Monday, August 18, 2008

Matters of the 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, fellow pilgrims.

~ David


  1. Too often, people ignore the signs and protests of their bodies. How very fortunate it was that you acknowledged and accepted that not all was right with your body!
    May God continue to bless you, and keep you safe. You & your family are certainly in my prayers.
    Thank you too, for all of the lovely posts that you write with such dedication. Even if I don't "know" you, your writings truly are comforting and inspiring at both the highest and lowest of times.
    All the best!
    God bless,

  2. You had me worried for a second, but I knew that if you were writing this blog, you must be better! I hope you continue to get better. Take care of yourself. Like, Grace said, you are in my prayers.
    God bless.

  3. i'm glad you got it seen to right away! just goes to show that our earthly bodies weren't made for the long haul, only the innerman!

  4. My mother has had atrial fibrilation for some years. She does very well with coumadin and norvasc. We do have runs to emerge from time to time but for the past few weeks things have been very good. You are in our prayers David. I will tell you any symptom go to the hospital don't delay.
    God Bless you and we will see you soon .
    Les and Carolyn