I was born with Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), it is 4 x defects of the heart, and had an operation to correct my heart, this was back in 1976.
I went to the Kruger National Park (where you can see the big 5) and had to drink malaria prevention medication. My heart went out of rhythm.
I then went through a period of anxiety/panic attacks, at the age of 23 and did not have much hope. I overcame the anxiety with the help of doctors, meds, lifestyle, prayer and a good attitude.
Some of the stuff that helped me is mentioned here: www.myafibheart.com/afib-re...
Since then I have had 8 cardioversions and one ablation.
I write because I want to understand and prevent AFIB and anxiety/panic attacks.
View all posts by email@example.com →
Atrial Fibrillation, Ectopic heartbeat and other palpitation patients know the feeling
I’ve had open-heart surgery to correct my Tetralogy of Fallot defect. They cut open your chest with a saw. Then they go-ahead to cut and patch your heart so that it works as it should.
The 10 plus cardioversions I had later in life were not bad at all. Time spent in hospital just feels like a waste of time for me. The intensive care units are the worst. Shure, they monitor you the whole time, but those beeping heart monitors are irritating. I know it’s in my best interest that they check up on me the whole time. But why do they have to take your temperature at 04:30 in the morning?
Then the taking of blood at 05:00! What a way to wake up, with a needle in your arm. I’m not complaining just stating a fact.
Sorry for that. In any case, cardioversion is when they put those paddles on you and say “clear”. They shock that 50 or 100 joules through your body. Sometimes 200 joules.
With my recent cardioversions, they also did a TEE. Basically, a pipe in your throat to see what your heart looks like. Looking to see if there are any blood clots. Don’t worry they use a date rape drug on you. I don’t remember anything. Cool.
The ablation is where they punch a hole in your groin stick a piece of metal up your arteries into your heart. Burning stuff inside your heart so that your heart stays in rhythm. I’ve had two of them. I’m extremely thankful for all the above.
“If you’re reading this… Congratulations, you’re alive. If that’s not something to smile about, then I don’t know what is.” ― Chad Sugg, Monsters Under Your Head
Only One Scar
The only big scar is the zipper on my chest. Let’s say the first cut was the deepest! I don’t have scars for the cardioversions. The ablation scars are very small and, well let’s just say they are not visible.
I’m relatively in shape not overweight and physically function 100%.
The problem I and other heart patients have with their heart is that it’s not visible. I know it’s like that with many illnesses. The small problem that creeps into our minds is that if your heart stops beating. You get the picture.
“I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” ― Woody Allen
Only a few minutes. That’s how long you can survive without a heartbeat. Then if everything goes well they still have to revive you back to your “normal living state”
Like many heart patients, I hear and feel my heartbeat. Strange to explain but we just do. It’s like a superpower. To infinity and beyond!!!! Got carried away with the superpower thing.
I can feel my heartbeat. Mostly when it’s out of rhythm.
It goes both ways. Sometimes you’re not fine and you want to cry it out. Pleading to them that they must feel your chest your pulse your heartbeat. It’s not fine I’m in a state! A bad state.
Other times you really are fine. Then the comment is uplifting encouraging. You feel and act as if you’re the strongest and fittest person in the room. You can move mountains. You easily forget the unfortunate many or few incidents your heart was out of rhythm or Ectopic.
I know there are the strong ones. Those who can go on with their lives even if they have an Ectopic Heartbeat spell. Even when they are not in normal sinus rhythm. They go on regardless. That depends.
It depends on how bad your heart is out of rhythm. It plays a major factor. Mine has gone from just feeling a bit uneasy and not able to exercise as I want to. But also a racing heart when I climb stairs.
Or, nearly fainting. I know others have that small problem holding your conciseness. It’s sort of troublesome. Fainting when your heart goes out of rhythm. It messes up your day. It’s the blood. There’s not enough of it getting to the brain.
“Reality continues to ruin my life.” ― Bill Watterson, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
It’s nothing you’re fine. My doctor, your doctor says it’s benign. Yes in almost all cases it is. Many people experience ectopic heartbeats, some worse than others. The problem is telling your head that your heart is alright when your heart is bouncing, fluttering, and giving “hard” beats.
You feel your heart doing its own thing, skipping, fluttering missing beats. The phrase inside your head goes. “You’re fine it’s nothing”. If a doctor said it, it must be true! But your heart keeps bouncing around.
The trigger has been pulled. Even if my heart is OK, my head is now asking “It’s something, are you alright?” The management of anxiety must begin. Don’t go down that road of asking too many questions, just live every moment.
“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
He made a big difference in the world. From the tip of Africa, and also had an impact on my life.
Can someone really make a difference in this world? I don’t mean small stuff, because I believe all of us can. I mean the really big stuff. Helping a person live longer, actually grabbing them from the clutches of death.
Breaking ground so that other people can follow and also save lives. This required courage and determination. Dr. Cristiaan Barnard of South Africa was the first person to do a human heart transplant.
