Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Been away a'spell

Yep, it looked like The Abandoned Mind had truly been abandoned for good. Folks came a'visitin' but ole Fr. Michael was nowhere to be found. No signs of activity and no new posts in months! Did the "mind" play out and force him to find better diggin's elsewhere? Or did a cave-in way down in the earth below leave him trapped and forced to try to dig his way out with nuthin' more than his rusty old pocketknife and a broken Dairy Queen plastic spoon?

Nah, that couldn't happen. Fr. Michael would never carry a rusty pocketknife!

Nope, instead I've just been laid low a bit by a gimpy ticker. The medical term is atrial flutter. It seems the top half of my heart can't figure out how to beat in rhythm with the bottom half, and thus it just sits up there and does its own wacky thing like a hopped-up beatnik on a new set of bongos. The docs say its an electrical current problem. I had it about 6 years ago, and at that time they fixed it by making me lick my finger and stick it in a lampsocket while they giggled and secretly flipped the switch. They yelled "Clear," I yelled "OwWhatTheF***!!" and just like that, my heartbeat was back to normal.

OK, I'm kidding about the lampsocket. They used a device called a defibrillator. It obviously didn't work since I still tell the occasional fib.

Anyway, since the flutter returned after only a few years, they now tell me that the zappo-treatment probably isn't the best option at this time. It might covert the rhythm to normal again, but only temporarily. I need a more permanent fix. Too bad; I really liked what the zappo thing did for my hair. Here's a photo from back then...


Oh man, was I cool! But it's all gonna be different this time. They have decided to do a procedure called a cardiac ablation in which, as I understand it, they begin by shaving parts of you that have likely never been shaved before unless you are an exotic dancer, in order to insert catheters into places you really didn't know it was possible to do, which they then snake up all the way into your heart to zap it and burn it from the inside to destroy the nodes that are causing the bogus electrical signals in the heart muscle. This is supposed to make the top half of my heart wake up and remember its job and beat in sync with the lower half once again. If it works, that will be way cool. All except for the shaving and catheters part. The part in which I go home well is the cool part.

I will be undergoing that procedure at the end of this month (November) so if you would like to keep me in your prayers, I would very much appreciate it. The doctors say it's an easy procedure (yeah, for them) with a high success rate. I'm actually looking forward to it at this point. I must be crazy.


If all goes well, I should be cleared to return to The Abandoned Mind in a few weeks to resume my work there. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for checking in.

10 Comments:

At 11/21/2007 3:33 PM , Blogger Mimi said...

Father, bless,

I have to say that is the funniest post on heart disease I have ever read.

I will keep you in my prayers.

 
At 11/24/2007 1:02 PM , Blogger Grace said...

Now that I know a defibrillator doesn't keep you from telling fibs, I'll have to remove one of Greg's presents from under the tree.

Many prayers from ex-Barnabite Midwesterners!

 
At 11/24/2007 3:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr Bless.

I have faithfully kept looking for the next installment of the Abandoned Mine. now I understand why it has been so slow. Believe me Fr. I really do understand, having been hospitalized on numerous occasions with a-fib and a-flutter.

Mine stems from an underlying, genetic heart defect. For me the ablation procedure would not be all that helpful, but for many (and may you be among them) it is 75%-85% successful!

While I am on a pretty stiff cocktail of meds, I still do have breakthrough episodes of a-fib.The last episode had an amazing ending.

I did not want to go into the ER, because I knew they would put me on different meds with potentially horrid side effects. So I decided to tough it out. I prayed and hunkered down for the night. By 4:30 AM I was exhausted, felt beat up from the inside, and ready to welcome any chemical that would stop the chaos (bongo drums at least have some rhythm)inside my chest.

In desperation I cried out for the Saints to intercede for me and asked especially for St John Chrysostom' prayers.

Suddenly (within 30 seconds),I was aware of a constant, regular heartbeat. I was so startled that I kept taking my pulse over and over.

The effective, fervent prayer of the righteous man...

Fr. Be assured of my prayers on your behalf and may all the saints intercede for you as well.

Peace,

 
At 11/25/2007 3:44 AM , Anonymous Leon said...

oops.

I forgot my name. I am Leon.

 
At 11/26/2007 8:41 AM , Blogger Fr. Michael Reagan said...

Thanks all! I appreciate the thoughts, prayers, and comments. And the fact that a few folks at least are still checking in.

I am really looking forward to this procedure. The heart rhythm only seems to get worse each day, and I'm having dizzy spells to boot. Yet through it all I am truly grateful to God for the reminder of my mortality and the opportunity to redouble my repentance.

Glory to God in all things!

 
At 11/26/2007 9:36 AM , Blogger Grace said...

When is your procedure scheduled?

 
At 11/26/2007 12:01 PM , Blogger Fr. Michael Reagan said...

Thanks Grace, I shoulda mentioned that I guess... It is this Thursday, November the 29th. I'll post the results as soon as I can.

 
At 12/03/2007 9:28 PM , Blogger Fr. Michael Reagan said...

Well, I had the ablation 4 days ago and the news seems to be good so far. I have some discomfort and a bit of unusual thumping going on in there, but there is also a normal sinus rhythm for the first time in several months. The doctor tells me it will take up to six weeks for my heart to heal and stabilize, and that I must stay on blood thinners for that time lest I throw a clot and have a stroke. OK, I guess blood thinners aren't so bad compared to a stroke. I am hoping the heart rhythm will stay normal and not revert back to atrial flutter.

Thank you for your prayers, but please say a few more for me if you don't mind.

 
At 12/03/2007 9:34 PM , Blogger Grace said...

Phew! I had been wondering how it went, but I figured that posting blog commments wouldn't be your first priority. Thanks for catching us up.

 
At 12/04/2007 8:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr.

I am so glad your heart is returning to normal! May it stay that way for "many years."

Peace,

Leon

 

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