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Too Good To Be True

Yesterday, we thought that Joe's problems had been solved. His aberrant heart rhythm had been identified as ventricular bigeminy, and he was just hanging out in the peace and quiet of the hospital, wearing a heart monitor and relaxing until the elecrophysiologist came in on Monday to evaluate and treat the faulty electrical activity in his heart.

Turns out that was too good to be true.

Joe had a neurology consult today to definitively rule out a stroke. Just like the doctor yesterday, the neurologist said it was almost certainly not a stroke. She did, however, rule something else in. If that turns out to be the case, Joe will have to manage it for the rest of his life.

Joe's more private than I am, and I've probably already shared enough details to make him uncomfortable, so I'm not going to share exactly what she's looking for. I'm sorry I can't share more, Dear Reader!

The neurologist scheduled some tests in the coming days, and said that we'd need to make an appointment with her in two or three weeks to go over the results. It was bad news, but it's manageable.

Unfortunately, her bad news was was quickly eclipsed by worse news.

The cardiologist who came in from home to see Joe yesterday passed the neurologist in his doorway. His booming voice clashed with his soft, kind face “You're having intermittent episodes of ventricular tachycardia, so we have to change our plans for tomorrow.”

Bleeding HeartsI felt like I'd been kicked in the chest. Joe cried.

I read about ventricular tachycardia last night while I was looking for information on bigeminy, and I knew it meant that Joe's condition had deteriorated. Or maybe that it hadn't, but they didn't know the whole picture at first.

Remember in yesterday's lesson, I told you about PVCs. PVC stands for premature ventricular contraction, and they happen when the chambers of the heart fill up with blood and contract in the wrong order. When the contractions occur in the wrong order, blood fails to push through the arteries and veins.

Bigeminy means that every normal, productive beat alternates with a PVC, reducing the heart's effectiveness to half.

Ventricular tachycardia (“V-Tach”) can mean many things, but in conjunction with bigeminy, it means that there are more PVCs than there are normal, productive heartbeats. It can be as few as 3 PVCs in a row or as many as 200 beats per minute.

At its worst, V-Tach can quickly degenerate to ventricular fibrillation (where the heart vibrates instead of contracting fully) and sudden cardiac death (that's exactly what you think it is – heart failure).

And that was tonight's heart lesson (but remember that I am not an expert. I looked this up on Wikipedia, which my school librarian says is unreliable. Don't sue me.).

The doctor explained some of this, including the fibrillation and sudden cardiac death part. He didn't go into specifics (and the monitoring of Joe's rhythms takes place at the nurse's station, so I didn't see them for myself), but he made it clear that Joe's heart is going into and coming out of V-Tach frequently enough to cause concern among his doctors.

Furthermore, he said that the electrophysiologist could not evaluate Joe until other coronary diseases have been ruled out as the cause of the V-Tach. Apparently, the EP study is dangerous if other problems exist in the heart muscle or the arteries surrounding it.

Grace was weary, and she began to kick the heating unit on the wall. She was making a ruckus. We had to go.

I wanted to stay. I wanted to comfort and encourage my husband. I wanted to hold his hand and pat his arm. I wanted to be strong for him and help him to see that he's going to be okay.

Grace had to go. There was no way around it.

We left Joe crying in his room and walked to the car.

I think I felt more alone in those moments than I ever before in my life. Needing comfort and conversation and companionship, I called a dear old friend and asked if she'd meet me for an early dinner.

We talked about hearts and love and God and prayer. Grace ran around and played and laughed. After we'd finished, Grace and I headed back to the hospital where we visited with Joe and his parents for another hour or so.

God isn't too good to be true, and He has a plan. His plan is good. Maybe this is happening now so that Joe's heart can be fixed and he won't have other more serious problems later on.

I'm scared, and I'm sad, but I believe that He is going to bring Joe through.

Please pray for us.

Photo courtesy of gumdropgas on Flickr

© 2009 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

44 thoughts on “Too Good To Be True”

  1. Wow! I’m so very sorry you guys are going through this. I know it’s scary and it’s always harder when we have to wait to see the outcome but just know there’s a lot of people praying for your husband, your family, and the doctors now. I hope that whatever the doctors find is easily treatable and your husband is able to come home soon. I’ll be watching for your next post hun! *hugs*

  2. Tara, I just cannot imagine how I would be holding up in your situation, with a toddler to care for and a husband to worry about. Particularly with all these scary medical possibilities being thrown around and just not knowing.

    Prayers definitely coming your way, lady.
    .-= 9to5to9´s last blog ..If a school asks, I’m happy to tell =-.

  3. Certainly praying for you. My mom always said that everything happens for the good.
    So you are right about all this trouble and bad news being about something better for the future. Take care of yourself and the family.
    It is great that you called a friend too – you are a LOT wiser and stronger than I’d have been in the same situation. You should be so proud of yourself.

  4. Certainly praying for you. My mom always said that everything happens for the good.
    So you are right about all this trouble and bad news being about something better for the future. Take care of yourself and the family.
    It is great that you called a friend too – you are a LOT wiser and stronger than I’d have been in the same situation. You should be so proud of yourself.

  5. (((HUGS))) to you and Joe and Grace who must be very confused. There are a lot of people thinking about you guys right now. Hang in there.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Weekly Inspiration Oct 5th ~ the Blog Meme for Creative moms =-.

  6. I’ve been following this on twitter and I’m so sorry for all the bad news. 🙁 I guess it’s good they finally have something to work with after so many months of not finding anything, but we’ll pray that they are able to come up with solutions soon! Our God is the Great Physician and He knows exactly what’s going on!
    .-= Krista´s last blog ..13 Weeks =-.

