Thursday, August 04, 2011

Matters of Heart

A friend called me last night. Her heartrate is consistently running above 180, she's passing out from low blood pressure, totally frustrated with her doctor. She has long QT syndrome and has a pacemaker/defib, taking betablockers, diuretics & ca channel blockers. She's young, in her thirties. Ugh. 

She called me for advice. It's been a long time since I was a cardiac nurse. I have no idea what to tell her. I told her to get a different doctor. All of them are on vacation, she's afraid she won't live long enough to get a second opinion. To add to this, she is doing all this passing out, trying to die stuff in front of her kids. They are freaked out. She's been taken to the hospital by ambulance twice in 10 days. They get her stable & tell her to follow up with her own doctor. She had to switch to Kaiser this year. Before that, she had been seen at UCSF, CPMC & Stanford.

I'm scared for my friend and feel helpless. I just had a little boo hoo with Mr. Misha.

But with her, I tried to make her laugh. Told her I was going to get a custom helmet for her since she insists on falling down all the time. I told her I would make sure it was sparkly and pink, maybe even put a unicorn on it for her. She laughed. It was a good sound. 

I wish I was better with matters of the heart.


  1. Wow. Glad she got a new doc. I'm wondering if her combination of drugs is the culprit for her prolonged QT. Hope a good cardiologist can get to the bottom of it all.

  2. The new doc sucks. She is the one that is making her worse. She wants to go back to her old EP doc, but her insurance changed. The Long QT syndrome is familial. Other family members have it, including her sister & one of her daughters. Her mother died suddenly in her 30's. This is really scary.