By now my curiosity is REALLY stirred up about just what this little beastie, the eVolution, was up to. It does have an LED screen and numbers appear on it and sometimes the numbers change and sometimes the eVolution "chirps" but I can find no rhyme and reason. I called eCardio a couple of times to ask questions but always in the evening, after hours, and I would get "techs" who were rather vague in their answers and obviously not comfortable answering my questions. NOW I am starting to get FRUSTRATED!
18 August I'll be darned if I didn't have another episode of strong, erratic heartbeats!! Sure surprised me! So I pushed and held the button til it chirped. eCardio called, what was I doing, just sitting at 'puter or watching TV (I don't remember now). A cardiologist calls. I had thought that the first cardiologist who had called on the 28th of July was an eCardio cardiologist. He wasn't, he was a local cardiologist and a partner of the one who now had me on the phone. By that time the episode was entirely over according to how I felt and what my Nonin oximeter was saying so there was no suggestion to go to ER.
BUT - I SHOULD be seen by a cardiologist. Did I have one? Not really. I didn't have any known heart problems except some mild MVP that runs in my dad's family and he was the youngest to die at 79. No one could even find my MVP w/a stethoscope unless I was laying down when they tried. I did have some mild Pulmonary Hypertension secondary to the COPD. I don't have high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. My stress tests, including a couple of nuclear stress tests thru the years were all "normal".
If I wanted he would be glad to see me in his office - or he would contact any cardiologist of my choosing. What the hay. I agreed to make an appointment w/him. He asked if I was on any heart meds. No, no reason why I should be, at least up until now. He said his office would call me Monday (always on a weekend these these happen, eh?) to set up and appointment and to call in a script for Lopressor.
Well, now. I saw no need to start Lopressor before even seeing the scripting doctor who didn't know me or my health history for beans or even know what meds I was on other than not on any heart meds. I told my pharmacy if a script for Lopressor was called in to just sit on it until I asked them to fill it.
5:30 AM Monday morning I call eCardio to see if I can get someone who can answer my questions about this little ole eVolution and how it works and what its doing, etc. And, lo and behold, I get lucky!! I get Adam. And he is WONDERFUL. He is patient and explains things clearly and I am just thrilled. I mention my frustration w/previous "techs" and he said any time I couldn't get a satisfactory answer when I call in to ask for Patient Support. I am really pleased w/eCardio.
I'm sure part of the problem was that I wasn't calling w/questions until late evening, early morning. when I had the time to myself rather than during normal business hours when I had things going thru out the day as well. The "night time techs" I was reaching were obviously uncomfortable and unsure w/just what they could tell the patient about the workings of the eVolution. Ah, if only I had been able to make contact w/Adam sooner. Ah well, c'est le vie.
Monday the cardiologist's office called and set up an appointment for that Thursday, no mention of calling in a script for Lopressor so I didn't mention it either. I am a slow thinker so I like to have all my ducks in a row BEFORE I see a doctor so I don't forget to ask questions I want answers to.
Now the fun REALLY, REALLY begins. NOT. My family doctor scripted this Event Monitor so I call his office to get a copy of the eCardio report for the 28 July event. They have NO REPORTS from eCardio yet!!! I call eCardio. They can only send copies of the reports to the scripting doctor. My family doctor IS my scripting doctor. What is my family doctor's name? No, he is NOT the scripting doctor. Turns out the scripting doctor is the cardiologist who first called me on the 28th and the partner of the cardiologist I was scheduled to see Thursday.
This goes on between Monday and Wednesday. I call the cardiologist's office, they sent a copy of the 28th event over to my family doctor. He doesn't have it. She verifies the data and time and who she talked to at my family doctor's office when sending it over. Somewhere along the line I'm on the phone to eCardio again. I am FURIOUS by this time at not being able to get a copy of that 28 July report so I can have my questions ready for the cardiologist appointment Thursday. eCardio explains WHY they can only release that info to the scripting doctor w/o his sending them an ROI signed by me to release it to my family doctor. Now my jaws ARE torqued big time. 21 days I have put up w/this eVolution and the curiosity. 2 events and 21 days. They have enough darn info and I have NONE and I HAVE had enough. I refuse to be kept out of the loop any longer. I pull the plug on the eCardio and tell the lady, I'm not mad at you and I don't mean to take it out on you but ENUFF IS ENUFF. This Event Monitor bit is terminated. I will ship it out to you in the envelope eCardio provided tomorrow.
Have I mentioned I'm Irish and have a quick temper? I get angry quick but I get over it quick too. Usually.
So Thursday I trot into the cardiologist's office. He tells me I have A Fib, he briefly points out one report and the difference between the initial baseline graph and an episode of A Fib and tells me he wants to start me on Coumadin and Rythmol. I'd been on Coumadin several years ago for 6 months for a blood clot in the left axillary vein due to an improperly administered and diluted IV phenergan and Toradol so that was no big deal. But I never heard of this Rythmol.
I'm given a script for the INR blood draws. I'm to take 5 mg Coumadin Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and have the first draw done Monday morning. And there sits the reports from eCardio. A stack about an inch and a half high!!!! Sheesh! What the hay?? I ask for a copy of those reports. Amazingly neither the cardiologist nor his staff batted an eye! They copied all 141 single side pages for me AT NO CHARGE!!! Now, no charge for a 2-3 page report is one thing but I was fully prepared to pay for that huge stack. To say that I was a happy, grateful camper is an understatement. I think I can like this cardiologist and his staff!
So I go home and I look up Rythmol and read thru the eCardio reports. Fascinating! AND SURPRISING! NOT at all what I expected!
Hmmmm. I obviously need to learn more about A Fib and these Rapid ventricular responses, Premature Ventricular Contractions, Premature Atrial Contractions and Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardias. And it looks like when they indicate Sinus Rhythm they are NOT intending Normal Sinus Rhythm given the baseline normal sinus rhythm graph.
Easier to check out Rythmol first. And I can't say I am impressed w/or happy w/what I am reading. It seems to me that we are jumping the gun just a bit here. I think back on what the ER doctor told me: one baby aspirin daily, use my 02 more often. So, I FAXed the cardiologist to tell him I was uncomfortable w/starting the Rythmol just yet. That I preferred to see how I respond w/the Coumadin and w/using my 02 more often.
I take the 5 mg Coumadin Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Monday morning (yesterday) I had the INR blood draw. I was flabbergasted! That same afternoon I received a phone call from the cardiologist's office. My INR was 1.3, too low for what we need. Increase my Coumadin to 10 mg Monday and Wednesday evening, stay w/the 5 mg on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and have an INR draw done Monday morning. Hopefully this will jump start my response to the Coumadin.
Hey, I am really starting to LIKE this cardiologist and staff!!! They are keeping me right in the loop. I almost think I am in love. Maybe.
So we have now have added A Fib to my resume. Anyway, that is my long, long story about my journey to A Fib land. Ain't life fun??!!! wicked grin
Hopefully there will be no need for any further posts this long. So far this is almost a book! My apologies for that.
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