Here is why you have to think about what you are thinking. Daily!
“Thoughts are real, physical things that occupy mental real estate. Moment by moment, every day, you are changing the structure of your brain through your thinking. When we hope, it is an activity of the mind that changes the structure of our brain in a positive and normal direction.” ― Caroline Leaf, Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health
Now I’m learning so much more: My understanding is growing
The ideas in my head
I’ve heard it so many times. Worship is not just a song, a tune, a melody.
The idea of worship I had was singing in church. Don’t get me wrong, it is a song in a church, but it is much, much more.I have struggled to fully understand the meaning of worship. Probably the best place to start is by understanding the word “WORSHIP.”
Origins of the word?
I attempted to put it in my own words, but it would have been an injustice, so here is the exact Wikipedia explanation.
The word is derived from the Old English weorþscipe, meaning to venerate “worship, honour shown to an object, which has been etymologised as ‘worthinessor worth-ship’” — to give, at its simplest, worth to something.
Personal experience and some features of the Apple Watch.
Watching the launch of the new Apple watch series 5, back in 2019, I wondered if this watch could really detect AFIB?The short answer is YES. The long answer will include which Apple series watch can do this. How accurate. What about the ECG?. Palpitations and other irregular heartbeats? Can it take your blood pressure?
If your mother was so shocked at your birth that she could not hold you. Would you say there were some obstacles to overcome?
Nick Vujici was born without arms or legs. He has a “chicken drumstick” toe as he calls it. It is toes on one side of his torso. Nothing else. When you see him for the first time it’s a shock. No arms or legs.
“You can’t even stand without risking to fall.” ― Nick Vujicic, Life Without Limits
To say he faced extreme obstacles in life is an understatement. Think “holding your fork to put food in your mouth”. Only problem is you don’t have arms, hands or fingers.
He was bullied at school because of his disability. He recalls that at some stage in his early life he had feelings of helplessness and isolation.
It’s too obvious you say. We all know it. But do we really understand it? Spending your time on something is spending your life on it. You only have one here on earth.
The more you do something the more you become it. The first time you start running, you are not called a runner. If you run every second day and keep it up for a few months, people will call you a runner. Later you will receive other tags like “fit”, “in shape”, “healthy”, “full of life” and so on. It all starts with what you spend your time on.
This was not my first AFIB episode or cardioversion.
I feel it!
Many people have asked me how I know if my heart is out of rhythm. In my case, I feel it. In many of my previous episodes, I even know the precise moment it goes out.
In nearly all the cases I hope and pray that it’s Ectopic beats(I have written about them previously) but this year I’ve had 4 AFIB “attacks”. I call them attacks others call it an episode. Well, they attack me. My life changes immediately after I feel that beat go out.
I start thinking about my work, cycling, time in the hospital, “farm” work, church meetings, my wife, my life, children, and mother.
It changes everything I have planned for the next few days. Previously it was “sort of easy” because it was an easy in and out of the emergency room. But no! corona is here and now every man, child, dog, cat, chicken, and whatever must be tested.
My practical and easy heart rhythm management tool.
This is not something out there, airy-fairy, it is my way of dealing with 49 years of heart disease, arrhythmia, and ectopic heartbeats.
I think you’ll agree with me when I say that dealing with AFIB or any palpitations is actually a type of heart arrhythmia management. People that have had some experience with AFIB know that the end of it is not always the end of it. The promise of cardioversion or even an ablation may not be the final word on your arrhythmia.
That is why journaling may be one of the best ways of heart arrhythmia management for you. And the best part? you can start it here and now!
You can actually improve your heart palpitations management by writing more about what your heart is doing, and what you are doing. On Newlifeoutlook I read a very interesting article written by Eric Patterson on how journaling can help you cope with AFIB.
Thanks to his article I have yet again seen what the benefits of journaling are especially in heart arrhythmia management, and how I have applied it in my life.
WHAT CAN JOURNALING DO FOR YOUR HEART?
The two main benefits mentioned in his featured article are very important. He mentions that a journal (this can also be your own website or blog) can help with data collection and stress reduction. How can you actually use this?
In South Africa we have lockdown you may have quarantine. Either way, you are restricted, prohibited, or kept in. Our world has changed and we have to make sense of what is going on. That is why I like the Bible. You can go back and see how to deal with difficult situations.
We are not the first people to experience some sort of locked-in experience. Kept inside for doing nothing wrong! There have been a few before us who have had it much worse than we have it now.
What are the dangers for heart patients in relation to COVID-19?
Everyone with a heart condition or who previously had a heart condition may just be a little bit rattled when they hear, Corona!. Every time I hear that “people with a heart condition are at risk” I have many questions. I’m not afraid but I am cautious to find out what that means for me as a “heart patient”.
I know I have to be wise and sanitize, but is there more that I have to know?