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Very confused daughter
Hi everyone, I don't have any heart conditions but my Mom did. It all started about maybe 7 or 8 years ago she was having some chest pains one day, so she went to the hospital and found out that she had a left branch bundle block in her heart, never heard of that before... so she started seeing a cardiologist after that for tests and follow ups, she did the stress test, heart monitor.... ect. everything came back fine, I went to most of her appointments with her 1) I was the only child and wanted to make sure I understood what was going on & 2) my dad passed away in 2009 so I was all my Mom had so I made sure I took care of her.
From then on she stayed on top of her regular medications, took care of her health, ate right, stayed active and loved being with her family, and with a little help from me I made sure she was staying on track with everything. 2 years after she found out about the left branch bundle block in her heart she had a TIA(mini stroke) for the first time, and it was very mild, I can't remember what brought it on but I do remember her in the hospital for it, so after that she had to see the cardiologist more frequently for him to tell us that everything was still fine.... call me crazy but, I had feeling something else was wrong and I could feel it, I asked so many questions and did so much research. Then 3 years ago she started having these episodes where her heart would flutter and she would become out of breath and winded at times she wasn't even doing anything to get that way. So I started doing some more research and found out that those were some of the symptoms of a-fib, the next cardiologist appointment I made sure that was the first question I asked.. does she have signs of a-fib and the cardiologist said no. 2 years ago she was getting ready for a cardiology appointment in the morning and I was going to meet her there, I got the a few minutes early and sat in my car and waited, she never showed up, so I went inside and asked if they had heard from her and they said no, she wasn't answering her house or cell phone so I knew something was wrong, I raced to her house.... the screen door was locked and I didn't have a key to it and she wasn't coming to the door, I immediately checked to see if a window was unlocked and it was so I got in that way, I found the bathroom door shut with her behind it on the floor, she was blocking the door and I couldn't get to her, she had fallen and I could tell she had a stroke because her speech was really slurred and I couldn't understand anything she was saying, I felt so helpless so I ran and called 911 they came and cut the door down to get her out and rushed her to the hospital, I still don't know if she had fallen first and then had the stroke or if it was the stroke that made her fall. Once she was at the hospital things were such a blur, I was still trying to process what had just happened and the doctor that was taking care of her had me sign a paper for some shot he was going to give her to slow down the blood clot to her brain, then I had to sign all the other consent forms because she was a DNR. Next thing I know the doctor says there is a helicopter on it's way to take her to another hospital where they will need to do emergency surgery. The surgery was a success and she spent a week in that hospital with much improvement, they transferred her to a rehabilitation hospital, we were both so happy and once she got settled in there I wrote down a list of things she wanted me to bring from her house back to her. On the way home from the rehabilitation hospital she called me, that was the only time she used the phone, just that one time and she told me how much she loved me and appreciated everything I did for her, I stayed by her side every day in the hospital, we were both crying but I was happy because she was doing good and hopefully would be able to come soon. The next day I got all of her stuff she wanted and I got to the rehabilitation hospital only to find her unconscious but breathing, the nurses were running in and out of the room and wouldn't tell me anything, she was rushed back to another hospital for an MRI and I found out she had several seizures which is common after a stroke, but I was so brand new to all this stuff no one told me what to expect, so now we're on another roller coaster ride and it felt like this was a huge bump in the road. She was basically in a coma but they never called it that, she never talked again(I think God had something to do with that phone call from her the night before, he wanted to make sure we were able to talk one last time.), she rarely opened her eyes and when she did it was only for seconds at a time, barely any movement and she couldn't eat. I was beside myself, I couldn't believe this was happening. She stayed in an observation room right in front of the nurse so they could see her 24/7, as I sat next to her holding her hand all I could do was cry and feel the guilt wash over me. A week went by went no improvement, we celebrated her 75th birthday while she was in there, my kids made cards for her and I told her about them hoping she could hear me. They had a feeding tube temporarily in her nose so she could get some sort of nutrition. Many of my family members and pastor came by to visit, prayed with me, I prayed so hard for God to heal her. The next day they did another MRI and found out that she had another stroke on the other side of her brain and it was severely worse then the first one and they didn't catch it in time. The palliative team came in to talk to me to discuss options, they could do invasive surgery to put a feeding tube in her stomach and she would be severely disabled the rest of her life, or to unplug everything and let her go...... she didn't believe in artificial life so I said goodbye, she went peacefully 2 days later. After the first stroke I was told it was caused from a-fib which is what I suspected the whole time, there lies my confusion...... so I guess I'll never know.....
Spencer, February 3, 2019 6:23pm EST
Carrie - I am so sorry for your loss. Many on this board that can advise you, but I when I was first diagnosed the nurse put blood thinners in my hand before the formal diagnosis. I understand that those with this disease are five times the nationwide average for stroke. This is the reason for the blood thinners. Many are on them for a long time; I was on Pradaxa for 16 months. My AFib is in remission (for now) with a good doc that beat it back through three ablations and lots of days in the hospital.
Bottom line is that AFib carries an increased risk of stroke. The doc will decide if the benefit is worth the side effect.
Again, I am very sorry for your loss. Hope this helps.
Patio7, February 3, 2019 8:05pm EST
Please know you have been a wonderful caring daughter and your mother knew it and was comforted by it. We all wish for children like you. You did all you could and she left knowing she was loved and cared for. Loving children are a gift from God. 😘
AHAASAKatie, February 4, 2019 9:49am EST
Please know you and your family are in our throughs and prayers through this time. Peace, Katie