Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Arrhythmias From the Offbeat Drummer

Things I shouldn't have to answer, explain or justify to a medical assistant:

1) What are your hobbies? (I'm a dominatrix. What? Don't look at me like that.)
2) What CHRISTIAN denomination are you? (Whichever is the least Christianesque at the moment. What if I wasn't a Christian to begin with?)
3) How many cigarettes are in a pack? (Oh boy! Are we going to guess how many jelly beans are in the jar? I get a keychain?)
4) You're STILL divorced? (Ok, this conversation is over.)

The appointment with the Uber-Specialist electrophysiologist, whose job it is to decipher and treat conditions like arrhythmias and like my other heart thingy, POTS, was EXTREMELY confusing. Right call on, uh, my cardiologist's part to refer me to her for the Long QT Syndrome, but as happens so frequently in the medical Wimbledon, I (the bouncy yellow ball which frequently goes out-of-bounds) have been volleyed over the net (score: Advantage Uber Specialist) for an ace against the cardiologist. Long story shortened, she'd already started a note to him, and whacked me (the helpless ball) back to the cardiologist to read tomorrow's echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart), take a look at my swelling, and figure out why, on the third line of the EKG, there's so little activity, it looks like I've flatlined. That said, we all die a little bit more every day, don't we? She also wants him to order a stress test, since I haven't had one in 5 years. He'll be THRILLED, unless (and if you've read this blog, you know who he is) he denies me the mercy of treatment and sends me on a long, drawn-out hunt over the course of the next few months trying to find another cardiologist in our hospital who'll accept my insurance. Be a nice Guy.

Let's pretend, for a moment, that I know anything about cardiology. Let's also factor in that I DO know a lot about psychiatry and the side effects of those medications. Comparing the EKG from December, which the Uber-Specialist looked at with me, yes, the QT intervals have improved from 469 down to 409. I was a little tachy today, pulse over 100. This doctor thinks those QT numbers are "normal." My psychiatrist is still going to flip out against that when she takes into account that result and what it means in the grand scheme of what Geodon, the antipsychotic, has done to damage my heart.

Once again, as is my modus operandi, I have managed to baffle beyond comprehension the very well-trained specialists I've seen. I wonder to whom I'll be bounced next. Probably back to the psychiatrist, because obviously, I've lost my mind (again).

But I'm not hearing things when Uber says, "I can't tell if you've had a heart attack or not!" or "I honestly have no idea why that line is so flat." When she asked me if I had any questions, I bit my tongue and said no, when in actuality, I wanted to ask her if she had a better way of explaining the EKG other than, "See these little mountains and valleys? There aren't any here."

School tomorrow for Luke was canceled because we'll have like -30 wind chills. I still have to go out to the hospital for the ECG and (for more reasons not understood), an ultrasound of my upper right abdominal quadrant.

I suppose if the cardiologist can't look into my heart, at least he look at my heart.

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