Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chocolate...Not Always a Good Thing!

Chocolate...I love it...too much!  If it is in the house, it calls my name. So, I don't buy it. But my dear husband does and he did last Friday. He went to Publix for me to pick up some BOGOs that were too good to pass up and decided to purchase another special...24 full sized candy bars for $9.85 (I think.)  They were also some of my favorites...Snickers, Milky Way, Three Musketeers and my all time favorite, Twix!  Okay, I had one that night and it was so good!

Fast forward to Sunday and an after service pot luck dinner (luncheon for those who don't have dinner at lunchtime) with some of our friends who make up the JOY (Just Older Youth) group at church. Enter Ms. Betty's chocolate cake (to die for) and Kay's cherry topped devils food cake both in the shape of a heart! And the dark chocolate brownies. Enter two cups of strong coffee (which I never touch after 10a.m.)

Fast forward again to Sunday evening when I could no longer resist the temptation of a Snickers bar and ate one with no regard whatsoever to the caffeine that was in it and all the other yummy things I had earlier.

Fast forward to 9:45p.m. when I began having an attack of Supra-ventricular Tachycardia.  No big deal, I think and begin the maneuvers that usually stop it.  The flipping and flopping of my heart had subsided but  I was still in SVT with a heart rate ranging between 145 and 152.  Blood pressure way, way up.  So, my husband says, "get dressed, we're going to the E.R."  I say, "no, I'm sure I'll be okay in just a few minutes."  So he says, "I'm calling the nurse hotline (of our insurance company) and we'll see what they have to say."  So he does.

Fast forward 15 minutes and we are on our way to our local hospital known for its excellent treatment of heart related emergencies. We enter the E.R. and go to the desk and within minutes I am in a room, with EKG pads all over me and three nurses and a great doctor.  My heart rate is about 145 and my blood pressure is still up.  The doctor talks to me and asks me if I have tried the maneuvers that usually work to get the heart rate back to normal and I told him that I had. He says that there are two ways to shock my heart back into normal sinus rhythm. One is with electrical shock (think "clear" and "bam") and the other is with a chemical medication given intravenously called adenisine.  He chooses adenisine. One of the young nurses says, "Cool!"

Fast forward a few minutes and the I.V. port is in my arm and a young nurse comes in and says, "I need to see this, I've never seen this before!"  The head nurse tells her she can stay and that she can hold my arm steady.  They put the meds in the I.V. port and then I found out what they mean when they say "I.V. push" on TV.  Literally, there is one guy pushing with all his might to get the meds into my vein. So, I have three people working on my right arm: one is holding it up, one is holding  the IV port steady and the other is pushing the medication into the port.  They tell me, "you're going to feel a weird sensation."  About two seconds later, I feel as if I am falling into a hole...not a pleasant feeling. Then it was gone and my heart rate was at 75 and I was out of SVT.  My husband was watching the monitor as they pushed the meds into me and he said my heart rate was 143 and instantly dropped to 75.

I had been confused about all the excitement about watching what seemed to me to be a rather unpleasant but otherwise, somewhat ordinary event.

Fast forward a few seconds later and the intern who was pushing the meds into my arm said, "That's the first time I've used adenisine where the patient did not flatline for a second before their heart rate came back up to normal."  Ah ha!  They all thought I was going to flatline and wanted to see it!  I felt so bad that I did not give them the learning experience they were looking for. Uh, NOT!  One of the young nurses said. "It's okay...it was still cool to see the heart rate drop like that!"  So, the learning experience was not wasted after all.

It was refreshing to be in a hospital with a group of people who are excited about the profession they have chosen and are eager to learn new things.  I have been to too many hospitals where the nurses and interns appear to be bored and more interested in themselves than their patients.  I am so glad to see that there are young professionals who have a calling to be the best nursing and medical professionals that they can be.  It is encouraging. I hope they don't lose the drive to keep excelling!

As for me, flatline or not, adenisine rocks!!! I would gladly take it over the paddles any day!!!

Oh, and one more thing...no more chocolate for me...no more coffee after 10 a.m. and only two cups max before...well, maybe one bite of chocolate here and there...and of course I could never give up Ms. Betty's killer (pun intended) chocolate cake forever...just a small slice from now on though...I just won't over indulge...I PROMISE...really, I do promise.

I am also considering having an ablation so I can get off the heart meds. I'll have to consider that for a little longer though and do more research into it but like that it is an option.

Now I need to get off this computer and get back to cleaning house.

4 comments:

  1. Oh Vicki you just make it sound like just another ordinary day! You did make me laugh when you told your husband no when he wanted you to go to the hospital! I did the same when I was having my stroke. I think as women we feel like we don't want anyone to make a fuss! But I am glad you went and had such good care.
    Now remember, all things in MODERATION!!!! Love Di ♥

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  2. Actually chocolate doesn't contain caffeine but a milder stimulant named Theobromine.

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  3. Thanks, Duta, but chocolate does contain both caffeine and theobromine. You can read more about this here: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_chocolate_always_have_caffeine

    This link also mentions the fact that there is an internet rumor going around that chocolate does not contain caffeine but that rumor is not true.
    Interestingly, the theobromine is the chemical that causes chocolate poisoning in dogs because they cannot metabolize theobromine quickly and it can cause nausea, vomiting, hyperactivity, seizures and death.

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  4. That's so weird-I have the same thing and have decided no more sugar or chocolate. I've had the heart flip flops for over 10 years (had the heart monitor,sonogram)and they are becomming more frequent-but I know chocolate and sugar aggrivate it. I went to the hosp. one time with the elevated heart rate, but thankfully, I didn't have to go through what you did. My rate just came down as I lay on the bed-the Doctor asked if I had any sugar before going to sleep-yep! It's not worth it to me to put my body though all that, and I can live without the sugar. I just think of all the things I CAN have, and know I'm having a healthier body too. Let's pray for each other! What are the things that get you out of those attacks-I've never heard of that...
    Love, Debra

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