Atrial Fibrillation and Medications

Thursday morning, Ed went to see the cardiologist in Denton. His episodes were getting totally out of hand. Dr. John’s office had called earlier in the week to see if Ed was having symptoms on a daily basis. Hah!!! That particular day, he had had 3 episodes so far and it wasn’t even 3 p.m. yet! Yeah, I would say it was indeed a daily occurrence.

We had to be at Dr. Kruger’s office at 7:30 Thursday morning. That, in and of itself, was stressful. Who would’ve figured that any doctor’s office would be scheduling visits that frigging early? I think Dr. Cruz and Dr. John had told the cardiologist that Ed was a VIP. I heard the front office making lots of appointments starting at 7 a.m. so there must be a lot of VIPs with potential heart problems in Denton. (hehehe)

After many, many questions about symptoms and a review of the medications that Ed was currently taking, Dr. Kruger took him off of 7 different pills and prescribed 2 pills. Ed had been on some of the medications for years and they had been working just fine, but I don’t think they played nice with some of the newer pills he was taking and no, not all of the medications were prescribed. Ed had also listed the vitamins and other stuff he was taking and I’m sure glad he did. We tend to forget that everything we take could interact with other things we ingest.

Let me make a suggestion to you: make a list of everything you take on a daily basis and keep it current. This should include things like aspirin, allergy medications, nose sprays, caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. Write down the dosage and how many and when on everything. You might also add what the medication is being used for, since some medications can be used for multiple issues. And then, carry a copy of this information with you. I spent many hours in the ER last year with a certain young lady who is no longer in my family and I guarantee that making this list and carrying it with you really helps. You never know when you will need that information and you might not have time to run home and get it.

With just this change in medication, the change has been amazing in our little house. Friday, we had lunch with Misty in downtown Fort Worth. The last time we had lunch with her in downtown Fort Worth, Ed couldn’t walk across the street and up the front steps without having a major episode. This time, he had to walk almost 2 full blocks just to get to the front door and he had no problem, no shortness of breath, no weakness. Today, he went to Wal-Mart … without me. I was so thrilled!!! What a joy!!!

We are not out of the woods just yet though. Ed is going in for a stress test a week from Monday and Tuesday, plus an echocardiogram (echo) this coming Wednesday afternoon. The results should show whether Ed has Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib), which is a relatively common problem that is not life-threatening if properly treated. The next post will discuss A-fib, what to look for, what it is, and how you can live with it.

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