  7. I’ve been following this on twitter and I’m so sorry for all the bad news. 🙁 I guess it’s good they finally have something to work with after so many months of not finding anything, but we’ll pray that they are able to come up with solutions soon! Our God is the Great Physician and He knows exactly what’s going on!
    .-= Krista´s last blog ..13 Weeks =-.

  8. Wow! I’m so very sorry you guys are going through this. I know it’s scary and it’s always harder when we have to wait to see the outcome but just know there’s a lot of people praying for your husband, your family, and the doctors now. I hope that whatever the doctors find is easily treatable and your husband is able to come home soon. I’ll be watching for your next post hun! *hugs*

  9. Tara, I just cannot imagine how I would be holding up in your situation, with a toddler to care for and a husband to worry about. Particularly with all these scary medical possibilities being thrown around and just not knowing.

    Prayers definitely coming your way, lady.
    .-= 9to5to9´s last blog ..If a school asks, I’m happy to tell =-.

  10. (((HUGS))) to you and Joe and Grace who must be very confused. There are a lot of people thinking about you guys right now. Hang in there.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Weekly Inspiration Oct 5th ~ the Blog Meme for Creative moms =-.

  11. WOW…I’ve not been keeping up with twitter lately and I’ve missed all the updates until now.

    I will be keeping you in my prayers!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Metamorphosis Monday and Thrifty Treasures – Kitchen Details Part 1 =-.

  12. I’ve been thinking of ya. I haven’t been able to stay on Twitter much the last few days, but I check in on ya when I can. I’m here if you need me!!!

  13. WOW…I’ve not been keeping up with twitter lately and I’ve missed all the updates until now.

    I will be keeping you in my prayers!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Metamorphosis Monday and Thrifty Treasures – Kitchen Details Part 1 =-.

  14. I’ve been thinking of ya. I haven’t been able to stay on Twitter much the last few days, but I check in on ya when I can. I’m here if you need me!!!

  15. Oh how you have my prayers. I wish I could give you a warm hug and some magical soothing words to be a balm to your sadness and fear.

    I’ve got the power of prayer and my heartfelt good thoughts for you and your family.

    Please know that if you know nothing else, so many of us believe in the Power of Prayer and you are part of that prayer.

    May you find the answers and the solutions to what lies ahead. I pray for guidance and wisdom for the doctors and nurses and for all that come in contact with you all.

    Please, Please try and take good care of you ~ you are needed, loved and cherished.
    .-= LiveLaughLoveCj´s last blog ..Snafood and The Speedy Gourmet FALL FESTIVAL! Day 8 =-.

  16. Checking in and not liking what I am hearing but I am confident that the doctors are doing everything for Joe. It is good that he is there.

    Praying for you and wishing you well.
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..Old Houses =-.

  17. Checking in and not liking what I am hearing but I am confident that the doctors are doing everything for Joe. It is good that he is there.

    Praying for you and wishing you well.
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..Old Houses =-.

  18. Oh how you have my prayers. I wish I could give you a warm hug and some magical soothing words to be a balm to your sadness and fear.

    I’ve got the power of prayer and my heartfelt good thoughts for you and your family.

    Please know that if you know nothing else, so many of us believe in the Power of Prayer and you are part of that prayer.

    May you find the answers and the solutions to what lies ahead. I pray for guidance and wisdom for the doctors and nurses and for all that come in contact with you all.

    Please, Please try and take good care of you ~ you are needed, loved and cherished.
    .-= LiveLaughLoveCj´s last blog ..Snafood and The Speedy Gourmet FALL FESTIVAL! Day 8 =-.

  19. It may not be of much comfort to you, but I’ve had a close personal experience with V-Tach. On the first day of what was supposed to be my honeymoon (my first marriage), my new father-in-law collapsed in my arms and we rushed him to the hospital. He was in his early 70’s (1st hubby was a late in life baby), and had extreme bronchitis issues, emphasyma, and asthma – among other common elderly ailments. He’d already had 3 bypass operations, and this was like the cherry on the cake for us. He came through all the testing with flying colors, in spite of all the doom and gloom warnings they HAD to give us, had his pacemaker installed, and lived many more very happy and productive years before emphasyma (not heart attack)finally took him from us. I have faith that your younger, much stronger, husband who has so much more going for him will also come through this with flying colors, and my heart goes out to you. Feel free to email me to get my home phone number if you would like to talk. I’d be happy to listen and help out in any way I can.

    Donna (see email from my post).
    .-= Donna Holmberg´s last blog ..one6ylady: The Revolutionary way to organize your #Coupons! Win The Couponizer from @Delightful_Toni Ends 10/21 http://bit.ly/2lxcJ0 #mmgiveaways =-.

  20. It may not be of much comfort to you, but I’ve had a close personal experience with V-Tach. On the first day of what was supposed to be my honeymoon (my first marriage), my new father-in-law collapsed in my arms and we rushed him to the hospital. He was in his early 70’s (1st hubby was a late in life baby), and had extreme bronchitis issues, emphasyma, and asthma – among other common elderly ailments. He’d already had 3 bypass operations, and this was like the cherry on the cake for us. He came through all the testing with flying colors, in spite of all the doom and gloom warnings they HAD to give us, had his pacemaker installed, and lived many more very happy and productive years before emphasyma (not heart attack)finally took him from us. I have faith that your younger, much stronger, husband who has so much more going for him will also come through this with flying colors, and my heart goes out to you. Feel free to email me to get my home phone number if you would like to talk. I’d be happy to listen and help out in any way I can.

    Donna (see email from my post).
    .-= Donna Holmberg´s last blog ..one6ylady: The Revolutionary way to organize your #Coupons! Win The Couponizer from @Delightful_Toni Ends 10/21 http://bit.ly/2lxcJ0 #mmgiveaways =-.

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