Engine 51, Squad 51

This morning I took Todd in for a planned, follow-up cardioversion (think Emergency when Johnny Gage yells clear and shocks the patient).  His pacemaker was interrogated and it showed 1) The atrial fibrillation has not been present since the procedure in Indianapolis 2) The atrial flutter was present this morning and had been for a week but there were 11 days prior to this where he had no flutter at all since Indianapolis. This is very good news.

After shocking him this morning he is in normal (sinus) heart rhythm! Woo hoot! He checks back for another pacemaker interrogation in a month. The heart still needs another 4-6 weeks to heal so we won’t know with certainty if this has worked. But Dr. H was very happy, almost giddy. It was very exciting.

He is now relaxing and can’t drive until tomorrow. I have challenged him to a half marathon at the end of 2014.

Thanks for all of your prayers. God is good!!

Back to the Future

Todd went in to see his local cardiologist today. Many of you know he was feeling very tired and winded. His lower rate was set at 55 BPM so he was really dragging. Dr. read his pacemaker and adjusted the lower rate to 70 BPM which is where he used to be.

So good news is that he now has what he had 20 years ago – atrial flutter. He is not in A Fib but in flutter. He is going back on  an anti-arrhythmia drug to try to knock out the flutter. Yes, this is better. We still need to wait three more weeks to see what happens as his heart heals from the procedure. If he is still in flutter at that time, they will cardiovert him again.

On a lighter note, I met my friend Sarah and her two youngest at the Please Touch Museum. Luc and I had a great time!

I think that is it for now.

St. John of God, patron of heart patients, pray for us.

 

“Glad to be sitting up”

“To lay flat on your back for 12 hours is not fun”

“Standing up never felt so good”

“I need to be on bed-rest for a month” (he’s lying)

He also says, “Thanks for all of your prayers.”

Since Todd refuses to “social network” I am providing you with a selection of quotes from the patient.

The Doctor came in to see Todd early this morning and gave him a similar report. Everything was still intact from the Houston procedures – all of those ablations held. And with this new device he was able to to find three sources of electrical interference, he calls them rotors, one on the right and two on the left. 90%+ of sources are on the left side so he didn’t expect to find anything on the right side. He was able to isolate those and if the procedure worked they will not come back.  They confirmed that they were able to get the atrial BPM down even when he was in a-fib. This morning the fellow told todd it went from 600 – 180.  This means that even if he goes into a-fib he may still feel better than he has recently. So there may be some improvement even if in a-fib.

Good news is he is still in sinus rhythm (meaning no a-fib). Reality tells us that this was the case after the last two ablations which held for one day and one week. We are trying to be optimistic. May God’s will be done!

He will be discharged sometime today. Yea!

Still sleepy

Well, he’s still dozing in and out. It is almost 9PM. His blood is still too thin to remove the seven ports from his upper thighs. So he is still flan on his back. He has to continue to lie like this for 6 hours after the ports come out. He’s not thrilled about it but otherwise is doing okay. He has noticed his heart trying to go back into a-fib a couple of times – fascinating to hear him recognize it and then see it on the monitor a few seconds later. I’ll give another update tomorrow. 

St John of God, patron of heart patients, pray for us.

All done…

The doc, along with his fellows who laugh at all of his jokes, just came out to give me a report (2:00 PM). Dr. thought it would be an easy procedure with this new device, that there were some areas that the Houston surgeries missed, but there were none. The Houston procedure was a thorough as it could have been. He found an “interesting” thumb sized area in the right atria which the worked on from quite some time with “the basket” and brought the BPM down to 345/350 from 400. Then he moved to the other atria and found two similar spots. Worked on both of those areas. At the end, while he wouldn’t admit failure, he said Todd was still in a-fib but at a slower BPM. So they tried cardioversion and that knocked him out of a-fib. The doctor is hopeful but I am feeling a little down because this is the same thing that happened in Houston. That said you don’t know until this heals. May God’s will be done.

The doc also made a comment about Todd’s artificial aorta and aortic valve being positioned 45 degrees from where it should. But it works and looks good so that is all that matters.

Now I wait for another hour or two until I can go in to see him.

St. John of God, patron of heart patients, pray for us.

