Two weeks ago today, I received that scare of my life. At 5 minutes after 3am, I awoke with a racing heart. Not just a racing heart, a racing, thumping heart, so fast I couldn’t count it. It’s not the first time, so I sat up in bed, tried to concentrate on my breathing, having faith it would quickly pass like all the other times. Generally done in under 30 seconds, when this “episode” was still going a minute later I began to worry, just slightly.
After years of working in the medical industry, I felt ok that your heart could race for a little while before it began to sustain damage. With this in mind, I woke The Builder up, and together we searched online to find a way to make it stop. First up, was the heart attack checklist, to be sure I wasn’t heading down that road. Once sure that wasn’t the issue, we went on to search for a solution. Cold water said one sight, 1 litre in we knew that wasn’t going to work, slowing your breathing said another, but after 10 minutes of this, it clearly wasn’t going to do the trick either.
We didn’t find any other solutions online, so decided to call 13 HEALTH to see if they suggested calling an ambulance, or if there was another possible solution I could try at home. I had to take an over the phone test to see if I was having a heart attack, fortunately good news! But followed by not so great news, head to the emergency dept.
A quick trip to hospital, thank goodness we only live a few blocks away, I would hate to let the Builder drive too far in an emergency, we were seen nearly straight away by the triage nurse. After a few questions, a heart rate monitor was fixed to my finger, however it wouldn’t record my pulse. At first the nurse thought it was faulty, then decided to check my pulse manually.
Que action stations! I was taken, very swiftly to the acute emergency section of the hospital, along the way, the nurse gave me the fright of my life, “I don’t mean to alarm you, but you really need to hurry!”. Within minutes of arriving to my bed, the room was full of Doctors and nurses and I was hooked up to an ECG. It was quite possibly the most frightening time of my life. Very fortunately though, the nurses words on the way, gave me such a fright, my pulse dropped by over 70 beats per minute down to 130bpm.
Still not a great place to be, though much better than the previous 200bpm where it sat for over one hour. No wonder the poor nurse was in such a rush. A couple of hours later, after 2 bags of fluids were pumped into me, I was sent home with a heart rate of 90bpm, with a referral for a Doctors visit that day, to then be referred onto a cardiologist.
The cardiologist, ordered all sorts of tests, including ultrasound of the heart, and wearing an event monitor for 24 hours. I looked and felt like a robot.
After returning all the equipment, we had to sit tight and wait until Monday to see the cardiologist again.
I had been feeling fine until the weekend, when I had another ‘turn’ though this one wasn’t as bad. On Monday afternoon we finally returned to see the cardiologist. My first shock, was that he was about the same age as me, made me ponder what I had been doing with my life? The second shock was that it wasn’t to be as clear cut as I had hoped.
Although the scans showed my actual heart is ok, there is an added concern around my breathlessness, and now I am having to have a whole heap more tests to hopefully rule out a blood clot in my lungs among other disturbing thoughts.
I was rushed in for a DVT scan which proved clear, yay, then off for chest Xrays, blood tests, stress test and finally wearing the horrible machine again for a whole week this time, goodness knows how I will shower.
This health complication has provided a great opportunity to reflect over our current lifestyle and how we can make some changes. It’s time to share my load a little more, get the kids more involved and take better care of myself.
Ever had a health scare that made you stop and think about how to make improvements in your life? Did you know a DVT scan starts in the groin? Nope, neither did I!