Home > blogging > Possibly Maybe.

Possibly Maybe.

Well, on the heels of doing 200 kettlebell swings a day for January I find myself strapped into a shiny new holter heart monitor. This past Sunday we were just being lazy dogs and not doing much when I noticed it.

Randomly I’d feel what is described as a flutter or dip in power in my heart. It wasn’t like a high rate after a workout. It happened the rest of the day and into Sunday night. I go to bed with it at the back of my mind. I kept it from the wife.

Monday morning I get up and go about my routine and it happens again. Probably 5 times before I leave for work. At my desk it is now on the front of my mind. I tell my wife in an IM.

I am persuaded, by the wife, to get to a doctor. I hate doctors. Luckily they can fit me in after I mention I feel like something is wrong. The dread, that creeping dread, crept upon me in the car, it kept me in the parking lot an extra minute just outside the doctors office. Blood pressure is normal. Rate is normal. Time for the stethoscope, the cold metal shock, not as bad as hearing the doc say “I think I heard something.”

An old ass EKG rolls in, looks like a fax machine. I’m requested to remove my shirt and lay back, the sticky electrodes are applied. The nurse presses some buttons and some paper slides out. It’s over. She unhooks me, takes the machine and its paper away. That process was all of 3 minutes, how good can that be?

I’m now at the pay window with barely any info and an appointment card to the cardiology clinic across town for a whole day later, what if I drop dead tonight? Those thoughts are on the front of my mind. The flutter or dip or whatever continues through the night. My end of day de-stress rituals do little. More thoughts on the front of my mind.

Tuesday, more of the same. 1pm is when I need to be at the cardiology clinic. I leave work at noon, it’s 20 minutes away. I want to be early, it’s just who I am. I pull up and realize this cardiology clinic is the old funeral home, my pal was sent off in this building a few years back and my spidey sense is really tingling now. I just need a black cat to cross my path and some ladders to walk under. The waiting room has 3 really old people, the kind that are supposed to be here. Walkers, air tanks, and bags of urine hanging like fuzzy dice. I scroll back through any tweets I may have missed while I wait. The front of my mind is getting crowded.

My name is called and I move to the door to follow the doctor. We land in a small exam room.

“Please remove your shirt, I’ll need to shave you.”

I would have expected a line of questioning such as what brings you here or what is going on but I get lots less. She whips out some cheap looking plastic disposable razor and proceeds to dry shave my chest. The whole time telling me she knows it hurts which in my head sounds like “is it safe?”

Once that bit of dignity finds its way into the biohazard box, she prepares the monitor and the electrodes. Carefully placed and taped to my torso. No good will come of this chimes my inner monologue. I’m instructed to push the big button when an event occurs. Before I can get my shirt back on it happens. I’m happy it does for once. I hit the button. I’m not losing my mind and there is digital proof.

I pressed that button at least 50 times from 2pm until I went to bed around 11pm that night.

Wednesday morning, regular routine and off to work. I pressed it 6 times before work. I lost count before I returned it that afternoon. I lost some more chest hair too. I tried to hide it at work. Weakness isn’t tolerated at this place. Luckily only a few saw it and seemed concerned enough to ask what was up. The good non poisonous people are few at my job, so it’s good to confide in them.

I bolted to return the thing, knowing full well it wouldn’t speed the news. I suspect I won’t hear anything until next week. In the meantime the event still occurs. No rhyme or reason. I’m freaked out at every little thing my body is doing, tensing to sneeze, or hoisting up from the chair. Those CSI or House like animations of clots rocketing to my brain or other internal bits exploding are filling my head, possibly driving more events. I really do NOT want the plant nurse putting his lips on my mouth or any of the 50 electricians jumping at the chance to shock my ass into oblivion because IT lost a 6 year old email. I don’t want my wife to find me curled up dead at home. The back of my mind is really damn empty.