Divine Intervention

I was working in the cafe all morning and took a break to go to Mass at 11 AM. How nice it is that they have Mass here everyday. They even have the Eucharist present in the Chapel. I sat in the second row and the priest made a beeline to me and asked me to do the readings. At the end of Mass, I saw I had five messages from my patient flow coordinator (no he didn’t page me).

I went back to the waiting area and we called in to the procedure room. They have been ablating him for about an hour. The doctor is pleased with the progress so far. We will call in for another update around 1:30.

St. John of God, patron of heart patients, pray for us.

Indianapolis or Siberia?

We made it to Indianapolis (Siberia?). Todd arrived on Tuesday and I came in on Wednesday night. There are several inches of ice and snow packed on most roads. Schools are still closed here but we made it!  Here’s the sight when I landed last night. Image

We had a great dinner at St. Elmo’s. I had the most amazing shrimp cocktail with very spicy sauce. Normally that is my dinner but I was cajoled into some seared tuna. Todd had a great dry-aged steak – Kansas City strip – I think. Since we are praying a Novena to St. John of God – patron of heart patients, I found this window at St. Elmo’s prescient. Image

As for Todd, we got to the hospital at 5:45 AM after a cab ride where we literally felt a large piece of ice roll under the car. The floor of the cab actually rolled. Odd feeling. We were able to say day 9 of this Novena in the chapel before heading to the Cath Lab waiting area. We met Jim who is our “patient flow coordinator”. I think that would be a good job for me. He gave me a pager (hello PAGENET peeps) It’s quite large and looks more like a taser. I heard Jim describe it as one of those things you get at a restaurant. Image

After all of the prep including answering the same questions five times, they took him off to surgery at about 7:40. He was a little anxious as you would expect. He was relieved however when the anesthesiologist, Dr. “Call me Andrew”, told him the would use a general anesthesia. His first ablation they sedated him and he woke up several times. He was very sick following that procedure so glad to be put under.

This will take 5-7 hours. The success rate with this new procedure is about 70%. According to the   one of Dr. Miller’s fellows, Dr Miller’s success rate is much higher – he is having the most success of the 10 hospitals using this new approach. (Love the humility) They described the device as the “rooter” and a “cage” and spoke about all of the holes they were going to put in his legs.

Will let you know when I get an update on how he is doing and how the procedure is going.

St. John of God, patron of heart patients, pray for us.

Novena for Todd’s Heart Surgery on January 9, 2014

Today we start our Novena to St. John of God for the success of Todd’s heart surgery on January 9, 2014. Would you please join us? You don’t need to be Catholic to say these prayers. If you can’t start today, that’s okay, start any time.

St. John of God is the patron saint of those suffering from heart ailments, booksellers (have you ever seen Todd’s religious book collection?), hospitals, nurses and fire fighters. According to Catholic.org from the time he was 8 (Todd had his first open heart at age 8) until he died, he was very impulsive and always stayed with his decision no matter what others thought.  And, as Todd points out, everyone thought he was a madman.

Great history of St. John of God

How to Pray a Novena:

If you haven’t prayed a novena before it’s easy. For nine days (novena = nine-fold) begin with the Sign of the Cross and then read the prayer below aloud or to yourself. At the end of the prayer you repeat the closing prayer three times (3*3=9) which includes the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.

NOVENA PRAYER TO SAINT JOHN OF GOD FOR A CURE 

Saint John of God, heavenly Patron of the Sick, I come to you in prayer to seek your help in Todd’s present sickness. Through the love which Jesus had for you in choosing you for the sublime vocation of serving the sick, and through the tender affection with which the Blessed Virgin Mary placed upon your head a crown of thorns as a symbol of the sufferings you would undergo in the service of the sick to attain to your crown of glory, I beg you to intercede for Todd to Jesus and Mary that They may grant him a cure, if this should be according to the Will of God. 

