Fixing My Arrhythmia

I will be heading down to Seattle next week to fix an arrhythmia of my heart. It was discovered a month ago during a doctors check up here in Juneau. What happens is that every now and then my heart starts beating really fast for no real reason. How fast is my heart beating? Well the doctors have clocked me at over 200 beats a minute. Not the best thing for your heart.

So my heart can go in to over drive for no reason at all. But it also happens just about every time i swallow. Which no doctor I have spoken with has ever heard of happening before. .

The procedure to correct this is called a “Cardiac Ablation“. It’s rather common and no one expect there to be any issues from it.

…ablation is a relatively non-invasive procedure that involves inserting catheters – narrow, flexible wires – into a blood vessel, often through a site in the groin or neck, and winding the wire up into the heart. The journey from entry point to heart muscle is navigated by images created by a fluoroscope, an x-ray-like machine that provides continuous, “live” images of the catheter and tissue.

Once the catheter reaches the heart, electrodes at the tip of the catheter gather data and a variety of electrical measurements are made. The data pinpoints the location of the faulty electrical site. During this “electrical mapping,” the cardiac arrhythmia specialist, an electrophysiologist, may sedate the patient and instigate some of the very arrhythmias that are the crux of the problem. The events are safe, given the range of experts and resources close at hand, and are necessary to ensure the precise location of the problematic tissue.

Once the damaged site is confirmed, energy is used to destroy a small amount of tissue, ending the disturbance of electrical flow through the heart and restoring a healthy heart rhythm. This energy may take the form of radiofrequency energy, which cauterizes the tissue, or intense cold, which freezes, or cryoablates the tissue. Other energy sources are being investigated.

Once this is all over and I am back on my feet I will write a follow up post.

I found the following links to be helpful for me when looking this up on line.

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/services/tests/procedures/ablation.aspx
http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/cardiac-ablation.html
http://www.sjm.com/procedures/procedure.aspx?name=Catheter+Ablation
http://www.hrspatients.org/patients/treatments/cardiac_ablation.asp
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cardiac-ablation/MY00706

Back In Juneau

We’re back in Juneau after a much needed two week vacation in Washington state.  It was such a fun and relaxing trip visiting with our families. We got to just hang out and visit. It was exactly what I wanted. A stress free trip.

View From The Plane
View From The Plane

We arrived in Seattle on the 20th of December which was a Saturday. Our plane touched down sometime in the early afternoon. The first thing that Hannah and I noticed looking out the plane window was that there was more snow on the ground in Seattle then in Juneau at the time. We knew getting to our folks house might be interesting because of this.

At the airport we met up with Hannah’s father and older sister Audra. We visited and had lunch with her sister and dad for about an hour which is about the time when her sister had to catch her next plane. She was on her way to California and we would meet back up with her next week.

Guemes Island Ferry Doc
Guemes Island Ferry Doc

After Audra left to board the plane Hannah, her father and I drove from Seattle to Oak Harbor where we met up with Hannah’s Mother. The four of us got back in the car and drove to Anacortes and took the ferry to Guemes Island and had dinner with my mom and younger brother Abe. It was so nice to be home.

The snow in Washington was not bad at all when compared to Juneau standers. But it becomes an issue when you think  that none of the roads had been plowed. Everyone was driving a little bit slower and safer. Guemes Island was the worst, I would have to say. In the one week we spent on the island I got the car I was driving around the island stuck in the snow three times. Nothing that bad really. Nothing a little push could not fix.

The Festavis Pole
The Festavis Pole

While we were on Guemes for that first week, Hannah’s folks came over for another dinner and visit with everyone. My brother Abe, put up a festivus pole and the two of us engaged in a couple of games of Axis & Allies. Hannah, Abe, and myself built a pretty big snowman man who eventually fell over after his second day of existence. Poor guy.

Snowman!

The three of us went to the park on the island to try and build a snow fort. But we quickly learned that building a snow fort takes a lot of work. Plus, the snow on that side of the island was not as packable.

The day before Christmas my sister Tracy came from Bellingham with her home made fudge. The snow was bad enough at this point that she could not drive all the way up my mom’s drive way. So, we all went down and helped her carry her things from the car, up our driveway, and into the house.

snowman Down
snowman Down

The next day we had Christmas. Mom instructed Abe to hand out the presents from under the tree because he was the youngest. He was happy to learn shortly after that Hannah was the youngest and that he no longer had the responsibility.

Drive To Vancouver
Drive To Vancouver

The following Saturday we packed up our things into the car, and said our good byes to my mom and brother and headed out on the second leg of our vacation. We drove to Vancouver Washington where we would end up at another of Hannah’s sisters, Amanda and her husband Scott’s house. The snow had melted quite a bit since we got to the island so driving was much better this time around. The drive was about 5 hours long. There was still snow on the ground in Vancouver, but nothing bad.

When we arrived in Vancouver we were greeted by both Amanda, and Scott. We spent the next hour or so chatting and catching up. Then, one by one the rest of Hannah’s family arrived. Her parents, grandmother, her sister Audra, her brother Shaun, and wife Jennifer with their kids Hailey, and Paige. There were lots of people, smiles, and chatting as everyone got caught up with each other.

In the following days we celebrated Christmas with the whole family. Played gift exchange games and opened our stockings. Christmas dinner was quite the feast and gave us all a chance to chat and thank everyone.

Scott Never Backs Down!
Scott Never Backs Down!

In the evenings everyone but Scott, Amanda, Hannah, Audra and myself went back to their hotels. Scott and Amanda took this time in the evenings to get us caught up with “How I Met Your Mother” thanks to Tivo. It was Awesome! I gave Scott a copy of the film “Never Back Down“. Which is quite possibly the greatest cinematic masterpiece to come out of 2008. Over the course of that week we watch that movie at least two and a half times.

For new years the five of us went out to Applebee’s for dinner and then went back to the house to bring in the new year with some of Scott’s and Amanda’s friends.

The next day Amanda did Hannah’s hair. Scott and I joked around while watching “Never Back down” and geeking out on our MacBooks. That evening we packed up our things and got ready to hit the road for the next day.

We drove back north to Oak Harbor and to Hannah’s folks house. My mom came over for dinner that night and I was really glad I Got to see her one last time before we left for the airport the next day.

Snow Covered Cars
Snow Covered Cars

We we got back to our place our vehicals where just barried in snow. Getting them out was fun.

Rain Rain Go Away

It's Gon' Rain!
It's Gon' Rain!

Has Juneau Alaska became the rain capital of the world? Ever since Hannah and I got back from our vacatin in Washington it has just been either overcast, or rainy. It was really starting to get to me for a minute, but then I just started taking some viteman D and all is better.

I really am starting to miss the sun though. Last summer was kind of like this too. The first summer we spent here was great, but that was 3 years ago. Seattle Washington really has been unfairly called the rainiest place on earth thanks to a little movie called “Sleepless In Seattle“. I have lived in Washington for several years and it’s true it is rainy. But Seattle has nothing on Juneau for rain right now.

I do hope this is not a trend. Maybe it can be blamed on El Niño, or the butterfly affect.

Vacation – Part 2 of 2

City ScapeOn Wednesday, June 11th, Hannah and I went to see (the best band in the universe) Local H play in Seattle at the Chop Suey Club. We met up with our friends Abe, Kenny, Eric, Lyle, Dustin, Jason, and Doug.

We all shared a couple of pizzas before the show across the street from the venue. I realized I forgot my cammera and was kicking myself about it. Luckly for me, Lyle and Jason had their iPhones handy and they both did a great job snapping photos.