Apparently David did not get the memo that we were finished with medical emergencies and drama. I thought I was clear. To his credit, though, it was pretty much out of his control. Yesterday at 3:00 he came over to where I was sitting and said, "I don't mean to alarm you" (famous last words) "but could you take my pulse and tell me if it feels irregular to you?" Here is the sequence of events that followed.
1. Take his pulse.
2. Notice a pretty funky irregular heartbeat.
3. Try not to freak out.
4. Ask him when he noticed it.
5. Tried not to yell at him when he told me he WOKE UP WITH IT!!!!
6. Commenced our conversation
David was wondering if he could just wait till Monday to deal with it--hoping it would go away on its own. I respectfully declined and off to the ER we went.
The good news when you have a heart issue and you go to the ER is that you bypass everyone in the waiting room and the doctor will see you immediately. They hooked David up to a heart monitor and we watched his heart rate jump between 68, 144, 98, 76, and 123 all in a matter of 10 seconds. I was scared. An EKG showed what we suspected, though, that he was in Atrial Fibrillation--where the top part of your heart is beating faster than the bottom part and they're out of sync. Bad? Yes. Common? Yes, thankfully. They tried to control the A-Fib with a medicine they injected into his I. V. line. The medicine stops your heart for a second or two, then your heart restarts, hopefully in its normal rhythm. I think David and I were trying to look calm while the nurse explained that. Unfortunately, the medicine did not help. So they had to sedate David and shock him with the crash cart paddles you see on TV. I left the room for that, because I did not want the image of my husband hovering three inches off the bed from an electrical shock seared into my memory for the rest of my life. That was the longest two minutes of my life, let me tell you. I had held it together pretty well until then... but that was rough. Thank God, though, that it worked. He came out of sedation and his heart was back to a normal rhythm.
He has a follow-up appointment with a cardiologist on Wednesday, and they'll determine the best course of treatment. Some people go into A-Fib once and never experience it again. Others require life long medication to keep them out of A-Fib. Obviously, we are hoping for the former scenario. The biggest question we have is why did it happen? Hopefully we will have more answers soon.
Keep David in your prayers, please. And if we could not go to the hospital anymore for a long, long time, I'd like that.