It’s been a long and stressful day … or rather yesterday was since today is just starting.
Yesterday at about 3 pm my husband called me from work. He was in Emerg and he told me that he’d just been admitted to the hospital. He then put the cardiologist on the phone to talk with me. There’s nothing like hearing what’s going on straight from the doctor!
Chris apparently had chest pain while at work. He’s an attendant in the OR Day Surgery Recovery room area of our hospital. He’d just transferred a patient to a room and suddenly had chest pain and felt dizzy. The ward clerk for the area he was in saw him and went “Oh no, not again Chris!” … you see, this has happened before.
Back in 2004, only two months after my sister had had thyroid surgery and ended up in a coma after the drainage tube was removed from her neck (she’d been bleeding into her neck and it was slowly cutting off her oxygen supply to her brain), my husband felt strange at work and he made his way to the ER triage desk, only to pass out right at the nurses feet. At the time we thought that the stress of dealing with my sisters condition might have caused Chris’ problems.
He’d had some kind of heart arrhythmia that caused him to pass out and also ended up causing permanent changes on his ECG (electrocardiogram). After several tests the cardiologists thought that he might have a rare heart arrhythmia called Brugada. So they decided to send him to one of our Toronto Hospitals that specialize in heart care – St. Mikes. After a week in St. Mikes, and several tests including an EP (test to stop the heart electrically and chemically to pinpoint arrhythmia’s) they decided that he didn’t have Brugada, even though his ecg, symptoms and most other test results pointed to it.
Over a six month period he gradually got better, but every now and then he’d have weird chest pains, dizziness and sometimes weird tingling in his arms or legs. Over the last month he’s complained a few times of chest pains and I guess I was starting to be on guard for something like this to happened again … so I guess I wasn’t all that shocked when I got the call yesterday afternoon.
So back to that phone call. The doctor told me about Chris’ symptoms, stated that his ECG still looked like Brugada and that he wanted to admit him to the Acute Coronary Care ward for observations. He also told me that Chris’ cholesterol and triglycerides were sky high and that they had been back in 2004 and 2007 and when he had another incident … why our family doc didn’t pick up on this is a good question! So he also wants to do an angiocath on Monday. I’m presuming this is because of the high cholesterol and triglycerides. He probably wants to make sure that Chris doesn’t have any blocked Coronary arteries.
His official admission diagnosis is Brugada so I guess they really are still going with that. Chris said they called it Brugada class two .. I’ll have to find out what that means exactly.
Chris is feeling fine now. Thank God!
He doesn’t really want to be in the hospital at all, but if we can figure out what keeps causing the chest pain and find out once and for all if he really does have Brugada that would be helpful! We’d rather know what we’re dealing with. If he does have Brugada they’ll put in a defibrillator pacemaker so if his heart stops it can give him a shock and hopefully get it going again. It will also be good to find out if his arteries are clean or clogged up and fix them up too if necessary as that could help prevent a heart attack!
Now you remember that old saying “Bad things come in Threes“? Well they do, they certainly do!
1. Earlier this week we found out that Chris’ uncle was admitted to the hospital last Saturday with breathing problems. He has terrible lungs and he’s become quite frail over the last year or two. He’s still in the hospital (different one from Chris) and we aren’t sure when he’ll be discharged as they are now doing other tests on him for other problems that he has.
2. Last night at 10 pm as I frantically ran around tidying up the house for the in-laws that I’d just learned were in town (ARghhhhhH!) Chris’ cousin (son of uncle above) called. I thought he might be calling because he’d heard about Chris or to let us know how his father was doing but no … he had other bad news. His younger brother, 37, had a heart attack early Thursday morning! When he went to emerg with Chest pains they discovered the heart attack and then did further tests – he apparently had three blood clots in his arm (a piece of one probably broke off and caused the heart attack) and when they did an angiocath they found that three of his coronary arteries were blocked so he had angioplasty. He now has some heart damage from the heart attack. Oh and yes he apparently has high cholesterol – not sure when that was diagnosed but he’s on Lipator now for it.
3. And finally Chris’ chest pain, possible arrhythmia and upcoming angiocath.
Of the three Chris seems to be the healthiest at the moment. I sure hope it stays that way and that nothing else happens!
So … if you don’t hear from me much over the next few days you now know why. I’ll be going back and forth to the hospital to see Chris and coming home periodically to take care of the dog. Luckily the hospital is a less than 10 minute walk away!
Naturally, I called Chris’ parents right after I got off the phone with his doctor. I then proceeded to get ready to go to the hospital to see Chris and packed a bag with some things I thought he might need.
I got home a bit after 8 pm after being sent home by Chris to feed the dog (much later than normal). Once I was done taking care of Midnight I returned a few calls and tried to call Chris’ parents. They weren’t home so I left a message. Chris called me at about 9 pm to tell me that “guess what? My parents are here!! Is it ok if they stay the night?”
So the in-laws have descended! I knew they’d come … they had been going to come for at least a day visit to see Chris’ uncle on Saturday, but I guess their son being in the hospital spurred them on.
So I’ve got Chris’ mom and dad and his aunt here sleeping in our spare bedrooms. I get along with them ok, but they do kind of drive me batty … so this is only adding to my stress! Oh and the first thing my Father in law said to me upon arriving was to ask if I could help them find a hotel for tomorrow night. Huh … why’d I rush around making up beds for them tonight? Why bother spending only one night here if you plan to stay for two … they might as well stay here both nights (as much as I might go nuts at the thought!).
Well if you’ve made it to the end of my long tale I thank you! I know I rattled on, but I feel a little better getting all of this off my chest. Now that it’s going on 2: 00 a.m. I really should try to get some sleep if I can. I think I’m still a little too stressed or jumpy to sleep though. Hmmm maybe I should eat? I really haven’t eaten since this afternoon, yeah that might be an idea.
Thoughts and prayers always appreciated!
A stressed and worried, Trish