Monday morning, we were meant to be heading home again. I had just dropped Bri into the city to do her CPR refresher course and Gus headed off to do a few quick jobs while I showered and got ready to go home...
While he was gone, I had rapid heart palpitations which lasted until he got back about 20 minutes later. All up, they lasted about 30 minutes before going back to normal.
Because we were meant to be travelling home 400 kms, we decided to go to the doctors to get me checked out. The girls go to a "walk in" clinic so we fronted up there. I told the girl on the desk that I had had a heart flutter about an hour earlier, she took my details and then showed me through to the nurses in minor surgery. I was popped on a bed and immediately a nurse did an ECG. Such good service and care. After a short wait, I was seen by a lovely Dr Williams who said he'd like to run some blood tests too. We waited about 30 minutes before my blood tests were taken. Dr said he'd send through the results to my GP at home or contact me if need be. I was bulk billed (no charge) for all of this care.
I went home to take it easy for the afternoon. I was asleep on the couch when about 4pm my phone rang. The Dr said my troponin level was slighly elevated so he would like me to go to one of the city hospitals emergency department and get some more tests done to compare levels. We have private health cover so we chose Wakefield. Amazingly in emergency, there was no one waiting so after some paperwork we waited maybe 15 minutes before I was taken through to a bed in the emergency room. A few people arrived by ambulance while I was there but nothing major. Its now 5pm.
So there I was. I had another ECG done and bloods taken. Wakefield have their own pathology department so the results would come back within hours. I was seen by another Dr (Antonas). While waiting he prescribed aspirin and I had a bag of saline put up as he said I might be dehydrated. The nurses bought me sandwiches, yoghurt and juice and a cup of tea.
This photo is a set up and I was feeling quite okay. Bri and I were just passing the time away.
The results came back and the troponin levels were back down so that was good. Dr suggested that seeing we were from a remote country area (4 hours from the city), it might be best to be admitted and be observed overnight then see a cardiologist who is associated with Wakefield. Once again, such great service and care. Drs consult, ECG and emergency fee $387, some of which can be claimed back with Medicare.
So by 8pm, I was in Room 11 of the Coronary Care Unit, a private room with ensuite. My blood pressure continued to be higher than normal, even at rest.
Gus and the girls left me at about 9.30pm so I watched a bit of TV then settled down to sleep at 11.30pm.
Lots of monitors bleeping all night plus obs being done didn't leave me with much sleep.
My breakfast this morning....
I had an ultrasound done on my heart just before lunch (carrot soup, roast lamb, fresh fruit salad and icecream). The cardiologist came at about 1.30pm, viewed the ultrasound then discussed my condition. Basically, the fast heart palps are called supraventricular tachycardia.
To see how my heart is really operating, Dr Grover suggested a treadmill stress test that could be done on Thursday this week. Better still, she said she'd like me to do a stress MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test. She said that probably wasnt available this week as they are done on Wednesdays and she thought they were booked up. However, rather than send me all the way home, she said she would check and see if they could squeeze me in tomorrow.
After what seemed like ages, the lady told me that it was finished and they would come get me out of the machine. What a relief! She told me I did very well and that not all people can hold their breath for the required time, but I did. She said she got excellent pictures of my heart at all levels and I could go get dressed then see the cardiologist.
Dr Grover (think blue fluzzy monster - but she was a pretty Indian woman) met me in the corridor and told me that everything looked perfect with my heart. Everything functioning, good blood flow throughout and no damage evident. She'd like to see me again in 4-6 months for a quick review and maybe do a halter monitor test over 24 hours. I left feeling much better!
So that was 3 days I hope I never have to repeat!