Not a heart attack, part 1

Almost a week without a post. I was busy. Busy worrying. About my heart. And visiting the doctor and the cardiologist. But I’m still alive, and kicking again.

Five or six weeks ago I noticed that my heart was making strange, deep beats that I never felt before that I had felt before on occasion but now became more and more. Not just one or two, but a lot, and getting more and more intense.


Especially in the evening before going to bed and during work. It started to worry me. At first I thought it had something to do with this never-ending cold, I was coughing my lungs out. But even when the giant cold passed, the palpitations (I know doctor-lingo now) persisted. One day at work it was so bad, I excused myself and went straight to the hospital. “The hospital” sounds worse than it is. Since there is no other/normal doctor’s post on the island, “the hospital” is the place to be for every minor itch or bump. The nurse almost scheduled me for the next week, but I think I looked pretty stressed out when I told her I wanted to see him “Now!” I was in the doctor’s office half an hour later.


Dr. B., whose real name always reminds me of a giant ape (I’m sorry doctor B!!) listened to my heart, did an ECG and decided to give me cardio aspirin, a blood test and a 24-hour holter in the next few days, to monitor my heart rhythm for a longer period of time. There was irregular beating. I knew that. (See my previous post Dr. Beat)

the beat

The timing of the 24-hour holter was just perfect. Monday at 9:00 was the first possibility for a holter. Tuesday at 9:10 I had to fly to St. Maarten for an exam. Tuesday morning I checked in at the airport at 8:00, waited at the hospital till the holter was removed at 8:50 and arrived at the airport again at 8:55 for the 9:10 flight. Only on Statia it’s possible to check in on the airport, saying “Hey, I’ll be right back, I just have to run to the hospital to have this thing removed. Don’t leave without me.” There’s a lot of pro’s living on a 21 km2 island.

StatiaThe blood was good. The holter showed The computer that analyzes the holter showed an AV block, type 2. An atrioventriculair block, as I learned, is some kind of block in the electrical impulses in the heart. That means the heart sometimes (depending on which type) doesn’t give the impulse to contract properly. Luckily the heart has some kind of escape-mechanism, that “almost always” works. Yay! But Dr. B. of course isn’t a cardiologist, so he wanted me to see a cardiologist “urgently”. I asked Dr. B. what he thought was the solution to the problem. I wish I never asked. “Type 1: don’t do anything. Type 3: pacemaker. Type 2:???” Great.

drop dead

To be continued…

Makeda just told me I did not only feel like a dead bird, I also acted like a dead bird. Honesty…


6 thoughts on “Not a heart attack, part 1”

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