Saturday, September 20, 2008

A -Fib

No, I'm not tattling on someone who is telling a fib. I am talking about my heart racing.

A-fib is short for Atrial Fibrillation. I've had this problem for at least 25 to 30 years. I used to take medicine for it and then it seemed to get better.

The previous blog is how I almost died with A-fib, although this is not supposed to be a life-threatening problem.The doctor put me on a new medication similar to the old one and is only used as a rescue pill.

. . .

We wanted to go back to Arizona for a while and check up on our home and yard. It's a good thing we did because the drip-system gets clogged up and we lost three of our plants and more were in jeopardy. We had an enjoyable month traveling between the states. We visited Bryce Canyon and stayed in a beautiful bed-and-breakfast in Kanab,Utah. We spent the afternoon in Sedona, Arizona on our way to Apache Junction. We stopped and visited Dee Anna and Hughie on our way home and went to Zion National Park, and then stayed at Steve Page's home in Fairview,Utah before heading home the next day. We also stayed a night at Steve's on the way to Kanab.

We had planned on only doing fun things while we were Arizona but my heart had other plans. It has been racing for two weeks before we left Utah. I had been taking pills almost every night. I needed my prescription refilled, but knew the doctor would make me come in and I never got an appointment made.

After we got to Arizona and I only had one pill left I told Mike we had better get to the doctor. I was lucky to get in with a cardiologist that very day. He didn't think that my food allergies could cause my heart to race, but did write a prescription and made an appointment with a specialist there in the center.

I spent the next two weeks going back and forth to the hospital for every test imaginable. After I told Dr. Chan what Dr. Lindon had said about foods not causing my heart to race, to said, "Oh yes they will!"

My allergies have gotten so bad that my heart races every time I get even the smallest amount of onion or wheat or any foods that I'm allergic to.

George and Nancy and Mike and I went to Applebees for lunch. I tried as hard as I could to order a salad that had nothing in it I couldn't eat. I made sure the dressing was only a balsamic vinaigrette, but there was onion in it, and my heart raced that night.

Then on my birthday, Aug 25, John and Sherri joined us at Outback. I ordered what I thought was safe, but my heart raced again. Since then Mike and I have only eaten at buffets where I can pick and choose my food items.

I passed all the tests with flying colors. There is nothing wrong with my heart. The problem is food allergies not my heart. But the doctor said I was at great risk of having a stroke, heart attack or dying. Allergies are not to be messed with!

He put me on a pill that I have to take morning and night. And then I still have to take the rescue pill if my heart starts to race again. Food allergies are a trigger, but not the reason my heart races. It has a problem even without eating foods I'm allergic to.

I haven't had any problems that I know of, but the nurses kept asking me if I knew when I was in A-fib. I thought that was a strange question and said yes, doesn't everyone? They said that not everyone knows it.

After we got back to Utah and had gone from a warm temperature to a cooler temperature and it was especially cool since it had rained that day, I got a cold in my chest wall. I headed for the doctor again. The Dr. in Arizona wanted this Dr. to take an EKG. He did and asked me if I knew I was in A-fib. I told him no. It turns out that I don't always know it either. He said it wasn't bad enough to worry about, but sent the EKG to Arizona to be looked at.

He said that my heart was not the reason for the recent discomfort but it was inflammation in my chest wall due to the change in weather. Boy, am I sensitive!

I have to wear a heart monitor for a month and have sent in several readings for the doctor to see what my heart looks like on the medication. I might need a higher dosage.

What's next???

Oh, I also learned that I have osteopedia. It is the beginning of osteoporosis. I take Boniva once a month, and more calcium and more vitamin D. I'm told that this is reversible, and I'm expecting good news in a year when we do the next test. I guess I'll there won't be any more cruises for awhile.