Here we go again
This one is different. I’m substantially pissed while sitting in a hospital receiving treatment that I’m pretty sure is a waste of time. Oh well.
Yes, it's been a while, and that's for good cause. Atrial fibrillation. The persistent kind. Being out of breath while speaking. Or taking out the trash. Nothing to kill me directly, but enough to make the consortium of damned fools far harder to tolerate, and it's not like I had any patience for them in the first place.
Some four months ago. At Krav Maga. Kicking a bag a little too hard. Think the sound of burlap ripping, but coming from your left inner thigh. Ripped adductors and lots of language. Followed by Vicodin. Just days before Rugged Maniac.
So that hurt like 30 hell, probably much like the feelings of the nurse who was just now on the receiving end of my summary judgment. But that's a story for later down the page.
So I went to the doctor. Several times. And my company changed insurance carriers in mid-treatment. And then I fired a physical therapist, not because I didn't like her but because the office staff was a about the biggest assemblage of dumbasses I've ever met.
The only caregiver worth a shit was the crew in the family practice office, especially the nurse practitioners, and while I was there, I mentioned that my resting heart rate had advanced from it's usually low 50s to nearly 90. One ECG later, and I’m making an appointment with a cardiologist regarding the documented atrial fibrillation.
I picked a hell of a season to stop drinking.
So I let the cardio dude do his cardioversion even if his office staff and voice mail system conspire to make me hang up more often than leave a message. Think CLEAR! It worked for eight whole days during which I was actually able to run, and then BOOM! On the eighth day, the afib returned worse than ever, or it at least seemed that way. That could have been the result me me having forgotten what it's like to feel good. Who knows? So instead of running five miles as I had the day before, I limped back home and drove to DC to work.
Yummy stuff. Imagine sitting around with your heart rate at about 110 or higher constantly. When sleeping, you drop back to maybe 90. You're living in a vortex of virtual angst and despair, and you will fall in it. There's nothing you can do to stop it. It is, however, a sure fire way to loose weight. And friends. Rapidly. And to wake up starving in the middle of the night.
Another trip to the nurse practitioner, who is apparently smarter than a cardiologist. A few prescriptions later and a few more runs to figure out dosing, and life is tolerable mostly. Maybe I should become a couch potato. The new health insurance certainly acts like it'd prefer that.
Of course, running is the issue, and maybe I shouldn't complain that my pace is 12 minutes per mile, not the 9:30 it was the week before this mess all began. And my heart rate is still hitting 200 bpm when running the hill I refuse to walk up. And I’m certainly not doing the weekly 10-milers of last winter anymore.
Now, try telling this to a cardio dude. All you'll hear is that you must not be all that bad off. This led me to see another cardio dude, and I fired him directly after the visit, which resembled more a scene from Absolutely Fabulous than it did a doctor's office. Well, I did take one of his pills, but the ensuing rubber legs cured me of that.
These guys really need you to fit in their little decision trees.
So now I’m at it again. My third attempt to receive pharmalogic cardioversion. The previous two trys were aborted for technical reasons. Okay, the first because the doc had not prescribed a blood thinner. The second because the hospital expected me to pay for it all. Yes, it took the insurance company a few weeks to finish an expedited review for pre-authorization in which the final word was that pre-authorization was not required.
But now I’m in a room with a needle in a vein. Sitting. Waiting. Listening to Ding! Bing! Boing! Aperiodic overhead announcements. I see a sleepless night ahead, especially with all my regular chemicals off line for the duration lest there be some interaction. I should have run before I arrived so I'd be tired. And de-stressed. To compensate, the nurse suggested I walk the hall a few times.
Then there's the staff talking to me like a first grade teacher speaks to a class. This pisses me off more than I expected, and one nurse has already suffered an F-bomb as I reacted to the news the Pharm-D relayed through her. Well, come on! The fuckers should use more than short words in declarative sentences. And not freak when someone asks a probing question.
This all leaves me thinking I've made a mistake. They plan to titrate a drug that has substantial interactions with about everything else while I lie in a hospital for a few days. Then, I’m supposed to return to a normal world and expect everything to be all right? Well, maybe it will be, and I certainly hope so, but I’m not holding high hopes.
A big part of me wants to channel Hub from Second Hand Lions. That certainly makes for a nice fantasy, and an even better movie scene, but it's not likely to play well in Club Wake Med. I'll endure this bullshit, and try to keep security at arm's length. Maybe I won't be any worse off than when I started. Next week, is another week for another decision.
Do you suppose I could rappel down the building using this IV line?