It's the big one, Elizabeth
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Showing my age here, but I always got a chuckle out of Redd Foxx in Sanford and Son when he would fake heart attacks to try and get his way. He would clutch his chest and say different variations of "It's the big one, Elizabeth. I'm coming," to his character's late wife.
Some of my friends know I recently ended up in the hospital via ambulance in atrial fib with a pulse of 150-160...for three days. On the third day, the doctors did a cardioversion, basically shocking me back into sinus rhythm since my heart wasn't cooperating and doing so on its own.
I can understand now why people who have had heart attacks are so afraid of having another one, to the point of developing a phobia. I didn't have a heart attack and, thank God, all the tests prove that and show my heart to be in perfect health. Chambers all the normal size and no plaque, no clots. However, I’m checking my pulse constantly now to make sure my rhythm is steady for fear it isn’t.
The doctors hypothesize that the bad urinary tract infection I had at the time (third one in six weeks) triggered the A fib. What?! Turns out that's a thing. Followed up with my cardiologist two days ago, and we have a plan to lower my (now) high BP. Stopping some meds, starting some new ones and increasing dosage on others. Bleh. Although I just had a Holter monitor in March, getting hooked up with another one in two weeks.
I felt rough when I first got out of the hospital. Took one more day off work and then went back. I was wore out by the afternoon of the first two days, but each day after my stamina began to improve.
Get this, I was at the end of a staycation when all this happened. Out of the hospital Tuesday afternoon, took off Wednesday, worked Thursday and Friday and golfed Saturday and Sunday. Crazy person, right? I really, really wanted to play, though. Best two rounds of golf I’ve scored this year. Go figure.
I have been having trouble getting back on track with a healthy lifestyle and consistent exercise for some time. Since the “big one” I’m determined to use the experience as a wake-up call. My doctor has referred me to a urologist to try and get a handle on the frequent UTIs that I’ve had since I was a young child. I only have one kidney (kidney cancer 2008) and I’m a non-insulin diabetic. I intend to stress less. Stressing and worrying fixes nothing. Life’s too short, and could be shorter. Cardiologist said I’ll likely go into A fib again, but limiting stress, infections, less caffeine, etc. will help prevent it.
Here’s to the “big one” leading to some big changes. To quote Northwest Arkansas speaker Willie Johnson, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”