What a week. Monday was wonderful. After all, it was a holiday and I didn’t have to work. Tuesday when I returned to work, we were being offered free flu shots (I work at a hospital), so I figured I might as well get my annual flu shot. When it was my turn, I scanned my card and was informed I was “way overdue” for my annual TB skin test as well. Fabulous. I hate needles, and now I had to suffer through not just one, but two shots. Fortunately the woman that shot me up was so good I didn’t feel a thing. God bless her. However, that wasn’t the case when I ripped the band-aid off and it took some of my skin with it. But the rest of the day went on without a hitch – that is until later that evening when I started feeling my heart flutter and felt out of breath.
On Wednesday, when I returned to work and still had that fluttering feeling, I decided to go to our employee walk-in clinic. I don’t know why I thought these symptoms could be from the flu shot, after all, this isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way. After I was told they weren’t from the flu shot, I was informed I had a heart arrhythmia, and was told that I was seen for the same symptoms a few months back and was instructed back then to follow up with my primary care doctor. Was I? Boy did I blow that one off. Probably because even though I work at a first class hospital, whenever I have something wrong, I can never get a clear diagnosis. Ironic. I figure, why should I waste my time and dish out money for co-pays to get the response of “let’s wait and see what happens”…or as I interpret it…”we don’t know what’s wrong with you, it’s all in your head.” But I decided to be a good patient and follow through this time.
So I called my primary care doctor and they made me an appointment for today. But oh…they noticed that I have been blowing off my annual physicals as well. Darn it. I got sucked into making an appointment for that as well.
Today at my doctor’s visit, I was given an EKG. All I could think as I sat there watching was, watch, now I won’t have anything happen, and it will be “all in my head” again. But they actually caught the abnormality. Amazing! There really is something going on in me! The doctor wanted some blood work. Geesh…not ANOTHER needle. I’m starting to look like a heroine addict with so many needle holes. When I survived that, I was hooked up with a “walking heart monitor”. This is a monitor that I will have to wear for two days so a cardiologist can read what is happening with my heart. Boy did I discover that I wore the wrong blouse to work for that. I wore a low-cut, v-neck, too tight (because I’ve put on some, uh well you get the point) blouse. Apparently the electrodes are routinely placed smack dab in the middle of your chest. Where the “V” in the blouse shows your chest. Fabulous. The actual monitor clips to your belt, and bulged so far out from my hip I looked ridiculous. There was no way I could be inconspicuous with this contraption – not until I could get home and change.
Aside from all this, I am not concerned about my condition. I have already done my homework and have read on the internet how common heart arrhythmia’s are. Then my life ended.
I was told I couldn’t shower for 48 hours with the monitor on. I guess that’s ok, I have a hand-held shower sprayer so I can still wash crucial areas, and my hair. I was told no more antihistamines or decongestants. That’s ok, I don’t get sick often enough to need them. I was told no more tobacco. Big deal, I don’t smoke (but I do have to watch second-hand smoke they said). I was told no more alcohol. Hum, they are making this less fun. I was told no more caffeine. WAIT. WHAT? No more Starbucks’ Grande, vanilla latte with whip cream in the morning? Sure I could go decaf, but how pleasant will that be for me, or the people around me? It will be a slow transition to move to decaffeinated. Then the big one hit. Along with no more caffeine comes NO MORE CHOCOLATE! I looked right at my doctor and told her to just kill me now and get it over with.