Thursday, September 16, 2010

Atrial fibrillation breaking out all over


I have it—the wacky heartbeat where the top chamber of the heart gives a stuttery signal to push blood down to the ventricle, which pumps it out, thus possibly stirring up a clot instead of just running the blood through evenly.

Yoh-boy, do they get stirred up about this. In truth, for some people it’s very uncomfortable and has been likened to having a 3-lb bass struggling in your chest.

I have no symptoms and am supposedly about to get a stroke any second from a clot. They have no good way to deal with this—or no way that works for everyone.

They can try to regulate the hippy-hoppy rhythm (as one of my docs once called it)—I almost died on one drug. Okey-dokey, how about regulating the number of heartbeats. I am on a beta blocker for that.

For the clots, how about thinner blood? Ooops—that didn’t go well for me. One intestinal bleed—hospital. One blown out retina made much worse by freakazoid clotting on the blood thinner.

So I take an aspirin and walk around with it. Every doctor I have the bad judgment to go to says oh, you must do something.

They even call this kind of cardiologist an interventional cardiologist. Intervening. They like it.

Now, I read there is an epidemic of atrial fib worldwide—leave it to me to be a trendsetter, huh?

Some Aussie docs took a look a this and came up with the usual “devastating consequences” of it.

And how many more people are being admitted to hospitals for it. I know, I have been. But the remaining approaches open to me—getting holes cut in my heart (Maze) or various zaps to clumps of rogue nerves creating the hippy-hops—many don’t work for long and sound pretty awful.

Pass.

This is me, though—you make up your own mind. You could always ask your doctor.

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