Hi All,

Guess who's not in the hospital? Me, that's who! After last week's little ER visit, I was worried I'd be back at UWMC for a longer stay...that's just the way those visits usually turn out. But not this time suckers! (She says in a escaped bandit kind of way)

I did go to my cardiologist a few days after the ER visit, to check in. She and my electrophyisologist (EP) checked out the EKG print-out that my rehab folks sent them and didn't really like what they saw.

I asked them to repeat what they told me about 3 times and then I got embarrassed because I STILL didn't get it. I can usually understand their explanations pretty well, but this went over my head. I think the gist is: When my heart dropped down to 40 beats per minute in rehab, it wasn't that it just slowed down, the upper chamber of my heart (I think this is right) stopped beating for 6 seconds and Sparky kicked in and beat for it at 40 beats per minute. The mystery is why that chamber just stopped beating. Maybe the docs told me why this could be happening, but I don't remember what they said (sorry, I should start carrying a tape recorder to all my appointments, like the real journalist I am).

They did interrogate Sparky and saw that he was definately kicking in a lot, keeping my heart rate at 40 or above. I'm not sure how low it would go without Sparky...maybe stop? I'm not sure if I'm just being dramatic here or that really is what would have happened. Anyway, I don't have to worry though, because Sparky is (once again) earning his keep!

In order to get a better handle on this situation, my doc ordered a 24 hour holter monitor, which is like that monitor I had this winter, except this one records every beat for 24 hours and the other one just recorded when I pushed a button. I go see my doc again on the 10th, so we'll discuss the results then.

My EP told me that if my heart keeps doing this a lot, we may need to put in Sparky 2.0. It's not the same device I was hoping for (the bi-ventricular defibrillator); it's just a defibrillator with a better pacemaker in it. But it sounds like it's safer than Sparky, so if I need it, let's do it!

I'm not too worried about getting a new device. I know what the surgery is like, and it's not that bad. I'm surprised this didn't throw me for a loop, but I've just been feeling tougher (emotionally) lately. This is just a little hurdle and I'm sure I'll get through it just fine.

So I'll keep you posted on what the next step is. (By the way, if I get Sparky 2.0, I'm totally going to demand Sparky to bring home. No, not to put in a glass box and cherish- I'm selling him on Craigslist!)


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