Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This too shall pass...

Sexy heart monitor nodes
I've been sitting on this post for awhile because I feel like I'm coming off completely scatter brained and can't seem to cohesively explain everything that's coming up for me.
But here goes nothing.

I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and God only gives you what you can handle. Apparently He thinks I'm a rock star cause life just went topsy-turvey in a matter of weeks.

Last week I met with my EP heart specialist and based on my EKG's and the diagnosis of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, he scheduled an EP Study and possible ablation in a month.

My stress echo is just two weeks away to observe whether this extra electrical pathway is closing because otherwise two pathways of electric conduction in the heart is no bueno. Although I could live the rest of my life healthily with no side effects my biggest risk is something called SVT. Abbreviations seem to never end well in the medical community and WEBMD confirms SVT is bad, thus the procedure my doctor scheduled. It consists of mapping out my heart as the EKG results seem to indicate that this extra pathway may be too close to my 'regular' one to even consider closing. Good times.

I realized I hadn't asked before if I could keep living my life as I've been (ie: drink coffee, alcohol, run, lift weights) but I've been cleared to do all my normal activities. My 24 hour heart monitor showed no extra abnormalities. Bikini wax is scheduled (your welcome doctor/nurse/prep nurse/whoever else needs to be near the general vicinity of lady bits for this procedure).

The nurse who scheduled me at Lordes Hospital was fantastic. The procedure is on a Monday and I have an event that following Thursday which I refuse to miss (stress management panel, helloooooo I desperately need some techniques). She said it's 1-2 days recovery and I should be cleared to attend. She mentioned that the first day after I'll be pretty uncomfortable but then there will just be a large bruise. I told her I wasn't worried since I don't have a photo shoot coming up any time soon. Because when I'm overwhelmed I make ENTIRELY INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTS. At least we shared a good laugh over it.  I was impressed by her thoughtfulness and willingness to make this a simple process as she even helped re-arrange a couple follow up visits that were already on my itinerary.

I have to get new blood work drawn in a couple weeks. Apparently the blood work I had drawn two weeks ago will be outdated by then. Who knew that my blood work had a shorter shelf life then most of the condiments in my fridge?!

I admitted to Nick that which I've been denying anyone one else: "I'm scared". Logically I know I shouldn't be worried. The doctor assures me I'm going to be fine. He's outlined the procedure and what I should expect. It's not like this will be my first procedure going under. I had knee surgery when I was 13. I've had my wisdom teeth removed. I'm in good hands. I trust my doctors and the hospital they have me going to. I'm lucky enough to have associates from where my mom works who will be there and keeping an extra eye on me that day. I'm going to have an entourage consisting of my mom and husband at the hospital. My dad has offered to drive me to different appointments. And I'm incredibly lucky to have that support system.

But it's my HEART. So I can't help but me a little nervous. I know people have gone through worse. Heck my own grandfather had bypass surgery.

I'm just trying to stay positive and take it one day at a time. My surgery is scheduled for November 18th. It's my mom's birthday and one of my best friend's sister is having her 3rd baby boy that day. So that has got to be all good ju-ju, positive vibes, and I have nothing to worry about, right?

Because if nothing else, I get a few days off to be pampered and snuggle with this little face:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

It's Electric

EKG - my frienemy
If you would have told me earlier this year that at age 27 I'd be dealing with a heart condition even though I'm active and overall pretty healthy, I would have laughed, told you to stop being such a worrywart, and taken another shot of vodka. In a week's time I went from trying to figure out where to put my last half marathon finisher's medal to having to make a manila folder for all my medical paperwork because it's compiling so quickly. My calendar is filling with appointments to the point that I almost had a mini-meltdown at work when it didn't load properly and I thought everything had been deleted. I already told my husband to send me back for a younger model (paging Tiger Woods, see hilarious SNL skit here, skip to 3:00 mark).

As of my doctor appointment Monday I officially have Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome, or as my brother jokes some made up condition that conveniently requires more testing. Basically the electric running from the atrium to the ventricle in my heart is working (thanks Google), but I have an extra electric pathway that shouldn't be there (does that mean I'm at a greater risk for static electricity?) It's nothing I've done, eaten, or taken;  it's just one of those 'things'. As heart issues run rampant in my family it's not completely surprising that I have a problem. My dad, who loves to remind us how he has high blood pressure, welcomed me to the D'Agostino Heart Club. I'm still waiting for my membership card.

Doctors assure me it's fixable but not before I have a series of tests done. First comes the 24 hour heart monitor next week. Apparently you can't shower until it's taken back off. Fantastic. Then I have to meet with a different heart doctor, a specialist that deals with electrical problems. What? That's not what an EP doctor stands for?! No, thanks to Jenn I now know it stands for electrophysiology because she's the smartest.  Then comes the echo stress test early next month. Joy. All I can picture is running on a treadmill and a room full of nurses staring at me as I try to not show what a terribly slow runner I am. Or trip and fall pulling what I'm imaging are about 112 different wire hookups from my body.

Finally the doctor will decide based on the test results as to whether I will be on a low dosage of medication or if I need to have a minor procedure to have the extra pathway closed (or ablated or something STOP THROWING MEDIAL TERMS AT ME LIKE I WASN'T A COMM MAJOR). Apparently for the ablation it's a cardiac catheter procedure so they make a small incision near my groin and go from there. My first thought being the logical sane ridiculous individual I am is that I need a bikini wax ASAP.