Two Months and Four Hospital Visits, