Yesterday I subbed for a class of first graders. It was more than I bargained for. Those kids were deceivingly cute! I ended my day with a massive headache that I chalked up to a long day with difficult kids. I went home where the headache continued. It was so bad (and so out of the ordinary for me) that I put myself to bed at 7pm.
As I lay there I started to feel a sudden rush of pressure on my chest intermixed with a 'fluttering' feeling. It felt like my heart was beating fast but I knew it wasn't. So then I decided to count how fast my heart rate was. As I was counting, I noticed my heart was skipping beats. I would count consistently to 8 every time and then there was a big pause. It happened over and over again. I called Steve up to come check it out. He was feeling the same thing so we packed up and headed to the ER. Meanwhile my head was POUNDING! They took us back right away and got things moving fast. They never caught the skipped beats on the EKG though and told me they would get some meds to help with my headache. As soon as they walked away I started alarming (being hooked up to the monitors) and Steve saw that it was saying "skipped beats". He went and told the nurse who then printed out a copy to show the doctor. Sure enough it was real. That's when I could tell the doctor got serious about it. She started looking for ICU (intensive care unit) beds because the hospital was full. She checked Dartmouth, Concord and I said no to Franklin. Thankfully a bed opened up and I was admitted a few hours later. They kept a close watch and monitored my heart. During the few hours of sleep that I got, my heart rate dropped into the 30's and my blood pressure was 70/30's. This made the doctor's really nervous and so they administered atropine to bring my numbers up. I remember waking up to them talking about me and hearing something about atropine, but I was too tired to care at that point. The next morning the cardiologist came to see me and sent me for a stress test. Not my most favorite experience. I passed with a side of some leaky valves...which I guess are not uncommon in people. He did diagnose me with a "Second degree Heart Block" and "Wenchebach". He said it's not life threatening as long as I don't pass out or as long as the symptoms don't increase. If that happens, I will be a candidate for a pace maker. I'm planning on a second opinion at Dartmouth starting Monday.
In the meantime...I'm on hiatus.