Notes on Ageing: Awash in Alphabet Soap

Larry 'n NassauTwenty five years ago I was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Basically it is an electrical miscommunication between the brain and the heart with the brain telling the heart it needs to beat faster. A cardiologist placed me on a drug that kept the problem in check. About a year after my bariatric surgery in 2008 it was decided I no longer needed to take the medication and I have been symptom free since.

About twenty years ago I was diagnosed with vasodepressor syncope (VDS). This is another electrical malfunction and controlled with yet another drug.

About two years ago I began having problems with a very low pulse rate. My electrophysiologist diagnosed another electrical problem caled atrioventricular block (AVB). This is a condition common in ageing persons and is a weakening of the nerves that communicate between the various chambers of the heart. I was told that worse case scenario would be a pace maker sometime down the road. Well sometime down the road came last September and since then my pulse has been maintained at a minimum of sixty beats per minute by a little electronic device living in my chest.

In recent months I’ve experienced occasional spells of light-headedness accompanied by rapid heart rate. I assumed this was related to VDS but was told today by my electrician that my SVT has returned, but in a different, and controllable, form. I was assured that the pacemaker was controlling the AVB.

While sitting in the examination room, waiting for the results of an EKG, not be confused with an EEG, I noticed a poster on the wall addressing the symptoms of something called PAD. I took comfort that none of PAD’s symptoms applied to me and that I’m probably too old to worry about STDs.  However, since I still use public toilets I am still concerned about getting HIV AIDS. I think I should be worried about developing AAMI but I can’t remember just what that is.

Seriously, getting older isn’t easy and one of the most difficult things to deal with is the barrage of alphabet diseases one has to become familiar with as they age. I left my doctor’s office today feeling better in several ways. First, I’m still in pretty good health. While my cardiac wiring may be frayed a little my ticker is strong and disease free. Second, whatever my problems they can be controlled with drugs and do not require invasive procedures. Lastly, I don’t have anything new and don’t have to absorb anymore medical acronyms. What I have is what I’ve had.

So, I’m going to wind up this day by laying back in my RECLINER, turn on my LED TV, sip a nice imported IPA, watch the news on NBC and maybe catch a good thriller on FX, Later I’ll jump into BED, put on my CPAP mask and drift off to SLEEP. ZZZZZ!

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