Monday, April 18, 2011

Weary heart

I just got home from the hospital and am taking the day off from work. I went in early this morning for my cardiac MRI. I slept last night but it was not a restful sleep. I've been taking 50 mg of Benadryl early enough in the day as I've learned that my body reacts within the first 3 - 4 hours of taking the benadryl (rapid heart beat, feeling a little faint and like i'm having an out of body/floating type sensation), but since i've been able to sleep through the night I figured it must be helping. I took the 50  mg around 4 pm yesterday as I had plans to go to bed early in anticipation of waking up early for my cardiac MRI. My heart started fluttering and racing. I've learned to just situate myself comfortably on the couch in the den and just lay there for a few hours with the pups till the crazy symptoms dissipate. A friend calls to check on me last night. She happens to be in the medical field and when i mention, in passing, my symptoms from the benadryl she immediately tells me that I have to stop taking benadryl. My heart is obviously having some kind of a reaction to it and i need to call my cardiologist and let her know what my symptoms are and if it's okay to keep taking the benadryl. So i have a call into my doctor right now. I don't know what's worse ... being sleep deprived I find myself feeling desperate ... desperate for rest and sleep, almost at any cost.

This morning as they got me ready for the cardiac MRI they did the usual insert a needle in my vein to get an IV started ... it's to push contrast in my body half way through the procedure. They also attach an EKG to my chest. The nurse tells me i'm having a lot of PVC (preventricular contractions). They continue to monitor my heart for a little bit. I go in and out of PVCs with some major clusters of PVCs. The nurse asks if I can feel the PVCs? I tell her I can now. A few weeks ago I couldn't but I notice them throughout the day now and at night when i'm unable to sleep. Because i'm having so many PVCs they administer a drug to override the PVCs for the MRI. I lay face up and they put headphones on me and they ask if i'm ready ... "you'll be more comfortable if you close your eyes" the nurse says to me as I start sliding into the tube. I close my eyes and as I move further into the tube I can feel the air tighten around me. I take a deep breath to calm myself and to call the dolphins into my heart and my head. For 40 minutes I am in the tube, laying completely still and following instructions of when to breathe and when to hold my breath. And when the contrast is inserted into my veins I feel a cold fluid rush through my body and in minutes my body starts to shiver. I tell myself 'one last round of images Marilou and you'll be done ... think dolphins, think warm water in the Bahamas.'

My cardiologist has pushed for the MRI to be done more than a month in advance and for me to meet with an electrophysiologist on Wednesday because I have become very symptomatic. I feel the irregular heart beats, pretty much all day. I've been unable to sleep at night until just a few days ago when I started taking benadryl (but now am not sure if I can continue to take benadryl). The PVCs are uncomfortable but they're tolerable in my waking hours. Part of me wonders if it's just in my head and i'm just noticing it more .... this morning confirmed for me it's not in my head. I'm having frequent and significant clusters of PVCs.

I'm glad I have the day off from work today ... my heart feels tired today, emotionally and physically. My body feels tired.

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