Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cardioversion - Summary

I was more anxious for this procedure than I had been for the Angiogram...but it was not nearly as invasive. I'm convinced that the growing anxiety is directly correlated with my growing understanding of the gravity of my situation and nothing at all to do with the procedure itself.

Here are some of the details about yesterday:

* I had the very best nurse (Jake) that I have ever had at a hospital...and I have had a lot of nurses in my lifetime

* I don't know if they require family to leave the room, but neither my mom nor I wanted her in the room...she stepped into the hallway. I was glad she was there, but didn't think either of us wanted her to actually witness

* A minute after mom left, the room got fuzzy. The next thing I knew, she was back in the room and everyone in the room was congratulating each other for a successful Cardioversion

* The whole thing took no more than 10, maybe 5, minutes

* It took 4 attempts, each requiring a new placement of the defibrillator pads until they could find my "sweet spot"

* Contrary to popular rumor among some of my friends, no body piercings or jumper cables were involved...but I do have 4 singe marks on my back and another 4 singe marks on my chest where the defibrillator pads were for each shock

* I could immediately feel the difference. I have been comparing the sensation in my chest with an off-balance washing machine...just slamming around in my chest...but when I came to, it was all gone! And it was marvelous!

* I wasn't nearly as sleepy coming out of this sedation as I was the week I just sort of rested my eyes and dozed in and out. About 45 minutes after the successful procedure, I was wide awake and grabbed at the monitor to check my heart rate. That rotten off-balanced washing machine feeling was coming back

* My mom grabbed the attention of the first nurse she saw outside my room and asked her to come check and see if I was back in A-Fib. But the nurse said it was only extra heartbeats which is different than A-Fib and might have just been the reaction of my agitated heart

* Jake came in another 45 minutes later with discharge papers but before he disconnected all of the monitors, decided to give them one last look...and then he whispered, "oh shoot"

* He confirmed that I was, in fact, back in A-Fib and let me know that I wouldn't be leaving until he had spoken to the doc

* Doc told Jake that he wouldn't consider another attempt at Cardioversion since we had reached my limit, but that we would work quickly to get both a Cardiac MRI and Cardiac Ablation scheduled

* I felt mad. And I felt like a failure. It's not like I hadn't been told this could happen, but I had been so optimistic! And those glorious 45 minutes with no thudding heart turned out to be nothing but a tease! Ugh!

* So I coped the only way I knew how...a movie, popcorn, and an enormous diet coke.

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