I’m mentally and physically preparing for heart surgery and I’m scared AF! No, it won’t be open-heart surgery in fact it is a new and far more advanced technique called Cardiac Ablasion. Let’s allow a proper medical site to explain it “Cardiac ablation is a procedure that can correct heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias). Ablation usually uses long, flexible tubes (catheters) inserted through a vein in your groin and threaded to your heart to correct structural problems in your heart that cause an arrhythmia.”
Still pretty scary right? Essentially they are going to laser a part of my heart away and hopefully that will sort out one of the more major problems. You see I have a Wandering Pacemaker which is when my natural pacemaker causes arrhythmia. It was diagnosed when I landed up in ER at 18 with an unnaturally high heart rate which started to affect my day-to-day activities. I wasn’t sporty by any means but I was suddenly out of breath after climbing a single flight of stairs. I also wasn’t overweight (was 48kg at the time) which is often seen with high resting heart rates. Even when I was sleeping my resting heart rate was well over 120bpm. It also “jumped” around a lot.
After the doctors ruled out the usual suspects: drugs/medication/anxiety/overreacting they realised wait there is an actual problem here and after seeing my 400 “incorrect beats” in an ECG the doctor immediately put me on medication to slow my heart rate down. Which I’ve been on ever since.
They also discovered a Mitral Valve Prolapse but that can be fixed later in my life as it doesn’t cause me too many problems aside from when I feel the blood “pool up” in a chamber and a bit of pressure from that.
I went from never caring about my heart unless a boy broke it to suddenly my world revolving around trips to the cardiologist, seeing every part of my heart close up on sonars and in scans. Knowing exactly what chamber has what problem and being aware of if it was going into fibrillation or not. The medication was a total life saver and now my heart rate rests around 70-85 no matter how fit I get or unfit I am.
It also comes with many side effects and tiredness is not something you wish to experience when you’re a young adult. The constant gnawing tiredness affects me the most but the medication can also increase cholesterol and deplete your body of nutrients etc. It’s chronic medication and not something I want to be on for the rest of my life. Also one cannot fall pregnant on it. It can massively affect fetal growth and it can also cause the fetus to be rejected by the body and therefore cause a miscarriage. I’m definitely not looking at having a child anytime soon but I do possibly want to in the future so this too has been a big motivation for going through with the surgery.
The first step is to go off my medication for two weeks. The surgeon needs to pinpoint exactly where the problem is so that he can laser only that part away. I need to be brave and not take something which I’ve taken every single day for 2920 days like clockwork. I have no idea what to expect or how I’ll feel. I will have an ICU nurse on call 24/7 who will talk me through what is normal for me and what may be an emergency but this process is actually more daunting than the actual procedure itself. So starting from tomorrow I’ll be going off it so wish me good luck!