Afib

It's interesting that I can share on this medium something I'm loathe to discuss save with my closest family. I've been belly-aching about the ankle, which is still icky. I was planning to get it together and go to PT when my week, and life, went sideways and upside down on Wednesday and Thursday.

I cooked some steak fajitas Wednesday with some steak that had been in the freezer for a while. I grilled it and cut out all the fat to leave me with just meat portions. I also made batch of chicken for the good wife and whoever else wanted it. Around 7-8.00 some seeming indigestion set in, making my chest aflutter. I waited it out, as I didn't feel too bad, just having a wiggly chest. When I laid down that night I felt like I needed to take a couple big belly breaths, but no biggy, indigestion.

The next morning, Thursday, I felt fine and got ready for work. On the way in the truck, though, the chest flutter came back. "NOT indigestion" I thought. I made it through the day at mostly full strength but knew something else was up, so I made plans to go to the urgent care center after school. It was extra crazy b/c we were supposed to drive carpool for soccer and the plans were all asunder.

Again, I never felt bad per se, just a little tired and that I had a jumpy ticker. No shortness of breath or pain, although I did get a little light-headed at work a couple times. At the urgent care center, they hooked me up to an EKG, although that was a slight adventure. The nurses tag-teamed me b/c one was training. They couldn't get the stickies to stick and shaved a couple nice patches in my chest. Although cool about it, the doc said I had a 1-way ticket to the ER with something called Atrial Fibrillation. Long short is that the upper part of my heart, the Atrium, was misfiring and not in synch with the lower portion, the ventricles. Once at the ER they treated me quite nice and did more tests including bloodwork, another EKG and a chest Xray.

As can happen in life, it went away. Just like at the autoshop when you want them to hear that nagging noise. The doc had the original EKG in hand and had heard it with a stethascope, but it disappeared. More good news came in that the blood tests didn't show a heart attack, although that isn't ever 100%; the enzyme numbers disappear after a while as well. I've had different what I'll call insignificant health issues before, ear infections, sprained ankles, a bladder/prostate infection, but they all mend. This is the first time I've stared life and death in the face. I was saying to myself, "37 yrs-old and THIS??".

I've been itchy lately (well, not physically). I know my health isn't that good. I'm overweight and I'm sure my cholesterol numbers and such aren't great, but I figured I could mosey along, ride the bike, and confront these things at 50, not at 37. Another irony of all this is that I called my doc Wednesday morning to schedule a full physical b/c I don't feel all that healthy and want the handwriting in large scrit in front of me. And now I will.

I sit here Saturday and can't tell whether I feel physically poor or that it's mental. I feel tired and listless, like I could take a nap at any time. I took a 2-hr one yesterday instead of being at work. I don't have an appt. until Wednesday so I wait until then to get further news. After reading up, I found at that Afib is a screwy thing. Some people get one instance and it never returns, and most often it shows up in old people. Which am I? the lone instance or am i some kind of degenerative "old person"? it's all quite vexing and very unsettling.

I just want to ride the bike and feel healthy and positive in doing it. I'm very proactive, having cleaned up the diet since last Tuesday, but I am facing long-term, life-long challenges and the road is dark and murky and delving into the unknown.

Comments

Pete said…
Wow, scary stuff. Keep that physical appointment and take care of yourself. You're my age, for heaven's sake. If it could happen to you it could happen to me! (Just trying to cheer you up there)
Anonymous said…
You should really be aware of your heartrate and keep in touch with a cardiologist. I have a heart murmur which is monitored regularly by a cardiologist -- even if nothing changes, it's good to have someone keep an eye on it. And do talk with a cardiologist about exercise -- it's ironic that exercise can help your heart by keeping your weight down and making you fit, but exercise on a troubled heart can hurt you...
--Laura
Andy B said…
I have just discovered an aging issue that no one warns you about. Bushy eyebrows! I turned 39 this summer and now my eyebrows are getting bushy. No one told me about that. Oh, sure, I was prepared for a hairy back and male pattern baldness, but now I have to trim my eyebrows to avoid getting my eyes poked out.

Seriously though, just pay attention and get that physical. My doctor wants me to get the full thing next summer when I turn 40. I am looking forward to it. I should have more information about my body after that than I have ever had.
Tex69 said…
i concur andy b, but with me it' errant nose hairs. disgusting!
Andy B said…
My nose hairs are currently under control. But, now that you mention it, my dad did have a nose hair trimmer when I was a kid. That does not bode well.

I keep telling myself that getting older is better than the alternative.
Doug said…
I know what you're going through. I think I saw a doctor maybe five times between the ages of 20-40. Since turning 40 (I'm now 44)I'm in the doctors office three or four times a year. One trip to the ER two summers ago with a heart palpitation. And I take pills everyday to keep my blood pressure down. The lose of youth is a very cruel reality.
Tex69 said…
wow doug, you have BP problems with all the miles you ride. that actually calms me a bit. it's just life, isn't it? you take what you get and do the best you can with it, but it is what you get.

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