This is me, the guy who doesn’t have heart problems!

And my pulse oximeter.

The jagged line at the bottom of the screen is a very basic heart trace – all the peaks and troughs should be the same for a normal heart – mine, as you can see, isn’t normal. All 4 pics were taken in about 3 or 4 minutes – this is normal for me and, clearly, all is not well. And it feels much as it looks – as if I have a madly-flapping bird trapped in my chest!

And yes, a proper ECG will show the same thing, though it needs to be interpreted. This trace is simplified as it’s only intended to show that something is wrong, not what.

The large 93 is my oxygen saturation percentage, 089 is my heart rate, and the vertical bar is heart-beat strength – higher is better. The horizontal bar, top right), is the battery gauge. The tiny 85 at extreme left is the default alarm setting for bradycardia (left unchanged as my problem is tachycardia). The multicoloured light at the bottom is nothing – just a reflection.

Oh, and the “expert” Heart Failure Nurse insisted that the trace was nothing to do with my heart (though it’s in synch with the heart-beat strength indicator), and – the clincher – the manufacturers say it’s a heart trace, and they should know!

Windows Live “Writer” assigns apparently random numbers to images. Despite what you might see when you hover the cursor over them, they are in sequence.

 

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