It’s been a few days since my event, so felt it was time to document and get it out there for people interested.
On Monday evening I came home from work and because I am a wuss and it was cold and windy out I decided to run my 5k on the treadmill.
I was messing with getting something on the TV as we have switched to using a chromecast device, so I was walking for about 5 or 6 minutes before moving up to a light run.
After about 5 mins a felt faint and did the wise thing and stepped off the treadmill and started to open the door out of the treadmill room.
Next thing I know Jenn and Owen are standing there, I had passed out for probably less than a minute and came to with Jenn asking if she should call 911, initially I said yes but I quickly felt fine and said not to call and to just drive me instead.
We left Owen with some various food items and without even getting out of my running gear, including shoes, we drive to the ER department at the local hospital.
Once we did triage and registration I had a ECG done and pretty quickly were sent to a chair as they had spare beds. Vitals where taken and questions asked, they took some blood and the Dr came and chatted, he said my Tropronim was slightly elevated and so I needed to stay until midnight for them to recheck, that turned into being admitted as I had had no other symptoms aside from fainting.
Eventually they found me a bed in ER and I had a pretty uncomfortable night, was not even sure if I would get breakfast, so on her way in Jenn grabbed me a bagel and a tea. I was then moved to another bed out in the outpatient area.
One if the residents came and asked me questions and we chatted, he said he would be back in a couple of hours with the head of internal medicine who was puzzled and did not really have any answers, aside from thinking it was an electrical issue having only had bypass last year. So he thought I should have a stress test, so I was squeezed in at the end of the day and saw a Dr Keegan, he was a little puzzled also why I was having a stress test, but figured there was not really any other options. So I was wired up and got on the treadmill.
The stress test is done in stages, after a quick chat I was on the treadmill walking at stage one, well you always walk, it just get’s steeper.
Stage two, no issues and asked if I wanted stage three, I have done this before and so let’s go.
Stage three, a little harder but completed with no issues and felt fine.
The cardio tech looked at me and said you want to do stage four, I said, let’s do this.
Now this is were it all gets a little fuzzy and some of the info is from me speaking to the cardio tech the next day when she came to see me in ICU.
What I do remember is at around 2 mins in I felt light headed and looked at the cardio tech, I don’t remember what happened next, but she told me she was watching the monitor and saw my heart go nuts and very quickly reached for the big red stop button and which point I fell forward on to the rails of the treadmill, her and Dr Keegan then moved me to the floor where Dr Keegan proceeded to perform CPR while the cardio tech called a code blue. I found out this means a rapid response team will respond to their pages and it is announced over the hospital PA system.
They said I was only our for about 30 seconds with a little less than that under CPR and I came around pretty quick and was very responsive. I remember seeing and feeling the Dr performing the CPR and could not say anything as the pressure of air exiting was to much.
As I lay there coming to the rapid response team where coming on the door along with a whole host of other people including other doctors and the nurses who where looking after me in the ER.
Within a very short time I was sitting up with the very first thing in my mind being can someone call my wife, which they said someone was on it. There was then a discussion on how to get me to the bed that they had wheeled in, I said I could do it on my own, I just need help to get to my knees, then I was up and sat on the end of the bed. I shuffled up and lay down.
There was a great deal of concern, but also great surprise as how alert I was, it was the same as the Monday evening at home, I went out and was back and feeling fine with a few minutes. The good thing this time the whole event had been recorded on the ECG as I had been connected up throughout the whole thing.
The started to wheel me into ICU and as they did this I grabbed my phone and call Jenn, she was was very anxious, but I only told her I had passed out again and she should get here as soon as she could, I never told her about the CPR at this time as I did not want her to panic.
I was taken to a room in the ICU and did a shuffle transfer to my new bed, one that would be mine until Saturday, I was told bed, bathroom and that was it.
The shock and pain was now starting to set in and they figured I likely had some broken ribs, the x-ray they did was inconclusive but often it is and there would for sure be cartilage damages as well as small fractures that could take up to 6 weeks to heal. I was asked if I wanted some pain relief, I said Tylenol, which was meat with puzzlement and the nurse said I could have morphine if I wanted, I said Tylenol for now, but pretty soon I did switch.
Jenn had arrived at this point and was such a great relief to see her we hugged and had some tears, but I was alive and at this point did not really know what had happened, would not be long before we got an update and not as bad as could have been.
I am not sure how long it was before the doctor came around to have a chat, he told us that I had had a Ventricular Tachycardia event, likely the same as what had happened on the Monday evening at home. It’s possible that, like Monday, I would have just come around with any intervention, but I guess in hospital they don’t take those chances.
The doctor, I am not using names here not due to him not being a good doctor, I think he was really good, but to protect his privacy, he told me that he consulted one of his colleagues and they both felt that I should have an ICD implanted incase this happens again, but as they think it was caused my me coming off my beta blockers, which I am now back on, it may never go off again, but will sit there, monitoring me 24/7/365 and will jump in if ever needed.
So we had not only an answer, but a solution for me going forward, he also went on to say, as I had to ask, what about running? he was very clear that there was no reason why I should not be running again, it would be a good thing as it is a heart healthy thing to do.