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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Running the Maze

When I look back at the past few months and realize the number of doctors I've visited, I feel like I've been riding around and around on a roller coaster.  It just keeps flying past the point of disembarkment and making wild loops and lunges over and over.  The good thing about the on-going ride, is that I've become numbed to the sudden, jarring plunges.  I'm no longer shocked by the neck-wrenching turns.  I've come to recognize the places that took my breath away and am no longer surprised.

We went through another series of doctor visits and almost, but not quite, surgical stays.  I was supposed to attempt another biopsy, this time in the hospital under anaesthesia   I went in the day before for my pre-surgical appointment.  They drew blood, took vitals, and ran an EKG.  I left two hours later with several wrist bands and instructions not to eat or drink after midnight, what to wear the next day, and admonitions to not remove any of the plastic straps attached to me.

When I got home, there was a voice mail message telling me that the anaesthesiologist had viewed the EKG and cancelled the surgery.  He saw a strange heart rhythm (the one I've been telling doctors about for the past three weeks, that no one seemed concerned about).   I called back to question what he saw on the EKG and was referred to the doctor who was to do the surgery.  He tried to find out what was happening and if the surgery could be performed some other way.  In the end, everyone just advised me to get into a cardiologist.

The cardiologist was extremely kind--probably the nicest, most personable of all the docs I've seen since October.  He listened to my heart, hooked me up to run an EKG, and just visited with Rob and me about all these recent health issues.  He couldn't see anything wrong with my heart rate or rhythm at that moment, but decided to order some tests and a heart monitor.  We walked out to the waiting room to schedule the tests when suddenly my heart started doing that flip-floppy thing it does these days.  I told Rob and he called out to Dr. Crawford who rushed me back to the exam room and plastered me with sticky electrodes, connected them to the machine, and ran another EKG.  Sure enough.  There was the proof that I have a funny new heart rhythm that kicks in every once in awhile (usually when I'm trying to fall asleep at night).  Dr. Crawford called it a Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVC) and didn't seem terribly concerned about it.

So, Tuesday was another long day, this time at Ogden Regional Hospital, having an echo cardiogram and the stress test.  Let me say, jogging on a treadmill in a hospital gown with seven people watching is not my idea of fun.  I hope I never get that opportunity again.

I'm wearing a monitor now that continually beeps and buzzes at me.  I better get used to the noise because it gets to be my little buddy until January 21.  I hope it considers me its buddy and gives the doctors good news so we can get this show on the road.

I've been comparing experience of the past few months to being in a giant maze that has no way out, no solution, or exit.  But that treadmill on Tuesday somehow seems more symbolic.  I'm just running in place, going nowhere, and getting exhausted to boot.