Here I am, relaxed but hooked up to the machine which tells you breathing per minute (white), upper heart, lower heart, (green) blood pressure and all sorts of fun stuff. My one side of my face is red, due to being overheated and my arm is red as my body is putting blood to the surface to try and cool down. Good luck on that! And here, with a close up of the screen, are nine heart beats with two big erratics in them, you can see my breath sucked in as I felt the erratics, as it is that spike in the white line for oxygen.
An electrocardiogram tells the Doctors and Nurses what is occurring in the heart. For example your pacemaker, or AV node tells the chambers when to fire, so heart is pushed around, if it doesn’t that is called IVR (the bottom empties faster than the top fills). Follow along by clicking HERE, then click on the different terms to explain the strip (some are for the upper chambers, like Sinus Tach, some are for the lower chambers, like IVR. IVR (which I had, along with about a dozen others) doesn’t provide enough blood moving, normally. Vfib, is when the bottom strip, the ventricles, are not creating enough electricity for a beat, which leads to heart failure, or Agonal rythym, which is seen right before asystole, otherwise known as ‘flatline’.
Each of the little boxes is .2 of a second, so literally only four or five seconds of your heart is often taken, unless, like me, you are hooked up to a continuous monitor and feed. Much of the early, later, and post medicine paper feeds off the EKG were taken for my chart, as I left once regular rhythm and/or Sinus Tach was established. We took some of the roll from the section after assessment and during treatment. The last time I came in, there were very small bumps, the kind you see here 10-14 times between heartbeats, or small extra beats, very small. (click to enlarge and read the ECG strip) Because I was in sense with my body, those hurt, so I went in. That was two years ago, they said.
Since then, I have heart pills, and I have high levels of pain control and yet, the pain got so bad I did not have control over my limbs or the ability to see clearly. Instead of regular waves or Sinus Tach with small extra beats thrown in, there is almost random chaos, as while the heart does beat, there is a fluttering of the valve, those little bumps, you can see, up to eight times a second
going on for sometimes several seconds. When this happens, the blood comes into the heart but nothing happens, it doesn't move on, or blood backflows. This is extremely painful and my teeth are exposed in a grimace as my back arches off the bed.
Also, sometimes the heartbeat simply stops, or goes into agonal rythym. Looking at strips like this, I wonder why I was let out of the hospital, or why I'm not dead. Sometimes the upper and lower chambers all fire at once, or the four parts of the beat are missing, just a burst of electricity, seen as a spike before going into asystole (flatline, which you can see starting), then into erratic upper heart chambers which take over the whole heart making it unstable, and blood not flowing. For humans, this is usually a very bad sign. Like a 'you are dead or soon will be' sign. For me, is it normal? But every time they took the strip, every 6 second strip or four seconds there wasn’t 1 or 2 errors but dozens. To give you an example, a holter monitor, if you have an EXTRA AV node, giving you a heart condition called PAT, might have 47 or 69 irregular heart beats, or extra beats in a 24 hour holter monitor test. Here I had more irregular beats in two minutes than I did four years ago in 24 hours. I guess it is clear now how my disease (AAN or MSA varient) is a degeneration of the central autonomic system (the heart, lungs, blood pressure, vascular constriction, etc).
Sometimes the heart will keep pumping in the upper chambers while the lower chambers do not empty, which is both very, very painful, but also cuts off blood flow to the brain and body. The readings are not supposed to go beyond the edge of the strip, but depending on how strong the electricity, or ‘pulse’, and erratic…, same with when they stop.
At least I give lots of variation for them to read, right? The machine would put out the errors, the recommendations, and the heart rate as well as other vitals. Sometimes that would simply be a ‘?’ which means, ‘unable to capture’ – which happened often on the heart beat, as if I am so erratic, it can’t count a reliable heart beat.
Here I am being hit with a series of erratics, you can see my eyes are shut due to the pain, which wrinkles my brow as I arc my back and tense up as if getting hit by a baseball bat in the chest (as that is what it felt like). The monitor shows 11 heart beats, which have five erratics in the upper heart chamber and well, a BUNCH in the lower chamber including the big spike up and down on the left (which is probably the pain I felt, causing me to clench and arc), and the erratic breathing to match the pain levels.
Plus there was an automatic heart rate and BP monitor attached to me, and if it couldn’t get a good reading it would tighten again and again, so I have bruises all along with that was. So this is a reading of what occurs to me for from 30 minutes to several hours every day, this was just in the midst of the fourth straight bad day.
1 hour ago