Cooking Cinnamon Buns in the Car and a Fluttering Heart

Well another weekend is upon me.  Man, sometimes the weeks just fly by.

Hey, since it has been so hot outside lately, I started me thinking.  The inside of my car is baking sometimes.  The thermometer in my beetle was 102 degrees one day!  I wondered as I got inside my bug and my buns were cooking if I could literally put some real buns, like some yummy cinnamon rolls, in the car and bake them.  God, I love cinnamon rolls!  Remember the cinnamon rolls you use to be able to buy in elementary and middle school?  At the elementary school I attended, Winter Park Elementary in Wilmington, NC, the cinnamon buns were the size of my head!  I just checked out the school website and sadly I did not find any head sized cinnamon buns.  I did look at the staff and, I have to say, the Assistant Principle, Dawn Schifter, is hot!  Anyway, I digress.  The heat in my car starting my mind to grind.  What foods could I cook in the car?  There is a lot of wasted energy inside an automobile on a hot summer day.  Surely, I should be able to do something.  This idea has me thinking even further.  If I approached this and found out what foods I can cook in the car, wouldn’t it be neat if I create a cookbook with recipes exclusively for car cooking?  Someone has got to find that interesting.  You know, I just may make my mark in the world yet!

What else is going on?  Well, recently, I started seeing my family doctor, Dr. David Massey, for my high blood pressure.  Yes, I have what is called hypertension.  Crazy.  I have always felt fine, but a blood pressure reading my dad took one day told me otherwise.  140/90!  Upon that realization, I bought a blood pressure monitor and started taking readings every morning at home.  Reading ranged from 132/80 to as high as 150/100.  What in the world?  Well, I have cut out extra salt, cut down on caffinated drinks, and am trying to eat better.  I’ll soon begin taking blood pressure medication called a beta blocker.  However, before I can do this, I have see a cardiologist!

I also have a heart related condition called WPW.  No, it has nothing to do with WPW (Women’s Physique World).  You know, some of those gals could give me a condition of some sort.  Hey, wouldn’t it have been funny if I went to the Women’s Physique World website and saw Dawn Riggan?  The Winter Park elementary assistant principle?  Stay with me folks.  The WPW I am associated with is called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.  WPW is a form of supraventricular tachycardia (fast heart rate originating above the heart ventricles) discover 1930 by the dudes whose last names are listed above.

Click the image below.


When you have WPW, along with your normal conduction pathway, you have extra pathway called an accessory pathway. Electrical activity is conducted through these pathways that make the heart expand and contract.  The extra pathway in a WPW patient looks like normal heart muscle, but it can:

  • conduct impulses faster than normal
  • conduct impulses in a circular direction

The impulses go through the extra pathway (short cut) and can travel around the heart very quickly, in a circular pattern, causing the heart to beat unusually fast. This is called re-entry tachycardia.  I sound smart huh?

Some people with WPW have atrial fibrillation (a common irregular heart rhythm distinguished by the disorganized, rapid, and irregular heart rhythm). The greatest concern for people with WPW is the possibility of having atrial fibrillation with a fast ventricular response that worsens to ventricular fibrillation, a life-threatening arrhythmia.  Yes, it seems, I may be one of those people.

I have known about my WPW since I was about 12-years-old.  I saw a cardiologist regularly until I was about 16-years-old.  I haven’t been to a cardiologist since then because I was never really bothered by the condition.  I do get palpitations once in while, but after resting and doing some deep breathing the fast heart beat goes away.  I have noticed, in the last year, some extra fibrillations going on with my heart.  It’s kind of like a light fluttering.  I told my wife, Carolyn, it happens because I am thinking of her.  She couldn’t roll her eyes fast enough!

I saw a cardiologist this past Tuesday, July 11th.  His name is Dr. Steven Klein.  He’s suppose to be the best in the area concerning WPW.  Well he told me, in addition to WPW, I have atrial fibrillation.  Confused?  Okay, lets go over this again.  Some times, I get palpitations which can cause a fast heartbeat that in turn causes some dizziness and short breath.  Other times, I can feel a slight fluttering of my heart which is caused by the extra conduction pathway.  Dr. Klein told me this condition is common in WPW patients as they get older.  Wow.  So what now?  Well, I have to go see Dr. Massey again on Wednesday, July 19th to discuss my visit with Dr. Klein and pick up a high blood pressure prescription called a beta blocker.  According to Dr. Klein, the beta blocker will not only help to lower my blood pressure some, but also control the atrial fibrillation.  Then on Thursday, July 20th, I will go to see Dr. Klein again and sit in a dark room for 30 minutes while I get an echocardiogram.  It’s kind of like a sonargram of heart.  The echocardiogram will take a 3-D picture of my heart and break it up in layers so the doctor can study.

Well that’s all for now!   I will report more when it happens.


5 thoughts on “Cooking Cinnamon Buns in the Car and a Fluttering Heart

  1. Wow. This post has been getting a lot of hits lately. I noticed I wrote I would report back about my echocardiogram and I have not done so. Shame on me. Anyway, I did get that procedure done back in 2006 and my heart is really strong and healthy. It must have been from all the running I did when I was in high school and college.

    I am taking the medication Toprol, which is a beta-blocker, to help control my high blood pressure. The same medicine also controls my palpitations. Strange, but true! My high blood pressure is better and is at a constant and respectable 119/80. I’ve also lost 17 pounds since I first started seeing the doctor. Healthy living.

  2. i’ve heard beta blockers can actually worsen wpw tachycardia, by slowing AV node conduction. i guess it depends if its antegrade or retrograde.

    • Beta blockers have actually helped me. My WPW doctor Dr. Steven C. Klein at Lebauer Heartcare in Greensboro is one of the best heart doctors in the area. He’s extremely satisfied on my progress. Since I started taking Toprol, I have not have any major palpitations. I get a fluttering now and again so to speak, but that’s if I’m stressed or running on a lack of sleep. I would also say sleep is really important. At least 7 hours a night helps me.

  3. I was misdiagnosed for 18 years as having SVT, then the real diagnosis was made and In 1990 I had open heart surgery for WPW in Londons St Bartholomews Hospital. Im left with AF from that but its a lot better than the WPW. my rate would go up to 300bpm with that. Try usin coenzyme q10 for AF and if you havent tried it, mag citrate.

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