How patiently you bore the sufferings of your own disease! Teach me and Todd to carry with cheerful resignation the cross that God has given us. Let us never complain or lose courage. Help us to understand that suffering is a very important means of sanctifying my soul, of atoning for our many sins, and of reaping a plentiful harvest of merit for Heaven. I trust in your great love for the sick and in the power of your intercession to help them. Help Todd, good St. John, and beg the God whose name you bear to touch him as He touched the sick while on earth, that through His almighty power health may return to Todd’s body. And as you derived strength in your own sufferings from the crucifix, so may Todd be able to say what you did to Jesus Crucified: “Lord, Thy thorns are my roses and Thy sufferings my paradise.”

Good Saint John, lover of those who suffer and special Patron of the Sick, I confidently place before you my earnest petition.

That Todd’s doctors are able to successfully complete his ablation procedure and he is healed of the atrial fibrillation.

I beg you to recommend my request to Mary, the Mother of Sorrows and Health of the Sick that both Mary and you may present it to Jesus, the Divine Physician.

Saint John of God, patron of the Sick and beloved of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request.

 

(Three times.)

In honor of Saint John of God:

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Saint John of God, Patron of the Sick, pray for us.

 

Say this novena nine times in a row for nine days in a row.

Source of St. John of God Novena

Let us know if you are joining us!

Message Sent (go back)

Christmas Picture 2013
Christmas Picture 2013

Twisted, off-center heart

All looks good this morning. The electrophysiolgist was in early this morning to see Todd, followed by one of the fellows. They confirmed that they were able to address three areas. One “circuit” was rotating around previous scar tissue – that was the one that his pacemaker was sensing. And then there was another run of the mill flutter-circuit which they were surprised to see because they thought they got all of those the last time. They thought they were done but decided to see what happens with a shot of addrenaline and they found a third circuit – it wasn’t rotating just firing away. I have no idea what this means but apparently there was a good bit of debate about it… They also inserted an ultrasound to get a better look at the reason Todd’s aorta was at 45 degrees of where it should be (they discovered this last time he was here). They discovered that his entire heart is twisted 45 degrees off-center. Explains a lot about him, doesn’t it? They don’t know if that was his natural anatomy or if it is a a result his three open heart surgeries. 

We should be able to leave here by lunch time and head home tomorrow.

In the meantime, please keep my cousin Kelly in your prayers. I asked for this yesterday, tongue-in-cheek, but last night she took a tumble and it had nothing to do with the boys.. She will be okay but is taking it easy today. Her mom is on her way and two of our good friends are helping out this morning. Thanks to Dana’s friends parents who jumped in and helped out last night. And to Mary Kate for holding it all together!

Prayer to St. Teresa of Ávila

Patron Saint of Headache Sufferers

Dear wonderful Saint Teresa, model of fidelity to vows, you gladly carried a heavy cross following in the steps of Christ, Who chose to be crucified for us. You realized that God, like a merciful Father, chastises those Whom He loves, which to the worldly seems foolish, indeed. Grant to all headache sufferers relief from their great pains, if this is in accordance with God’s Divine Will.

Amen.
Saint John of God, pray for us!

“Two thumbs up”

Todd asked me to tell you “two thumbs up”. I asked, is that all you want me to say. His response, are you looking for something more profound? Well, yes, sort of. His throat is sore but he is drinking water. He also says his chest feels good – no thudding for the first time in 15 months!

All done

I just saw the Doctor and his four fellows and the procedure is done. They found three areas that needed ablation; two on the left side and one on the right side. Everything looks good and they feel very confident that they got it!! Todd will be happy because they already removed the catheter lines – this is not always the way it happens. He will be in recovery for a few hours and then I will get to see him. More later! St. John of God, Pray for us!

Ablation is underway

The ablation began around 10:45 ET. It must have taken a while to get the catheters inserted. This is his fourth ablation but who knows how many times he’s had a catheterization so it’s a little more challenging. I’m assuming due to scar tissue. Ablation itself will take about 6 hours. He’s totally out with the Michael Jackson juice. Knowing this was the sedative they were going to use makes Todd very happy… This reminds me that we tried to buy a house in Houston from the lawyer who represented MJ’s Doctor. Unrelated factoid for the morning.

I fell asleep shortly in the waiting room after my first post.  

This was my napping spot.. I was out cold for 90 minutes. Woke up just before the patient liaison gave me the update. And then I made it to mass. I’ve rented Still Alice and am going to try to watch that today. It was a little too fresh for us last year.

