Exactly one week ago today, I found myself eating an avocado roll with Tempe at a place called I Love Mr. Sushi. As I chopsticked my roll around in a bath of soy sauce and wasabi, I literally felt my heart grow three sizes.
(Repeat: Literally. I LITERALLY felt my heart grow three sizes.)
Throughout the weekend, I felt flutters in my chest and then my heart would skip a beat. It skipped a beat for hunger, it skipped a beat for injustice, inequality, ebola, the Honda airbag recall… It continued to flutter and skip for various issues until Monday evening when it skipped a beat for Ariana Grande’s inability to enunciate. At that point I decided enough was enough.
My heart: Hear thee, hear thee! This next beat will be skipped for Dick York and the reasons why he had to be replaced as Darren on Bewitched.
Me: Okay, then. Let’s head to the emergency room.
When you go to the emergency room complaining of heart flutters, everyone pays attention to you. It made me feel really crappy for the guy whose arm was clearly broken. He had arrived before me, he was WINCING, yet I was Beyoncé and he was Solange.
During my EKG, I was throwing PVCs that had nothing to do with plastic pipes and everything to do with irregular heartbeats that may be caused by caffeine (I have 2-3 cups of coffee each day.), exercise (I doubt this is the problem. Heh.), and stress (This is where I would say something about being “too blessed to be stressed” but honestly? That falls about a half notch below turning the frown upside down and changing scars into stars.).
I was transferred to a room where they sucked out about six tubes of blood before hooking me up to a monitor and a bag of normal saline. I was then told that it would be about an hour before the labs came back. I quickly kicked off my shoes (I was wearing socks, and I’m not sure why you need to know that, but you do.) and found Elf on the television. (It’s always on, isn’t it?)
I eventually dozed off and experienced dreams of nurses who were trying to steal my magic.
(If you know me at all, you know that I’m dripping in magic. Fun Fact: My middle name is Pippin.)
Anyway, because all of my labs came back in the normal range, I was sent home. On Tuesday, they called me back for a seven day event monitor, which has nothing to do with the Protestant Christians who observe Saturday as the Sabbath, and everything to do with a cardiologist keeping an eye on my magic.
I have four leads. White is right, red is heart, green is grounding, and black is back. (The nurse taught me this poorly-written poem so I can remember how to replace my leads. I think it’s in desperate need of a rewrite.) Every time I feel a flutter (which is probably around 100 or so times each day), I have to press a button and then answer two questions on a special Maxwell Smart phone. The answering of the two questions (What happened? What were you doing?) has become exhausting. (Yesterday I accidentally threw the phone across the kitchen floor and it broke into three pieces. Surprisingly (and as if by MAGIC), it still worked.) Also, please know that this photo marks the first and last time that I will show my torso at Fluid Pudding Dot Com. Happy Holidays!
22 thoughts on “Join us! Leave your cheese to sour!”
I went through a similar thing a few years back. I never got an official diagnosis (other than that they were PVCs) or treatment but found over time that mine were triggered mostly by stress, but especially stress + high amounts of sodium (like soy sauce!) and stress + sugar (a couple times eating a Cadbury egg triggered them). I also get them sometimes when I take Sudafed containing pseudoephedrine (ie the good stuff). Sending you good heart vibes and crossing my fingers for good news from your cardiologist!
First of all, Oldest has the Grinch’s heart tattooed over his own heart. WhatEVER.
Secondly, I have inverted T waves since the accident and have to have a near-perfect hand to do a stress test to investigate further. I mention this as we are SISTERS IN BLOGGING. And heart. Or Something.
Third, I cannot fucking BELIEVE you showed us your torso. I’d show my FACE before my torso.
OH DUDE. As a fellow wonky-heart person who has worn a take-home heart monitor, given up caffeine and cut waaaaay back on sugar, let me know if there’s anything with which I can help.
I went through a similar ER visit in July, with a follow up at my docs office the next day. I got a 48 hour monitor (during which I could not take my monitor off, so I couldn’t shower for 2 days, HELLO NURSE). It found nothing, but I still had issues. I got a lovely medication that has helped immensely and I am almost normal.
I love that we can share these things. In general. I don’t want to share invisible heart issues with anyone, but… you know what I mean.
Nice torso, lady.
For the record, I think Solange probably has a much less stressful life than Beyonce. There’s so much less pressure to be parfait, and there are most likely fewer representatives of the paparazzi around all the time. So Solange can go to St Tropez or wherever and wear her crazy jumpsuits and capes and not worry about it, but Beyonce has to have her hair and makeup done and do 1000 crunches and put on sparkly Louboutins just to go out to the mailbox. I’d be Solange over Beyonce any day of the week, and I hope your heart settles down soon.
I had that happen when I was about 30. For me it turned out to be a wonky thyroid — first it was all excited, then it was all depressed, and the swings between high and low thyroid production got my electrical system jumping. So said my first endocrinologist, anyway, and I believe him because once my levels leveled, the flutters went away. Monitoring is fun, isn’t it? I used to know all about reading monitor strips – my mom dragged me to a cardiac workshop once, and it was kind of fascinating. All I remember now, though, is that the T wave don’t mean a thing.
