my heart, the watchdog

You’ve been panting with wild anticipation to hear of my experiences with the heart Holter Monitor, no?  To refresh your memory, I was supposed to wear this contraption for 48 hours.

The monitor was supposed to record the hoofbeats of the proud, wild mustangs inside my chest cavity.  It would allow the cardiologist to discern what planet the alien hailed from that was freeing itself from the jail of my breast.  I was pumped (har! cardiac humor)…this was gonna be some kinda FUN.

The helpful nurse at the cardiologist’s office hooked me up.  She gave the monitor a hard slap with the butt of her palm and said under her breath,

‘What’s wrong with this unit?  Maybe it’s on the fritz!’
She then smiled and wished me well and I skipped out exuding confidence.  As was my fear, the first night I awoke in my usual sweatbath and two of the electrodes slid off my chest.  The nurse had assured me,

 ‘If they come off at night, just stick them back on with some tape.  The monitor will resume working.’ 
I stuck them back on, but the readout on the monitor kept reading ‘data not analyzed’.  In the morning, my chest was a mess o’ medical tape as I futiley struggled to get a readout.  Called the dr’s office and a very annoyed nurse told me to come back in to let her look at the unit.
‘What’s the matter with this thing?  We may have to mark it as not usable.  OK.  You’re good to go.  Good luck!” 

I was ecstatic I had the privilege of paying the doctor a bucketload of cash to hook me up to his broken Holter monitor.
The NADIR (that means the worstest) of the heart monitor experience came about one hour later.  I hear a beep from the monitor (located in my pocket) while I am driving my car.  I take the box out of my pocket and it reads….I kid you not…..WATCHDOG ALERT! (with an exclamation).  I slammed on the brakes cuz I didn’t know if I had already died of a heart attack, or if I had committed a crime and was being hotly pursued by the local dogcatcher.  My call to the doctor’s office was a comedy of

‘We’ve never heard of WATCHDOG ALERT!?  Are you SURE it says WATCHDOG ALERT!?  did I forget to tell you guys I love to play heart monitor jokes??

Posing with the coat
sorry…my obligatory Roxy-Doxy photo


But….I digress.
I guess the cardiologist got enough information from the monitor to see a problem.  He started explaining Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome .  What it means.  What I should do.  I couldn’t believe I had an issue with my heart.  He marched me directly into the echocardiogram room where a very nice man looked at my heart with sonogram technology.  Valves busily opening and shutting.  Chambers filling and emptying of blood.  When he turned the sound on, there was lots of watery whooshing and swooshing.  He showed me the mitral valve opening and closing.  A small amount of blood was being allowed to ‘wash back’ into the chamber.  Not a terrible thing, but not the best either.  Lazy, flaccid valve.

I’ve been coming to terms with this (they say common) condition.  At first, I felt kinda bummed.  I’ve been reading about it…I’m understanding it more.  I’m taking my meds and trying to make changes in how I react to stress. 

Here’s where I am today:
Every beat of my heart, before I found out about my MVP, has been because of the grace of the Creator.  I’m content knowing every flawed beat from here on out is in His hands as well. 
Watchdog Alert love to all.

5 thoughts on “my heart, the watchdog

  1. Being a typical guy, I never know what to say to folks in these situations. So I'll refrain from trying to offer condolences, or some other such useless tripe.I will say that your faith, and sense of humor about the situation are not a bad thing.

  2. Welcome to the Monkey Heart Possessor Club, darling Kate! I am using an exclamation point not because I am joyous that you have been forced to become a member of the club, however, I am so glad to not be the only one attending meetings…let me know if you ever want to chat.Knowing that SOMETHING is flawed in your heart makes you extremely aware of every boom-boom pow, or boom-boom swish in my case, and I mean everything.Peace be with you as you heal!

  3. I've done medical transcription for more years than I would like to admit, and watchdog alert is a new one for me.Thanks for posting on my photo on Flickr (that's how I wound my way to your blog). Take care.Liz K. (doxieone on Flickr)PS Half of my relatives are Texans, BTW.

  4. What in the world?! Watch dog alert??!!! The monitor must have known it was dealing with you and needed to inject some humor into the situation. Your closing words are so true- you are still in god's hands, but that doesn't mean we won't all be praying for you!!! Hang tough crazy heart!Also- Happy Anniversary On A Chicken Wing and A Prayer!!!and… that solar oven is soooo cool. Do show us other things you will cook in it!

  5. Roxie Doxie was channeling you thatday in the car. When will medicalpeople understand that they need todesign these monitors like deep seadiving equipment for women. Keep that sweet heart tickin' calm.laudy, laudy

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