Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Atrial Fibrillation

As promised, here is the continuation of "MIL is Trying to Kill Me or Herself". Yesterday morning around 9am, the phone rang. I had been up long enough to have taken a shower and contemplate what to eat to satisfy my growling tummy. MIL has dialysis on M-W-F every week, and leave the house around 6:45am. She gets back around 11:30am, depending on whether or not she has plans made. Note: MIL is a chronic planner. She likes to fill every square on the calendar with something to do. It usually involves either eating or shopping or both, and it inevitably requires driving to Elkhart, Mishawaka, or parts unknown.

Anyhoo, back to the call. When I answered the phone, it was MIL. She calmly says, "My heart rate and blood pressure are really high, and they want me to go to the ER and get an EKG. Can you guys come to the hospital and meet me there?" Just calm as can be. MY heart rate and blood pressure instantly went up a few notches. I told her we would of course be right there.

I got Bud up and we were heading to the hospital within 10 minutes. When we got there, we noticed her car was there. "What the Hell?!?" She drove herself to the ER! My first thought was, "negligence". How can any health care facility send someone who may be undergoing a heart attack to the ER driving themselves?

When we got inside, MIL was just having an EKG done, so we waited until the tech was done. Once he was done, we asked why in the heck she drove herself. She stated that they asked her at dialysis if she was able to drive herself, and she said yes. I asked if they had her sign a waiver or anything, and she said no. So basically, then let her drive herself across town, not certain whether she was in the beginning stages of a heart attack. Special, no?

When they came in to put the patient ID bracelet on her, she got agitated. "You aren't admitting me, are you?" The woman assured her that it was SOP and that she had no idea if she would be admitted or not--that was up to the doctor.

Because her heart rate was so high and was not coming down on its own, they gave her a dose of cardizem intravenously. The doctor told her that they may decide to keep her overnight to observe her if it didn't come down. That made MIL mad. She said she had plans for the next day (she left about an hour ago with a friend of hers to go to a specialty fabric store) and didn't want to be admitted.

MIL has a huge distrust of doctors. She has never had a family doctor. For one, she is afraid that they will find something wrong--her biggest fear is cancer. She also believes that they have too much control and will order a bunch of tests that she doesn't need because in her mind, doctors are after everyone's money.

Imagine her relief when the doctor told her that they weren't going to admit her, but they were going to adjust her b.p. meds. She was having Atrial fibrillation, which is when the atrial chamber flutters and pools blood before finally contracting. This can actually be very serious if not treated, as blood clots can form when the blood is pooled in the atrium. The only thing she could think about, however, was the fact that she was supposed to return a video to a friend at 3pm, and her plans to go fabric shopping with her friend today. Thank goodness she wasn't admitted, right?

MIL is amazing. I have known a lot of people on dialysis, and most are wiped out afterwards. Not MIL. She will run to the store, go out for lunch with friends, head to Mishawaka for something she must have...she can't sit still. She will nod off in her recliner in the afternoon, and she is baffled why she is so tired and can't keep her eyes open. At the Blueberry Fest on Saturday, she was mad that she was tired after only FIVE HOURS of walking and shopping. She is 75 years old, but wears my ass out!

My bet is on MIL. She is going to outlive us all.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like MIL is an amazing woman! I've never had the good fortune of having a great MIL, you are lucky indeed. :)


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