Monday, September 6, 2010

My 2nd ever trip to the Emergency Ward

As you may have guessed by my earlier posts, I was sick a fortnight ago. I had to take Tuesday and Wednesday off work because of it, that’s how horrible I felt. On Thursday, I was feeling better enough to go back to work and teach the kiddies once more. What I didn’t expect was for my SVT to be set off by the action of picking up my bag and provide me with a third, surprise sick day.
I’ve had SVT since I was at least 12 or 13. It used to occur in fairly short bursts, every 2-4 weeks, which gradually changed into one MASSIVE attack, every 13 or 14 months. By “massive”, I’m talking about a heart rate of around 200bpm for up to and sometimes, as happened last week, over an hour.
This wasn’t the first time I went to hospital for it. The first time was actually a rush trip in mum’s car and purely for the sake of getting an ECG so that it could be properly diagnosed. The first time I was sent there as an actual emergency was when I was 17 and at a fairly large sporting event. I was there in my role as a qualified first-aider, which is a nice little bit of irony, just to add some flavour. It was hot and humid (middle of summer), and I was treating a casualty who was feeling unwell.
Next thing I know, I bend down to pick up a pen off the floor and, on my way back up, my heart goes “PAAARTAAAY!!!!” and starts racing (Seriously, even my cardiac muscle has ADHD). It certainly picked the best place for it - I was in the main first aid room, with beds, about a dozen experienced first aiders, surrounded by first aid kits, oxygen kits, and everything you could possibly need for CPR (if it came to that, which it never does). For someone who is a terrible judge of time, I have awesome timing, though it does kind of suck being there to treat casualties and endind up a casualty yourself...  Sort of goes against the D in DRABC, D standing for “Danger”, and the first danger you look for being danger to yourself so that you don’t end up hurt and useless to the person who already is.
Next thing I knew, I was hooked up to a defibrillator and had 3 or 4 grown men looking on and looking extremely worried and anxious, wondering what to do with me and my heart rate of (only!) 105. They even told me that they’d have shocked me, had I not been conscious (SO GLAD I WAS CONSCIOUS)! I kept trying to reassure them I would be fine, but I think when you have a patient who has an abnormal rhythm AND a stupidly quick and faint pulse, it’s in the job description not to listen. So they called the ambulance for me. I think they were surprised (pleasantly, one would hope) when they called my parents and they were as dismissive of the episode as I was. They also notified my school, and we were all were pleasantly surprised when the head of campus called up to ask after my health. 
Naturally, my heart started beating normally again as the ambulance pulled in to the hospital. Still, I had plenty of witnesses and documentation to show that I wasn’t faking it and wasting everybody’s time, so I guess that’s something. 
Four hours and a lot of blood tests later, I was told that there was apparently nothing wrong with me and sent home. It was a bit of an adventure, and when I showed up to do first aid again on the next day at the same event (ran for a fortnight, I think), they weren’t far from wrapping me up in cotton wool and keeping me in the first aid room until it happened again. Thankfully, it didn’t and I was able to treat casualties rather than being one. 

Gotta love medical adventures.
Party Hearty!

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