Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cardio Update - Update

I posted my "cardio update" a little too soon this morning.  

Today is a bad day.  I didn't sleep well, first of all.  Which isn't unusual, but it was worse than most nights. Slept till 2, tossed, turned, iPad, till 5, and then just said "F this" and got up.

I started out ok.  We had a delivery/installation today, which required me to be moving about the house a good bit.  So I was fatigued, which is not unusual.  About 30 minutes into the busy delivery, I sat down and started to feel 'odd'.  I began to feel an intense, strong, heart beat.  I could actually see my chest moving.  I could feel it in my neck and throat.  WTF??  

I have a wrist BP cuff.  My BP was 88/65 which is not unusual for me.  But my heart rate was 46.  Huh?  Surely, that is wrong.  Normally it is in the low 90's.  I waited a couple minutes and took it again.... Still heart rate at  47.  Still feeling this intense beating in chest and neck.  No pain, not feeling dizzy or light headed, but I stayed sitting just the same.  

I was able to call the Dr that installed my pace maker.  She told me that I was experiencing PVCs, which may be more commonly known as "skipping a beat".  PVC = premature ventricular contraction.  She explained that the intense beating in my chest, neck, and throat, were from the pace maker trying to do its job to correct this event.  She said if the "skips" become too many in a row the defibrillator would kick in.  Oh, NOW, that will be something to look forward to!  I have a monitor that captures the pace maker data, and sends it through the phone line.  She had me send it to her at the office so she can review it.

Right now my heart rate is back into the low 90's.  No feeling of intense beating.  No defibrillator kick.  Whew.  The PVC event lasted almost an hour.  

Now that I understand it, I feel better knowing.  However, it was an uneasy feeling.

BTW, my heart rate in the 90's at rest is due to my heart having additional beats.  More beats than the pace maker is set at.  Pacer is set for 60 beats a minute.  My heart has been beating in an irregular fashion in addition to the pacer, and therefore faster than a normal resting rate.  I take meds to help control this.

It's only 2:00 PM today - no more BAM-BAMS!  :)

Live Sincerely!

Cardio Update

When my pace maker/defibrillator was implanted on 1/25/13, it was anticipated to have a positive effect on the overall performance of my heart.  In particular, an increase of the Ejection Fraction (EF) from 30% at time of implant, to 40% after 90 days.  

I completed a nuclear stress test and an echocardiogram in April, to test the anticipation of increased heart performance.

The nuclear stress test determines if any obvious blockages are found in the arteries in/around my heart.  The were none noted as needing attention.  Whew.... that's good!

The highest anticipation revolved around the echocardiogram.  This is the test that measures how efficiently my heart is pumping oxygen rich blood to vital organs. And this  is where the anticipation of measured ejection fraction % would increase to 40%.   But instead.... the EF dropped to 26%.  

That's not good.

Cardiologist said I'm stable.   Ummmmm no... Dropping in EF is quite scary, and I need to know what's next.  I asked prognosis.  He wouldn't say... He only reiterated that its good I'm stable.  WTF?  Additionally when I asked if I  should be evaluated by an oncology cardiologist he outwardly seemed offended.  

So.... What's next?  Second opinion and evaluation by an oncology cardiologist.  I want to be prepared for what I need going forward.  Since my ejection fraction (btw that term always sounds perverted me....jus' sayin')  has fallen by 9% since December, I want to know I covered all bases in treatment and am proactive.  I want to get ahead of whatever is next.

Holy hell.... If its not cancer chasing me down the street, it's the f'n late effect side effects of the chemo/rads I've had.  

When life is such that you don't feel like something is chasing you, and you're not constantly looking over your shoulder for what the fuck is next, its incredibly wonderful.  And I am sincerely happy that my kids and family are not having to do that! :)

I'm buying time, one step at a time.  And those steps must move forward. Here comes the fighter! 

Love to all!