Thursday, October 04, 2012

Sacking the Tach: Part 4 of ?

See also:
Part 1 of ?
Part 2 of ?
Part 3 of ?
Part 5 of FIVE!!!
Stuff I Distinctly Remember Saying During the Operation
The last post about my heart (I promise this time)


The last I’d broadcasted about my heart was that my surgery was unsuccessful and that the doctor instructed me to continue wearing that awful monitor for another month, which I did despite the blisters and rashes the sticky patches left all over my body.

I exercised and drank lots of caffeine (doctor’s orders, and it was amazing) and watched scary movies and I did finally catch an event, on the very last day of service. I wouldn’t know for another few weeks whether it was enough for the doctor to work off of, though, because the window for my 30-day follow-up appointment fell during my trip to Idaho, and they couldn’t fit me in until a couple of weeks after I got back. I worried myself sick during those several weeks – while I was wearing the monitor, since I had a such limited window to catch a substantial TACH ATTACK!, and in the weeks afterward, wondering if it was going to be enough to prevent the doctor from putting in an implantable long-term device.

The appointment was full of good news! My doctor was really excited by what he’d caught on the monitor. He asked me jokingly, “Why couldn’t you have done this before the FIRST procedure??” He also found a related, underlying condition on my monitor. Nothing scary, just another annoying tachycardia that’s brought on by exercise. That one can’t ever be fixed because it originates too closely to my natural pacemaker, but the takeaway was that THAT was the reason why my first procedure failed. So it was a relief to have some answers, even though the answer was, “The surgery didn’t work because you have another condition, and this one is incurable.” :\

Anyway, long story (involving billing and insurance and me being scared) short, I’m going in again on Friday, November 2nd. Same hospital, same doctor, but this time he’s better equipped with what he needs for a successful surgery. So.


  1. So glad they do finally have answers for you! Hope the surgery goes well.

  2. So is this going to be an awesome excuse to never exercise again? Also, TACH ATTACK!

  3. I have the form atrial tachycardia as well that is brought on with exercise. My first ablation attempt didn't go through because it was too close to the pace maker just like you said. My cardiologist said we can possibly try again but that it is risky and if not done correctly could cause me to have to get an actual pace maker. Did your cardiologist mention that? I'm just trying to get all the second opinions I can and it's so great reading an experience similar to mine. :)

    1. Exactly, Kel. He's not even going to attempt doing anything for the atrial tach because if they mess up your natural pacemaker, you've got to have an artificial one. He said he doesn't like to tinker with young peoples' natural pacemakers, especially women, because apparently pregnancy and artificial pacemakers don't always like each other.

      But my exercise induced atrial tachycardia is more annoying than anything (from the sounds of it, yours is much worse). My ventricular tach is the more pressing issue of the two, so that's what he's going to attempt to fix in November. Good luck!!

  4. I like that you always capitalize "TACH ATTACK!" And put an exclamation point.

  5. Good luck! I also like your punctuation of tach attack.

  6. A cryoablation (freezing the naughty electrode that makes your heart go too fast) is also an option. But they don't offer them everywhere, you may have to travel further if you want one.

    The advantage of cyro is that it has a better safety profile (it's reversible within the first few minutes of the freezing process, so they don't kill the wrong electrode), so you definitely will *not* need a pacemaker if you go this route! Preparing for my own ablation soon. :)