Friday, August 22, 2008


Supraventricular Tachycardia. That sounds like fun, eh? I've probably had about a half dozen episodes in my lifetime, the last when I was pregnant with Juliette. But I've always been with another adult before.

Today I was in the drive-thru at Chik-Fil-A when it happened. It's always sudden onset, just sitting there, la-de-dah, and all of a sudden my heart is beating out of my chest and I can barely catch my breath. I try to take my pulse, but can't count that fast. So I finish ordering lunch for the kids (priorities people, priorities!) and drive home, now more annoyed than ever at the construction on my street. I try to call Sean, but big surprise, his cell phone is turned off. So I call my mother who is fortunately not working today and tell her to come over right away.

So I'm sitting, waiting, explaining to Hayden how to call 911 if mommy "falls asleep and can't wake up". The kids don't take me seriously at all, by the way. I wonder what the ambulance people would do if I called them...would they bring the kids with? Should I drive myself to the hospital? What would they do with 3 kids if I showed up at the ER? Sean calls, he's on his way now, but that's still 30 minutes at least.

Juliette's hungry, so I let her nurse. Can't make things worse, I figure, and I don't think there's any milk in the fridge so if I go to the hospital she'll lose her meal ticket.

I beg the boys to put their shoes on so we can be ready to go when grandma arrives. They're still unimpressed with mommy saying she doesn't feel well. Trevor doesn't want Hayden to help with his shoes. I cry a little, that works wonders, remember this for future reference.

My mom arrives and drives us to the hospital. Heart problems give you a free pass at the ER, no waiting. They put me on an EKG and say "SVT". Sean arrives, they put me in a room, start an IV, doctors huddle a bit, they try the vasovagal maneuvers (I tried them at home, no success), then decide to move on to the adenosine. This part sucks, they basically jack you with a chemical really fast and it stops your heart with the assumption that it will restart itself in a normal rhythm (crash cart standing by, just in case). In the meantime, when your heart stops, it feels like you're dying, even when you know it's going to happen, it's creepy. Last time the nice cardiologist held my hand. This time they all watched the monitors...success, normal sinus rhythm...everyone cheers, high fives.

I'm resting tonight, no housework or diaper changing they said. I asked all the important questions: Can I drive myself to the hospital next time? Answer: it could cause you to faint, but since you didn't faint this time, you probably won't next time, so it's probably OK. Can I bring the kids to the ER? Yes, definitely, plenty of people to watch them (not those creepy guys in the lobby, right?).

Will it happen again? My cardiologist said yes after the last time. Some type of electrical abnormality in my heart. They can do something called ablation, where they burn out the malfunctioning part, but if they burn too much, I could need a pacemaker, so that would suck. So as long as the episodes aren't too frequent, we just pack it in and head to the ER. Thanks for that $100 co-pay, see you again next time.

Sorry this post is so long, just a stream of consciousness...hopefully you still notice the post below begging for comments.


Vito said...

I made a resolution to be better about posting comments but way to follow up with a hard one.

Glad everything worked out and I hope you're feeling better.

Mama T said...

Wow. You have all the fun :) And typical mum-mode to let a baby nurse, worry about shoes being worn, stress about who will mind the kids all while having some crazy heart explosion.
I'm glad you're okay too but I'm feeling that it will take a WHOLE lot more than that little SUV/SVT or whatever it's called to take you out!!

allisont said...

Oh alright I'll leave a comment seeing as you almost died and all! Actually, as I said earlier on the phone, I am really sorry and wish I could have helped out! You can always call me next time - not that I am wishing for a next time!

allisont said...

Alright already!!! Every time I go to your blog to see what's new, I get this post and it really makes me feel guilty! Would you please post something, anything, some random scrap of a pic of your kids or something?? I'll even send you something if I need to! :)