So it has been a little while since our hospital drama and I have had lots of inquiries, prayers and just plain love. Here is an update for all who have been asking — and for those of you have not asked but wondered about the current situation. If this is the first time you are hearing about this, scroll on down below this update to read the story from the beginning.
What has changed?
Well, the frequency and type of food we are eating has changed. We all know what we should eat — and not eat. But truly now, are we the first people on earth that needed a medical emergency to convince us of that — NO! So instead of just eating whenever, or not at all I have been busy preparing food for 3 regular meals and 2 regular snacks. I am learning that it is all in the prep. I will be precooking some foods, wrapping snacks and making sure hubby has meals when he is gone for several hours (usually doing a funeral somewhere in the valley or sometimes an all day affair at one of the Indian reservations). I have been remiss to take care of my hubby in this way, but now he takes his food with him and usually eats it too.
The beta blocker that the hospital cardiologist prescribed has been discontinued because if seemed to make him feel even lousier than without.
Something else that has changed; Michael is not longer showing high glucose values which means his weight loss has caused his diabetes to go away. Praise the Lord! He has not taken any diabetes medicine since a couple days before his final ER visit. This is why it is so important to stick with regular and frequent small meals because, in his words “I ain’t going back on that medicine”.
And another thing: Michael’s blood pressure is back down to where it was in High School — yeah you read that right, his bp has not been so good in nearly 40 years!
Finally, the palpitations (PACs) continue every now and again and they mostly happen after meals or when he has over exerted himself. We are also noticing that they occur between late night and early morning most often. His primary care giver suspects some type of gastric issue that will require an upper GI study. Basically he will swallow a barium and they will use a scope to look around down there. Right now we are looking to rule out a hiatal hernia which is the protrusion of part of the stomach through the diaphragm. Frequently this hernia will bump the heart, causing palpitations.
After that GI study the doctor may elect to have Michael wear a halter monitor for a few days to collect the EKG info that was missed in the hospital
What has NOT changed?
We are still busy and ministry here in Albuquerque, New Mexico at Selah Mountain Ministries. We are happy to be in service to the Lord in this way. Summer months are a little low in the counseling ministry so we still covet your prayers that the Lord would continue to provide for us in other ways if not through the donations to the ministry.
Another thing that has not changed is the amazing weather that we get down here. We are thankful for the sunshine and for the air conditioning indoors as we are in the middle of the desert!
Thank you to all who have been in fervent prayer and I ask forgiveness for those whom I was not able to contact personally — there are so many people that love us, WOW!
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:19
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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The Story from the Beginning
It all started with this post: Whatsoever things …
Then it continued …
DAY 1 -Here we are at the ER at University of New Mexico Hospital. This is ER run number 3 for the week. Most of you know that my husband, Michael, is having some episodes that we needed to get checked out. Check back here regularly for my daily diary of what’s going on while we are here.
5:30 a.m., Michael was not well and complaining of heart flutters and chest pain; even felt a little nauseated so I drove him into the VA Medical Center ER. After about 1 1/2 hours they released him citing “stress”. We left the hospital even though his blood pressure was somewhere around 160/100 — against our will. The discharge nurse said that next time we should go to urgent care.
Throughout the day the BP was very high and chest pain and “flutters” persisted.
7:00 p.m. in the evening Michael called the nurse on call at UNMH to get advice on what he should do. She said to call 911 and get a transport.
7:45 p.m. arrived at the UNMH ER via ambulance. Checked in and waited. Soon Michael went back to triage to give info to the nurse. Then we waited some more — lots more. Since chest pain was an issue they wanted to make sure that he had not suffered heart damage so we needed to wait several hours for the blood to be drawn.
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DAY 2 About 2:30 a.m. while still in the waiting room (with periodic vital sign checks, EKG & XRAYs) Michael had some pretty bad chest pain so they took him back to a room to get oxygen.
3:30 a.m. I spoke to a check in nurse to see if I could go back to be with my husband — they escorted me to his room.
Michael rested some while waiting for another episode that could be captured on EKG. Sometime later (but still wee hours of the morning) he had an episode but by the time the 12 leads were attached for the EKG, they missed it on tape.
