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September 11, 2009


“I got rhythm….”

by Andrea O'Connell

american heartThis is an update about my still beating heart (which continues to be grateful for each day). 

Though I have kept up with all the important Casey Anthony news of late – and there have been some extremely important events recently which I hope to write about soon – my mind has been set to another channel lately.

If you read my previous posts about my recovery from stupidity, having pulled (finally) my head out of the sand to focus on serious heart-health issues; this is an update.  

 Recently my cardiologist sent me to see another kind of heart specialist called an Electrophysiologist.  This kind of cardiologist specializes in the treatment and cure of electrical problems in the heart – rewiring of foolish hearts like mine are his specialty.   

The electric-like capacity of the heart is the engine that chugs along by virtue of what should be a steady rhythm of the heart beat.  My rhythm is has gone south, apparently, and needs, like a drain, to be snaked clear of debris.

(I have to admit I have trouble remembering the word Electrophysiologist; it has been far removed from my lexicon.) 

But, my dear Electrophysiologist says my heart issue is Arrhythmia, or Tachycardia. 

You see, the heart monitor, the “Holter” that I wore for a 24 hour period a couple of weeks ago showed signs of excessively fast beats that were measured to be dangerously high. 

My symptoms have included:

 Frequent palpitations – the kind that you feel in your throat; shortness of breath; dizziness, imbalance; extreme fatigue, anxiety; chest pains (though not severe), and swollen feet and ankles. 

These symptoms, taken together, paint the picture of Arrhythmia, or Tachycardia.  Now, Tachycardia involves the ventricles.  If the problem is in the lower ventricles, and if left untreated, will lead to certain death by heart attack.  However, Tachycardia in the upper ventricles is less threatening. 

We don’t know where my problem lies, but I go into the hospital on Monday and we’ll find out.  

I am scheduled to have an Electrophysiology Study (EPS), and most likely an Ablation.  My doctor also advised me that a pacemaker may be needed, or some other electrical device implanted to restore my natural rhythm.  (I choose not to think about implants or pacemakers – I am strong and otherwise healthy and hope and pray that the cure for me will be medication.)    

The procedure on Monday will require a hospital stay as it is invasive.  The procedure involves placing a small incision in the groin or upper leg area and running three long catheters up though the blood vessels and right into the middle of the heart! These three snake-like things (catheters) have little pacemakers at the ends of them and cameras, too, and will poke and prod and shock and cajole the heart for as much as four hours. 

If a pacemaker is needed, one will be at the ready – but, let me tell you this – hear me now: That pacemaker does not have my name on it!  

But, if I need to befriend some lonely pacemaker, so be it.  I do want to be healthy.  So, whatever it takes…. I will come back here and will sing this to you:

“I got rhythm… dad dum dum…. I got music… dad dum dum….  will get my heart fixed…. Dad dum dum…. who could ask for anything more… Who. Could. Ask. For. Any. Thing. MoreDaaaaa dum dummmmm!

See you soon!

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kathleen
    Sep 12 2009

    Damn you write well!
    and I will keep you in my thoughts on Monday and talk to your mom in the evening.

    And about your “about me” section (which is closed for comments) You are a damn fine actress and loved doing it and need to get back to doing it! As well as keep writing!

    And, here’s an idea, write yourself a play! A one woman show…or two for us! (I need to get back on the boards as well).

    Be good, take care of yourself, there are too many of us who love and need you in our lives!!
    xoxo Kath (& Jeffrey)

    • Andrea
      Sep 12 2009

      Hey Kath,

      Thank you so much for your comments…. I do love to write; and I do have a play idea churning around in my noodle, and of course, when and if I ever give birth to that baby, nobody but you will direct it as I know you are one fine director and have seen your incredible work… LOL.

      I will take care of myself… I promise. And I will excercise and eat right, and never do any of those silly things you and I used to do in college (LMAO) like drink beer until we swam in it…LOL… Those were fun days!

      Thank you my dear friend – I need to be around for a while longer because I will go back on stage one day!

      I’ll talk to you when they let me outta the psych, I mean, heart ward…LOL


  2. Kathleen
    Sep 12 2009

    What does “your comment is awaiting moderation” mean? Am I in trouble for saying “damn”?

  3. Andrea
    Sep 12 2009

    Ahhhh Kath! Nah… it’s just that WordPress holds the first time you leave a comment…. sorry bout that! Your comments won’t be held anymore… and I can fix that annoying little feature, too, I think!!!!! LMAO..

    Love you my friend,

  4. Kathy P
    Sep 13 2009

    Hi Andrea, I wish you the best on Monday, and my prayers are with you. I have enjoyed reading your blog and some of your quotations are very inspiring (may have to borrow!!!) I too had been following the Casey Anthony case and feel the same. Anways keep us posted on your health.

  5. Andrea
    Sep 13 2009

    Hey Kathy,

    Thank you so much! I didn’t realize you were following the case, too! You may surely borrow anything you’d like here…lol!
    Hope we can get together soon… a bite to eat and catch up should be on our agenda…okay?!!

    All will be well, I am sure….

    Love and hugs.


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