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Saturday, September 06, 2014


 On 24th October 2009 I had a heart attack.
You can read about it here.

So, what's new?

About 7 months ago Sabeen Mahmud (of T2F & my adopted daughter) went to Dr. Cyasp Nowsherwani. She asked me to come along, too, partly because I had complained about an occasional giddiness when standing up after being in a chair for a long time. The Doc asked me if this always happened. I said No. He said I should "get up slowly and hold on to something if necessary … and soon this would go away. It was only temporary." Was it Age? Perhaps!

I waited for months. Nothing happened that seemed connected. But things didn't work out too well. Read the follow-up here to see how some things did happen. But, again, it didn't seem to indicate a heart problem.

Over these months my dizziness kept happening slightly more often, even sometimes while I was walking from room to room. So I went to the Emergency Ward at NMC and the Doctor said it would take a couple of months to get all right … I should continue taking my regular medicines.

More months passed. Nothing happened. The pain attack returned once. I rushed to the heart hospital. A checkout showed that it wasn't my heart. So I came home. Dr. Shamim (S) gave me a medicine to reduce the pain … but no pains came after that.

Then the dizzyness started happening when I climbed downstairs/upstairs. Not all the time, but getting worse. Mind you, the dizzyness came for just a second or two. Maybe three. Never longer.


While Ragni was here and was visiting a doctor. I was in the waiting room. I phoned and spoke to 'Ms. House M.D.' — that's Sabeen Mahmud -  and told her I was feeling increasingly dizzy again.  She (a Lady Doctor, Psychologist, Psychiatrist … without any qualifications) said it could be Tachycardia or Bradycardia.

(See how useful that amazing TV series is!)

Looking this stuff up on my iPhone, I felt that Bradycardia could be the possible cause. For this I downloaded a Heart Rate Monitor Application on my iPhone. I checked it out and it showed 72 beats per minute.  60bpm, I discovered on a website, was low. 40bpm was fairly terrible.

I kept checking my heart rate there in the hour I was sitting in the waiting room … and this is what I saw happening afterwards: 67 - 58 - 65 - 44 -72 - 41.


That website also mentioned Arrhythmia - a missing of heartbeats or irregularity in them. There was no way to find that out unless I went to a Doc. So I had to go see Dr Zia Yaqoob (ZY).

Dr S phoned Dr ZY and told him that a Holten Monitor needed to be attached to me for 24 hours. I went to see him and had monitor fitted by 'Mike'. He asked me if his children should continue to stay in Pakistan or move out. I said if they were Jews, Christians, Ahmadis, Hindus, Shias, Aga Khanis, Bohris, or any other 'breed' that the 'incoming Pakistan' feels should be killed — and that includes several Sunni sects, too — they should leave right away. Mike - (whose real name was Mukesh, I found out later) - told his assistant that I was the second person to say this to him. I guess his kids will soon be on their way out.

Holten Monitor

The monitor records were kept on a USB card that was plugged in. After 24 hours the USB was removed and the events were checked. "You should come back for a report on Monday evening", said Mike, and off we went.

We were almost near our house when Mike phoned and said I should get back and see Dr ZY right away!!! Huh???

Anyway, I got to Dr ZY and Mike arrived there with my report. The Doc looked at it. There were 48 times in the 24 hours that my heart had stopped. Many missed beats were upward of 3 seconds. The longest one was 4.478 seconds.

Fortunately— or not — I was asleep.
I guess I could have died.

Dr ZY said to me that I'd have to have a Pacemaker fitted as soon as I can … and I should rest until then. I came home and we thought that I must have this on Monday, since Ragni was leaving in three days and could be with me at this time.
So it was on Monday, August 25, that my Pacemaker was fitted

(I also posted these pics on Facebook/Twitter)

Pacemaker 1 : The X-ray

Pacemaker 2 : Recovering at NMC

Pacemaker 3 : If I'd been a little fatter this wouldn't be seen!


On 27th August Ragni celebrated her 30th Birthday
(her first in Karachi in 10 years)
and I decided to celebrate my 73rd a little early instead of October 2nd.


 So now, Tony Afzal, you know what happened.


Oh, here's a fact to remember:

SOS is quite often 'translated' as Save Our Souls.
Apart from the fact that there is no 'soul' to save,

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Anonymous tony afzal said...

Very scary indeed. Good thing there was a Mike in your life. But I can't imagine incompetence with some medicos: " keep taking the meds, the pains will eventually go away"

But you have had the dreaded Bypass as I have had. They say that the procedure provides a life extension of 10 to 15 years. No one said that you could get dizzy and have to have a Pacemaker fitted.

07 September, 2014 15:03

Blogger Zakintosh said...

The Pacemaker was not a result of my heart attack and bypass … so don't worry. You'll be alright :)

07 September, 2014 15:20

Anonymous Sabeen Mahmud said...

I love all my new titles. LOL! Thanks for all these insights and so relieved that the issue is properly diagnosed. Well, as best as one can hope for in a diagnostic desert. ♥

08 September, 2014 12:31

Anonymous beena sarwar said...

Am I glad Ms MD with new titles was there. And Rags. So glad you are ok.

11 September, 2014 23:40

Anonymous Salman Siddiqui said...

That Holten Monitor graph was outright scary! Glad to know that a pacemaker is there to assist your heart out now.

19 September, 2014 12:23


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