After receiving the “things are a little worse than expected” voicemail from my Doctor my appointment with an electrophysiologist was scheduled. If you don’t know Electrophysiologists deal with the electrical currents in the body. The doctor who had reviewed my holter monitor notices so large pauses in my heart rhythm’s sometimes up to 3 seconds at a time. Considering healthy people have roughly 2-2.5 beats a second this is abnormal and warranted further consultation.
I arrived at UC Davis Med Center, Ellison Building, sometime around 11:00 a.m. The Cardiology lab is downstairs, if you’re ever lost just follow the white haired people. I checked in, sat down, breathed intentionally to try to lower my blood pressure, to no avail. Still in the 140’s…
When my doctor arrived, a student followed him in the room. UC Davis is a teaching school so it’s not uncommon, I found out, to meet with doctors while a student is shadowing. Considering the kind of news I was getting, it certainly wasn’t preferred, but oh well.
So what’s been going on, why are you here?
I proceeded to share the steps that brought me here. I’m getting pretty good at that by this point. Yes he knew but he wanted to see where my understanding was.
My doctor was a very kind man but also very serious and didn’t exactly have the “poker face” you would look for in a doctor looking at your charts and graphs. There were a lot of concerned exhales, lip smacks, “hmmms” and “huhs?”
“It’s hard to predict the future but I can tell you that down the road your chance of needing a pacemaker is high.”
So no longer is it a question of “If?” but a question of “When?” Given the current information I could probably go for years without a pacemaker. Maybe even wait until I’m 40. But my question would be why? Do I want to continue to feel lightheaded and dizzy when I stand? Do I want to constantly be tired and lethargic because my heart beats at a little over 1/3 the speed of a healthy persons heart? No, I don’t. I’m leaning towards getting it done quick. But first, a few more tests.
I need to get an Echocardiogram, which was describe to me as “sonar” for the heart. I also plan on doing a treadmill stress test and MRI because once the surgery is done MRI is a no no. We want to get a full picture of the state of my heart before proceeding. Due diligence is tough. I just want to feel better but I can’t go at my own pace.
That’s where family and friends come in. They get to prop me up in the in between. They’ve been doing a great job. After my appointment, since Bethany was still out of town, my parents met me for lunch at Brookfield’s and we talked through what my future could look like. It was a good time and very comforting.
“Your looking forward to a much better quality of life” – Dad
I could use a little of that because this is for the birds…