Sunday, January 22, 2012

The news from inside my chest

So, I have this flutter. That is, my heart has a flutter- feels kind of like when you'd swallow a pop rock, and you could feel it popping way down in your chest... remember that feeling? Anyway, it happens several times a week, at random times, and the worst it gets is giving me a feeling like I have to cough. I've had it for two years now, and have been on heart medicine (the same kind my parents take... neat, huh? Weirdly, this medication is also prescribed for people who suffer from stage fright...) have worn a 24 hour monitor, had an EEG, and it's been no big whoop. But apparently the medicine was supposed to have had some effect on the flutters, and it hasn't, so this year my pcp sent me to a real live cardiologist.
He was nice, and not bad to look at, and seemed very calm. He said "you could leave here and not take any tests or anything, and probably be fine, but I'd like you to do one test... a 30-DAY MONITOR!" He didn't say it in caps, actually, he said it totally nonchalantly, like oh, you know, a month on a heart monitor.
So now I am wired, and when I have a flutter, I press "record" and it beeps for 30 seconds. This is tricky if, like when it happened last week, I was in a meeting or like Friday night, when I was in the chapel.
I have a bad attitude about this and the stupid pack I have to carry around, and the stupid wore patches that are already leaving big nasty red marks on my skin, and the obnoxious beeping. But as my pastor has said now, twice, and so comfortingly, "you know for some people, the only symptom of heart disease is DEATH." He is a survivor of a triple bypass, so I guess he knows whereof he speaks, but still.
Curiously, my only fear in this all is that I am really just crazy and don't even have a flutter! It has been a very stressful time lately, and I was a little bit worried that they'd just tell me I was having panic attacks. I know that sounds crazy in itself, after all, panic is probably not as bad for me as my heart tweaking out. Anyway, today when I phoned in my "events" the tech said "oh there are some extra beats in there but nothing we have to call the doctor for." I didn't even know that was part of the monitor plan, but I was glad to hear that there really was bona-fide fluttering going on, in my heart, rather than my head.
On a related note, I need to buy some scarves and/or turtlenecks!

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