Monday, June 15, 2009

Be Still My Heart

"Be still my heart" had a whole new meaning for me last year. For some unknown reason, mine started beating really F A S T. Three hundred times a minute kind of fast! I felt like a human vibrator. The cardiologist called it an arrhythmia somethingorother.

I'd had early warning signs of a shaky heart and was armed with a small monitor to press against my chest during a "big vibration". It's a weird sort of take-your-breathe-away feeling and you wonder why your chest is suddenly possessed and pounding like a jack-hammer-- and for so long! In my case, I'd vibrate for 45 minutes at a time!

The silver lining, if you could call it that, was getting to know my local, and might I add, very cute, paramedics. Four handsome guys would run into my house just to see me! I felt special.

The first time those happy hunks arrived it was a little embarrassing. They'd brought in all their equipment and I just assumed they'd want to hook me up to the EKG like they do at the doctor's office, so I took my shirt off. "Not necessary Ma'am", the Captain said sweetly as he attached the electrodes to my ankle. Oy. I turned red and refrained from asking for mouth-to-mouth recessation.

As I continued to vibrate across my kitchen floor at an increasingly rapid rate, I noticed one handsome paramedic, who could easily be a shirtless Mr. July in the Los Angeles Fire Department Calendar, pulling out the defibrillator paddles. You know, the things you see on TV when the doctor yells "Charge!" then "Clear!".

Fellow fifty-somethings, if you ever, EVER, see someone coming at you with paddles like that, get your sick butt out of there. Pronto! You will not like it-- Trust me on this.

It wasn't long after that I checked into the hospital to have probes inserted into my heart exploring the source of my internal earthquake. And I was awake for it! Let me tell you, THAT was an experience, to say the last. Once the damaged portion was identified, my teenage look-a-like doctor actually froze the defective piece of my heart thereby avoiding the need for a pacemaker. Phew!

Ever since, my ticker has been just fine, thank you very much. But the "cold hearted bitch" jokes are starting to get on my nerves. And the constant "when will it defrost" question is making me nervous.

Seriously, when will it defrost?

Kidding.... It defrosts in 7 years. I'll deal with it later.

Have you met your local paramedics? I hope not.
Welcome to TheFiftyFactor - Joanna

28 comments:

Mike Smith said...

Well, as someone who comes from a family who have a history of heart problems, I wish you well.

Betty said...

That does not sound like fun. Hopefully it won´t defrost! :)
We like you just the way your heart "ticks" now! :)

Cindy La Ferle said...

My gosh, this sounds scary -- hope you stay healthy from now on! At our age, we start worrying about more serious health issues, don't we? Not fun to think we're mortal... Along these lines, I just had a scare with a dilated pupil, which is a sign of a stroke or aneurysm. Turned out to be an allergic reaction to an eye drop, of all things -- but even my doctor was freaked, at first. I will be blogging about that soon...

Julie said...

None of that sounds like a lot of fun at all. I get bored sometimes, but not so much I want a visit from paramedics, hunky or not! I'm glad you're doing better.

Lisa said...

How scary! I'm so glad it's been dealt with for now. And that you've found the humor in it.

Lilly said...

Oh that is frightening - and it just goes to show what a amazing person you are by being able to laugh about it. Glad you ahve a great sense of humor. Forty five minutes? I am so glad that things are stable now and they froze the offending piece of your heart. I would take the jokes - better than the alternative I daresay.

I happen to think that paramedics, ambulancemen and firemen are the most gorgeous people there are. I have never met a horrible one. And I have seen a lot of them with Dad going to and fro to hospital over the years. They are special people. And we are lucky we have them.

Look forward to Friday's post.

liza said...

Oh my! You are hilarious about this! And it was so serious - I am so glad you are doing fine now!

Rootietoot said...

I *was* a local EMT once, but not hunky in the least. The old men liked me, tho.

Paula said...

You make it sound hilarious however it sounds so much more serious. All th best to you

ticklishfromadistance said...

