Well, only a few know what I've been going through based on a few posts I've made on Facebook, but I'm here sharing it with you guys because I need your thoughts and prayers.
This past March, my wife and I were out to dinner with a couple of friends at a restaurant called Cheeseburger In Paradise in Fishers, Indiana. About 75% of the way through the evening, my heart started racing and beating very irregularly. I was insanely frightened and I didn't know what it could have been. So, we left dinner early and my wife rushed me to the emergency room where they hooked me up to an EKG machine, drew blood, took a chest x-ray, and scheduled an echocardiogram. At this moment in time, my beats per minute were up past 160. Once the doctor saw the EKG results, she determined that I was in a state called Atrial Fribrilation. She explained to me that medication might put my heart back into a regular rhythm, but there was no guarantee. She then explained the option she thought was best, which was a small shock treatment called a Cardioversion. Basically, it's a small AED. They sedate you and administer a quick jolt. She asked me which I would prefer. Naturally, being shocked scared the hell out of me, so I asked about the meds. She explained a little more about what medication might do and the side effects they might have. After about twenty minutes of deliberating, I decided to go with the Cardioversion because she said in all of her years as a doctor, she's never seen one person have adverse reactions to it. So, ten minutes later I was out like a light and back up before I even knew what hit me. I looked over at my wife and asked her, "When is this thing happening? I'm ready to get out of here." She responds with, "Babe, it's done. They did it about five minutes ago!" I looked at my heart monitor and it was down to 95 beats per minute and regular. In the days that followed, I had that echocardiogram (ultrasound of my heart) and the appointment that followed with Dr. Schilt, my cardiologist. He came in, hopped up on the patient table right next to me, and started explaining how the heart worked and what A-Fib was. He also said the results of my echocardiogram were beautiful. My heart had no structural damage or valve damage. That made my heart sing, almost literally. So, he didn't prescribe any medications and said to just wait about 6-8 months and come back for a check-up
Well, early Sunday morning (after a Saturday night outting with those SAME FRIENDS!), I woke up only to notice my heart was in round two of A-Fib. I was much more calm and collected this time. I rolled over, woke up my wife, and told her we needed to get to Riverview Hospital again. We hopped up, got dressed, and drove to Noblesvillle. I was taken to the same bed I was in last time and treated the exact same way, only this time I was given a prescription and discharged. I have an appointment with my cardiologist again next week to see how the medication is affecting me and if I need to do anything else besides the diet and exercise I'm already involved in. My heartrate through all of round two never exceeded 110 beats per minute. That's a major improvement.
All in all, I don't know how A-Fib is going to affect me for the rest of my life, but according to my ER doctor, I may have it indefinitely. Most of the time they don't know what causes it. I'm taking necessary steps though. I'm staying away from caffeine and alcohol while exercising and trying to lose weight. They said there's no guarantee that will help it stay away, but it never hurts. He also told me monosodium glutomate (MSG) is an A-Fib patient's worst nightmare, so I'm staying away from all foods that contain MSG. Either way, It's a frightening ordeal to be almost 28 years old and have heart problems already. All thoughts and prayers are definitely appreciated.