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Chronicles of the Heart, Part49 – Endgame?

Posted Oct 28 2012 4:33pm

There is, it seems, no escape from the beta-blocker Nebivolol.

For the last few days I’ve experienced – suffered from would be more apposite  – tachycardia, with a heart rate between 114-125, with my heart misfiring like a mad bastard and nausea so shatteringly severe I just wanted to die, simply so it would stop. What brought all this on, I think I know but hope I’m wrong, and being admitted to Arrowe Park Hospital to find out for sure simply is not an option.

Eventually, I gave up and took 2.5mg of Nebivolol, which eventually brought my heart rate down to a normal level, and I’ve now reduced that to 1.25mg morning and night, which in the past has kept things ticking along reliably enough. It still makes me feel like shit, though, and the nausea is unchanged.

It’s possible the nausea is linked to my heart failure, as nausea can be a major symptom. If so, then it bodes ill, as it’s probably an indicator that I’m deteriorating and, from the severity, pretty damn fast. (See footnote.)

As regular readers will know, my heart has been hopelessly irregular for years, but for a few weeks recently it behaved itself impeccably, no PVCs, no flatlining, no tachycardia, none of the buggeration that usually plagues me. Then, last week, I carried a particularly heavy bag of shopping from the door to my flat into the living room – a whole 6 or 7 yards, wow!– and the whole bag of worms kicked in again and has steadily got worse.

I really need an effective cardiologist, not one who goes off in a sulk if I object to dangerous tests (when there are safer ways of obtaining the same information), or one that prescribes an immoderately high dose of a potentially dangerous drug, and who thinks the logo on my clothing might actually be my real name (I mean, seriously, just how goddamned dumb is that?), but one who’ll bloody well listen to me, accept that I know what I’m talking about, and respond accordingly, not go off on some doctor knows best bullshit tangent.

The only option is the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, but the senior cardiologist there did my angiogram in 1996, pronounced my heart fine, and when I asked him how come I was having angina attacks refused to accept that I was, even though they were part of my medical records. Or, having seen how piss-poor Arrowe Park’s record keeping is, maybe not. Either way, waste of time seeing him. And, of course, it’s even harder for me to get to Liverpool than to APH. And, right now, impossible for me to go anywhere.

Anyway, I’ve faxed my GP asking for more Nebivolol, and explaining that 1.25mg twice a day is far more effective than 2.5mg once. The reason for this is that the half-life of Nebivolol is massively variable, and can be anywhere from around 10 to 32 hours, depending on the individual – and I’ve clearly got the short end of that, as it’s ineffective, and my heart rate starts to rise again, after maybe 9-10 hours.

This, I’ve also explained to my GP – it’s not hard to understand ffs – but he does like to try to impose his will and go for something different. And if he does it this time there will be bloody trouble!

So, anyway, like it or not, it looks like I’m saddled with Nebivolol, at least for whatever future there might be. There are other drugs which will bring my heart rate down, but none that are likely to be any safer, or less troublesome, nor as quick-acting.


I’ve had life-threatening illnesses more times than I care to remember, but this is the first time I’ve felt I might actually die, not least because I have nothing left in reserve, physically or emotionally.

I’ll stay online as for as long as I possibly can, but if I’m suddenly gone, well, at least people will know why.

I hope I have the time to close down my life tidily, and say my goodbyes, especially to those I’ve loved, and those I would have liked to, but that might be out of my hands.


Never’s just the echo of forever
Lonesome as a love that might have been.
Let me go on lovin’ and believin’ ’til it’s over
Please don’t tell me how the story ends.

– Kris Kristofferson.

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