Sunday, May 22, 2005

i might cry.

i need to stop reading medical literature to find out about myself. it scares the bejeezus out of me.

i had a weird thing happen a few weeks ago where suddenly my heart started racing and i was really dizzy--out of nowhere! i got my housemate to take me to the ER, where (in the process of waiting to get in and then to be seen) it turned itself off. the ER doc who finally saw me said i was fine, told me to stop drinking caffiene, and sent me home. i saw my doctor four days later. she did an ecg, and said it was okay except that i have short PR intervals. basically what that means is that the current running through my heart goes from the top (the atria) to the bottom (the ventricles) more rapidly than in most people. normally the top gets zapped first (the "lub" part of lub-dub), then there's sort of a pause, then the bottom gets it (the "dub") the pause is important to make sure you've got time for things to fill and empty properly. having less of a pause means...well, a lot of things, but mostly it means that i'm more likely to have freaky things happen.

i should mention that aside from scaring myself once or twice a day, i'm FINE. my heartbeat is normal, i function, i'm great. it was just that one time...but that was enough. i don't feel like a healthy person anymore. and i hate that. especially since it's probably pretty unfounded. i hope.

anyhow, i was looking up "short PR interval". under the syndromes that can cause it were the words "sudden death". i believe it was qualified by a word like "unlikely". however, i operate on a slightly less than rational level and it caused (is causing) me to freak. i don't really know what is or isn't safe for me to do, i have no instructions if it happens again other than "go to the ER, then call me". i am scared. like i said before, i feel like a sick person. and i'm pretty sure i'm not--i have never been--but i do wish i knew how to stay well.

i have a plan, though. i see my doctor again on tuesday, and will ask her for a referral to a cardiologist. i will explain to her that this is scaring the shit out of me, and even though it might be ridiculous, i would like to talk to someone who knows this stuff inside and out. is that reasonable? i hope so...

on the positive side, this has been a really excellent reminder of what it's like to be the one sitting on the exam table, and to be told things you really don't want to hear (or not told things you DO want to hear).


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