Back in August, 2010 I started to have an irregular heart beat. It would beat for a few, then skip, beat, beat, beat, skip, beat beat, skip. You get the point. It got so bad that one night I nearly passed out. It was making me feel weak, fuzzy headed (more so than normal) and exhausted. It didn’t matter if I was resting all day, or had tried to do things around the house. It was beat, beat, beat, skip.
Finally I had had enough, and my “friend” drove me to the emergency room. One thing I will say for ERs, if you go in and tell them that you are having chest pain they will get you in right away. I got hooked up to an EKG and they took the requisite half-gallon of blood to test.
The good news was it was not a heart attack. The bad news was that they had no clue as to what it was. They wanted to keep me over night, but since I didn’t have my phone charger (I’m not joking about this part) I said no. They checked me out and sent me home. This was seven hours later, actually not bad time for an ER.
I got a call a week later advising that I needed a “cardiac stress test,” and that I would receive a letter regarding the appointment soon. The test was scheduled for September 15th at 8am. I got there, was wired up and, since I had problems walking, they did the chemical version of increasing my heart rate.
It was fascinating watching the monitor. You could see the skipped beats and how the frequency changed as the heart rate increased. Then they did a cardiac ultra-sound. Fascinating!
After all the tests were done, and all the goo and sticky tabs removed I was sent home and told that I would get a letter with an appointment to see the cardiologist for follow-up. The letter came, and my appointment is for June 22, 2011. NINE months after the test. That was the earliest that the public hospital could get me in.
Since then I have been back to be hooked up to a 24 hour heart monitor to wear home, but other than that NOTHING else has changed. Other than the fact that I am still going beat, beat, skip, beat, beat, beat, skip.
In a prior insurance life, I would have had the tests, been followed up by the cardiologist and would have a definitive answer. My new primary doctor at the community clinic advised me when I first saw him in January (he read the reports from September) that I should not be surprised if the cardiologist wanted to do angioplasty surgery. That’s where they run a wire with a balloon attached up through the groin and reopen clogged blood vessels.
The speed at which public option healthcare runs just breaks my heart. Or it just might let my heart collapse.