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My journey towards ablation.....

Oct 25, 2010 - 4 comments






Oct. 3, 2010
After 54 years of PSVT, I've had enough!  I spoke to my PCP, and he recommended that I see a cardiologist.  The cardiologist put me on a 30 day monitor which recorded some classic SVT events.  I don't know if the cardiologist thought I was blowing smoke, having never recorded one of my events, but when he saw the first recording, he called me immediately and upped my dosage of Metoprolol which had been cut back at my request.  He immediately set up an appointment with a respected EP out of UMass

Oct.12, 2010
The EP looked at the traces, and proclaims that it bears all of the markers of Wolff Parkinson White syndrome. It's abrupt and hits hard.  He thinks that it could be easily fixed by ablation.  He offers some options wich include different kinds of meds, but I want to get rid of this once and for all!  EP is in agreement.

Oct.18, 2010
Scheduler calls with a date of Nov.16.  for my procedure.  I'm pumped! Nervous, but pumped.  Scheduler set an appointment a week prior to see an anestheseologist to discuss my sedation.  Says I should show up "fully prepped".  After having hernia surgery twice, I know what that means!

Oct. 24, 2010
Had my forth SVT event of October.  This time I was sitting in church!  That was a first for me.  Maybe it was a message.  I managed to quickly convert by using my usual Valsalva move.

Oct. 25, 2010
I received a call from the scheduler today with a time change to see the anesthesiologist.  I took the opportunity to ask him if he knew what kind of sedation the EP likes to use.  "Oh, your out.  Don't worry about it", he said.  "Out" is good I thought.  Now the waiting game.  For me, the prophet of doom, it's sometimes worse than the procedure itself.  Waiting.........

Oct. 26, 2010
Today I woke up with a terrible stuffy nose and the start of a bad cold.  This is actually good news because I'll be over it by my procedure date.  The sneezing I was having all day has taken its toll on me, and I've had some PVCs and a short run of SVT after dinner.  It dropped out quickly and wasn't enough to count as an event.

Oct. 27, 2010
File this under "What are the chances?".  About a month ago, I was listening to Doctor Radio on Sirius/XM.  The Doctor/host, Dr, Fred Feit was talking about heart health.  I sent in a email with a quesiton about ablation and its associated risks.  I listened fo the entire 2 hours, but my question was never addressed.  I eventually all but forgot abot it.  Today, I jumped in the car a few minutes before 6PM to meet my wife in our little town for dinner, and I flipped on the satellite radio.  The radio so sooner came on and there was Dr. Feit wrapping up his broadcast and about to address an email from a listener named Tom in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  For a confused micro-second I though, "Hey a guy named Tom from my town!"  I listened intently while Dr. Feit first read my question, then proceded to render his opinion which was basically to talk with the EP then make an intellegent decision on meds versus ablation, and how the problem interferes with daily activities.  I have chosen the later.

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Avatar universal
by Nellieevelyn, Oct 25, 2010
Tom what is a Valsalva move?

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by tom_h, Oct 25, 2010
Valsalva is a little trick I learned when I was only 6 that's used to convert my SVT.  My SVT will not convert on its own, and must be converted my drugs or this little maneuver.  There's a really good explanation in Wikipedia, but I can basically describe it here.  When my heart takes off, I usually find a step to sit on.  This brings the knees up a little bit and kind of puts you in a crunch position.  I take a short breath, bear down, and squeeze.  Some people describe it as bearing down while taking a BM, but I don't think that's it at all. You keep the force up high.   I imagine squeezing my heart with my lungs to the sides, and my diaphram  from the bottom.  I hold it for about 3 seconds, then release.  The sudden change in blood pressure halts the tachycardia sometimes only seconds after it starts.  I did this several time during my 30 day monitor, and the conversion looks remarkable dropping from 200 to 85 almost instantly with only some wavy lines between the SVT event and back to NSR.

Sometimes my SVT isn't sufdden, but will begin with a portion of the heart in SVT while I can feel the normal beating underneath.  If I do nothing, the SVT will overcome the normal beating, and eventually I'm in full SVT.  But during that transitionary period, if I give a hard sharp cough, it will sometimes stop the SVT I'll drop back to NSR.  That cough is a form a Valsalva.    Hope that helps.

Avatar universal
by jyant, Oct 25, 2010
"This time I was sitting in church!  That was a first for me.  Maybe it was a message."

Maybe the Spirit was tapping you on the shoulder that you forgot to pray for yourself to be healed?  You know, sometimes we get so wrapped up in others we forget to pray for ourselves.

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by suzy74601, Oct 14, 2011
I dont know if you are still on this forum but I was wondering if you had the ablation?

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