"Atrial fibrillation", or some-such... It started (I think - though it may

have existed before) with a wild speed up of the heart, after which

symptoms were minimal (sweating, and feeling of uneasiness - but no

pain) except for the *very* irregular pulse (not just a skipped beat, or

a "palpitation") which was detectable only by feeling the pulse (10

beats is more than enough to show the irregularities). Once started,

there are a couple of hazards: if it goes long, clots form in the

heart chambers, and these circulate with returned normal rhythm,

possibly causing major problems (they waited a couple of days before

zapping me with the voltage to give time to dissolve the clots when

chemicals didn't regularize the rhythm - then they checked the heart

with ultrasound down the throat before "zapping" me [a weird

experience!]); and death from inadequate blood flow is the other hazard...

Later, they went in and checked heart vessels with "heart catheterization",

which (other than for the nightmares) was FAR easier than expected

(and for me, I guess French Fries *are* a health food - no constrictions

or blockages were found in the heart). I was lucky.


 David Ruether