Saturday, March 26, 2011

Abnormal Rhythm

Yesterday was a very long day filled with many unexpected things so I will start at the beginning. On Friday I had a headache all day long and by the afternoon my throat was killing me and I just didn't feel well. I went to bed around 8pm and was asleep a little after 11pm, but woke up at 1am with an extremely upset stomach and a fever with chills. Finally, I was able to get to sleep for about an hour before Ben had to leave for work.

I decided to get the boys and myself dressed then head to Express Care to checked out because if I had the Flu I was hoping to get Tamiflu to help get rid of it sooner. They did a Flu test and Strep test which both came back negative. The doctor did the normal physical exam, but when she listened to my breathing she paused and listened to my heart for a while. Then she asked if anybody had ever told me I had an abnormal heart beat rhythm. I told her nobody had ever told me that and it should have been caught with all of the doctors appointments and surgeries I have had in the past. She wanted to do an EKG just to check my rhythm, but she said it could be nothing. So they got it all set up, the test started but then the machine died after capturing 4 heart beats. We waited around while they tried to fix it, but nothing worked. At that point we had been there for almost 2 hours so the boys were getting cranky. The doctor then came back and said she was sending me to the ER because the 4 heart beats they did get very abnormal so she wanted it to get checked out more in-depth. They handed my a copy of my chart with instructions to go directly to the ER.

The boys and I went to the car and I freaked out because I was not going to the ER alone with the boys. After making some calls we had a plan. I drove to Rich & Laura's house and met Ben there (he was working in DC). The boys stayed there while Ben and I went to the ER at Anne Arundel Medical Center. I got checked in very quickly and taken straight back to the EKG room. Once the test was done they put me directly into a room in the ER. The nurse got me all hooked up and at that point my heart rate was 140 and I was showing an abnormal rhythm on the monitor. The doctor eventually came in to examine me and look over my EKG and what not. He explained that my heart rate was way too high (normal 60-100), that I had something called Bigeminy PVC rhythm(every other heart beat was an abnormal one called a PVC), and when listening to my heart beat with a stethoscope it was skipping beats. My blood pressure was completely normal along with my respiratory rate being normal. He said since I was not having any other symptoms such as pain, dizziness, or passing out that these could all be fine as long as there was no underlying heart issues. He ordered some basic blood work along with all of the cardiac enzyme blood work. He explained that if a person has any type of heart muscle breakdown (such as heart attack) it releases enzymes into the blood stream and that is what the cardiac enzyme testing would look for. He said it was to rule out a silent heart attack. Then he said once the blood work was back they might need to do some x-rays, but in the meantime he wanted me to get an IV with fluids because I was slightly dehydrated.

The blood work took about an hour or so to come back. During that time the nurses and doctors had all switched so now I had a new nurse and new doctor. Of course, the new doctor came to my room just as I had left the room to go to the bathroom (the fluids were definitely working!). So we waited around for a while longer until the doctor came back. When she did come in the room she commented that my heart rate was still too high, but had at least come down to 120. She asked how I felt and I told her I was feeling the same, sore throat, headache and upset stomach. I also said that with everyone asking me if I had chest pain I had started to think I was, but not really sure since I thought maybe I should be having chest pain and she laughed. She said all of the blood work came back completely normal and she could discharge me. Ben and I were finally in the car heading to dinner at 6:15pm. The day started out at Express Care in Bel Air at 9:15am and ended leaving the ER in Annapolis at 6:15pm....what a long, stressful and tiring day!

We went and had dinner with Rich, Laura, Haleigh and the boys. Before going to the ER Zak had picked up on stuff going on because he was saying things like "Mommy go to hospital for doctor to give her heart a band aid and feel better." so I wanted him to see that I was fine (the boys were going to spend the night at their house). When Zak saw me he said "Doctor make you feel better and give you band aid?" which was very cute.

I am relieved to know I didn't have a heart attack, but I am now paranoid and worried as to why all of a sudden my heart is skipping beats, my heart rate is so fast, and I have this Bigeminy rhythm. I have been talking for a few months about going to my doctor and asking them to check my thyroid because I have been experiencing somethings that could be a sign of Hyperthyroidism. Also, my mom has had thyroid issues forever (she had Grave's Disease) which tends to run in families as well as thyroid issues being common for Diabetics. One of the possible signs of Hyperthyroidism is a fast heart and PVCs. So I plan to get that done as soon as possible. The other reason I am scared is because I couldn't tell my heart rate was that fast even though it is odd because when I had worked out at the gym when I got my heart rate up into the 140s while running I could definitely feel it racing and I can't feel my heart skipping beats either. So now it makes me paranoid that I won't notice if something else changes.