Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A less drug addled report on the TEE

I survived the TEE. It wasn't as ugly as the first one. It was just two shots of the nasty anesthetic, with a brief tongue depressor induced gag in between. Then out with the lights. I woke up stoned and with a painful sore throat. They didn't have my delayed breakfast when I woke up, and it didn't come in the next half hour, fifteen miutes after that I got whiny and started to rag on the nurses. I really hate giving these people a hard time. It was the kitchen's fault. I got my early lunch and went to sleep. When I regained consciousness, I apologized to my nurses. They didn't seem to think I needed to, but I felt like I did.

Later in the afternoon, the people from the retirement home came by with a ton of papers to sign. The writer's cramp almost made me forget about the sore throat.

Last night my heart went through a "mode change." I'd been in rapid flutter for 8 days or so. In flutter, the heartbeat is regular, but shows abnormalities on the EKG. Mine was going at a consistent 122 beats per minute all through that time. Last night I started to feel a little angina. I rang the nurse, who wondered if it wasn't anxiety, since the monitor wasn't showing anything. I insisted it wasn't, but she ordered an Adavan anyway. The shift was changing, and the next nurse grabbed a printout of the monitor. It seems they only see the upper half of the EKG on the monitor. You have to get a printout if you want the whole thing. Lo and behold, the full readout showed I was going into fibrillation, then sinus (normal rhythm) then flutter. When my heart changes modes, I get a little angina. If I'm going fast, I get more angina. I also get a more heart pain if I'm in fibrillation rather than flutter. Today I am going fast, but not as fast as the rate that really really hurts. So it wasn't anxiety. I got my Adavan anyway.

Today I'm back in flutter. I sure hope all this improves after the surgery. I'll be going in around 7:30 AM, It starts at 8:30. 1:00 PM is a time pulled out of thin air by my doc for the surgery to end. But the nature of this procedure means its duration is inherently variable. (Measure.. try this, measure..) So I'm not sure when I'll be through. It will be some time after I wake up before I'll be able to blog about it.

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