Congestive Heart Failure

Click bait! Kind of. I wish it was more click bait than it is.

Since Sunday I’ve been having heart palpitations. It’s that thing where you have a flutter in your chest, but it’s not because of some gorgeous woman you’re in love with. Monday I felt exhausted after the palpitations. I was eating a lot of potassium, I was going to start working out in preparation for Tough Mudder, and I was drinking water like Europeans drink alcohol. Or Wisconsinites drink beer.

Then yesterday hit. They were ever fifteen minutes, I felt drained, I had a cough, I looked up the symptoms. Congestive heart failure. First, apparently crack and meth can lead to this, and medical experts suggest stopping to help lessen the damage of congestive heart failure. Or, you know, everything that will kill you within five to ten years after taking it.

Second, the name is a bit of a misnomer. Congestive heart failure to me sounds like something that means I’m humped. I should write some letters to loved ones because I’m dying. Not so much. Basically watch sodium and water intake. Take medication. Boom. It can last a couple years or the rest of my life, but it’s strangely treatable for how terrifying the name was. Either way, you don’t get treated if you don’t get it checked out.

I was doing the Guatemala meeting. I had set the date, thought I should see it through. We had our meeting, I cut it short, and on my way home I called mom. “Mom, I’m coming home. When I get there I’m changing. If you could take me to urgent care, I’d appreciate it.” It was later in the night, so I assumed she had on pajamas. I was changing because I was still in work clothes, and I was not going to be uncomfortable while dying.

I am very charming when I think I’m dying. I made a lot of beautiful medical workers laugh last night. No numbers. Married or dating.

I also found out the waiting line gets really short when you have heart palpitations. It was maybe ten minutes before I was strapped into a chair giving vitals with base reading materials.

Just like a car taken to a mechanic with a funny sound, my heart regulated. I was fine. Just fifteen minutes ago, while in the car, I was having them every few minutes, and they were gone. The cough was still there.

Soon I went from a small room with a technician to a larger room with three nurses and a PA. Two nurses? I can’t quite remember. There were a lot of people, I was bleeding into little containers, jokes were cracked, and I had sticky things applied to my chest. I was being monitored by a thing and I was told I’m likely having PVCs. Basically heart palpitations, but a specific type.

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Does this count as being tapped? Like, if I was a nurse, I’d say, “I tapped that.”

They also asked about the symptoms I wasn’t showing which related to congestive heart failure. Web MD can’t be wrong all the time.

I had an X-ray at a point, finally caught a heart palpitation, which they said was definitely a PVC, I enjoyed messing with my monitor so it would shake all over and show my oxygen count as low (this freaked out my mom the first time, then I started laughing and she saw I was tapping my finger), and my heartbeat went down to 49. I was informed I have a slow heartbeat, which happens in men sometimes. How is it only 49?!

Anyway, mom enjoyed her revenge for me freaking her out. She got to rip off the sticky pads on my chest. They hurt. I had more applied for a heart monitor, and there was a threat they’d have to take them off and reapply them. I made darn sure they exhausted every possible avenue before we hit that point. Eventually the heart monitor worked.

I can shower in about 40 more hours. I feel disgusting. I can’t wait for this heart monitor to be off.

In other news! I signed up for Tough Mudder. Because who wouldn’t? Heart palpitations? Just an excuse to skip anything which can electrocute me.

I hope you’re in good health! And I’m hoping I’m in good health. Live on.

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5 responses to “Congestive Heart Failure

  1. Did they tell you what you might have done to cause your PVCs? I wondered if the potassium might have done it, but apparently it’s low levels of potassium that causes palpitations, and it stays in the body for as many as two weeks.

    • Currently we’re at stress. All my levels were good. I love me a good banana 😉 It did look like they were concerned with hydration, that or they felt they took a lot of blood and I needed saline.

      • Congestive heart failure can be triggered both by too much water or not enough.
        Gotta kind of laugh at them telling you it’s stress.
        “You’ve got a heart condition, but you’ve got to calm down.”
        Right. 🙄

  2. You’re in my thoughts Paul, rest up and take care of yourself. I would miss you very much around the ol’ interwebs.

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