Thursday, October 22, 2009

No Surgery For Me

I was due to have surgery on Friday. I went to the hospital yesterday (Wednesday) for my preadmission physical before undergoing surgery for a rectal mass. The doctors don't seem too concerned about it, but I was advised to get it out before it could potentially turn into something. The point of the preadmission physical was mainly to determine how I might react to the anesthesia during surgery.

During the physical, I saw a physician's assistant who did the basics like taking my blood pressure. Then, I saw someone who took my blood and performed the EKG. Then, the nurse came in and told me how to prepare for the surgery (i.e. my last meal, washing with bacterial soap the day before the procedure, etc). They were all very nice and personable.

The physician's assistant was very concerned about my rapid heart rate. Yesterday, my heart rate was 132. The highest that it has gotten to my knowledge is 150. The normal range for a heart rate, from my understanding, is 60 to 90 beats per minute.

I explained to him that I have Grave's Disease. "That shouldn't be why your heart rate is so fast," he said. His girlfriend has Grave's Disease, and she's on Synthroid and she's just fine (Everyone is an expert--LOL). I told him that I was glad for her, but I'm an unusual case and the poster child for side effects.

I have always been concerned about my rapid heart rate. On several occasions, I have been diagnosed with tachycardia (I always mispronounce that word). According to Webster's Dictionary, the definition of tachycardia is: an abnormally rapid heartbeat, caused by disease, medication, drugs, exercise, or emotional distress.

So, let's see: I have Grave's Disease (disease), I take thyroid medication (medication/drugs) and I've been taking a muscle relaxant (medication/drugs), and I was in the hospital--with spasms in my neck due to Dystonia-- a few days before a scheduled surgery(emotional distress). Hey, four out of five possibilites ain't bad.

The PA told me that I should be on a beta blocker, because it would help to slow my heart rate down. For years, I've been told that I need to be on one. However, one of the listed side effects on my last prescription for beta blockers--which I didn't take--said that it could cause the heart to stop. So, I figured that a fast heart rate would be better than none at all.

The PA did get me thinking, though. He informed me of a study that included 70,000 people. The conclusion of the study was that people who needed beta blockers and took beta blockers lived longer than those who did not take them. He also told me that I can't keep walking around with my heart beating so fast. Even though I've been resistant in the past, I'm thinking about going back to a cardiologist and having them prescribe the bb's for me. I will pray on it. Obviously, I hate medication and I hate side effects (i.e. drowsiness). So, we'll see...

As of this morning, I had not received a call telling me whether or not I would be approved for surgery. I prayed on it and talked to my husband and my mother. So, to make a long story shorter, I decided to cancel my procedure--before the decision was made for me. I simply did not feel comfortable being under anesthesia with my rapid heart rate.

And, by the way, I do greatly appreciate the PA's concern. He could've just given me the typical response, "It'll be okay. There's nothing to worry about." I'm so glad that he took the time to care.

1 comment:

Christy (CPJ) said...

I am so late to comment on this Chyvonne, but wanted to say a couple of things to you:

"I explained to him that I have Grave's Disease. "That shouldn't be why your heart rate is so fast," he said. His girlfriend has Grave's Disease, and she's on Synthroid and she's just fine (Everyone is an expert--LOL)."

If his girlfriend is on synthroid, then she's hypO thyroid and getting hormone replacement - not hypER thyroid which is how all of us Graves folks start out. The hyper is what makes your heart race - so her heart wouldn't be racing if she's hypo, which she must be to be getting synthroid.

Also, I did the beta blocker for my heart before I did the RAI and am so glad I did. I know it's hard to get past putting something else in your body on top of what all is going on, but it will truly help you. When I was on the BB it was the first 'rest' my heart got in so long because it had been so elevated. No one has said this and I'm no expert, but the heart is a muscle and a muscle that is overworked gets enlarged, so I wonder sometimes if my heart is enlarged from nearly two years of pumping it's little self to death.

If your heart rate is that high, Chyvonne, I'd definitely get the BB - I was on 10mg a day which is very low but it made a huge difference in the way I felt.