Sunday, October 14, 2012

Know A Good Cardio-Electrician?

Life sure can surprise you every once in a while. This morning I woke up and noticed I had an irregular heartbeat. I wasn't having any chest pains or pain of any kind, but just an occasional palpitation or flutter. So I fixed myself a cup of tea and had some toast while I perused the news on the interwebs and read the paper. When I felt my pulse, there wouldn't be one when my heart did that weird flutter.

The irregularity continued so I told Kathy about it after she got up. She, being the good nurse she is, checked my pulse and blood pressure and said it looked like I was throwing PVCs. That would be premature ventricular contractions. So off to the ER we went to get me checked out. As active and healthy as I am, I didn't think I was having a serious problem but Kathy told me that any time the heart is not working right you need to have it checked. I guess there's some sense in that.


The good thing about having a nurse for a spouse is that she hooked me up to the heart monitor before my assigned nurse could. The downside is that every once in a while she would make a frowny face while watching the monitor and I would have to ask, "What?"

Other than throwing a lot of PVCs, the heart monitor would also alarm when my pulse dropped down to 38. My normal resting heart rate is in the 40's and the low 50's. I did not know that until today. Kathy had to set the monitor alarm to a lower threshold, 35, so it would go off so often. However, the frequent PVCs made up for it and the alarm still sounded every minute or so. Nobody came running because my nurse knew Kathy and knew Kathy as watching me and knew Kathy would call if something was wrong.

All the test results said there was no infection or blockage or failure causing my symptoms. The doc said my fixtures and plumbing are fine and it's apparently an electrical problem so he cut me lose with a referral to a cardiologist. In the meantime, I can continue with my normal riding and running activities. He said that it's possible that my resting heart rate is too low and my heart is reacting to the slowness by creating extra, and useless, beats. Perhaps I should take up some slothful activities to balance out the physical exercise.

7 comments:

Scott said...

so you didn't make it to the Moscow cross race today, either? Seriously, hope everything's ok. I have PVC's, too - mine are just a bit annoying and come and go.

Hank Greer said...

Yeah, I hated to miss today's race. But I plan on going to Sandpoint and Liberty Lake next weekend.

Shan said...

No fun! I have them, too. They are more frequent when I am stressed or pregnant.
Here's to a quick and easy resolution.

Mike said...

Wow Hank. Even with your great cardio condition, it's good that your wife was on top of it. Hope everything works out.

Michael J. Parks said...

Hank, chill out and watch a baseball game on TV. Not too stressful . . . unless you are a Yankees fan .

Seriously, take care of yourself. I'm glad Nurse Kathy is by your side.

Hank Greer said...

Shan and Mike,

Thanks for the good vibes.


Uncle Mike,

You need to watch a St Louis Cards game with Kathy. *She's* the one who needs to chill out. :-)

Hank

Timmy Campbell said...

Wow. I hope you're okay. I've had my own battles with PVCs. Mine usually happen when my heart rate gets too low.