Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Back Home...in TAMPA!

Yes, I was supposed to be back from Vegas on Tuesday of last week the 20th, but unfortunately had to extend my stay in Vegas due to some not so good reasons. On Monday, upon leaving Vegas, about an hour before the flight I passed out at the gate and was rushed to the ER at Desert Springs Hospital in Vegas(just off the strip). It seems my ticker was beating so fast at 190 bpm, that it caused me to go into hypo tension and pass out. Well, I discovered that a mix of Hypertension, Stress, Caffeine, Alcohol and Dehydration can cause Atrial Fibrillation - my heart was firing all over the place. Not a good thing. After a few days in the hospital and many tests, I found out I have an extremely healthy heart, but one that doesn't take so kindly to 24 hour alcohol, coffee, red bull, lack of water, and little sleep. Very scary situation, especially being away from home. With some good friends stayin behind(who would refuse to stay behind in Vegas to watch over an ill friend..LOL), I was finally able to fly back home...to TAMPA. And I missed it!! Kudos to Southwest Airlines who offered free flights for friends and family to be with me, and get me back home to Tampa, they are AMAZING! I'm looking forward to get out to the Strawberry Festival and Gasparilla Arts Festival this weekend.


Anonymous said...

We are glad you are back safe...love reading about your Tampa life! We are thinking of moving there soon....stay safe.

John Hedtke said...

I've had a-fib now for about 15 years, but the episode I had last May was the first time I felt like an alien was trying to kick its way out of my chest.

Years ago when it first manifested, my cardiologist told me that the following things are likely to trigger it:
* cold (drinking a big Slushee will do it, for example, because there's a nerve near the esophagus)
* alcohol
* caffeine
* lack of sleep

Those are the common triggers, but there are people who go into a-fib for no visible reason (though you can figure that stress is a likely contributor even then).

Mine appears to be controlled pretty well with a very mild beta blocker and all is well for the time being. But if it gets worse, I may need to go to more powerful beta blockers and after that, we start talking about burning out the nerve cluster with a radio catheter run up the femoral artery, open heart surgery where they cross hatch the heart muscle on the surface to break up the nerves, and pacemakers. Any of the surgical alternatives are dangerous to some extent--having people dig around in your heart is always a bad day.