Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Posted by Erin Beckemeier at 10:27 PM
This post is heart related, but not "Conway's heart" related. It seems as though I had an episode of a very fast heart rate, or Supraventricular Tachycardia, yesterday. It started when I was playing catch with my students during afternoon recess. I mentioned to a coworker that I must have overdone it and so I spent the next hour sitting mostly. The heart pounding didn't get any better, and when I stood up or tried to walk across the classroom I felt horrible. After school I went home and called my OB doctor. Her nurse told me to drink some water and lay down for an hour and see if it improved. If it didn't, I was instructed to visit the Women's Evaluation Unit at the hospital where they see pregnant women rather than in the ER. I went in and sure enough, my heart rate was 168. They immediately transferred me to the ER where I was seen right away for an EKG and before I knew it I had a room full of doctors, nurses and techs. I've never had such prompt attention in the ER! We took Conway in once and he ended up being admitted for severe heart failure and they didn't move that quickly! Well, they administered a drug through an IV called Adenocard to try to get my heart back down to a normal sinus rhythm. It didn't work. They doubled the dose to the maximum dose and that did work. The doctor warned me it would feel uncomfortable but oh my! The way the drug made my chest feel almost induced a panic attack. Thankfully it only lasted a short time and it worked on the second dose. I asked what would have happened if that dose hadn't done the trick and they said they would have had to cardiovert me with the shock paddles like you see on TV. So, I feel rather blessed that it didn't have to come to that! They kept me on the monitors for a few hours and ran blood work. All came back normal. My OB ordered a non-stress test to monitor the baby and she looked great. I finally got discharged around 11:30 and made it home shortly after midnight. By then I was so exhausted. Partly due to the fact that it had been a long day, but mostly because my body had experienced the physical strain equivalent to running for six hours. Even my legs and arms were worn out! I joked with friends that maybe now I could put one of those 26.2 stickers on the back of my car that you see marathon runners have! I followed up with my OB today for my regular check up and she would like me to see a cardiologist and ordered an echo to look at my heart. We're hoping to get that done sometime in the next two weeks so she can get the cardiologist's opinion on all of this before my next OB appointment. I've already gotten recommendations from Connie's doctor on who I should try to see. Quick Conway update since it's been awhile: He's doing great heart-wise. We've already had his new pacemaker checked more times since August than he probably had in the previous two years, but all is well with it. He fell one day in gym class and his teacher was concerned that it was on his pacemaker and he was hit in the stomach a time or two during the school day with balls so we sent transmissions each time. He is just getting over a stomach bug (just like most of the country apparently) but other than that, has been very healthy this year. He is going for an OT eval in a couple of weeks to check on fine motor development so we'll keep you posted on what we find out. Please keep in your prayers two other LTGA families. One is a very young mom who could use some mentoring to help her navigate her way through this world of congenital heart disease, but seems to be in denial. The other is a family whose LTGA first grader has been on ECMO (bypass) for 100 days waiting for an angel heart as his is failing. His parents could use some strength for sure during this long journey. God knew the plans for these families before their special children were even born, but it can sure be hard to trust when you are faced with such unknowns.