Shocking treatment!


Another day of excitement yesterday – another ride in one of those green and white taxis.

I’ve been having a lot of atrial fibrillation lately, and as I was going to sleep on Thursday night I felt a few short bursts. But they stopped and I went to sleep.

But as soon as I woke up at about 7.30am I felt wonky. A bit trembly, shaky, puffing a bit. I realised my heart was racing, about 100bpm I thought.

I had a shower and got dressed but it didn’t settle down. About 10am I started thinking about ambulances and after asking my new next door neighbours to look in on Minnie, which they very readily agreed to do, I called 000 at about 1030am.

The ambo guys agreed I had a problem (tachycardia) and so off we went. At the hospital (in bay 13!) it was still going at 130bpm and a dose of a beta blocker about midday did no good.

So the next step was an electric shock. We see all those TV images of the body arching in spasm so I was a bit apprehensive, but they explained I’d be given pain relief and although I might feel a bit of pain, it wouldn’t be bad. I’d also be given a sedative.

So at about 1pm I was wheeled over to the resuscitation room, where sticky pads were placed front and back (no paddles to the sides of the chest like you see on TV). Nervous!

Then a long wait for a senior doctor to come. About 1.30pm they injected Fentanyl and some sedative and I got a bit drowsy – still aware, but not caring much. Then I felt a sort of convulsion for only 1-2 seconds and they said, “OK, that’s fixed it.” I could see on the monitor it was down to 65bpm. No pain at all, nothing.

So then it was another long wait for the sedative to wear off and I was let go at about 3pm. I asked if there was anything I should do or not do, but no, just carry on. But see the cardiologist asap. I probably need a beta blocker as well as Amiodarone. Another tablet to add to my long list!

That great guy Barry visited me in the morning and then took me home about 4.30pm. A true friend. Can’t thank him enough.

I was very happy with Joondalup ED this time. I must write a letter saying so.