My heart is healthy, but the wiring around it is faulty, so to speak. The title above is the name for this problem, as I understand it. This thing is capricious. There are aggravating factors, but the thing itself can just go downhill without any useful warnings.
As some of you know, the trauma of my bike crash, and perhaps a side effect of the anesthesia, changed a bunch of things in my body. Among those things was a new intolerance to caffeine. It triggered tachycardia, but it was bearable. Most episodes lasted 30 minutes or less and symptoms were quite mild. Once I got past the initial recovery period, I began taking Hawthorne Berry extract and Curcumin. Those are known to strengthen the heart, among other things, and they seem to have worked well.
I had a couple of episodes starting Saturday that I couldn’t explain. Today not a single aggravating factor was present, but it kicked off right in the middle of walking back from the apartment management office. And it didn’t stop.
So after an hour I had my beloved take me to the VA Emergency Room. They were concerned this time, because if it keeps up long enough, the heart stops from exhaustion. So in consultation with the Cardiology Clinic upstairs, they decided it was the wiring problem. I was hooked up with some interesting equipment and two IVs. One was for input, the other for flushing. They injected a single dose of something with a name I can’t remember (it sounded like they said “adenosine”) which made me dizzy and breathing was difficult, but it also stopped the racing of my heart. I was told later that it usually isn’t that easy, requiring up to three cycles of injection followed by a flush, and even some electro-shock efforts to regulate it down. So mine was easy.
While they still want to do an echo test later, the doctors decided that the shortest path for now was to treat it with metoprolol tartrate, which slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. This is a lot less invasive and risky than some kind of surgery to “burn out” the wiring issue with my heart. Once I’ve had the echo test, the doctors should be in a better position to decide long term treatment.
It’s one heck of a way to waste a day.