Anyway, you’ll have to tell us what the cardiologist’s first question is. Mine asked first thing, “what do you do for a living?” Because work = stress level, I guess. We talked about libraries through the rest of the exam. :)
On second thought, maybe it wasn’t the T wave…
Are we the same person with minor variations? I’m day 2 post hysterectomy, 10 years ago had the heart flutters. I wore a monitor for 1 month. Diagnosis was sleep more, caffeinate and stress less. Now when they happen I know I need to eat better and sleep more.
Back is black. My favorite AC/DC album & handy electric current placement reminder.
Holy bovine, Woman! Way to liven things up around Puddingville right when, you know, there’s really nothing much else going on (like, can you say, HOLIDAYS?)! Most alarming part of this entire post is “Throughout the weekend”. I cannot believe you waited that long to have things checked out. Oh, I know, I know…you probably had “Things” to do. “Stuff” going on. Busy busy. But geesh…”throughout the weekend”? If stress was not originally a factor at onset, I would just guess that an entire weekend of un-treated/un-diagnosed heart irregularities might have darn well contributed some excitement to the eventual work up! Wowza. But since so many of your loyal readers (their comments above now forming my entire current body of knowledge about this issue) seem to have had similar experiences and lived to tell the internet about it, I’ll just be sending you calming good thoughts instead of panicked “OMG!” level ones.
(Unobtrusively turning head to side and screaming silently in direction away from the computer “OMGOMGOMG!!!!”)
((Calmly turning back to finish comment))
As for that torso, I’m definitely in the “over my dead body” camp, and even then, my survivors would have hell to pay if they ever took that permission literally. Only thing missing from your revelation thereof, is maybe just a tiny glimpse of belly button.
Oh man! I did this. My results came back with “you’re kind of a nervous person, aren’t you? Would you like some therapy with your eggs?” And that sounded a little too much like “some people are time-wasters and attention whores!” (Circle back to the nerves thing.) Hope everything’s okay!
BOOOOO times a million for emergency rooms and cardiac issues. Here’s hoping everything is easily remedied, so you can go back to watching Bewitched without your organs chiming in their opinions, and hang around nurses without worrying about keeping all your magic inside.
P.S. I imagined the socks you wore under the shoes you kicked off were hand knit, and in my imagination, they looked pretty great.
Of course you were wearing socks.
And of course this is going to turn out to be nothing and you will be fine and dandy (like a hard candy Christmas). I declare it to be so!
I switched to half-caff once, and it made me easier to get along with (eventually) and got rid of my eye twitch. Maybe it works for flutters, too . . .
Your stomach is so danged FLAT! I’d be jealous, but that’s impressive! :-)
Also, you’re allergic to something?! Inquiring minds!
Lastly, I hope you return to normal heart-beating soon. :-)
(And, fourthly, I just watched “Elf,” for my first time EVER, last night with my three bestie girlfriends.)
hmmm…where to start..
Scars into stars? gads.
Fluttery heart? All sorts of kudos to you for doing exactly the right thing. (But, maybe a little quicker next time, please Mrs. Pudding?)
Torso shot – since mine would look like a large albino orange, I am quiet jealous. IF mine looked like yours, I would have it on a billboard on 40.
Keep us posted. We worry.
Oh, dear. Spending an entire few days with heart flutters before going to the ER is bad, bad, bad. Doesn’t matter what else, you HAVE to get it checked right away. I’m not a doctor, but I can play one on the Internet, so you have to listen.
Here’s my advise (in addition to whatever the actual medical professionals tell you): Limit your consumption of news. Really. Between TV, radio, and Internet, we can get overloaded with information about what’s wrong in every little corner of the world every minute of the day. When you’re sensitive (that would be you) and you always want to help (that’s you, again) and there is a lot that’s beyond your control (still you) it can stress you too much. For myself, my husband noticed how much watching political news shows on cable TV affected me. I thought it was silly, but I stopped watching. Guess what? I feel better. Physically. And mentally. Other people notice that, so it must be true.
I still watch one local and one national news program a day, and the world keeps spinning without my intervention. I only read four blogs a day: two on politics and one on do it yourself things, and yours. I’m knitting more, and reading novels again, and playing with my grandson every day after school.
You’ve got spinning and knitting and Freelance work and PTA and Scouts and hanging out with two fabulous girls, one fabulous man, an assortment of four-leggers, and a smattering of good friends. Put all your energies into those things and let someone without a tendency to flutters tend to the others.
yeah, what Nichole said.
I am thinking good thoughts that whatever it is no more coffee will make it better.
I had the exact same issue, but just before they ordered the monitory thing, the nurse practitioner mentioned to make sure I was taking a good multi-vitamin daily because wonky electrolyte levels can cause this sort of thing. I diligently added it to my morning routine and poof! All heart flutters gone. It started to come back, even with the vitamins, and then I realized I’d bought a new brand that didn’t include magnesium and had less potassium. Back to the old one and no more problems. It’s good to get all checked out, of course, but since vitamins are cheap and easy, you might want to try that. I’d much rather take a vitamin than limit my coffee!
So sorry to hear about this. Glad you went to have it checked and hoping everything’s okay!
Wow — what a bunch of good advice up there. Way to comment, Pudding readers!
Comments are closed.