Friday was pretty much the same regarding the amount of events. Saturday however was less than a dozen that I felt. I’m sure going emo about it has helped relieve some stress. I’m grateful for the support too. I’ll update this again when I hear from the doctor.

UPDATE2: No conclusive word yet. I’ve called and even been back to the doc. They said more than likely it’s nothing and if it was life threatening the cardio people would have called already. I don’t buy that, I think the medical establishment is a racket and they just don’t give a shit, period. I am advised to not take on any projects or stress or take up new exercises. Adding work and stress was never real high on my list of to dos. As for exercising it places a damper on my start to running but puts the KB back in play, after all the KB has been normal since October. I’m out of town next week so I really don’t expect to hear anything by then either. I can say that the “events” are less in frequency, for example, today I only felt 3 of them all day. I really appreciate the support I’m getting from you guys virtually and and in real life, it means a lot and venting this is probably good medicine.

UPDATE3: I spoke with the cardiologist clinic and apparently my monitor results were left on a desk somewhere. They rushed to get them to the doctor. In talking with them they mentioned premature heart beat and very slow heart rate during sleep. I still have to play the waiting game to see if my doc wants me to go to the cardiologist. At least that’s something.Β The actual events are pretty slow now, maybe 2-3 a day.

UPDATE4: FINALLY got a turn at the cardiologist. Guy says it is a PVC . Premature ventricular contraction. They did a sonogram of the heart and I’m waiting for those results. He said they are most often benign and only a bother in reality. In extreme cases they put the patient on meds but didn’t see a need to go that route with me. I’m somewhat relieved except they are still happening. His suggestion was to decrease coffee and see if that lessened them. They’ve only been happening about 2-4 times a day lately. I’m going to proceed under that. We’ll see if anything else pops up.

Categories: blogging
  1. stoffainkorea
    February 4, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Fingers crossed for good news next week.

    • February 4, 2011 at 8:05 am

      Thank you kind sir.

  2. February 4, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Yeah, fingers crossed, toes too, prayers

    • February 4, 2011 at 8:07 am

      I see you said prayer instead of thoughts? Dangerous πŸ™‚

      • February 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm

        Dangerously honest, that’s how I roll. πŸ˜‰

  3. February 4, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Thanks for the update Scott.

    Do your best to chill…easier said than done.

    All the best.

    • February 4, 2011 at 8:07 am

      That’s the name of the game, chill. I really don’t do well with worry.

  4. February 4, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Scott, my husband had a similar incident a few months ago when he was under a lot of stress. Felt like his heart was racing a couple of times; when he told me, I checked his pulse and it was 140. The next day he got checked out, had a normal EKG, and was set up with a Holter monitor. Unfortunately the arrhythmia did not recut while he was monitored. The cardiologist told him it was probably PSVT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supraventricular_tachycardia) and gave him a beta-blocker to take if it happened again, but it never did.

    There are many people with arrhythmias that are inconsequential. I don’t blame you for worrying – I’m sure I would too – but chances are that it will end up being no big deal. Hang in there!

    • February 4, 2011 at 8:08 am

      If I start googling I’ll die of panic. I did read where it’s mostly nothing usually. Some solace is taken there.

    • February 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      I also did not need to read that.

  5. February 4, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Scott, I haven’t been around much lately, but saw your post in my reader. I’m hoping that it is just your heart getting stronger and healthier and the flutters are just adjustments. I know what you are talking about with the fluttering. It hasn’t happened to me in months, but it is shocking when it happens. Sending good vibes and thoughts your way!

    • February 4, 2011 at 8:10 am

      I’d love that to be true. Thanks for the well wishes!

  6. Sandra
    February 4, 2011 at 7:51 am


    Hope you get good news nexr week. If it helps, I had a similar thing a couple of months ago. I had the holter monitor, too, for 48 hours. It showed the palpitation events I felt but the doctor said that it was only worrisome if it happened like six times a minute. That would indicate that the heart was becoming unstable. According to my doctors, this kind of thing is common and usually benign. But, yes, it is scary until you find out for sure.

