…is not a very restful one.
Some of you may remember that I have some heart rhythm problems, originally diagnosed as supraventricular tachycardia, but a couple of years ago was changed to atrial fibrillation (or maybe I’ve had both – I have never gotten a straight answer on that). Anyway, the afib feels like heart palpitations, or vibrating or quivering or jumpiness, then usually goes back to normal within a few seconds or minutes at most. But Friday afternoon it started up – and kept on. By the time Jim came home from work, it had been going on a couple of hours, so we went straight to the ER.
When I was having SVTs, the ER would give me a dose of adenosine which, I was told, stops the heart for just a second. It feels like you’ve been kicked in the chest, but it “resets” the heart to a normal rhythm. Then I’d have to stay under observation for a couple of hours to make sure everything was stable before I was released.
With afib, however, they don’t use adenosine. They said they had to try to bring down my heart rate slowly, making sure my blood pressure didn’t go too low, especially with one of the drugs they tried. They tried 2 or 3 before going to this last one, which required an iv drip that took six hours to run. Because I needed to be monitored while on it, I had to stay in the ER. They did bring in an actual hospital bed, which was much more comfortable than the ER bed.
It ended up taking 13 hours all together before my heart rate “converted” back to a normal rhythm, and then I had to stay a few more hours to make sure everything was ok, so I was there about 18 hours altogether.
The hardest thing was being so sleepy, but just about the time we drifted off, something would beep or some noise would happen. I was going to take a nap when we got home (after a good shower!), but that kept happening then, too. Well, not beeping, but something or someone making a noise that woke me up. But maybe that’s just as well — maybe I’ll sleep better tonight.
Anyway, all is well now. I have to follow up with my cardiologist and primary care doctor in the next few days and discuss whether to change or adjust medications.
As far as ER visits go, this one went well – except for not being able to sleep and my heart rate taking so long to convert. The RN was probably the best nurse I’ve ever had, as far as explaining things, answering questions, being attentive, etc. I hadn’t eaten anything since about 3 p.m. Friday afternoon, and around 5:30 a.m., he scrounged up some turkey sandwiches, soft drinks, graham crackers, and animal crackers for us. I told Jim we could pretend like we were having a picnic. 🙂 Not quite the atmosphere for a romantic get-away, though. 🙂
Jim’s mom’s caregiver was able to come feed her dinner and get her ready for bed, and the rest of the time, while she was just sleeping, Jesse kept an eye on her with the monitor. We have another monitor also that works through a camera in her room and an app on our phone, so Jim could look in on her through the night. Thankfully the hospital is near where we live, so he could run home in the middle of the night to turn her over and then in the morning to make her breakfast before her caregiver came again. Then we were back home before her caregiver had to leave.
One frustration with the whole scenario is that it feels like a colossal waste of time. But I trust God has some purpose in it. Now I am praying for wisdom about what, if anything, we need to change in how we treat it. I’m going to do some research on the new drug they sent me home with before I see the doctor next week.
And that’s how my weekend has gone so far. 🙂