How it all started….Part 2

When I left you, it was a Sunday in November of 2015 andDen had just arrived at the ER and was being hooked up to the monitors. We were told that it would be an hour or more before a Medtronic Tech would be available to interrogate his Pacemaker/ICD to find out why he had received multiple shocks. Before the doctor could get into the room and look Den over….another shock! Now that makes 3 in less than 12 hours! Our daughter is freaking out….I am starting to panic and it seems no one is doing anything to help Den! I ran to get someone at the nurses station, since they weren’t answering the call light. When the episode was over, my daughter told me how scared she was and I assured her that Den was going to be OK and I would make sure everything that could be done would be done! It seemed that the shock that they staff missed in their own ER was enough to light a fire under someone, a few minutes later the head of electrophysology walked into Den’s room with the machine to interrogate Den’s Pacemaker! He upped the rate on the device to keep Den’s heart beating at 100 beats per minute. This would keep him from getting another shock. He also ordered an IV of magnesium.

Around noon, I took Em, our daughter, home and got some things that Den would be needing, he was going to be admitted….surprise, not really! On the way home, we stopped and got some McDonald’s, since neither of us had eaten yet that day. I packed up some toiletries, Den’s Bi-Pap (special CPAP) and a few other things I knew he would need. Em decided to stay home and my parents were right across the yard if she needed anything, I did let them know she was home and what was up with Den before I left to go back to the hospital. I told Em I would call her when Den was in a room and settled for the night.

When I arrived back at the ER, the nurse at the desk remembered me and let me in right away. And I soon found Den in the same place I left him…Trauma Room 1. Sometime around 4PM they finally came to take him to a room. He ended up in the same room that he had been in after his ablation a year earlier. By the time Den was settled he was so tired that he fell a sleep quickly. The doctor had left orders for a Potassium IV and to discontinue two medications, Tykosin (an anti arrhythmia) and Lexapro (anti depressant). I checked in with my parents and Em several times and got Den’s Bi-Pap set up. I really didn’t want to leave him alone in the hospital with so many questions unanswered, but he insisted that I go home and take care of Em and Harry (our dog). So I waited to eat dinner with him and then headed for home around 7PM.

When I got home, I updated everyone on what was happening and told Em she should sleep with me tonight…I know she was still scared and unsure of what was going on. She headed off to bed around 9PM and I went to the computer to start researching the drug that they would be starting Den on later that week. This new drug, Ameroderone, has lots of risk factors depending on the dose and how long you are on it. The longer you are on it, the more likely it is to develop problems. It can effect any and all systems of the body, so close monitoring is the key to success without complications. I finally fell into bed around 3AM and cuddled with Em to help her sleep, but alas….no sleep for me.

The next morning, I called Den at 7AM so Em could talk to him before she went to school. He sounded funny, so I made the decision to leave work early. I would pick up Em on my way to the hospital (she needed to see him so she knew he was OK). I talk to Den at 8AM, before I left for work to let him know what the day’s plan was going to be. Work started out as usual. My co-workers, Joe and Mark were very supportive and understanding. I had short crying jags, for no reason other than the stress I was under just not knowing what was happening at the hospital. I check on Den close to every hour just trying to find out when the doctors would be making rounds so I could try to be there to understand the plan. All he was told was that they should be around after lunch. So I left work at noon, picked up Em and headed to the hospital. Em did her homework and napped on the couch for the most of the afternoon. I sat and talked with Den until the doctor came in around 4PM. Dr. Mitchell said they should be able to start the new drug soon. They had to wait for the levels of Tykosin in Den’s blood to drop so that there wouldn’t be a reaction.

Den seemed to get more and more agitated as the evening wore on. Em and I ate dinner with him and headed home around 6PM. I spoke with Den at 7PM and every 2 hours thereafter! He was VERY agitated the entire night and could not get any relief from his anxiety. Every time we spoke, Den seemed more agitated than the last time. I could not wrap my sleep fuddled brain around what was happening. When I talked to him each time, I could get him to calm down and relax a little, but not enough to sleep, but he wasn’t “on the ledge” either. It was one of the longest nights of my life.


Enough for today! Den is taking a shower this morning and will need lots of help, then more house clean up…it really is never ending!

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