Friday I started experiencing a racing heart. The disconcerting thing was it didn’t feel at all rhythmic. I tried to dismiss it and was able too until Saturday morning. I woke up Saturday with my heart racing and pounding in my chest. No way is it normal to wake up with a pulse well over 100 bpm.
I hated the idea of going to the ER but didn’t think this was something that could wait till Monday. Just to put off the inevitable I emailed Dr. Pishvaian asking what he thought. His immediate reply, “I would come down to the ER at Georgetown.” (Sigh) The wife suggested I pack an overnite bag just in case and thankfully I put some snacks in my knapsack along with my laptop. Hey if I’m going to be stuck in the ER I might as well be entertained.
I got down to the ER around 10:00am. The place was already hopping but thankfully when you say you’re having heart issues you are bumped to the front of the line. Unfortunately for me once they determined I wasn’t in immediate risk I went into hospital limbo. By 3:00pm I’d had blood work and chest x-rays taken but hadn’t heard anything new in 2 hours and my patience had come to an end. I called my nurse over saying I wanted to discharge myself. I should have done that long before as suddenly things went into overdrive. I no matter made that statement to my nurse when a physician sat down with me and really went over everything. By the time he was done explaining their concerns and apologizing profusely I had decided to stay. Shortly after this they moved me to a new room and put me on an EKG.
Nothing like being a medical odd ball. Shortly after being hooked up to the EKG I had one of my episodes. They only last 30-60 seconds so I didn’t think they would catch it but the nurses were still in the room with me and were able to record everything and get a print out. I’ve never seen a nurse get so excited. She thought the way my heart was acting was one of the most interesting things she’d seen in ages. The fact my heart rate would go from 92 to 176 in seconds and then drop right back down to 92 again was pretty freaky to watch. But you know, I do my best to impress. 🙂
The nurse sent the print out from the EKG to the on-call cardiologist who determined I was having arterial fibrillation. It was determined to put me on a beta blocker which would help reduce the run away heart symptoms and it did. Unfortunately I still experienced some a-fib episodes but they weren’t nearly as bad since my heart was no longer racing away uncontrollably.
At 2:00am I finally got a room in what’s called the BLES building. Those ER beds just don’t cut it for getting any rest. Since then I’ve seen just about everyone there is to see. The cardiologists increased the dosage on the beta blocker this morning and I haven’t felt the weird a-fib heart skipping feeling in a few hours now. Everyone is fairly certain the Ibutrinib pills I’m taking as part of my clinical trial is the culprit and a-fib is one of the known side effects. I’m waiting to hear from the oncology team as to whether I should still be taking the pills or if this is going to knock me off the clinical trial. They are calling Dr. Pishvaian right now and as soon they get word I should at least be getting out of here.
I hate having to be in the hospital, yet again, but I’m glad I sucked it up and came down to Georgetown. As always your prayers are greatly appreciated!