Friday, June 20, 2014

My hospital adventure

Last Monday about 3pm, out of no where, my heart suddenly went into a very fast rate. I was having a
great day up until then….getting lots of things done around the house.

I've had this fast heart rate a few times before in the past year or so, but didn't think much about it
because it would always resolve itself within about 5 minutes. Not this time.

I tried all my tricks….drinking ice water, putting my face in ice water, holding my breath, etc,
….nothing would bring that rhythm down. About 20 minutes into this Den asked if he should call an
ambulance. I said no, not yet. I took a cold shower. Still no change. Okay, call 911.

We soon heard the sirens coming towards our neighborhood. I could hear a fire truck too. In Clovis
they all come. Den looked out the window and said, "Yep, the neighbors are out watching this."

I felt a little ridiculous because I had no symptoms except for the racing heart.

First in comes the fire fighter asking questions and Den trying to answer them all….Finally that man
said, "I want her to answer them. I'm trying to assess if she's with it." I laughed. Are you short of
breath? No. Are you dizzy? No. Are you having chest pain? No, I feel fine. My heart racing is my only
symptom. (which by now was making me very nervous.)

So they loaded me up for my very first ambulance ride. Hooked me up to monitors and gave me
oxygen. I was relieved they didn't run the sirens on my trip to the hospital. I knew this meant I was

I have to say….I have been to lots of ERs with friends and family. LOTS of them. But I have never 
seen a better run one than this one…Kaiser. As soon as they took me out of the ambulance and
rolled me inside, I was placed up against a wall on my gurney. They apologized that my room was not
ready yet. I expected to wait there for HOURS while "we waited for a room." That's how it generally is
when I am with others at their ERs. I've known many to wait 12 HOURS or so JUST for an ER room.
Well guess what? At Kaiser they told me, "We are very sorry but your room is not quite ready."
and then 10 minutes later they rolled me into my room apologizing again for "the delay." I was

So here I was, in bed at Kaiser having lab work, IV, chest X-ray. My heart continues to race.

Den seemed stress but stayed by my side the entire 8 hours, except for 15 minutes when he grabbed a
salad in the cafeteria. And even then I had to talk him into it.

Everything Kasier did to me that day, they asked my permission first. And I was told more than once,
"You can refuse anything." Really? So I asked lots of questions and they kindly and patiently
answered them all. The ER Dr at one point looked at both of us and said, "Is there anything I can get 
for either of you?" See what I mean? They are way into customer service.

At one point I suggested that perhaps my heart rate would go down if they were to give me a sedative.
So they tried that. I became very relaxed and even dozed off a few times, but my heart continued to
race. So strange.

I'm now on a 30 day heart monitor. Meanwhile, I've been diagnosed with SVT. I'm told if it happens
again and won't go away in 30 minutes, I'm to call an ambulance again. If anyone has experience with
that, or advice….I'm listening.

We got home after midnight to our crockpot turned down down to warm, our blinds all closed, and our
front door locked. We have the best neighbors ever.


Karen Mortensen said...

Oh Jill I am so sorry you had to go through that. I hope you are okay. What is SVT?

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, my son drove an ambulance for years and he old me that they don't turn their sirens on when there is a patient on board, only when they are going to GET a patient.
Sorry you are going through this. I'm going to have to start researching it on the Internet. We'll talk soon.

K Raven Rozier, MA, HHP, MH said...

Hawthorn berry is an excellent herbal supplement for SVT; CoQ10 and fermented fish oil are also beneficial. If this is stress/anxiety induced, passion flower, valerian, cordyceps, and motherwort are good supportive herbs. Be well. Sorry you're experiencing this :(

grandmapeg said...

Being with you is always an adventure :-))) I'm glad the hospital treated you really well. So, what does SVT stand for? Is the heart monitor very heavy so that you really notice it?

Grandma Honey said... not heavy at all. SVT stands for....uh, not sure...I'll look it up and get back to you :)

Raven...I was so hoping you would see this and have some ideas. I had forgotten all about hawthorne. My heart was beating crazy (but not fast) when I was pregnant with Logan. Finally discovered hawthorne and it solved the problem. My mom was so impressed that she seriously wanted Logan's middle name to be Hawthorne. I'm already on CoQ10 and fish oil. Seriously, thank you for your ideas...I will look into them!

Darlene...I never knew that! So they don't even put on the siren if the patient is in really bad shape? So every time I see and loud ambulance go by it's empty?

Thank you Karen...I'll find out what SVT stands for. :)

Rebecca said...

This is scary. I am glad you are ok!!!

krheasley said...

You've mentioned this fast heart rate thing to us before! I'm so glad that you are okay for the time being. And I hope that you guys can figure out what all is going on!

I wish we were there to help take care of you!

Anonymous said...

How scary!SVT stands for supraventricular tachycardia. Some of the suggestions to slow you heart down were all the things you mentioned plus standing on your head, lying on your back with legs vertical(normally against a wall) while relaxing with slow steady breathes,or pressing down gently on your closed eyes(strangest yet)I wonder if this is Sam's problem as well. She went to the ER last year with the same symptoms. It happens to her about every couple of years. I'm sure it must be be very terrifying!!
Peggy Sue

Richard said...

If Dennis had driven you, he could have just dropped you off and checked back every few hours...

Scrapally said...

"Attitude is the difference between and ordeal and an adventure." I love that you titled this post as an adventure and that you kept your camera with you! Hope you will keep us posted on your monitor. Sending hugs and prayers for you! Keep smiling!

Yolanda said...

Oh Jill, how scary!! Sending you and Dennis lots of hugs. We'll be thinking of you and following your progress.

Donna Tagliaferri said...

I am so glad you are OK, do you know anything more?
Please take care of yourself...I have to admit I didn't like reading about this problem. But I loved that you had great medical care. So relieved about that.
Take care my friend, OK?

Heidi Ballas said...

Glad you are ok! Hope the heart monitor yields useful information the doctors can use. Sending lots of love your way!

Ammy said...

Thats scary! So glad you are OK!

Mary said...

Sorry, I just saw this post! Been there, so I know how scary it can be. Mine never lasted that long, though. I had a friend who often had this problem. She was in her 30s at the time. Her doctor told her to press down firmly on her carotid artery until her heart rate slowed, and that always worked for her. I only had to try it a couple of times since mine usually stopped soon on its own, but it did work, fairly fast. Obviously you wouldn't want to press on your carotid so hard or so long that it made you pass out, but some firm pressure for less than a minute did the trick for me both times.