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The week before we went up to Williams, Ariz., I had been power walking and noticed that I was struggling to finish my normal route.
The weekend we went up to Williams, I felt great going up; however, while walking around I felt shortness of breath and extreme pressure on my chest. When I laid down, it felt like my heart was beating out of my chest. I dismissed this as "tiredness" and being up in the mountains.
On Monday, I noticed that when I would go to walk anywhere I felt light headed and my handwriting looked weird. I did not have a regular physician so I went to an Urgent Care. They took my vitals and my heart rate was very slow; after a quick EKG it was their determination that I had a "block of some kind". They convinced me to let them call an ambulance and off I went to Banner Thunderbird.
The ER took care of me immediately and as luck would have it, a cardiologist was in the building. He felt that I had a third-degree block; i.e., electrical short circuit and took me up to the heart lab to give it a look! Sure enough that was the problem. Within two hours, I had an external pacemaker and the next morning they put in a permanent one.
I would have to say that their treatment saved my life. I almost waited too long to respond to my body's signals as I had several mini blackout spells a year previous and ignored them.