Who knew that Rick’s heart problems were “contagious?”

Yeah, that’s said with definite tongue in cheek. I’m looking for some way to put a humorous spin on a very serious subject. Turns out that STRESS, particularly the chronic kind that goes on and on and on and on, is the number one cause of atrial fibrillation. On some internet information sites, it ranks even higher than smoking.

I know this is not your “typical” Christmas Eve post, but right now, I’m wondering if this is my LAST Christmas Eve post… And if it is, how will I spend it, and every day thereafter? The clock is ticking, as is everyone else’s, yet mine seems to be ticking louder—and faster—.

Atrial fibrillation is a permanent condition in which the top two chambers of your heart are doing the jitterbug while the bottom two, the ventricles, are doing a waltz. Blood can pool during that confusion, and set up the conditions for potential clotting and stroke.

It’s not a pretty picture.

So I was instantly put on blood thinners and blood pressure meds, had an EKG, and scheduled for a stress test and ultrasound of the heart so they can see if/what structural damage we’re dealing with. I’m freaked out by all this, and finding it pretty darn hard to count my blessings tonight.

Meanwhile, my $5,500 insurance deductible starts over on January 1, so I’m soon to be nearly $11,000 in medical debt—and I HAVE insurance! One prescription alone is $365 a month, and there’s also no help with that until the deductible is met…

So, to the “average of 12” who read my blog posts, I’m not putting any photos on this one. Not in the mood to be upbeat and positive tonight. Hell, even Santa will most likely skip my house. He wouldn’t want to catch this…