So. Where do I start? Do I just skip right to the part where they shot adenosine in my vein and stopped my heart for five seconds in order to restart it to a normal beating rhythm? That now I’m going around telling people that I died? Or should I just start at the beginning and drag it out all dramatically?
I guess I’ll start at the beginning when I felt my heart skip a beat and it started pounding out of my chest. Not literally, of course, but you could see my whole chest pounding my heart was racing so fast. It was in the 140-160’s for about three hours with no break and all I was doing was laying in bed. (If you’re like me and have no idea what those numbers mean, a normal heart rate is between 60-90, says the nurses.) I had a quick EKG and the cardiologist came to my room to tell me that my heart had short circuited and we were going to get it to slow down.
He tried something called the valsalva manuever and carotid sinus massage but that didn’t work. So they quickly put in a new IV (yep, number three) and of course the first one blew so they moved to the other arm. Then, as I was hooked up the heart monitors, with the cardiologist and two other nurses standing around the machine watching my heart climb to 200 bpms they shot me with adenosine. It did nothing so they gave me another. That dropped my heart rate back into a normal range, from around 200 bmps to 120 in just a few seconds. Luckily, Guy was here with me through the whole thing.
It was the strangest feeling ever and I described it to everyone that it felt like I died. Well, apparently that’s a fact they choose to save for the next day – the fact that it stops your heart for about five seconds and sort of “restarts” it.
The morning after, the cardiologist came in to explain everything to me now that the storm had calmed and told me I have something called SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) and more specifically AVNRT (AV nodal reentry tachycardia). Really, I couldn’t explain it to you if I tried but I know its something I was born with that was triggered by the stress of pregnancy and could happen again right now or I could live my whole life and never have it happen again.
It’s a very minimal issue. It’s not something that will cause me further health problems and it is easily fixed by a cauterization after the baby is born. Until then, I’m on a beta-blocker medication to help keep it under control. I certainly do not want another adenosine shot.
In all of this, baby was monitored closely and she didn’t exhibit one sign of knowing what the heck was going on out here. She was perfectly healthy and calm.
Now I’m on heart monitors 24/7 (so annoying) and I’m stuck with an IV for a while. Which, by the way went bad yesterday and it had to be removed and replaced. Yes, that makes NUMBER FOUR. To tell you I’m sick of getting IV’s is an understatement.
So now I’m hoping to go back to boring. Just sitting around here watching the clock tick and hoping to get to go home one day. Keep your fingers crossed for a nice boring weekend with no issues.
Sher Bailey is a writer in the Midwest who believes the power of humor, Mod Podge, and grandkids can fix most problems in life. You can find her at SherBailey.com.