Last Monday I thought I was so clever to write a note and refer to an old adage...now I just think it was kinda lame. Specifically because it turns out that neither taxes, nor death, seem to be my biggest concern.
The short of it is that I'm back in A-Fib and scheduled for my second Cardiac Ablation this Friday the 27th. Because of this, I had to postpone tests with the transplant team until late May.
The long of it is as follows:
Following my visit to the hospital on Monday, the 16th (the last time I posted a note update), I came home and struggled to regain any energy. While my rhythm had returned to normal, the symptoms continued to bother me. Sure enough, on Friday evening, my heart flipped back into A-Fib. I called the hospital and was counseled to wait through the night and if there was no change, to take myself to the hospital the next morning. I woke up early and traveled an hour south to the Provo ER hoping that might increase my chances of seeing my actual doc, even on a Saturday.
The ER staff was clearly freaked out by my case, but treated me well, as they replenished my potassium and prepped me for another Cardioversion. Dr. Hwang happened to be in the middle of a procedure in that hospital and, after being notified that I was there, asked that I just be kept for observation so that he could determine then administer treatment.
Dr. Hwang soon arrived, and the Cardioversion was successful after one attempt! My breathing was immediately improved, but my vitals were not rebounding as quickly as they would have liked and I was admitted for bed-rest and overnight observation.
My "frequent flyer" miles on the Cardiology floor won me a corner suite and I really do get the royalty treatment from the staff! (Although, I'd rather be nobody at home, than royalty in the hospital.) After an uneventful night, and 24 hours in a hospital bed, I was thrilled to be discharged and back in my own bed by 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning.
All of that relief disappeared in an instant when at 6:30 p.m., Sunday evening, just 34 hours after the last Cardioversion, I WAS BACK IN A-FIB!!!!!!!!!!
Since Sunday evening I've had changes to my medications, and a cardiac MRI, and Dr. Hwang has scheduled my second Cardiac Ablation for this Friday evening. I remember that I didn't love recovery from the procedure back in September, but the specifics are hazy against today's discomfort. It's funny what we're sometimes willing to "forget" for a little relief.
Through all of this chaos, my greatest disappointment is that the Heart Failure clinic has determined that the testing and transplant list placement must be put on hold...again. And I'm suspicious that this won't be the last time that I have to adjust my expectations and timelines. In my clinic visit today I was told no less than a dozen times that my case is really complicated...like really, really complicated. I don't have a medical degree, but I think that translates to "nobody is sure what is going on".
The only thing that I am sure of is that for nearly every person who has a transplanted heart, there is a story of delay and discouragement before the happy ending. I guess I am in that part of my story.