Marissa was his nurse and she is LOVELY! She knows her stuff. But she had to leave at 7:00 a.m. to be replaced by Heidi who is a sweet young girl and a hard worker.
7:30 a.m. Michael complained of deep chest pain and they attempted to catch it on EKG again to no avail. They had discussed trying nitroglycerin earlier to see if pain would go away. So he took one tab and it did not help, when he took the second tab his heart rate plummeted to 37 and the monitor was all over the board so I called for help and several people came to assist. They wheeled him to the resuscitation room where the doctors hang out and I was on my knees in his empty room. Praise God my sister answered her phone and she prayed over the circumstance. A few minutes later one of the doctors came to tell me his BP was normal and his heart rate was fine too. This is when they started talking about admitting him for tests and cardiac consult.
9:30 ish now by this time I am extremely tired from not sleeping since 5:30 a.m. yesterday and I need some food. I went down to the food court and grabbed a sandwich some water and coffee.
10:00 ish the attending physician came in to chat with Michael and confirm that they had plans to admit him. After this I headed home to grab a couple hours of sleep, some food and a shower. Then I grabbed my computer, hubby’s tablet and all the charging cables for the devices, the Bibles and various other little things and was back on the road to the hospital.
While I was away he had two more episodes but was able to eat a regular diet and drink fluids.
7:00 pm — I am back in the hospital and we are still waiting on the room. I understand our neighbor in the next room has been waiting 3 days for a room, really? I also learned that this is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in New Mexico and that they get patients frequently from Arizona and Colorado. Well! that explains the wait.
This evening Josh is our tech (he is an energetic young Navajo man and very sweet) and Rachel is our nurse. Are all these staff so wonderful? I believe so! What a blessing, thank you Lord.
9:00 pm Marissa is back on shift but working in another area and noticed we were still here so she stopped to chat. She was happy to hear that they made some progress and gave us a little advice that we will discuss with the doctor.
9:30 pm, I think we will see if we can find something to watch on HULU Plus. I am thankful for the guest WiFi — times they are a changing. I will make another entry tomorrow and try to keep posting updates as they are available. We covet your prayers and know that God is our strong tower. We are walking by faith as we have done for many years.
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Michael was transferred to the Cardiology floor (7th Floor, room 715) in the wee hours of the morning when I slept at home.
10:00 am, Three doctors came to visit, including the Cardiologist. In a nutshell, the Cardiologist does not suspect that there is any problem with the heart muscle (all tests and EKGs to this point have come back with normal results PTL!), rather he suspects that something is causing what he called a sympathetic premature atrial contraction (PAC), that’s what we have been calling the flutters. He has ordered a nuclear stress test for tomorrow and believes that these PACs can be controlled by proper diet and medication. He also mentioned some sort of monitor to be used for a time after discharge to continue to collect information. So for now the only restriction is to stick with the diabetic diet and wait for the test and then the results. Michael looks well and his BP is the best it has been all week, barring the periodic episodes of PAC, which raises the BP. We appreciate your continued prayer and are thankful for the wisdom and direction from our Father above. We have a great team of medical professionals here at the UMN Hospital 7th floor, thank you Lord.
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Is is really Day 4? Just seems like one BIG day! As I write this update Michael has already been gone from his room for a couple hours. He is down in Nuclear Medicine having his stress test. This test is being run to rule out “mechanical” issue in the heart, like blockage or valve trouble. The Cardiologist does not suspect any mechanical problems but this test is “standard procedure”. The PAC episodes continue and are worse in the morning than at night. Michael had a good night’s rest and woke up this morning feeling well. His sugar levels are the best we have seen in 2 years — and this without taking that Metformin since Thursday! So right now I wait. And I meditate on the following scripture:
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. ~ Psalms 27:14
2:45 pm Stress test results are clear! The heart is working fine, mechanically. Michael will be discharged today with meds to help control the PACs. We are thankful for this and will do followup with primary doc and specialists as necessary. We are looking forward to sleeping in our own bed. Such a simple pleasures that we take for granted, right?