Another day of illness – sometime in the early hours, I woke up with another tachycardia attack. I’ve had these attacks on and off for about thirty years, but they seem to be getting worse. They’re certainly lasting longer – just a couple of years ago, I could expect the attack to be over in 20 minutes or so. The one before this lasted for four hours, panicking me so much that I called an ambulance and got an early-morning ride to hospital (the good thing about that, from my POV, was that I finally had an actual ECG record – showing a steady and virtually unvarying 183 BPM for over an hour – of an attack taking place; previously, I’d always felt that my GPs were all rather dismissive of my accounts).
This attack lasted for at least six hours. But, this time I didn’t panic, having been reassured by the heart specialist last time that I wasn’t going to have a heart attack and that my heart was really in pretty good shape. This morning, while it was going on, I even managed to lightly doze for a while, resulting in a peculiar dream in which a woman named Pat rang me on the telephone and tried to tell me that she had the answer to my problem (“Which problem?” I asked her, “I’ve got lots” – she then put me onto some man who proceeded to wuffle on about doing things with coins; that was of no interest to me so I put the phone down on him.)
But I don’t want to repeat the experience – I got dizzy every time I tried standing up and spent the rest of the day on the sofa feeling weary and aching – so I’ve decided to start taking the beta-blockers that the hospital gave me. I tried them once before, a year or two ago, and stopped because they made me feel woozy and fluff-brained all day and gave me bad dreams at night.
But I have enough experience and knowledge of tachycardia to know that with me, it’s often triggered by anxiety. And at the moment, I’ve got a fair bit of that, what with having to rush through getting the 2008 Elfin Diary before Yule, plus having to deal with a wonky broadband connection that has seen me cut off from the interwebs for days at a time (it looks like a new wireless router is in order).
So i’m back on the beta-blockers and not at all looking forward to having a fluffy brain……