2010-11-10 - 9:46 a.m.
...a little more information...
My mother sent me some more information about my sis-in-law. I think that this testing was kicked off as part of a routine doc's appointment. After hearing about Sis' family history, her doctor sent her to a cardiologist for an EKG and stress test.
The EKG showed a left branch bundle block, which is the same thing that Sis' father had (and died from). The chest x-ray showed that her heart is not enlarged, which is good. They also checked her kidney function, which was still in normal range. (Sis donated a kidney to her sister some 25 years ago.)
Sis was able to complete the treadmill test, but they detected some problems with the electrical impulses coming from her heart, which could lead to cardiac arrest. The specialist recommended that they implant a cardio defibrilator under the collarbone, a very costly procedure for a piece of equipment that lasts 4-6 yrs.
She's also scheduled for an angiogram and a heart catheterization, to get estimates of how bad the blockage is.
I have a cousin who is a medical doctor and he has been listening and interpreting all of the information for us. He's offered to speak with the doctors and to help make sure that the treatment/outlook remains good.
Sis also has had a chronic asthma condition, and my cousin thinks that it may be cardiac asthma. That is, if the ventricle is not functioning properly, then blood could be pooling in her lungs. Another possible cause of the weakening of her heart could be a viral infection.
The scary part is if something happens to the right side of her heart in addition to the left, she will go into cardiac arrest which could kill her. This is why they have recommended implanting the defribilator.
Truth is, I don't know enough about hearts to understand just how serious this is, but it's all a little scary. I am thankful that we have my cousin's help with speaking to the doctors, and interpreting the level of care that she is getting.
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...they are just words, Suzi... - 2011-08-29