Kage Baker had a heart murmur. An innocent heart murmur: a distinction that means it did not affect the functioning of her heart. It merely unnerved physicians who were examining her for the first time. She got very nonchalant about disabusing them of the notion that she was about to have a heart attack.
We figured she must have had rheumatic fever as a child. There was a year or so around age 6 when she caught everything that produced a rash, a fever and/or a sore throat. We figured that was when rheumatic fever snuck in. It was probably the cause of her arthritis that began at the tender age of 8, as well.
But she didn’t have a bad heart!
I, on the other hand, do. And for the last 2 days, I have been experiencing the old-fashioned sounding symptom of palpitations. It sounds like I need smelling salts, and should be languishing on an S-shaped divan, fluttering. a lacey lawn handkerchief. What it actually means is that I get a feeling like wings beating in my chest, followed by a hollow sucking sensation that drains all the air from my lungs. My heart is skipping beats – then stumbling forward in a cartoonish fashion in an attempt to catch up to itself.
It is very tiring.
Consequently, Dear Readers, I’m not up to much tonight. I will answer all your lovely comments and notes, though, tomorrow.
Sounds as if it might be atrial fibrillation — a startling, unsettling, irritating nuisance. The two standard medical responses for that are “live with it and take blood thinners” and “have cardiac ablation (which rarely works), live with it, and take blood thinners.” However, in addition to AFib I also have ‘sick sinus syndrome’ (my heart simply stops beating for six or seven seconds at a time); this won me a pacemaker, which not only fixes the heart-stopping thing but also controls my AFib. In any case, I hope you get a prompt, accurate diagnosis and a speedy resolution so you can continue to amuse us with your writing for decades to come.
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My thought also is atrial fibrillation, and as Carolyne said, I hope for speedy diagnosis, and resolution!
Carolyn & Margie – nope, I officially don’t have atrial fibrillation. I doubt my atria have enough energy to fibrillate, anyway. What I have is an enlarged left side of my heart (due to its struggle to pump blood out of the left atrium through the mitral valve into the left ventricle; then out the left ventricle into the rest of my body) and a mitral valve that has metamorphosed into a stone clam shell. But it’s all fixable. I’ll probably get another 20 years out of this, and that will be quite satisfactory.