Thursday, May 21, 2009

Totally wired.

So I saw the cardiologist/electrophysiologist at 1pm today. Very nice guy and well-reputed in his field and in the Milwaukee area. His nurse was also fantastic, and very friendly.

We started off with an EKG. This meant that I was hooked up to a bunch of different electrodes for a few minutes while all of my heart's electrical activity was monitored. That was all normal (thank God!), so then the doctor came in and we talked about what I've been experiencing. He checked my pulse, listened to my heart and lungs, and ultimately decided to put me on a portable monitoring device.

He chose what they refer to as a "loop" recorder, which I will have for the next month. The device consists of two wires/nodes - one of which is stuck on the upper right part of my chest and the other of which is below my left breast - and then the wires lead to a little circular box with a "record" button on it, and the box clips onto my belt.

I'm supposed to wear this thing pretty much every day all day, and I need to push the "record" button when I feel my heart flutter or race, or when I feel light-headed. This will record my heart's electrical activity 30 seconds retroactively, plus 30 seconds forward, to capture the electrical activity in my heart during an "episode." The box can store up to 4 episodes at a time, and when it's full, I need to call in to a special number, play the recording over the phone (sounds bizarre, I know!), and then my cardiologist will get a fax of the information. I can then erase the prior 4 recordings to reset the device to record another 4 episodes.

Since my "episodes" happen daily (and multiple times in a day, typically) I may end up being able to get rid of this thing sooner than a month, since the doctor just wants to see some examples of what I'm experiencing and I'm sure I'll have PLENTY of examples for him within a week or two.

Depending on what this shows, I may have to do a sort of stress test next, to see if he can induce the super fast heart-rate and/or near-fainting I've experienced those few times, but he's not sure if that'll be necessary yet. Personally, I'm hoping it WON'T be necessary, since this will involve me running. And with my foot still not at 100%, I'd hate to risk re-injuring my foot just to make myself pass out on a treadmill! :) Not my idea of a picnic, that's for sure!

Bottom line, Dr. C doesn't think that what I have is anything "bad," and he assured me I'm probably not going to die as a result of it (thank God again!), but he does want to find out what it is since it's obviously not normal.

So, for now, I'm all wired up and getting my trigger finger ready to press the button!

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully you will get a clean bill of health, as the old timers always say. I did do this and wore the same device, nothing showed, still have a little flutter every now and then, still makes me stop and listen to my body, but I am 66, so my body makes lots of weird noises. Good Luck.

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