Today’s the day

We are here at IU Methodist in rainy Indianapolis. We had a great dinner last night at St. Elmo’s steak house. I think there were fewer than 10 women in the place. The Big 10 NCAA tournament is in town. In fact, our hotel room is adjacent to some Penn State players – one of the coaches was doing bed check last night and informed us of that. They were too loud…

We arrived at the hospital at 6:00 am and Todd was wheeled off at about 7:45. He was ready to go. The ablation will last 6ish hours. They will give us updates and I will pass those along.

Thanks for all of the prayers and support. Please pray for my cousin Kelly who has to entertain the boys on another rainy day in Houston. 🙂

Novena for Todd’s Next Heart Ablation on March 10, 2016

Reprisal of January 2014 Post/ Request

Today we start our Novena to St. John of God for the success of next Todd’s heart ablation on March 10, 2016. The last one held for a year + but unfortunately this changed in 2015. Honestly, I’m not sure how he does everything he does feeling the way he feels. And he never complains.Would you please join us? You don’t need to be Catholic to say these prayers. If you can’t start today, that’s okay, start any time.

St. John of God is the patron saint of those suffering from heart ailments, booksellers (have you ever seen Todd’s religious book collection?), hospitals, nurses and fire fighters. According to Catholic.org from the time he was 8 (Todd had his first open heart at age 8) until he died, he was very impulsive and always stayed with his decision no matter what others thought.  And, as Todd points out, everyone thought he was a madman.

Great history of St. John of God

How to Pray a Novena:

If you haven’t prayed a novena before it’s easy. For nine days (novena = nine-fold) begin with the Sign of the Cross and then read the prayer below aloud or to yourself. At the end of the prayer you repeat the closing prayer three times which includes the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.

NOVENA PRAYER TO SAINT JOHN OF GOD FOR A CURE 

Saint John of God, heavenly Patron of the Sick, I come to you in prayer to seek your help in Todd’s present sickness. Through the love which Jesus had for you in choosing you for the sublime vocation of serving the sick, and through the tender affection with which the Blessed Virgin Mary placed upon your head a crown of thorns as a symbol of the sufferings you would undergo in the service of the sick to attain to your crown of glory, I beg you to intercede for Todd to Jesus and Mary that They may grant him a cure, if this should be according to the Will of God. 

How patiently you bore the sufferings of your own disease! Teach me and Todd to carry with cheerful resignation the cross that God has given us. Let us never complain or lose courage. Help us to understand that suffering is a very important means of sanctifying my soul, of atoning for our many sins, and of reaping a plentiful harvest of merit for Heaven. I trust in your great love for the sick and in the power of your intercession to help them. Help Todd, good St. John, and beg the God whose name you bear to touch him as He touched the sick while on earth, that through His almighty power health may return to Todd’s body. And as you derived strength in your own sufferings from the crucifix, so may Todd be able to say what you did to Jesus Crucified: “Lord, Thy thorns are my roses and Thy sufferings my paradise.”

Good Saint John, lover of those who suffer and special Patron of the Sick, I confidently place before you my earnest petition.

That Todd’s doctors are able to successfully complete his ablation procedure and he is healed of the atrial fibrillation.

I beg you to recommend my request to Mary, the Mother of Sorrows and Health of the Sick that both Mary and you may present it to Jesus, the Divine Physician.

Saint John of God, patron of the Sick and beloved of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request.

 

(Three times.)

In honor of Saint John of God:

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Saint John of God, Patron of the Sick, pray for us.

 

Say this novena nine times in a row for nine days in a row.

Source of St. John of God Novena

Let us know if you are joining us!

Latest Pacemaker Check

More great news. Todd had his pacemaker history read this week. The pacemaker records the heart rhythm therefore we have a record of all activity. He still has normal heart rhythm (no flutter or fibrillation) at this time. He had two instances on March 24 or April 11 when he went into atrial fibrillation for less than 1 hour each time (I’m thinking it’s when the Amex bill arrived). This is normal. The good news is that he reverted back to the normal rhythm on his on. This speaks well to his future prognosis. Yeah!

 

St. John of God pray for us.