So yesterday I ended up taking a trip to the Emergency Room and got to spend the night after suffering from some unusual conditions. Here is that story.
Yesterday after lunch I started to feel nauseous, was sweating profusely, and my heart was racing. I was also suffering from a tremendous pressure across my chest. I went across the street to Rite-Aid to check my blood pressure and heart rate. The initial reading was 158/97 with a heart rate of 158. Normally I’m 125/75 with a resting heart rate of 68. I waited for approximately 10 minutes and took another reading and the condition wasn’t improving. To put the heart rate into perspective even when I’m off running my 3 mile runs my heart rate never climbs above 130 or so. In the end I decided to go to the ER to get checked out. The ER performed several tests on me to include: EKGs, Chest X-Ray, Chest & Lungs C/T Scan, full blood workup and an Ultrasound on my legs to check for clots. Everything tested out well although my BP and HR was still sky high. The ER & Cardiologist decided to admit me into the Cardiac Surveillance Ward overnight for observation.
I spent the majority of the night trussed up like a thanksgiving turkey with multiple IV’s, and about 15 wires connected to my legs and chest. On top of that the nursing staff woke me up every 2 hours for vital signs, EKGs and more blood work.
After spending close to 24 hours in the hospital they decided to release me. What they know for certain is that 1) it wasn’t a heart attack and 2) it wasn’t any sort of panic attack. The Cardiologist’s believe that what I was suffering from was an “Electrical Malfunction of my Heart”.
This basically boils down to an arrhythmia which is an abnormal heartbeat that may be unusually fast (tachycardia) or unusually slow (bradycardia). It may be related to a previous heart condition (e.g., previous damage from a heart attack) or to other factors (e.g., caffeine, stress, not getting enough sleep). In the majority of cases, a skipped beat is not medically significant.
This however could have lead to Cardiac Arrest. Sudden cardiac death (“cardiac arrest”) is responsible for approximately one-half of all deaths due to heart disease.
At the end of the day I have to go back to the Cardiologist for a Echocardiographic stress test and they have placed me on Carvedilol which is a nonselective beta blocker/alpha-1 blocker indicated in the treatment of mild to severe congestive heart failure (CHF).
Thanks to all my Twitter and Facebook friends for all the well wishes and prayers.