A Small Scare
I thought I had enough of the hospital a few weeks ago when I was hospitalized for atrial fibrillation and had received 18 shocks from my internal defibrillator (ICD). But, sitting in bed on Thursday night talking to my dad, I felt my heart beating faster than it had been lately and felt certain that I was about to receive a shock from my ICD. That never happened, but my heart continued to beat at an unusually rapid rate and so I made a decision to take a trip to the hospital emergency room and get things checked out. Instead of calling an ambulance, I relied on my dad's fast, but safe driving.
Upon arrival to the emergency room no one seemed in a particular rush as they filled out the necessary paperwork. Me, on the other hand, well, I was very anxious to see what was going on with my heart. Once I was hooked up to a heart monitor, it indicated that my heart rate was higher than it had been recently but not dangerously so. Next, the nurse put an IV into the back of my hand -- on the first try! Miraculous! Blood was taken and it showed a high white blood cell count and a higher than normal level of a particular heart enzyme that is typically elevated when your heart has suffered a trauma. Based on these findings I was admitted to the hospital, where I stayed until yesterday.
During my hospitalization there was nothing unusal about my heart and doctors were never able to explain the findings in the blood work. As my blood was retested the numbers seemed to come down and no signs of any infection were detected in me. At first there was some concern that I had already become toxic with the amiodarone that I had been taking since my last cardiac scare. Usually side effects take a while to appear, which is why it was surprising that I was starting to show some side effects. In the end, though, it was determined that my symptoms were most likely not due to the medication and I was put back on it.
By 11 am yesterday I was home again. I still think it was a good idea that I went to the hospital even though it seems that everything is fine. After my last scare I'm not taking any chances of getting shocked by my ICD, so if something doesn't feel right I'm heading to the nearest emergency room. I hope this doesn't happen for quite some time!
Special thanks to Lauren for typing this entry.