Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It failed

Many things have failed in my life.

Almost every diet I've ever tried. Every sleeping pill I've ever been on. Every relationship I've been in. So on, you get the point. It happens I move on.
But when it comes to medical stuff that's when I freak out. When I was little, I had my first open heart surgery. I was 1 1/2. They did the glenn. But it failed. They did another procedure (that I dont know the name of) and it too failed. I'm lucky the fontan worked. It's the only reason I'm alive. But I wasn't old enough for those failings to effect me. It effect my parents, yes, very much so. They prayed that death would be quick and painless. The doctors had given them no hope, so they thought I was going to die. And then after I was in a coma for 2 weeks because I was on the heart lung machine to long. I'm sure for those two weeks, and for the months, and maybe even years after, they where terrified the fontan would fail to.

Wednesday of last week I learned one of the procedures they did during my last open heart surgeries (2 years ago) failed. The maze procedure.

The Maze Procedure is surgery performed to treat atrial fibrillation. During the procedure, a number of incisions are made on the left and right atrium to form scar tissue, which does not conduct electricity and disrupts the path of abnormal electrical impulses. The scar tissue also prevents erratic electrical signals from recurring.

The maze procedure has good long-term results for treating atrial fibrillation. This surgery has been shown to stop atrial fibrillation for at least 5 years in 92 out of 100 people

Mine was done July 24, 2009. For me, I believe mine failed just a few months after mine was performed. For a few months after the surgery (which wasn't just the maze, it was also the fontan revision, part of my heart removed and pacemaker implant) I felt good. But then things started feeling weird again. I'd get weird palpitations. Nothing horrible, they would only last a second. But it was there. And I felt them. Something was going on. At one point they managed to catch it, my heart rate was 200. So they planned a cardioversion. But when I got there, my INR wasn't high enough. So I waited a week, and when I went back, my heart was in a normal rhythm.

Ever since then I would get random palpitations. My heart would race and I'd go to the ER but they would never be able to catch it. So I finally stopped going, I was tired of being told it was nothing. I ask both my cardiologist and electro physiologist (pacemaker dude as my mom calls him) and they told me it was nothing. So I gave up on. Figured I'd just live with it. It hurt, I hated the feeling, but there was nothing I could do. No one believed me.

But then, the palpitations began to last longer. It lasted 25 minutes so I decided I'd go back to the ER. My heart rate was 150-190. I was finally taken seriously and sent to University Of Utah, where my (new) cardiologist worked. I was told I was in atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation.

That was when I realized the maze failed. I always wondered, and now they confirmed it. My first thought was "Yes! They finally caught it! I told them it wasn't nothing!" But then I worried. They performed a cardioversion on me and put me on new medications, now I feel amazing. I haven't had a palpitation since.
But now I worry. Will this too fail? They say the maze works for 92 out of 100 people. That means I'm one of the 7 it doesn't work on. I haven't looked up cardioversion facts yet. Not sure if I will or not. Sometimes its better not knowing.
But there will always be that thought in the back of my mind.
Will this fail too?

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