Part II of the heart

[See Part I here]

I moved into my own apartment at age 19. I was 35 minutes away from my family. My husband & I had just begun dating. I loved the freedom.
Until one day, between classes, when I walked into my kitchen & almost passed out from the shock of my heart "doing it's thing". I ended up driving myself to the ER, about 1 minute from my apartment.
My cardiologist suggested adding another beta-blocker, & he played a bit with the dosages.

Three days later, I was back at the ER. New scripts, different dosages, another trip to the ER. I saw the same ER doctors and nurses about 12 times in less than a month. Same shit, different day: EKG, chest x-rays, IV, bloodwork, not-so-fun medications pumped into the IV to 'restart' my heart's rhythm.

I tried all the stupid techniques to try to get my heart to 'restart' on it's own: take my medication immediately, cough, retch like I'm puking...none of them worked. I lost a job 4 days after starting it, due to a random episode 20 minutes before my shift started. My then boyfriend left work so many times to drive me to the hospital, when I couldn't drive myself.

Finally, after a shitty summer of being poked by needles, prodded by the same doctors and nurses, my cardiologist found a medication that my heart seemed to like.

And it worked.
It worked for about 4-4 1/2 years.


I was a newlywed, I had my first 'real' job after college, I had my first house.

I started having my 'episodes' again. The first time, after all that time, I was at home folding laundry. Then, a couple of weeks later, it happened in the middle of the night, when my hubby was over-served and snoring on the couch. Then again, when I was at work, on my way to a court hearing. And again, at work. And again.

We weren't planning on kids yet, but we knew we would want them eventually. I couldn't go through this while pregnant. Not only would the pregnancy put a ton of stress on my heart, but my heart would put a lot of stress on a pregnancy. I wouldn't be able to take any medications, including the awful-feeling stuff they pumped through my IV at the hospital. And I sure as hell couldn't just 'ride it out' if I had an episode while pregnant; it was terrible.

Since there were no other medications to try, no more combinations, no other options, I opted for surgery.
I was 24 years old and I was scared shitless.


Alan said...

This all sounds very scary. I am looking forward to reading the part where your heart does well in surgery and all has been good ever since?

Sarah said...

Please tell me there is a happy ending to this story?

TUWABVB said...

I can't believe I had no idea that you went through all of this. If possible, I respect you even more.

Miss said...

Whoa. OK now I'm totally intregued!

Fiona Picklebottom said...

Ack! How many parts to this story are there? Please tell me the last part will be posted really really soon.

Anonymous said...

OMG, you must have been so scared especially when it's happening to an essential organ.

I hope part III is a success story.

Sarah said...

I am rooting for a happy ending here...I read your post about Romeo and I had to push myself through it because it broke my heart and I just kept telling myself, There has to be a happy ending! No happy ending. Very haunting. I think about that baby every day.

Aidan Donnelley Rowley said...

Wow. Like others, I want to hear more. You have a wonderful ability to intrigue your audience. More importantly, I want to know that you are okay now!

mamatulip said...

Wow. I just caught up on Part 1, and I am sufficiently hooked. So hurry up and write Part 3, okay? ;)

lane said...

i love you. you are beautiful and brave <3

thecoconutdiaries said...

What your heart lacks in power; your smile, personality, writing, and the YOU of you make up for in strength!