Arrhythmia. It's very unpleasant, as anyone who suffers from it will tell you. It suddenly started for me back on my 60th birthday.... a thumping irregular heart, tachycardia..... what a lovely birthday present.
I went to my office the next day as usual, and as I'm a person who prefers to climb up the stairs to the 5th floor rather then use the elevator, that's what I did. Or at least I tried. By the second floor I was gasping for breath and hanging on to the handrail. An ultra fast heartbeat of 200 beats per minute caused me to collapse with dizzyness and difficulty breathing. The company nurse was called, and off I went in a taxi to the Emergency Department of the nearest hospital.
That was a few years ago. Since then, the arrhythmia was managed successfully, first with medication and then, when it became constant 24/7 making my life a misery, with synchronised eletro-cardiversions on three occasions and a catheter ablation.
No abnormal heartbeat for 3-1/2 years.... yippee! It's fixed! But then three weeks ago, I felt the familiar vibrations of a fast irregular heartbeat. It didn't last long but managed to land me unexpectedly on the ground a couple of times and has since got a lot worse, so last week another trip to Emergency was necessary.
This time the doctor tried chemical cardioversion, which is an IV drip with anti-arrhythmia medication, but it didn't really work, so the decision was made to put me to sleep, attach the electrodes and run 200joules of electricity through my body for cardioversion number 4. And it was successful, and I'm back in sinus rhythm! Fingers crossed that it stays that way.
Anyone out there in blogland suffering from the same problem?
The worst part of this whole process is peeling those sticky ECG and electrode pads off my tender skin.
Here's a fascinating computer animation of various types of arrhythmias....