Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shock Through the Heart...

Did I put Bon Jovi in your head? Consider that my gift to you. I love double meaning post titles. I can't resist them. This one was a no brainer.

On Tuesday I went back to Cooper for another EP Study. Check my recent posts for the back story. My appointment was for 6:30am which meant that they were definitely going to work on me until they were satisfied with the results. There was one detail that I was not prepared for though. I would not be sleeping very much this time around.

I got my IV and other prep stuff done in a separate room, then we took the walk down the green mile towards the lab room, which looked exactly the same as the first time and still very cold. I laid down on the bench at about 8am and endured more prep gymnastics from the nurses. Once again, they were a great crew and made sure that I was doing alright. I did get some relax juice but it only let me drift in and out of sleep. They started working around 8:45.

I could tell immediately that things were different this time because I could hear the conversations and sometimes I felt the catheters shifting to the will of the doctors. As best as I can remember, they were able to zap the main problem a few hours into it, maybe noonish. I felt my heart racing as they pumped in Isoproterenol through the IV. Using this drug was one of the reasons they could not let me sleep this time around. I also think that I felt some heat when they actually did the ablation, which took 3 zaps to get the whole thing.

For the rest of the time, the team worked to get after my 2nd case of tachycardia. They found this one very close to my main cluster of electric circuitry. This location creates much higher probability for complications, so they had a difficult task ahead. The lead doctor had discussed this situation with me beforehand and we all agreed that it would not make sense to risk those complications (I'd need a pacemaker) if the 2nd case was not easily reachable. I believe that she tried to find a way to safely navigate to the 2nd location but ultimately realized that it wasn't going to work without possibly damaging the main cluster.

They backed everything off and got me off the table around 2:30. I have to say, 6 hours on my back got to be very uncomfortable. I felt soreness in all my limbs and my lower back after just a few hours. Plus I had to relieve myself so bad that I was sweating and eventually had to ask for a bottle to relieve myself. I was trying to hold off but I realized that they weren't finished with me yet so I quit trying to be a hero. Probably TMI there, but that's the way it went down. The next couple hours are kind of fuzzy to me now. I don't remember being transferred to the bed or back to the room. Maybe they juiced me up before they disconnected me. I don't know for sure but eventually I remember texting people and saying that I was all done.

Kim came by after work and spent the evening with me. I was able to get out of bed at 7pm, which allowed me to start the recovery process much sooner than last time. Also, I felt much more confident since I had been through it before. They moved me to my overnight room at 8:30 which interrupted American Idol. That was not cool but I got over it. I spent the night getting interrupted by nurse visits for myself and my roommate but morning came soon enough. No tests were needed. Doctors came to recap the events one more time and I was dressed and out the door by 9:45am. They told me I could not drive for 48 hours, lift no more than 10 pounds until Monday and not go back to work until Monday. The funny thing is, I physically feel less damaged than last time and I don't think I'll be honoring all of those restrictions.

So far, I don't think I've had any palpitations but it will be in the back of my mind for a while. If I do have one, it means that the 2nd case does impact my rhythm and I might have to do something about it. Either some sort of procedure or medication. I'm hoping and praying that the 1 that was zapped is the one that was the problem and #2 is just there, not causing any trouble. Thanks to my family and friends for your support, concern and prayers. Now go ahead and enjoy the Bon Jovi! It's alright.

It's worth the click, trust me.

Choose Wisely