    • February 4, 2011 at 8:12 am

      Mine is more like 2-3 an hour at worst sometimes just one. I’ve said before I don’t do well with worry but getting a bit of virtual support is comforting.

  7. Stacey
    February 4, 2011 at 8:51 am

    You are such a good writer!

    I’m glad you did this post. I just wish it were a hypothetical situation instead.
    Hang in there! You’ve done everything you can do right now.

    • February 4, 2011 at 11:12 am

      Fear is the mind killer.

  8. Meeses
    February 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

    A well-written, compelling post. I hope the best for you!

    • February 4, 2011 at 11:13 am

      There’s a Tom Petty song in here somewhere.

  9. February 4, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Prayers, thoughts and all sorts of good vibes coming up to you from the south.

    • February 4, 2011 at 11:14 am

      The Dirty! Thanks Hank.

  10. February 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I’ll be thinking about you. Like others have said, hopefully it’s just your heart adjusting to you being more active. Even though I’m who-knows-how-far away, let me know if I can help some how. In the meantime, all my extra good-juju will headed your way.

    • February 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      mmmm juju #primal. Wouldn’t that be the best thing? I’d be stoked if it’s adjusting, though I’d prefer another notification. Thanks Anna!

  11. February 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Ahh phooey! It’s just the ghost of twinkies past.

    Just grow a pair and beat your chest like Tarzan if that heart gives you any more lip.

    • February 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      The quiet inside voice says this.

      • February 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm

        That’s all the EMTs do if the shit gets thick anyway πŸ˜‰

  12. jenWillow
    February 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Scott, I will keep ya in my thoughts… And hoping it’s nothing. The mind is a sucky thing at times when we think too much. Hang in there.

    • February 5, 2011 at 8:17 am

      Thanks, Jen. It’s a lot less frequent it seems. Hopefully it’s going away.

      • February 6, 2011 at 9:14 am

        Well that is good news! Did you see that your frakking comment on MDA made the comment of the week?

      • February 6, 2011 at 9:16 am

        Jeff told me about that. The guy does rule!

  13. lessofmimi
    February 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    That is definitely scary. You are in my prayers. HUGS!!
    BTW, do you drink coffee?
    I had some testing done in my 20’s for palpitations. Did the whole stress-test thing a couple years ago when I was horribly unhealthy and felt like I might have a coronary at the drop of a hat. That experience is where I identify with what you are going through. I’ll always wonder how much was physical symptoms and how much was mental/stress.
    Had palpitations just a few days ago, shortly after starting a second 16-ounce mug of coffee. Immediately stopped drinking the coffee. The palpitations didn’t last long and they haven’t returned. Decided to keep it to one mug of coffee a day, just in case.
    I am hoping and praying you get results soon and it turns out to be nothing serious. HUGS!!!

    • February 11, 2011 at 8:37 am

      I drink about 2-3 cups (actual cups, I have cup that holds 2 cups πŸ™‚ ) a day max. I used to be a pot a day guy. I don’t need the boost since going primal, this week I’ve been putting coconut oil in my first cup to see if it makes a difference in killing this stall I’m in.

  14. curiousfarmer
    February 17, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Scott, sorry you’re having this scare.

    • February 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      It has sucked!

  15. February 17, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I had to look up “premature heart beat” and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that that’s what it is, since it seems the cause is often not enough rest or sleep, or too much stress, exercise, caffeine or nicotine. So those are all fixable! Glad to hear the frequency has dropped to 2-3 per day. Hope you gets solid answers soon!

    • February 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      I try to not google it. I’ll wind up with impending doom and days to live. Some stresses are fixable and I get a lot of rest usually. I quit smoking almost 2 years back, and only have 2-3 cups of the coffee a day, some more on weekends so that leaves stress or doom. We shall see.

  1. February 4, 2011 at 7:36 am
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