Friday, June 22, 2012

Atrial tachycardia

The dizzy spells have a name, Atrial tachycardia.  

 The cardiologist reviewed the results of that cumbersome Holter monitor and discovered some mild episodes of Atrial tachycardia. 
I have two options: 
  •   Do nothing.  When a spell hits I can treat it like plugged ears on an airplane –yawn, cough, etc to clear it.   I had discovered this on my own.  Coughing just seemed a natural response – and it works for now.
  • The medicinal route would be to take a beta-blocker.  I will keep this option on-hold.  I can call and get a prescription anytime.   These would be taken on bad days – when having a lot of episodes.  Beta-blockers work but have side-effects which I’d like to avoid.

It’s a relief to finally identify the source of the dizzy spells.  The MRI/MRA and ultra sound had turned up nothing – as I learned Tuesday at the Neurologist.   

Now it’s back to life as normal .

Monday, June 18, 2012

Highly-Caffeinated Broadway Show-Stoppers?

I'm always highly-caffeinated, but I've never been called a show-stopper.  If you are anywhere near the Coffee Grounds on Wednesday night, stop by to hear yours truly - along with some truly talented individuals from Rosetown Playhouse shows past and present.  Both Maria and John have solos - I'm only signing in the opening and closing number - Tradition from our upcoming production of  Fiddler on the Roof.

Here's the official release:

‘Rosetown Sings Broadway’ at The Coffee Grounds in Falcon Heights on June 20 at 7 p.m.

Kick off summer with an evening of highly-caffeinated Broadway show-stoppers! Join the stars of Rosetown Playhouse as they present “Rosetown Sings Broadway” at The Coffee Grounds in Falcon Heights on Wednesday, June 20, at 7 p.m. Rosetown actors will perform numbers from hit Broadway shows and classic movies, including some of your favorites from “Fiddler On the Roof,” which Rosetown Playhouse will present in July at the historic Como Lakeside Pavilion. 

The Coffee Grounds is located at 1579 Hamline Ave., Falcon Heights, MN, phone 651-644-9959. Admission to “Rosetown Sings Broadway” is free.  Join us for delicious Coffee Grounds treats and stirring musical performances. 

Rosetown Playhouse will stage “Fiddler On the Roof” July 12-14 and July 19-21 at the Como Lakeside Pavilion. Showtime is 7 p.m. nightly.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Flintstones, Meet the Flintstones

Here's a very blond Hobbled Runner - circa 1965 or maybe 1966 (my best guess) - in front of my cousin's home in Sioux City, Iowa.  Funny how I remember that shirt.  I LOVED that Flintstones sweatshirt.  Thanks to my cousin Mim for uncovering this photo. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Health Updates

The danger of any medical procedure is the discovery of all sorts of stuff that won’t kill you, but remind you that you are heading in that direction anyway.

As the investigation into the mysterious dizzy spells continues, I have this to report from Friday’s MRI/MRA.   

Please note all the adjectives that indicate I should not worry, words like “borderline” and “mild”, or my favorite, “incidental”:

  • “Borderline mild cerebellum atrophy” – While this might impact balance, etc., it’s probably just age.
  • “Small, incidental fenestration in proximal basilar artery” – sounds wild, but it just  means that my proximal basilar artery takes a detour (splits in two) but then comes back together on its way to supply blood to my brain.  My doctor likened it to the trip between Duluth and Two Harbors.  You can take the scenic route along Lake Superior or the faster route on the newer freeway.
  • A little narrowing in right, middle cerebral artery – probably some plaque.
  •  “Hyper-intense signals in sub cortical – white matter – non-specific”:  Doctor thinks it’s probably just little pieces of plaque – again, maybe age – but also cholesterol issue.
  • And they saw the anachroid cyst – again.

Next steps:  I visit the neurologist next Tuesday for a more detailed discussion on the MRI – and the ultra sound performed today on the arteries in my neck.

For the record, I feel fine – except for the occasional incidences of dizziness.  The other night I felt like crap – but I think I was just tired after a rather poor night of sleep wearing that damn monitor.

The hardest part is the distraction – I wouldn’t call it worry – about what’s going to happen next with all these tests. 

Monday, June 11, 2012


I was outfitted with a Holter Monitor today.  It's intended to monitor my heart for 24 hours.  I have a little piece of paper to log "events" - the dizzy spells.  That way they can check my reported events against the readings at that time.

I wasn’t expecting such an elaborate operation, so I was surprised when the conversation went as follows:

Nurse:  “Will I need a razor?”

Me:  “What for?”

Nurse:  “Your chest hair.”

Turns out it wasn’t really a razor, but some sort of small electric sander that not only removes hair, but also creates a little abrasion on your skin so the little sticky monitor things stay put. 

Oh well, it’s only 24 hours – but no showering.  Hmm,  I have 3 hours of dance rehearsal for Fiddler tonight.  Summer time in partially closed Middle School – how hot can that be?

Perhaps I work from home tomorrow morning.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Fiddler Beard Update – 3 weeks, 2 days

Check Engine Light – update

First the car:  Turns out it was a real problem – catalytic converter is a mess – broken pieces, some pieces missing – but safely lodged downstream in the muffler/exhaust system. Best replace the entire thing. Last month “Shana’s car” provided the opportunity to spend large amounts of money. This month, it’s “Dad’s car”.

It will take several days to get parts so the dealership is paying for a rental car – 2012 Toyota Prius – fun!

Tomorrow we go car shopping. Time to replace the Vue – “Shana’s car”.

Health updates: The visit to cardiologist was uneventful. EKG normal, no murmurs, everything sounded good via stethoscope. Suggestions – meds for cholesterol, and cut caffeine in half. On Monday I get my 24 hour heart monitor.

This morning I went for my MRI/MRA of head and neck – as requested by my primary care doctor. Hope to know results later today or Monday.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Check-Engine Light!

Today the “check engine” light is on in my car.  

Yesterday, the check-engine light came on in my head.  After ignoring dizzy spells for a few days, I decided to call the doctor’s office and speak to the triage nurse.   Of course, they insisted on seeing me, so I went in.  When they found nothing wrong – all vitals normal, blood fine, the doctor referred me to a cardiologist.  Doctor wants me to see a cardiologist this afternoon, and they were able to get an appointment on short notice – so that’s the course of action.  

I’m staying home until I see the cardiologist.  My doc thinks I may get an “event monitor” that hooks up to me and lets me press a button to record my vitals, etc during one of my episodes.  I have some other tests scheduled for Friday morning as well.

I did leave the house to drive John to school – that’s when I noticed the check-engine light.  Grrr.