-inspiring, marvelous. With all those selling points, it’s no wonder feral cats are always moving into the barn and trying to call it home.

A couple of years ago, a nasty hellborn feline took a fancy to the place and promptly deposited four kittens from her uterus into the haystack. My mom, a conscientious pet owner who had of course spayed and neutered her own barn cats, was now responsible for these four little kittens, destined to become as hostile (and fertile) as their awful mother. VICKY HAD TO INTERVENE.

She called a local cat rescue and they offered to take the kittens from her hands once they were old enough, so long as she handled them daily to make them tame. Seemed easy enough; the problem was the dreadful mother, that spitting, hissing incarnate of the devil. My mom knew that as soon as she started handling those kittens the mother would move the lot of them somewhere unreachable, so a trap was constructed in order to get them all corralled in the tack room where they couldn’t escape.

It was a success, but when she first set them free to wander their new little space, my mom noticed that the kittens’ eyes were all infected and gummed shut and their noses were snotty. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. So now instead of handling four wild kittens once daily, she was stuck administering medicine THRICE daily and she had to wipe their little eyes and noses clean with a warm damp rag. So morning, afternoon, and evening, she would put on thick leather gloves, enter the tack room, grope around inside the cathouse for a kitten, shower it with eye drops, wipe the all the junky crap off of its face, then repeat. All the while, the horrid mother sat hunched in the corner, yowling and hissing and making pacts with Satan. So it went for a few days without incident.

But then, The Incident. And what an incident it was. Wait til you hear. It’s really good.

My mom had a little white kitten in hand – the cute little one she’d grown to like the most out of all the kittens and had named ‘Pinky’ because of his cute little pink nose – and had just finished with the eye drops and was preparing the rag for wiping, when the devil mother flew at her leg in a wild, noisy, blurry fit of angry clawing and biting. She panicked, forgot what she was doing, and tried desperately to extract the cat from her body. When she finally succeeded, she surveyed the damage: lots of bites and scratches on legs and arms, lots of blood. Adrenaline pumping, it took her a few moments to gather her senses.

Then she remembered little Pinky.

There he was, plopped on the tack room floor. HE WAS FINE, but yes, Pinky got dropped. Hastily. Possibly thrown, who knows. Anyway, from then on she wielded a garbage can lid shield in anticipation of future cat-fury, and the kittens got better and eventually the shelter adopted them out, and the moral of this story is HOW ADORABLE IS MY MOM, NAMING THAT FERAL KITTEN ‘PINKY’????? zomg.