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So I have a Heart Condition

February 26, 2011

The writer’s prompt is to write about the worst dentist experience ever. I’m actually dealing with heart issues at the moment. You are probably wondering how these two connect. Just follow the dots and stay with me.

So, I have a heart condition. I’ve had it for a while. It’s called many things. Generically it’s called SVT (supra ventricular tachycardia). There are many forms of this wiring problem. They are 99% certain that I have one of the more common but not life threatening forms called AVNRT (AV nodal reentry tachycardia). Basically I have two AV nodes. The AV node creates the sinus rhythm or heartbeat. A normal heartbeat has three parts. If the electrical impulse accidentally goes to the wrong AV node, my heartbeat will only have 2 parts and it will create a continuous circuit and my pulse will be anywhere from 120-200 bpm.

I tolerate these episodes well–I don’t get very dizzy, I don’t pass out. I can go years between episodes so I don’t even take medicine. I chose not to have the surgery–catheter ablation (radio frequency cauterizing of the wrong pathways)–because I was just 27 and if they accidentally cauterised the wrong pathway my heart would have never beat on its own again. It is a safe procedure and many people need it and it is a God-send. I just felt I didn’t need it. There are about 4 or 5 things a person can do to “reboot” the heart: baring down and coughing, carotid massage, dunking the head in ice water, and medicine. Many things can cause an episode. WebMD has a great summary.

In my post Special Delivery I told that I had my very first episode while 19 weeks pregnant with T1. See here for more… https://snipewife.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/writers-workshop-special-delivery/

My funniest episode involved the dentist. I know, how did worst get to funniest? Keep with me. I needed a root canal. We attempted just a crown but an infection was discovered and the tooth was dead. So when the root canal is on the bottom jaw, the injections of Novocaine with a bit of adrenalin go straight into the blood stream in addition to numbing your mouth. The dentist asked me how I was doing.

“Um, not good. I think we have a problem. My heart is out of rhythm.”

I was laid back, feet above the heart, and quickly hooked up to a monitor. The dentist was actually excited and giddy! Like a boy in a candy store.

“You are so lucky! I had training YESTERDAY on this and I know exactly how to give adenosine!”

“Yeah, I’ve had that. Let’s not go there.”

It was not a true episode. It was the adrenalin making the heart race. My rhythm stabilized and we proceeded with my root canal. Now I get a special room for any procedures bigger than a cleaning. I had a root canal redone on an upper tooth and did not have a repeat.

Currently I am having issues with breathing and the sensation that I can’t get a deep enough breath. I have been back to the asthma specialist and to a clinic and apparently I am breathing just fine. I was given an inhaler to try prior to my E.o.t.T. sessions and that seemed to have triggered a small two-minute episode yesterday. I’ve been referred back to my cardiologist.

I understand process of elimination and I’m relieved about what it is not, but I’m frustrated that I still “can’t” breathe. My mother called and said about a decade ago she thought she was having a heart attack–similar chest pressure and feeling she couldn’t breathe. Ended up being an inflammation of the chest wall from exertion and pushing. In my case, all this started in November when my E.o.t.T. started including bench pressing and dumb bell flies and I pulled one of my pectoral muscles doing face pulls. I do believe I had bronchitis in December and would get temporary relief when my workout schedule was interrupted.

I guess that will be the next thing I ask them to check out.

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One comment

  1. […] So I had to get it pulled. I’m a special case–I get to be hooked up to monitors because the extra epinephrine in the Novocaine shots can trigger my heart problem as we learned during my root canal. […]



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