Thoughts on Cardiac Ablation

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By Stuart Miles, published on 04 September 2012
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Psalm 118:24

Living Bible (TLB)

24 This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

In a detour from my usual devotional writing, I am posting a personal experience in hopes of reaching someone else who may be contemplating a cardiac ablation.

I’ve had SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) off and on for many years, hence the referral to this condition as “paroxysmal”, and until recently have resigned to live or die with it.

Like a switch thrown out of the blue, my heart would race up to over 220 beats per minute, leaving me incapacitated if the arrhythmia lasted a half an hour or more. I’ve been afflicted in just about every imaginable circumstance, the most dangerous would be driving, and have to immediately stop what I’m doing and perform some type of Valsalva maneuver in hopes of slowing the rate. Putting my head between my knees, bearing down and holding my breath, or even splashing my face with ice water (to replicate the mammalian diving reflex) is neither always convenient nor effective.

Technology has come a long way, baby, and the treatment of choice is now cardiac ablation, which simply explained, means jiggling around a hot wire in your atrium until the irritable area is stimulated and reproduces the rapid rate. Then, the area is ablated, or fried. Sort of. Nonetheless, that’s it in a nutshell, and if it’s successful and the complications like a punctured lung or heart, blood clot or stroke, or infection, do not occur, you may be cured. These complications are very rare and fatal consequences are less than one out of a thousand. I figured I expose myself to more risk every time I get in an automobile.

My episodes occurred about every other day, short runs of tachycardia that left me interrupted for a few seconds or minutes and feeling faint, with long thirty to forty five minute episodes happening three to four times a year. As a young person, a young healthy heart can sustain this nonsense, but as a senior citizen, the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, or worse, increases with the aging heart.

My hope is that if any one reading my blog and also suffers with this condition; you may consider the research and get checked out to have the procedure, if it is appropriate for you. Find a great cardiologist. Get a referral to a great electro physiologist, and book into a great center where these procedures are done routinely. I am so fortunate to be near Nashville, Tennessee, where health care is probably king to country music. I guess it depends how one looks at things…

I thank the Lord for being with me through my experience, which proves to me once again, He never leaves or forsakes me. I am grateful for the prayer support. Who knows that, like Ester, I am blogging at such a time as this just to tell you about this technology? Dear friend, rejoice with me in this good day! I’ll keep you posted on the long term effects. But for now, be glad with me.

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