Got a New Part


Plus-sized tuxedo model
I have been sitting here thinking about if posting my recent experience would do any good. I finally decided that if I did, perhaps one of my brothers who reads it will benefit and not make the mistakes I did.

I had a couple of times a few years ago where I felt like I would pass out and my heart rate would drop very low for an hour or so. I would recover and just go on with life. At first it happened once or twice a year. Soon, these fainting spells were happening more frequently and lasting longer. I went to see a Cardiologist about a year ago who told me I had "Vasovagal Syndrome".

Vasovagal Syndrome is a condition where the Vegas nerve (it runs down your neck between the throat and spine) gets stimulated and it slows down your heart. The Cardiologist told me there was nothing to be done and when it got annoying enough I would have to get a pacemaker.

Well, I have a lot of responsibility in my job and travel quite a bit. My company makes medical imaging software. I was going to Pittsburgh to meet with a customer, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. I was hit with a "spell" when my wife dropped me off at the airport. I flew to Pittsburgh with a heart rate in the low 40s. I went to the office and set up for the demo to be held the next morning. I got a ride back to the hotel because I knew I couldn't make it walking.

The spell cleared about 5:00 at night. I had dinner in the hotel restaurant and returned to my room to get some rest. Another spell started a couple of hours later and lasted until 2:00 AM. My alarm went off at 6:30 and I got up to shower and dress for the meeting. I bent over to get the soap in the shower when the third "spell" started.

I walked to the office with frequent breaks and sat down to wait for the doc I was doing the demo for. He is the chief of Neurology and the last person we needed to win over to make this sale. At the end of the demo, he said, "This is exactly what we need. Let's move forward." I stood up to shake his hand. He then asked if I was all right.

I explained the Vasovagal syndrome. He would have none of it. He sent me to the ER while calling ahead to let them know I was coming. I had a pacemaker implanted that afternoon.

It seems I actually was suffering what's called a complete AV block. both the channels of communication between my atria and ventricles were cut off. The top of my heart was signalling a rate of 100 beats per minute or so but the bottom couldn't hear it so assumed I was asleep and beat just enough to keep me barely alive.

My cardiologist told me to go to the ER the next time I had one of the spells. I just rode it out to avoid the expense and time away from my job. That was my mistake. I put my wife through something she should never have been faced with as I was far away and could have died without her. I risked my life for a job. For a smart guy, that was awfully dumb. I hope somebody learns the easy way as a result of reading this. the way I learned really wasn't something I recommend.


Fellow Craft

I read this, and I hear you. That's a stark reminder indeed. I'm glad you're well, and you were fortunate that your client happened to be a Neurologist.

I should actually make an appointment with my own doctor. I have some concerns that I shouldn't ignore any longer. Thank you.