Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Few Beats Too Many

Where's My ObamaCare??

Well, that was an expensive bit of fun...

I woke up just before midnight on Sunday with not only an extremely fast heartbeat, but I was getting some extra beats thrown in for good measure.

No chest pain, nausea or other symptoms of a heart attack, but while you can go to sleep on an upset stomach and see if it's better in the morning, when the ticker starts hiccuping, you really ought to go let the docs take a peek under the hood.

I'm used to the occasional cardio hiccup. I got diagnosed with premature atrial contractions probably 12 years back. They're mostly harmless, unless they start to gang up on you.

Anyway, a quick jaunt to the Memorial Hermann ER soon had me hooked up to an IV, various monitors, and the Machine That Goes PING. (You see, they lease it back from the company they sold it to and that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account!) (Sorry, old Monty Python addiction...)

Eventually, they consulted the oracle and determined it was atrial fibrillation. Not as bad as ventricular fib, and a whole lot better than an infarction, but still not something you want to continue any longer than necessary.

So, they dosed me with drugs, but none that were any fun, and the waiting began.

Did you know it's just about impossible to get any rest in a hospital?

There's a constant stream of visitors in & out for various purposes. I didn't mind so much the ones coming to check vital signs, or do some tests. I'm sorta ambivalent towards the phlebotomists. Most were good, but one bad one last night must have taken sadistic glee in poking many, many holes up & down my arm.

The ones that made me want to beat them with a bedpan were the "patient advocates" & various other Quality Control wonks who would wake you from a fitful sleep on the crappy hospital bed just to find out how well you were being treated.

I was much nicer than I felt like being. I even resisted the urge to have the cute Russian ultrasound tech say "Moose and squirrel" when she asked if there was anything more she could do for me.

They cut me loose around noon on Tuesday. My BP was back to normal. OK, high, but normal for me. The arrythmia had disappeared, hopefully to never reappear.

So, long term prospects are good. I'm on a new batch of ticker pills, and they added an anticoagulant just in case the A-fib returns. A blood clot turns into a stroke PDQ, so better safe than sorry.

I'm going to take it easy the next couple of days. I might go back to work Thursday, but maybe not. It's tempting to just blow off the rest of the week, and cruise through the Labor Day weekend, but I hate making my co-workers cover for me like they had to today...

Anyway, thanks for the support on Facebook. I appreciate the kind words!!