Monday, August 18, 2008

The Pilgrim's Heart

On Saturday afternoon I received quite a scare. While cutting the lawn my heart began to race and I suddenly felt very fatigued and weak. I rested for awhile but later I sensed that something was definitely wrong with my heart. When I stood up I experienced severe dizziness and went to bed.

Carol wasn't home but when she returned I told her how I was feeling and she drove me to our local hospital. It's a good thing she did.

My heart rate was twice what it should be and then it would slow right down and speed up again. I was rushed inside immediately and intravenous was administered within 10 minutes to stabilize my heart. They gave me an ECG and a doctor saw me within minutes. They were concerned with the extreme variation in my heartbeat and, after all the blood work was done and chest x-rays taken they monitored me closely.

My heart rate stabilized within an hour or so and they kept me for another six hours so they could repeat the blood tests and do another ECG. They let me go home at 2 in the morning but the doctor who saw me consulted with a cardiologist and I will be having a battery of tests done in the next little while.

They told me that what I had experienced was atrial fibrillation.

Here is some information on this condition from the internet:

Atrial fibrillation (A-tre-al fi-bri-LA-shun), or AF, is the most common arrhythmia (ah-RITH-me-ah). An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat. A disorder in the heart’s electrical system causes AF and other types of arrhythmia.

AF occurs when rapid, disorganized electrical signals in the heart’s two upper chambers, called the atria (AY-tree-uh), cause them to contract very fast and irregularly (this is called fibrillation). As a result, blood pools in the atria and isn’t pumped completely into the heart’s two lower chambers, called the ventricles (VEN-trih-kuls). When this happens, the heart’s upper and lower chambers don’t work together as they should.

Often, people who have AF may not even feel symptoms. However, even when not noticed, AF can lead to an increased risk of stroke. In many patients, particularly when the rhythm is extremely rapid, AF can cause chest pain, heart attack, or heart failure. AF may occur rarely or every now and then, or it may become a persistent or permanent heart rhythm lasting for years.

I'm feeling much better today although I am still very tired. Thanks for your prayers, Pilgrim Pals.

~ David


jel said...

glad ya are feeling better!

take care!

Julie (Little Missionary) said...

Must have been a bit scary Pilgrim. Glad you got to the hospital - shouldn't take chances with the heart! Praying for your strength to come back - for now, rest in the Lord.


Terry said...

Dear David...You just don't stop long enough to breath. You have to start and take it a bit easier.
Betty had these symptoms too and the doctors control it witch medication but even so she still has to take it easier and so should you.
I know nag nag nag but it is all in love!!!...Love Terry

passing-thru said...

Trust U will be feeling better David --------

Blessings on U

byhisgracealone said...

in the Lord


hebrews 11:1 said...

oh, Pilgrim!

I am so glad God is watching over you and gave you and your wife wisdom!!

I can only echo Mrs. Butler's words above...they are very wise,trust...He has it all in His Hands.

God bless you,