Tuesday, October 29, 2019

I'm Back...and The Reason Why I Was Gone

Did you miss me? Actually, I missed (sometimes) the chance the share my thoughts with the two or three of you who read this blog regularly, but I resisted the temptation. I was at my computer some days, but did no writing. I simply read what others wrote on their blogs and Internet posts, agreeing with some and disagreeing with others. I even left comments. But it was freeing not to be responsible for my own posts, even on an infrequent basis.

My wife is the second blessing in my life...most men don't have one wonderful woman in their life, but I've had two. When she said that her heart rhythm had changed to atrial fibrillation (an irregular irregularity, if that makes sense to you--it did to me), we consulted her internist who sent her to an excellent cardiologist. Since then, she's undergone two cardioversions (you've seen them on TV--the doctor puts the paddles on a patient's chest and restarts the heart...sometimes). The conversion to a normal rhythm lasted only a couple of days in each case. Her medication was changed, without benefit. There was another option, and we chose it.

Her main problem was tiredness. It literally hurt me to see her having to sit down and rest after tasks that I took for granted. On the recommendation of her cardiologist, she underwent a cardiac ablation two weeks ago. This involves a general anesthetic, putting electrodes through the femoral veins and into the heart, then electrocauterizing areas that cause the abnormal rhythm. I'm a doctor, which means I know all the bad things that can happen...including death.

Fortunately, the procedure worked without complications. She even feels good enough to start work on the initial edit of my next book. We're not out of the woods, but getting there. And I'll be posting again twice a week. I invite you to come along. I'll try to make it fun.

23 comments:

Rita Garcia said...

I've missed reading your posts. Praying for your wife, for a full and speedy recovery. Blessings.

Diane B said...

Sorry to hear of the painful weeks you and your wife have endured lately but, am also grateful she is progressing well. Glad to have you back, Dr. Mabry! I enjoy your posts and share them with others when I can. Praying for you and your wife.

Unknown said...

I am happy to hear all went well and is going well. Prayers and love for you both.
Viki

Richard Mabry said...

My thanks for you all--to Rita, Diane, and Viki--as well as others who read my post but didn't comment. I appreciate it.

Betti said...

So glad your wife is starting to feel better! I always enjoy reading your blog, even if I don’t often comment. Praying for complete healing!

Deana said...

So glad to see you back on. You have been missed. I’m glad your wife is doing better. Sending prayers for healing and comfort.

Vera Godley said...

I commensiurate with her because I had AF for years with valve regurgitation. Some days it took 250 mg of beta blocker to settle it down. Thankfully, a cariologist finally felt it merited an ablation. They did this 6 weeks after a minor stroke. The doctor/s at Duke Medical Ctr were wonderful. Mine was done in 2013 and was great and still is. Sinus rhythm is wonderful! I have a little AF from time to time now, but nothing like it was. I wish and hope for her continued improvement and energy.

Best wishes

Donn Taylor said...

I'm glad she came through all of that OK. Very serious stuff. (I've had AF and know.) Praying here for no recurrence.

Priscilla Bettis said...

I'm glad that your wife's cardiac ablation went well, and I pray she recovers fully. I'm sure she's enjoying her edit pass at your next book.

Lauri Harris said...

I’m glad she is doing better. I know it must have been an uneasy time for both of you. Prayers for a full recovery.

Linda Kozar said...

Praying this procedure was successful!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks to each of you. I really appreciate your prayers, your well-wishes, and...pride, I know...your nice words about my writing.

Patricia Bradley said...

So sorry she had a-fib! It put me in the hospital once, but mine isn't constant so no ablation for me. I missed you! Good to have you back.

Myra Johnson said...

So glad for the positive outcome! Our son-in-law had to have cardiac ablation done a few years ago when his heart would unpredictably race wildly. Scary at the time but no problems since. Give your sweet wife my very best!

Lora D said...

Oh, I am SO glad your wife is recovering well! I can relate to what she went through. Since you're a doctor, I'll tell you of my ablation. I was born with a racing heart, my mom worked for a cardiac pediatrician, and he did all kinds of testing on me. My heart was normal, but I was alwaysin fight-or-flight mode and could rarely sleep or calm down. There were no solutions. As I grew up, I developed IBS and other issues.

In college, I was put on beta blockers, but they only helped somewhat. Under stress, my body overrode them. I tried all kinds of medication, but my body reacts the opposite of what the medication is supposed to do. Sleeping and calming meds make me wired. Nothing helps.

By 2006, my heart was seriously messed up from intense nonstop stress in a several cutthroat business jobs. I had multiple rhythms going, my heart felt like it was stopping and spasming, and I couldn't sleep at ALL. A friend told me about a new field, Electrophysiology, and I went to see an EP. He said I definitely needed an ablation--I had Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia (IST).

He said it would take about an hour and after a day, I could do anything I wanted to! Well, it took four hours, and he had to ablate my entire sinus node--including the natural pace maker. All he left were a couple of cells at the very bottom of my sinus node that were beating at the lowest rate. It took me a full month to recover enough to walk around, and I was in searing heart pain.

I still dealt with unbelievable stress working as a computer programmer, and my heart started to get messed up again. No medications or anything helped--my body overrides everything when under stress, and I refusedto ever go through that procedure again. So five years ago, I quit that world, downsized my life (drastically), moved up to the mountains where it's peaceful, and became a freelance editor (which I love).

IST is only a symptom of whatever causes my nervous system to overreact so drastically to any stimuli (I can wake up out of a dead sleep & my heart is racing so much I can't fall back to sleep), and there is nothing anyone can do. All my life (I'm 55) I've had to live with and overcome obstacles from this unknown condition. But others go through far worse situations than I do, so I thank God for my blessings and am very sensitive to what others go through.

I am SO grateful your wife is doing well, has no complications, and is already feeling better! I understand all too well what an ablation is and does, and I will be praying that she will not have to have another one ever again. Blessings to both of you!!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for all the comments. Lora, let me stress (although I appreciate your story) that every individual has different problems, and the best advice I can give is to consult your cardiologist.

I mainly intended to tell why I'd been absent from the blog-o-sphere for a bit. I appreciate all the comments from everyone, though, as does my wife. She is doing well after just a couple of weeks. So far, so good.

Jackie Smith said...

Yes, I missed you Richard; always enjoy your posts..even if I don't comment!
So glad your wife is recuping so good; praying all continues well. I know about that afib deal.....hub has many issues with that!

Gary Kirkham said...

We are keeping both of you in our prayers.

Cathy Rueter said...

Good to hear she is feeling better and you are back. Family first.

Gail H. said...

Everyone needs a break every now and then. Glad your wife is doing better. Maybe you both need a trip break.

mikesurovik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mikesurovik said...

Glad things are looking up

Richard Mabry said...

Thank you all.