Wow!!!!!!!Good to know and glad you are doing great!

Hit 40 said...

I have never called for an ambulance. And..

now I am scared to call because a lot of my students now have jobs working as emts YIKES!!!!!

Loraine said...

Thankfully I haven't had to have paramedics called in to save me- so far so good. I have met a few, when I was taking my Red Cross Professional Rescuer re- certification class. They are very helpful, and don't make fun of you for putting your mouth on a dummy. LOL (Perhaps it's worth mentioning that they use dummies for CPR practice now and we don't have to practice on each other! That would be awkward...)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Amazing post. You are able to be humorous and witty, but scare the crap out of me at the same time.

So thankful they were able to fix the problem. I'd call you a cold hearted bitch, but we just met ; -)

Bonnie said...

ok ... i nearly peed my pants reading this post ! especially the part where you took your shirt off !! oh my goodness, would they have had a great story to tell when they went home that night ?!!? ha ha


glad your ticker is ok.

Prometheus said...

Woah, that is scary. Amazing that you can look back at it and make a funny post about it though. Im glad that you feel fine now :)

There something really cool about watching DRs in a movie shout clear then hit you with a charge. But getting it done to you while you are concious must be pretty harsh..

Take care of yourself :)

Also love the picture you used hehe

sheila said...

Hysterical post! LOL.
No, we haven't met our local paramedics yet, thank God....but we do know our pediatrician and the emergency room staff fairly well. :)

Hey! Maybe we're related...I've heard many say I'm a cold hearted bitch as well. ;)

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Yikes! Funny post, but that must have been so scary. At least the paramedics were cute, and that's reason enough to make sure you always have clean underwear. Bonus if they actually need to see it.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hi everyone, Thanks for your support. Yes it was scary at the time, but I guess I'm to the point, at least medically, where all I can do is laugh, because I never know what might happen next.

My paramedics were great and fortunately the procedure went smoothly so all's well. I really view it as one "worry" off the list :-)

Thanks again! Keep those cards and letters coming! I really appreciate it.

diane said...

Jeez honey, what a nightmare that must have been for you. I'm so glad you're o.k. now.

Margo said...

Joanna, wow, what a story. That must have been terrifying. In face of this life business, knowing how to laugh (and express yourself) is quite the gift... thanks for sharing :)

Rowe said...

Joanna, this kind of experience sounds very scary, but you also make it sound very exciting, sort of. I probably got side-tracked by the mention of good looking and hunky, men in uniforms, and you, shirtless and pining after mouth-to-mouth while vibrating across the kitchen floor (LOL). How very interesting that the doctor could freeze a part of your heart and it will stay frozen for 7 years. Wow.

anne h said...

My heart skipped a beat just by reading your blog. Wow!

Cairo Typ0 said...

Cute paramedics are always a good thing!! :) That said, i think my heart skipped a couple of uneasy beats reading your post. *eek*

lisleman said...

I enjoyed this one and thanks for reposting it.

Well, don't do anything to bring them back like setting your place on fire to get them to carry you out.

Aleta said...

Woah! I'm glad you reposted this. What a fascinating (and funny, though it's only funny because of the great way that you write) post! Wow... and the "cold hearted *cough*" - too funny, though definitely not a good description of you AT all. Wild about what they did!

Wildly Cam said...

I hadn't read this before, having only recently met you, but I am glad you reposted it!

How scary! When your mortality is staring you down, I imagine it would be extremely nerve wracking!

Especially the shock... I bet that really stings!

Will it really thaw out in 7 years? Do you go back for a refreeze if it does?

Big hugs to you and your former vibrating self!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hi all, YES, the piece of my heart they "froze" will actually "defrost" in seven years! (I'm feeling warmer already :-) The amazing part is that the doc said by then, the treatment would be much simpler and probably not even require hospitalization! Modern medicine can be amazing sometimes!
THANKS for your kind thoughts! xo

Ellie said...

What a great post. I loved it! So funny.