This has been the "Summer of the Heart" for me.
In my last blog post, when I recounted all the adventures on my trip out west, I left out one huge part of the adventure. Today I will fill in that part of the story for you, which actually began during exam week at school. But to understand that portion of the saga, I need to give you some background information. (I could go on and on, but I'll try to give you a Reader's Digest condensed version, shrinking 15+ years into a few paragraphs.)
For about 15 years I have been aware of my heart fluttering or even racing from time to time. About 5 years ago it started happening fairly frequently, sometimes accompanied with lightheadedness. Because of some family history, my doctor referred me to a cardiologist who scheduled me for a nuclear stress test. The test revealed that there were no blockages and that my heart was pumping my blood very well. This was good news to me since my dad died of a heart attack at the age of 42. The autopsy revealed that several of his coronary arteries were almost completely blocked.
The cardiologist released me to my family doctor who said he had no idea why I was experiencing what I was, but to let him know if I had further difficulties. During the several months following the stress test, I had hardly any episodes of my heart racing. That is, until I went to see my doctor for my annual physical. As I sat on the table waiting for the doctor, I felt my heart start to race. I decided not to say anything and wait to see what the doctor said when he heard it. He kept moving the stethoscope around on my chest and finally asked, "Are you OK?" I replied, "It's fast, isn't it?" He responded, "It's crazy fast!" He had his nurse give me an EKG, but my heart had already stopped racing as the nurse put the pads in place.
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