I have had an arrhythmia most of my life, and it acted up this week.
I walked into the hospital and when they took my heart rate it was over 200 beats per minute. I walked in. Earlier at home, when I could not stand, the rate was faster than that.
When I saw the triage nurse, he immediately sent me back, and the team immediately returned my heart to normal with fast acting medication, but then I had to have all the routine tests to make sure there was no damage.
What I did wrong.
1. I waited too long with my heart in an abnormal rhythm. If you wait too long regardless of the type of arrhythmia something could go wrong. I was sick to my stomach and clammy.
2. I did not call an ambulance, because I was embarrassed, but fortunately for me, my spouse was home. At my worse, I could not get up to walk to the car. He called nine one one, but while they were asking all the questions, my heart slowed just a bit that I could walk to the car, and my spouse drove me. I still should of taken an ambulance, because the paramedics start working on you immediately.
What did I learn?
1. I should of immediately called an ambulance, because the paramedics immediately begin treatment.
2. I need to speak up for myself more. The care at the hospital was excellent, except for the woman who was checking people into the triage nurse. Apparently, she was suppose to immediately send me back due to my heart rate. She was not suppose to send me to the triage nurse to then wait my turn. I also should of asked what was my heart rate was, because she did not look at it. I know that, because that is what she told the triage nurse, and the triage nurse, a male, scolded her. So don't ever think that because someone is male or female that they will give you better care. Fortunately, when I was sent back, a team was waiting for me.
You see I am a tiny women that looks younger than her age, and I am young for complaining about my heart; I don't look like a person with a heart issue. Even though I told her it was my heart and what arrhythmia I was in, I think I was treated like a loon. I think I was treated like I was a loon by the first person that I spoke with because of the way I looked. It all began as I was getting dressed, so my hair had dried with mousse in it; I had my shirt on backwards and I was wearing no shoes, because I could not put them on. Regardless, whether I came from the street or not, I should of been treated well regardless of what I looked like. I want to emphasize that everyone else at the hospital was excellent.
3. The women next door to me in the emergency room had a heart attack. When there is damage to the heart muscle specific enzymes are elevated. She ignored symptoms for several weeks and had attributed it to muscle spasms.
Women need to pay attention to their hearts because, heart disease is the number one killer of women. Women's hearts act differently than men's hearts when they are acting up. Please read what women's symptoms are it may save your life or someone else's.