Heart Update

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I just thought I would write out how my check up with Dr. Hwang went for family or whoever cares to know, ha!
  • Resting heart rate was 106 when I went in
  • I'm supposed to walk a mile every day (absolutely no jogging or running) should be about a 30-40 minute mile he said
  • He is starting to consider doing a 2nd ablation but he said he is warning me now that there are risks but he is fairly confident that the machines doing the operation are precise enough
  • Next appointment is in January
  • My inability to gain weight is almost completely due to the heart racing issue
  • Metabolism is extremely high, may slow down if resting heart rate slows
That pretty much sums things up! Things are looking good. I think I'm going to enjoy my mile walk with Tim everyday. 
 (He even said make your husband go with you ;) )
Life is good and I am so blessed!!

For those of you who aren't sure what I'm talking about here is a brief synopsis.

My little problem with a big name is called Atrial Tachycardia. It basically means that my heart sometimes beats too quickly and often times misses a beat.When the heart beats too quickly, it cannot fill completely so the body doesn't receive the blood volume it needs to function properly. 

I always noticed that I had a hard time with aerobic exercise and I seemed to get out of breath relatively quickly. I didn't realize there was a problem until I started donating plasma regularly and I would get sent away multiple times because my resting heart rate could not get below 100. I decided to go into a family practice doctor and get it checked out. She thought it was nothing and I went on my way. I started having a few fainting spells so I went to a cardiologist who thought that I was just out of shape and told me to start exercising more and I'd be fine. 

After one of those fainting spells I ended up in the ER because I had seizure like symptoms while I was unconscious. While in the ER I was introduced to a different cardiologist who had more of a background in electrophysiology rather than heart disease. Think plumber vs. electrician. 

I had multiple tests done before deciding that we needed to do an ablation to my heart. (A catheter is fed through an incision in my groin threaded to my heart. The part of my heart that is misfiring is destroyed. It usually takes 4-6 hours. This has a 90% success rate. )

Unfortunately right in the middle of my procedure my doctor realized that the part of my heart that is misfiring was too close to my heart's natural pace maker. If the machine doing the operation wasn't precise enough and bumped the natural pace maker it would damage it causing me to need an artificial pace maker for the rest of my life. 

I woke up after the operation and felt pretty bummed after hearing the news. I just wanted all my problems to be fixed. 

Currently I am working with my cardiologist trying different medications to find a better alternative. At my next appointment in January 2013 we will discuss trying the ablation a 2nd time. 

You can read more about my experiences here and here and here.


  1. People think not being able to gain weight is a blessing, but I was there for a while and kept losing weight (I was 135 at 6ft tall!), it doesn't feel so great! I am glad to hear things are going well.

  2. Oh Erin, we are soul sisters.I have not been about to break 110lbs at 5'7 and I've been trying for years.


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