A night in the ER….

…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. πŸ™‚ Not quite the atmosphere for a romantic get-away, though. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

11 thoughts on “A night in the ER….

  1. So sorry this happened, Barbara. Thankful you got good care. I’ll be praying for wisdom for you and your doctor.

  2. Thankful you are home and all is well. I will be praying for wisdom for both you and your doctor. Your condition (a fib) seems to be getting more common. I think that is good news because the doctors learn more effective ways to treat it. The ‘peace’ in your voice is a wonderful witness for our Savior.

  3. Oh boy, Barbara, that is not fun at all. So glad you got good care even though you were there so long. Praying this new med works and you and your doctors get it figured out. You seem so calm about it all.

  4. Dear Barbara, I’m so sorry your weekend has been so “rudely” interrupted, but so thankful for the wonderful healthcare you received. I’m praying for your continued strength and healing. Take good care of yourself sister!

  5. Rejoicing you are on “this” side of your ER visit. Wonderful how God went before you in every situation providing what was needed in each situation. He has promised to never ever leave nor forsake us….wonderful God. Praying as you follow up with your doctors. Proverbs 3~5~7

  6. Oh my! So sorry you had to go through this, Barbara. It’s ironic that it’s in the hospital where the least sleep happens. But I’m thankful they took good care of you otherwise, and that you are back home. Praying they find the right dosage of medicine to work things out best.

  7. Oh wow, I am sorry too about this. I’ve accompanied people to the ER a few times and I know what you mean about how it seems so much time is wasted — really frustrating for someone who likes to be “on the go”! I’m glad you had a great nurse, and I’ll pray that the doctors would be able to find an effective drug combo for you. I’m sure it feels pretty scary to have your heartbeat go out of control like that.

    • I didn’t feel like the hospital staff wasted time – except once they say you can go home, it seems to take forever to be discharged. But just laying there in an ER bed for 18 hours seemed like a waste of time – like, “God, don’t you have other things you’d like me to be doing that would be more profitable?” But I know God does not waste what He allows in our lives, and as long as we live in these bodies, we’re going to experience problems with them til we get to heaven.

  8. Pingback: Friday’s Fave Five | Stray Thoughts

  9. Oh Barbara! So sorry I missed this! That must be a terrible feeling! The ER is never a good place. There is always a hold up somewhere in the chain of command. Hope you are feeling better… well, on to catch up.

  10. What a blessing that you have medical care close at hand. And, now having read how your cardiologist visit went, I’m glad to know you had more clarification about the condition and your options. Praying God will direct you to the right solution.

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