Atrial Fibrillation- repeat occurrances

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 1/22/2013 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
My mother-in-law has had several bouts of atrial fibrillation.  She just went into a-fib again last week.  This will be at least the 4th time.  The last 2 times she had a cardio-version.  They had admitted her to the hospital (via the ER) last Thursday night.  Doc ordered an echo-cardiogram on Friday; it showed no enlargement.  So he ordered the c-v for Saturday morning.  Turns out the hospital doesn't do them on weekends.  He got so mad.  Had to discharge her (Insurnace demands) due to her being stablized by adding lo-pressor.  Still very high pulse for her (89-120+) and variable blood pressure.  She has been on 150mg of Rythmol 3x day for a couple of years now and that usually keeps her pulse in the low to mid 50s.  Her BP had been staying around 120/80.  Doc added 25 mg of 2x day and said he'd schedule a c-v early this week.  When I spoke to his office yesterday, we couldn't get it scheduled until Feb. 12.  She has had at least 2 major strokes and several TIAs in the last 5 years. She also had one bout with congestive heart failure and her kiddneys are not 100%.  She broke her hip last year (fixed with pins- not joint replacement).  She takes warfarin. 
I'm not really too worried about a stroke/blood clot because of the warfarin.  We can check her pro-time every week and adjust to keep her blood thin enough.  But I am worried about heart enlargement and CHF developing. 
 Part of my problem is that I am normally her primary caregiver.  But I had foot surgery in Dec. and won't be able to drive for another week.  I'm having to rely on other family members to keep an eye on her and on phone calls to check on her (I have her take her bp and pluse 3-6 times a day and we keep a written record- that's how we knew she'd gone back into a-fib- she doesn't 'feel' and symptoms other than tiredness and a little breathlessness).  A month of waiting seems like such a long time for her heart to be 'fluttering' and working overtime. Am I being too parinoid? Over reacting?   Is there anything else I can do - other 'things' to watch? 

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/25/2013 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I am sorry to read of your Mother-in-laws problems as well as your recent foot surgery.  I have had foot surgery and it ties you up more than you expected.
Kudos to you for being the care-giver for your MIL.  I would guess she has a social worker as she has been in the hospital.  Could you have a care conference with this person to perhaps set up a visiting nurse that could come in and check on MIL until you are feeling better.
I agree with you if she is back in A-Fib at a fast rate she needs to be seen by a physician. Atrial fibrillation, often called A Fib, atrial tachyarrhythmia, or atrial tachycardia, is one of the very common heart rhythm disorders, however, that does not mean treatment is not important and timely. 
Complications like blood clot formation, strokes, and heart failure can arise, but appropriate treatment reduces the chances that such complications will develop. This is a time where you may have to let the rest of the family know you need help as you cannot be the primary caregiver for this lady all by yourself.
Bless you for all you are doing,
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“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
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