Holiday Heart
Holiday Heart...sounds like the title of a sweet romance, doesn't it? Well, not exactly.

We just got back from eight days on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I posted some pictures last week. We had a great time. The weather was hot. We only had a couple mornings with some rain. I walked the beach every day (with my new hat to protect me.) We ate out occasionally, cooked at the camper more often, drank wine every day. Relaxed and just had a great time.

Our last full day there was the Tuesday before Memorial Day. The night before, Monday night, I noticed my heart racing. I could feel it in my chest. I figured I'd had too much sun. I relaxed that evening, but when I laid down to go to bed, my heart was pounding so hard, I couldn't sleep. I started to get worried. Googling "rapid heartbeat" in the middle of the night reassured me that I didn't have any other symptoms of heart problems like shortness of breath, dizziness, or loss of consciousness, so I sat up most of the night, hoping it would get better. It didn't.

So in the morning, my hubby drove me the 25 miles to the nearest urgent care facility. Two seconds after they hooked me up to the EKG machine, people were running around like crazy, giving me aspirin and putting in an IV. My first thought was, "Shit!" I was in "a-fib" - atrial fibrillation, where the top part of the heart gets out of rhythm, beating too fast and irregular. I was asked often if I'd had a lot of alcohol. Well, yeah. I'm on vacation...

Who knew you could have too much sun and too much wine??

Dehydration can bring about a-fib. It wasn't so much the sun and the wine as no water. I was stupid and didn't stay hydrated. Apparently it happens so often in that area, the doctor's have a term for it. Holiday Heart.

I spent my last day of vacation in the ER, nine hours, four bags of fluid, and a drip of meds to bring down my heart rate. Luckily, my heart flipped back to regular rhythm on its own, otherwise I would have needed a procedure called a cardioversion - a shock to the heart to zap it back in line.

I'm following up with a cardiologist at home. And I learned my lesson. I'm drinking lots of water and much less wine. I still hope to get to the beach again before too long. I'll just be walking with a bottle of water as well as my hat.

Take a lesson from my experience. Stay hydrated. As sweet as it sounds, you don't want a case of Holiday Heart.

Natasha
www.natashamoore.com


10 Responses
  1. Ashlyn Chase Says:

    This is a great reminder, Natasha!
    I'm so glad you're okay.



  2. Maria Says:

    I'm just glad you are okay and that it was something the doctors could easily treat and that you can control. Yeah...even on vacation you need to stay hydrated and out of the sun while consuming alcohol


  3. Helen Says:

    How scary for you! You did the right thing going to the urgent care center. Thanks for sharing


  4. Dalton Diaz Says:

    Wow, that's really scary! I'm glad you're ok, and thanks for sharing the lesson learned. *HUGS*


  5. Not a great addition to a vacation. I'm so glad you're okay, Natasha! Keep drinking that water.


  6. Carly Carson Says:

    Who would have thought of something like that? Good thing you went to the ER, as much as that's not a fun vacation day. Thanks for the advice!


  7. Thanks, Maria. Wine and sun just seem to go together for me. I've now added water to that list :)

    Hey, Helen! Thanks for stopping by.

    Thanks, Dalton. Keep the water handy :)


  8. Thanks Vonda, I carry my tervis tumbler full of water everywhere now. :)

    Hey Carly. Everyone was great at the Outer Banks Hospital, can't say enough good about them. Still, hope I never have to go back there!


  9. I'm so glad the hydration helped. My dad has A-fib, and he had to get the shock. It worked, but that's scary stuff!


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