The Real Housewives of Orange County star’s husband, Eddie, undergoes his third ablation, an invasive heart procedure, on Wednesday. The 46-year-old suffers from Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, an irregular, rapid heart rate that causes poor blood flow.
“He's had, now, six heart procedures,” Tamra tells ET. “Two invasive heart procedures, which would be the ablation, where they go in through the groin and through the vein in the neck and kind of cauterize the parts of the heart that are not beating properly and where the problem areas are. And then, you have to stay on medication. He's been on heart medication, beta blockers, blood thinners for nine months now. Then you have wait three months to see if it worked. So, it's a process.”
In between the invasive procedures, doctors shock Eddie’s heart every few weeks to keep it in rhythm. The reality star says her husband’s AFib is persistent, meaning he wakes up and his heart is racing as if he’s just run a marathon.
“He'll be sitting on the couch sometimes and be like…” Tamra shares, clutching her heart. ‘And I'm like, 'Is this the big one? Do I need to call?!' I freak out! And he's like, 'My heart's freaking out. I don't know.' And he'll just lay on the ground or something and take deep breaths.”
The diagnosis has largely been a mystery to the couple, who co-own a fitness studio, because Eddie is so fit, so doctors are unsure of the cause.
“It got to the point where, you know, he's getting older and now it's he can't work out,” Tamra admits. “He can't really do anything. He gets out of breath just walking up the stairs.”
“I mean, this is my 46-year-old husband! I'm like, why?” she asks. “He's fit! What is going on? But this is not totally uncommon with cyclists, and we're finding that out more and more … just any kind of endurance athlete. They pump so much blood through their heart. So, it causes problems and... I mean, I don't know all the medical terms. But, a few of his other cyclist friends have had it. Something, it comes and goes, where his is just persistent.”
Tamra says she hopes there’s a light at the end of the tunnel after more than a year of trying to fix Eddie’s heart. He is now on his third doctor.
“You know, at the very beginning I was like, ‘Oh, we're gonna get over this,’” she shares. “And now, I'm really starting to get scared. Is this your life now? And we just don't know ... if this ablation didn't work, they have to go into another area of the heart that they don't like to go into.”
Even through all of this, Tamra says her and Eddie’s relationship is stronger than ever.
“We're good,” she proclaims. “We've always been good … I've never seen him like this. He's always been super upbeat and now he admits he gets a little depressed sometimes. You know, he wants to go, you know, do a Spartan Race, or even workout or ride his bike. He would ride his bike three or four days a week. Now, he can't. He's been doing that for years, since he was in high school … He gets a little grumpy sometimes and I just let him be.”