Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Flippetty Flop.

That's what it feels like when my heart is having it's random moments. And to say that's it's distressing when it happens is an understatement. It really only happens for a few seconds, but it's enough to make me feel breathless and like my heartbeat is about to explode through the base of my neck.

So after Sunday's pathetic attempt at Cobbitty I decided it was time to get this checked. So off to the GP I went and he decided it was time to make me have a stress test as previous ECG's showed nothing at all. So thank goodness for Sarah and her being a cardiac technician and all at the local hospital.

Sarah had me booked in first thing this morning as an outpatient and I couldn't be more grateful for her organising this. She showed me around the ward in which she works and then it was time to get all the leads hooked up to my chest. She is a total natural at her job and you could plainly see that she could do this with her eyes shut. I used to have to count each intercostal space to place leads when I did ECG's - but not Sarah.

She took all the preliminary stuff down - like my pulse and lying/standing blood pressure and then after a bit of waiting around for the resident to arrive it was time to get on the treadmill and start the STRESS test. Having never had one before I was interested to see how this would pan out.

So, basically you start on a small incline at a certain speed and then at the 2minute mark I think, your blood pressure gets taken and then at the 3 min mark the incline goes up as does the speed. And this continues until you either can't anymore or you reach 21mins. I was kind of hoping that something would happen with my heart so I could prove to myself that I wasn't imagining what was happening to me.

And sure enough as my HR got to the mid 140's I started to feel that tell tale breathlessness and then that feeling in my throat. I let Sarah know and sure enough - there it was - a couple of Ectopic beats. Another one happened a few minutes later and then nothing else. It's really funny though because I could feel like it was going to happen before it actually did it's funny thing.

I later found out that I have Ventricular Ectopic Beats - sounds scary but they are benign. According to Mikati 2010 - an ectopic beat is a small variation in the normal heartbeat that gives rise to an irregular pulse and in adults they can be common however should still be investigated.

I think the reason this had me so freaked out is that there is a huge family history of heart disease on both Mum and Dad's side. My Mum had 2 heart attacks at the age of 49 and By-pass surgery by 52.

Anyway, I couldn't be happier that even though I am experiencing some odd sensations in my ticker, that it is ok and I can get on with whatever I want. That I shouldn't fear them, just acknowledge their existence and move on. Halleluiah!!!

Now off to the GP tomorrow for it to be validated and then it's off to 70.3 with a clean bill of health.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage