How I've been

On Friday I spent 11 hours in emerg due to my heart racing uncontrollably fast. They tried IV fluids, oxygen, oral medication, and high doses of IV medications and still could not get it < 100, but at least got it slowed down to a level at which I didn't feel dizzy when I walked around. But considering that when I first showed up they ushered me to resuscitation and asked me repeatedly if I'd ever needed my heart shocked (NOT the way to slow someone's pulse down!!!) I was pretty happy. The doctor finally said I had the choice of staying longer for them to try other medications, or going home on an oral beta blocker which we already know works but had been trying to avoid due to side effects. I chose the latter.

So now I get to add "cardiologist" to the list of doctors I see ... And I am now on this oral medication for life. Since I've had two major episodes in under nine months (this happened back in November, too), if I go off the beta blocker I'd probably be fine for a while but would almost definitely end up in emerg again at some point. The one good thing is I've been told this problem is not life threatening, but needs to be treated to prevent heart damage/passing out if it doesn't stop on its own.

I do not like this medication I am on. I am taking only half the minimum dose (crazy, when they were giving me high doses of another medication in the hospital that did nothing) and it has been working well at regulating my heart. But it makes me tired ALL the time; I am constantly feeling as if I could go have a nap. I've also had a few times the past few days where it's made me dizzy when my blood pressure or heart rate dropped a bit too low.

I also do not like the fact that from what I have read, beta blockers can make allergic reactions more severe AND prevent epinephrine from working. I already have a fairly severe food allergy and the idea of not being able to treat a severe reaction (which I thankfully haven't had in 10 years) seems kind of dangerous to me. It also means I probably can't do allergy shots, which I was getting set up to do by my allergist. It also supposedly can be bad for asthma, and can mask symptoms of hypoglycemia, although I haven't noticed any problems there so far. Something to talk to my GP and allergist and new cardiologist about.

I am also off caffeine, maybe for good ... I went out for coffee yesterday with a friend, and trying to find something at Starbucks with no caffeine and low carbs is impossible! I ended up getting a drink that's 30g carbs and it still shot me high. I may try a decaf drink next time and see how that affects me.

One alternative to taking medication forever is to do a surgical procedure where they fry the part of the heart which is generating the errant electrical signals. I am not willing to go there yet ... but something to research if I really don't want the medication and we can't find an alternative that works. Apparently this condition tens to get worse over time ...

I hate that I seem prone to developing all sorts of random, unrelated medical problems. I am only 30 and sometimes I feel sooooo unhealthy and like all I think about is health-related stuff and I hate it! But then I remind myself that growing up I still had all sorts of weird, unrelated medical problems and managed to live without them weighing on me ... though I'm sure my parents carried that weight for me.

Holy smokes! I'm glad you survived but I'm sure it's horrible to have gone through that! I've heard people say that diabetes is the worst thing ever but a run through a bunch of crazy cardiac stuff is probably right up there? I had a weird run-in with cardiac testing in 2010 but it all turned out ok for me, after Blue Cross paid for $15,000 worth of testing. I do think that stopping caffeine would probably be good for me. I have 4-6 cups of coffee pretty much all the time and I'm sure it cranks me up. I prefer going to bars to going to Starbucks but am getting too old for that stuff too?

Gosh Jen that must have been a truly frightening experience! I can't believe all the decisions you have to make. I hope you have strong family/friend support? I remember reading that you just got the job of your dreams too. I truly hope everything works out for you. You have always shown great strength in your blogs. Stay strong. Joanne

I've got pretty bad allergies myself. Been on Beta Blockers for a few years now, and really not been that bad at all. Hopefully you'll get good results too.

Glad your ok!