Monday, February 25, 2019

Monday Musings

Today I had my long awaited cardiology follow up.  I was supposed to see this doc in mid-December, but her scheduling staff said, "No can do until February 25."  I stomped my feet, I used  my considerable power, but nothing worked.  When I saw her today, I let her know I felt abandoned at a critical juncture in my care.  She, and the cardiologist who came in with her, were very apologetic.  Whatever.
why the fuck am I smiling?

For those who don't know the scoop, I have been put through the medical ringer since May of 2018.  I was diagnosed with excessive PVCs (look it up) and the subsequent testing revealed my heart has a birth defect which is causing the PVCs.

I endured some pretty traumatic procedures for which I could not be anesthetized because it they needed to see my heart work without me being unconscious.  Being unconscious, apparently, makes the problem go away.  And I can't stay unconscious 24/7, obviously

I had my worst procedure at the end of October, and I swore I'd never step foot into the hospital again.  I had nightmares about it for weeks.  They were inside my heart, mapping the damn thing, and blasting it with radio waves.  Seven  hours on a hard metal table, fully conscious. I'll say no more.

So, there's been considerable back and forth with cardiologists up here, and cardiologists at UCLA medical center, and the gist of it is, no more procedures due to my heart defect.  Further blasting with radio waves could cause a perforation of the heart.  We're talking death, dearies.  They also gauged, from all the testing and procedures, that my congenital heart defect is minor to moderate and they will not/cannot treat it.  Well, that's actually a relief.  So, the funky electrical activity will continue.

In the interim, I've been on meds that make me extremely tired.  Like, extremely.  And, as was revealed today, they're not doing me much good so I am going off them.  We'll see what happens.  I'm glad to be going off of it, 1.) because it makes me tire and 2.) it has nasty long term side effects for other body systems, like the lungs.

So, now I'm feeling used to all the news, no longer in a panic that I'm going to drop dead any time soon.  I've got to eliminate caffeine and alcohol which exacerbate the excessive electrical activity, but that seems a small price to pay.  I'll follow up in three months. 

I've adopted a fairly casual attitude about it, because really, what can you do?  My husband and I booked a three week trip to France in April and I'm glad we went ahead and did it.  I figured if I need more procedures, they could wait until after a vacation.  And now I don't need them, so halle-fucking-lujah.

When I left the office today, I did so with yet another Holter monitor attached to me, which, believe you me, is the least of what they've done to me.  I'll endure the itching skin, the electrodes and the wires for 24 hours and then remove it.

I'm relieved.  Really I am.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


  1. Thank you for the physical, emotional, and spiritual (halle-fucking-lujah!) update, Tara. I'm relieved, too, knowing that you will be able to enjoy that trip to France in April. Good for you for letting your doctor know that you felt abandoned last December. Doctors need to hear how their behavior affects their patients. I am happy to know that you felt a kinship with my friend, Joyce. She is your friend now, too!

    1. thank you, am. yes, I usually do provide feedback to my docs, with the exception of my last GP who was an idiot and didn't know much of anything when it came to diagnosing a problem. I've since switched to another doc after enduring this rather ignorant guy for a couple of years.

  2. What an ordeal, Tara. I'm glad that things have calmed down, and yes, halle-fucking-lujah!). Please keep us posted about the outcome of this test. We're hoping for the best news EVER! A trip to France sounds delightful and a wonderful way to celebrate the good news.

    1. Thanks, R. I expect that nothing's changed much, and that will be good news.

  3. I'm glad you mentioned the delay to the doctor. Often they have no idea what the "front office" is doing. Especially glad you can stop the meds that made you feel so tired. Most of the ones used to suppress PVC's make you feel washed out.

    I know you will enjoy photographing the people of France. Please apologize to them for the POTUS you had no part of electing. And in the words of the old song, "Just got back from Paris, France. All they do is sing and dance, and all they've got there is romance. What a tragedy." So enjoy. April will be here before you know it.

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