My Achy Breaky Heart…

Okay so I’ve been giving it a lot of thought and I’ve decided that if I’m going stick with being honest on this blog thing, I can’t pick and choose what to be honest ABOUT. And while some things are obviously best kept private, others can be shared and should be shared. There’s power in information and strength in having a great support system.

Also, I just want to get shit off my chest.

Allow me to say that the very last thing you ever want to hear a cardiologist say WHILE he’s examining you probably sounds like : “Has anyone in your family ever died suddenly?”

I KNOW right?! Let me back up a little.

A few people reading this might know that recently I’ve been experiencing some strange heart related stuff. Very few know that it’s something I’ve been dealing with sporadically since age 12 but since nothing dramatic ever presented during tests after the occasional events, nothing was ever DONE about it.

Fast forward to this spring when I went for a routine ECG to appease the internist at the clinic. It was part of a complete work up including blood panels, blah blah blah but since I had done the EXACT SAME TESTS in the fall (twice), I didn’t anticipate any changes.

I certainly didn’t expect the tech to look at me with panic during the ECG and ask if I was currently experiencing chest pain. I wasn’t. But apparently the printout was showing some alarming results that I couldn’t even feel.

My family doctor was concerned enough to refer me to a cardiologist, suspecting that I had something called WPW – Wolff Parkinson White syndrome. (Side note, the internist completely disagreed with this assessment and told me my doctor was wrong but everyone was waiting patiently – ha – to hear what the heart specialist decided.)

Last week I met him. And let me just say that my family doctor and I are gonna have words. How dare she NOT tell me he was young and attractive and single? I mean, come ON! I hadn’t bothered to shave my legs because my energy level is WAY down and cardiologists are usually concerned with the top half of people anyway. And they’re supposed to be crotchety and old, dammit.

Anyhow, the doctor didn’t have great news. I DO have WPW but I also have something called Ventricular Tachycardia. Ultimately the WPW means that I have an extra electrical impulse that’s confusing my heart and causing it to beat to a different drum. It’s serious but not outrageously dangerous and there is a simple surgery to correct it. Unfortunately the VT is an additional issue that brings its own set of problems. Coupled with the WPW it makes a “meh” situation into a “dammit” situation.

But the greatest concern is the fact that it might not be the less benign kind of VT. If it is the “scary” kind THEN we go from “dammit” to “oh shit”. Because the risk of sudden cardiac death jumps exponentially.

There’s something I never expected to be saying about myself.

So that’s the news. Next on the list is an MRI of the ticker and an appointment with an electrophysiologist.

I’m not taking any chances. I’m most definitely shaving my legs.

You can tell my eyes to watch out for my mind
It might be walking out on me today…”   – Billy Ray Cyrus (avec mullet)


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