That old Chinese curse

You’ve heard it: “May you live in interesting times.” Well, it’s been a little interesting around here the last few days.

This last Saturday morning my mom started feeling nauseous; by Sunday afternoon, she was so ill she could barely move. She’d gone at least 48 hours without eating more than an Ensure milkshake I’d made her. When she told my aunt where to find her good jewelry so “the girls (my sister and me) won’t have to look for them” we figured it was time to get her to a doctor. She was too sick to get down the stairs safely, and the thought of sitting up in the car for a 25-minute ride almost made her cry. So I called an ambulance.

At the hospital they gave her something for the nausea. It helped a little bit. But the surprise was that they discovered that her heart was beating slowly, and occasionally very slowly. Way too slowly. They admitted her.

During the night the nurses woke her again and again, each time her heartbeat dropped below 40 beats per minute. Each time it rose again into the high 40s and stayed. When this happens, Mom doesn’t feel it. She doesn’t get dizzy or faint. She feels no pressure on her chest. What she does feel is a continuous nausea that so far, the valiant medical team hasn’t been able to relieve her of. There is conjecture that it’s related to the slow heartbeatby way of that rascally vagus nerve.

There’s a chance they’ll send her home today. (OMG) There’s an equally good chance they’ll keep her for another day and night, too, since these Very-Low-Heartbeat (VLH) sessions even frighten the nurses and have the cardiologist and hospitalist furrowing their brows. And there’s talk of a possible pacemaker in her near future. There’s a part of me that hopes they’ll just do that, and soon. Like, today.

Why? It seems to me that a VLH could cause many of the problems Mom’s been experiencing during the last 10 months. Symptoms like forgetfulness, vagueness and confusion. Symptoms like fatigue. Symptoms like a bird-like appetite and a craving for sugary foods. (she’s tiny and slender as a bird, too). She’s never had these problems before and she hates them. It scares her when she forgets things, and it makes her angry sometimes when I correct her memory, even as gently as I do it. It frustrates her to run out of steam within an hour when we’re out doing things she enjoys.

Might having a strong, steady, normally paced heartbeat alleviate those symptoms? Maybe. Fingers are crossed.

As for me: Still have the boring, achey, stiff-making bursitis. RA has been twingy but the dragon is generally behaving himself. I got a decent night’s sleep last night in spite of both and in spite of the general worry over Mom, I’m feeling okay this morning. I’m headed for the hospital in a little while to find out what the plans are for Mom, but I won’t be staying there for more than a couple of hours unless they’re sending her home (OMG).

Interesting times. Send some good vibes our way? My love and care to you all.

9 thoughts on “That old Chinese curse

  1. Oh my land, I hope she’s doing better soon and yes, it sounds like a pace maker would help her so hopefully they’ll decide to do that *soon*!

    Hope your RA keeps are bay for the most part so that you’re able to physically deal with this.


  2. Oh dear, hope your mum gets better soon and that she is receiving the medical attention she needs. Stay calm, fretting will only make things worse for yourself. Take care.


  3. Lots of good vibes coming your way from here … might take a while to ‘cross the pond’ though! 🙂 I do hope that they fit a pacemaker soon and that it helps to sort everything else out. Wouldn’t that be great!


  4. Hopes, hugs and prayers being sent your way. This could be a real blessing if a pacemaker would alleviate all those troubling symptoms. Please keep us posted.


  5. Sending good thoughts to you and your Mom, Wren. It does sound like this VLH could be the culprit behind a lot of what your Mom has been experiencing. I hope the doctors learn more soon and can find a way to help her. That pacemaker could be a good idea.


  6. Hi Wren, I do hope you and your mom both feel better soon. Sending you positive thoughts, care and prayers your way!


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