I apologize for not posting since Monday, but I have had my worst week in a while.
Tuesday I was feeling better, so I worked, worked out with Gwyn, did physical therapy with Kristi and then went to the dentist. I had my teeth cleaned and then headed to the mall to return some shoes. I was just sitting down to try on a different pair when - WHAM! My heart started racing.
I tried to breathe my way through it. I tried to write it off as an asthma attack (which happens maybe one every couple of years). Then it was anxiety, I tried for deeper breaths. Finally, 10 minutes in to this I realized - there was no 'getting over' this, I needed assistance.
I asked the clerk to just return the shoes. She asked if I was o.k., I said I just wasn't feeling well and staggered from the store. I knew I was a 4 minute drive from Mercy West Lakes Hospital and in my mind it was much faster to drive there than wait for an ambulance, especially because I had no idea what was happening to me. So yes, I did something I am now advising you not to do - I drove myself to the hospital.
By the time I arrived I was ready to pass out. My breathing was shallow and my heart was going so fast, I thought it would explode. It was more hard flutters than actual beats as my hands and feet started to feel numb and I began slurring my words.
The nurse rushed me into the treatment room and soon there was a whir of activity surrounding me. Megan the RN and Dr. Smith had a brief discussion after reviewing my symptoms and tests. Dr. Smith then told me he believed it was supraventricular tachycardia. It's a heart rhythm disorder that can strike out of nowhere. It had driven my heart rate over 200 beats per minute. (Example - Average resting heart rate 80-90.)
Dr. Smith told me he was going to give me a medication that would slow my heart down, but it would feel kind of like a truck going through me. He pushed the drug into my IV and guess what? Very right. But the first dose didn't work and he had to double it for the next round. That really smarted and my left side felt like it ceased to exist. But my heart rate slowly lowered to about 100 over the next ten to fifteen minutes.
They kept me for observation for a few hours and then sent me home with instructions. They told me this was probably brought on by stress and lack of sleep. It can affect anyone from birth to 99. It can also happen with too much caffeine, but oddly, I don't drink enough for that to be the issue. :) So, instead they told me to rest and then resume my regular schedule as I felt o.k.
To say it scared the crap out of me is an understatement. I stayed home Wednesday and did my best to sleep. To be honest, it was a bit daunting to lay down and close my eyes after my heart was so out of control. Then yesterday, I slowly worked my way back in. I worked and took two naps in between. I did go to physical therapy and did a water workout as well, and here is why...
I have been down this road too many times. I just get things moving in the right direction and something stupid happens. I have, in the past, been rear ended in my car, injured my knee, had cancer scares, etc. I refuse to let this be an excuse. I refuse to stop, I have to keep going.
Dr. Smith said I could do just that. I don't have to give anything up. This could happen again or it could never happen again. If it becomes an ongoing thing, then I will have to be treated in another way. When I look back I can name small incidences of this, but they only lasted a few minutes and I wrote them off. SVT is not life-threatening, but it has to be treated. O.k., so now that I know what it was, I know how to deal with it.
Honestly, I am a little skittish. Every time I have an ache or something 'moves' oddly, I get nervous. I will work on that. But I will do it while I am working on the rest of me. So, this afternoon I am going to run the other errand I was going to on Tuesday when this all happened - getting my own pair of boxing gloves, look out heavy bag!
Yours in Health,