waiting game

I just wrote a very long, beautiful post, and poof. It wasn’t meant to be. So here’s what I’ve got left, which was not included in the original post.

I just ordered myself a winter coat online and saved over $100 than I would’ve had I bought it at Bloomingdale’s.
I need a new (unpadded), sheer, bra.
I need to plan my Girl Scout troop meeting for this Thursday, again themed on bullying.
I need to wrap so many birthday present gifts! These kids have 3 birthday parties to attend this weekend!
I need to start cooking for Thanksgiving and printing “conversation starters” and banner art, and “Thank You for Coming” stickers, for the next day breakfast muffin bags. What songs should be on the playlist, when the football games are put on mute?
I need to ramp up the work on a web site for a freelance gig I’m doing. Once I begin, I’m all paws on, and I find time for nothing else!

All this plus the great big wait. That’s what we’re doing, distracting ourselves with Netflix as we wait for the pathology results from Phil’s surgery. Though I’m already convinced that it was “nothing.” My guess is that it’s clogged mammary duct. Random guess, I know, but that’s my gut instinct–knowing absolutely nothing about boobs except for the fact that you can trip on them as you age. As I tell Phil, “No way would God screw you over with something else. You’ve got enough to handle with the heart and putting up with my ass.” I wasn’t so worried about the surgery, but more about the strain on his heart.

At 7am, as we arrived at the hospital, Phil’s heart went back into atrial-fibrillation (A-Fib). Not good. In 2012, he was in persistent A-Fib, all the time, and he needed an ablation (where they go in and BURN blood vessels in the heart, with the hope that they will stop the A-fib). The surgery is a big deal, and it didn’t work. Very unpleasant. But then, somewhat spontaneously, in February 2012, the A-fib just stopped on its own. There were occasional bouts of it, lasting only a few seconds, but nothing like this. At 7am, and even when we left the hospital, at about 4pm, Phil was still in A-fib, which puts you at an increased risk of stroke (requiring you to take rat poison to thin your blood). So, today he has an appointment with his Electro-physiologist to see what he suggests, and to see if Phil is still in A-fib.

Thank you all for your “breast wishes” and making us feel less alone through this whole process. I’ll update as I have any new news. My next post might just include coat, bra, and movie lists. If I’m not too busy working on the freelance website.

UPDATE: Crap. Just back from the Electro-physiologist. They need to cardiovert Phil. Which means he has to go back to the hospital, put under, paddles on, CLEAR, shock the heart. On BLACK FRIDAY. 7am. Talk about a door buster. They’re performing a T.E.E (Transesophageal Echocardiography) to look at his atrium. Today, the doctor told him that he was in atrial tachycardia (that’s a completely new one, we’ve never heard)! It’s when there’s a fast heart rate that starts in the upper chambers of the heart. Phil’s was at 190 bpm, and you’re stuck in Atrial tachycardia unless someone “fixes it.” With the tachycardia, the rapid heartbeat does not allow enough time for the heart to fill before it contracts so blood flow to the rest of the body is compromised. Lovely.

They tried to pace him out of the Atrial Tachycardia, which they did, but now he’s in Atrial Fibrillation again, and this time it’s at over 270 bpm! That is to say, the Atrium beats at over 270 beats per minute, while the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles) beat at 71 bpm. Not good. So, they need to cardiovert him/ shock him with the paddles and hope that it knocks his heart out of A-fib, because A-fib is serious! “Untreated, atrial fibrillation doubles the risk of heart-related deaths and causes a 4–5-fold increased risk for stroke.” –American Heart Association.



  1. Dang, girl! Not what you guys needed…not what any of us ever needs. Know you’re not alone – we’re all here pulling for you and Phil. Wish I didn’t live on the opposite coast and I’d swing by with some hot buttered rums or something. Courage and strength.

  2. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts, hoping for a healthy recovery for all. And leftover stuffing.

  3. Sending lots of good juju your way. Hope everything goes well and that Phil turns around – and that you’re right about the clogged duct. Hang in there.

  4. Dear Stephanie,
    As a 58 year old mother of 3 (and two grandchildren), I have been reading your blog for quite a while (years & years) and in January I had a pacemaker put in – after telling my physician for 3 years how bad I felt and begging him to help me. He looked at me like I was some needy wench. Fortunately I told my story to a NA and she found out what was wrong. I have AFIB too, and I’m on a bunch of stuff and just had a Solitol load two weeks ago and feel much better than I did previously. I also wanted to say when you were going through your hormonal problems, I was reading and paying attention because I thought my problems were probably hormonal. I eventually found out my pulse was down to 27 and I had bradycardia and AFIB.
    Ok enough about me – I hope Phil does well and I wish you all of God’s graces, and I am not a religious person. I hope he comes out of all this feeling like he is 27 again. Take care of yourself as well. Sorry for the bad grammar but I have gotten to the point that I just don’t care anymore. Again, take care XOXOXO

  5. Ugh, I’m very sorry to hear the updated news. I started reading your blog when you & Phil were going thru this a couple of years ago. I’m sorry to read that the heart issues have come back. I just wanted to wish you the best, I hope you are able to get thru Thanksgiving without too much stress.

  6. Peace to you and your family while you await results and an end to Phil’s A-fib. I hope Netflix continues to serve you well as distraction and that life gets wonderfully boring for you very soon.

  7. Sending good thoughts to you and Phil and the family. Looking forward to Girl Scouts updates, along with more shopping, family and food news!

  8. Ugh. I had episodes of a-fib while being pregnant (that is, four or five episodes across both of 2 pregnancies). Oh yeah. AND one last Black Friday after bringing baby home. That sh*t is not fun at all. Naturally, because I was pregnant, no cardioversion so I just had to wait it out with some metoprolol. That, also, not fun, dropped my blood pressure to practically passing out.
    Good luck with the procedure. Anything life throws your way, at least you have good doctors and a well-documented med history to help you.

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