Just how much flutter can one gal take?!

Just how much flutter can one gal take?!

After a 7-year ceasefire, the atrial flutter that came with the Lupus package has reared its head again. And it’s back with a vengeance.

It started lobbing random missiles at me from time to time over the last year. Then about two months ago, The First Atrial Flutter Brigade launched a full-blown invasion, breaching the ramparts of my beta blockers and storming the beaches of the upper chamber of my heart.

Long story short, I’m off for a quickly-scheduled appointment in the morning to see what can be done about it and to make sure the atrial flutter returning isn’t a sign of a more serious heart problem.

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced an atrial flutter. It’s fairly freaksome.

As I explained to my brother if you’ve ever been on a rollercoaster that has a sudden, unexpected drop that plummets you several hundred feet, you know what an atrial flutter feels like.

The first time it happened to me, it freaked me the hell out. I had no idea what was going on. Naturally, my subsequent panic made the situation worse and I ended up in the ER convinced I was dying from a heart attack. The doctor put me on beta blockers that took care of the problem lickety-split.

For years, the beta blockers worked, keeping my heart rhythm normal and preventing my blood pressure from reaching critical mass. But no more. When it went full-blown flutter two months ago, I seriously considered the possibility that the pharmacist accidentally refilled my prescription with sugar pills.

Now, I probably should’ve called my doctor when the flutter first refluttered. But I am notoriously bad at seeing to medical problems. When you go to the doctor twice a year for Lupus, the thought of more appointments on top of that is exhausting.

Instead of doing the sensible thing, I cut back on any physical exertion that increased my heart rate and spent more time resting in the futile hope the flutter would simply flutter away and leave me alone.

It didn’t. And the last week has been awful. Hence, the visit to the doctor.

Now, I’m not overly worried.

Okay, maybe I’m a smidge on the worried side. But I’m not in a state of blind panic. Although, when the nurse instructed me in no uncertain terms to go immediately to the ER if I experience any chest pains before my appointment, I could feel blind panic nudging at the edges of my psyche.

We’ll see what happens once the doctor does an EKG and checks me out. Best case scenario, he just increases the dosage of my beta blocker and sends me merrily on my way.

I hope like hell he doesn’t order another stress test or angiogram. Man, I hated those the last time I had them, especially the angiogram. My wrist and arm were bruised for over a week after that.

Anyroad. If you are the praying type, I could use your prayers because while I may be keeping the blind panic at bay, I can still feel it there tap-tap-tapping in the back of my mind, desperate to find a way in.

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16 thoughts on “Just how much flutter can one gal take?!

  • September 27, 2022 at 11:14 am

    Not the praying type, but…

    Please allow yourself to know that you are appreciated for your insights, your humor, and your consistency in keeping all of us thinking.

    “Love” is such a mis-used idea. However, for me, I express a loving support for you in your ongoing health challenges. Hopefully this reply finds you steadfast and smiling at yourself for the wonderful contribution you have made to me and many others.

    Make it a great day!

  • September 27, 2022 at 11:59 am

    The best thing you could do is get a flutter ablation. It is a permanent cure for this arrhythmia.

  • September 27, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    Not very good at praying, but I will try.

  • September 27, 2022 at 4:47 pm

    Now, I’m not overly worried. Okay, maybe I’m a smidge on the worried side.

    You just stay positive. We’ll do the worrying for you while we pray.

    And take Vitamin C. (Just my I-am-not-a-doctor-or-nutritionist Universal All-Purpose Advice, worth what you paid for it, less overhead.)

    Speaking of threadbare hopes, I don’t know what this might mean, but I thought of you when I saw it.
    Lupus Patients Go Into Remission in ‘Spectacular’ Immunotherapy Trial

  • September 27, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Best wishes for a low-stress, positive appointment and outcome, Dianny!

    I had an atrial fib incident not quite 20 years ago (controlled since with medication thankfully), and it definitely freaked me the hell out. I ended up in the ER and lots of tests got run, very disturbing experience overall.

    Good luck!

  • September 28, 2022 at 7:51 am

    Prayers continue
    Psalm 91:14-16
    “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
    When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
    With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

  • September 28, 2022 at 8:43 am

    I will definitely keep you in my prayers. Years ago, before beta blockers, my grandmother developed the same condition in her early sixties. It was so frightening for her. My aunt and uncle, who lived nearby, were a nurse and doctor. Whenever this happened, they would stop by and give her some type of injection that would stop the flutter. My grandma lived to be 93 and would have lived much longer, except for another condition. So fear not. Your ticker is probably just fine, but acting up from time to time. I sometimes have a little flutter, but it’s related to my hypothyroidism, so my endocrinologist has told me to ignore it. My primary doctor constantly pushes getting an EMG in her office, even though I passed all the initial hospital based MRI stress test nonsense the first time, showing that my heart was just fine, and passed her in office EMGs for 3 years after. I hope your results will be the same.

  • September 28, 2022 at 8:50 am

    Take care of yourself Dianny! We’ll be here waiting when you are well enough to entertain and educate us.

  • September 28, 2022 at 11:23 am

    Maybe they will switch you to Rythmol (Propafenone).
    Don’t worry- They’ll find something to fix it.
    I’ll be praying for you! 💕

  • September 28, 2022 at 11:43 am

    I’m praying for you, Dianny.

  • September 28, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    Be strong Dianny. I was diagnosed with HOCM two years ago at 62. Active my entire life but started having high blood pressure in my 50’s. Turns out it congenital/genetic and can only be detected with echo which most people don’t have till later on. When cardio called, I said does this mean I could drop dead at any time, and he said no. (Since you lived this long etc.) But asked if I have kids which I do. My son has it, a great athlete his whole life. He has a defibulator implanted now, saved his life. (Young people killer) . I’ve had TIA’s etc. Scary. But so much is being done now, especially with medication. You will be fine because you are one of the best!

  • September 28, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    One step at a time, lady. Feel better.

    • September 28, 2022 at 11:58 pm

      Prayer is better than the current crop of ‘doctors’. You shall have mine.

  • September 29, 2022 at 12:09 am

    Will pray for you, D. My priest always says God listens to sinners. So, I can assure you I’ve got His ear.

  • September 29, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    Thoughts and prayers being lifted up for you, Dianny. I trust all will be okay and the doctors will find a remedy.

  • September 30, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    I’m thinking just upping the beta blocker will help you out, unless you’re already sky high with that. COVID last year (44 days in ICU) left me with a racing heart and high blood pressure. Metoprolol has been literally a life saver for me. I’ve reduced the dosage once to 100mg 2X day but latest attempt to wean off left me feeling horrible.
    Hope you feel better soon!

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