Seeking advice (and reassurance!)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Seeking advice (and reassurance!)
3
Wed, 07-09-2003 - 8:35pm
My Dad is 73 and was (I thought) in pretty good shape; we'd known he had an arrhythmia for years, but it had never been anything major. He got to where he was getting confused easier & losing his temper more over trivial things. I got his doctor to callhimin for a routine physical, they sent him to a cardiologist who ran an induced stress test, then put him on coumadin & Lasix. Arteries were clear, which was good news (I think). He went for a follow-up today & called to tell me he had to report back Monday for them to try to shock his heart into a normal rhythm (cardiovert?)

I'm searching around trying to find some info, but most of what I've found is pretty technical. Can anyone break this down & give me the good news/bad news sides, what to expect & what happens if this doesn't work? I'm hoping they gave Dad some paperwork I can read tomorrow when I see him; if not, I may try calling his doctor to be a little more prepared.

I'd appreciate any advice or warnings you all might have - this has got me freaking a little, and I think it has a lot to do with the "unknown" factor!

Cindi

Avatar for themummy2001
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 8:37am
Hi, Cindi......and welcome to the board!

Your father had a pre-existing arrhythmia which his cardiologist found to be more of a problem (most likely) than was once thought....that's why your father was put on Coumadin (to prevent blood clots) and Lasix (to remove any excess fluid from his tissues). The procedure he'll be having is to help his heart "revert" to a normal rhythm....something that the arrhythmia is preventing his heart from doing on it's own. This procedure (cardio-conversion) is usually very successful! Your father's heart "shudders" (for lack of a better word!) at times, and the cardiologist probably found that to be unacceptable at his age (and probably with the degree of arrhythmia your father has)....so they've decided to help his heart along by giving it a mild "jolt" to get that heart to "convert" to a normal sinus rhythm. As I said, this procedure is usually very successful....but your father will have to follow up with his cardiologist frequently. Not only to make sure the procedure worked, but also to have on-going blood tests to make sure his blood-coumadin levels are correct and to make sure the lasix is working!

Yes, the cardiologist will most likely give your Dad lots of printed information regarding this procedure, and also (most likely) about his heart condition (the arrhythmia). By all means, call the cardiologist!!!! Always ask questions of the doctor taking care of a loved one!!! That way, you can help your Dad with this problem, and will know what to expect in HIS particular case (everyone is different!)! Good luck, Hon...and good luck to your Dad! Let us know how things work out for him, okay? Hope this was a little bit helpful to you!

Welcoming (((hugs))),

Linda.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 7:40pm
Thank you! Dad assured me that this is a common procedure, nothing to worry about, all that, but . . .

My sister in law's mother had a massive heart attack four weeks ago, had quadruple bypass, and has woken up once since then. They did an EEG yesyerday & found minimal brain waves. I think it was just the combination & timing that worried me!

I appreciate all the advice & will let you know what happens Monday! Thanks again!

Cindi

Avatar for themummy2001
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 8:08pm
You're very welcome, Cindi!

Your Dad's right....the cardio-conversion IS a pretty common procedure for folks with some types of arrhythmias! But, you'll worry anyway....and that's normal! There are always a few risks with any medical procedure, so it's really wise to understand as much as you can about the procedure and what it entails! Did your Dad's cardiologist give him literature about the arrhythmia and the procedure? Hope so...that'll help!

You're right...the timing of your SIL's mother and your Dad's problem WAS a bit scary...but everyone is different, and your Dad isn't having any of the procedures that your SIL's mother had! Hang in there, Hon! Sending up prayers and positive thoughts for your Dad....and you! Let me know on Monday how your Dad's feeling, okay?

Love and (((hugs))),

Linda.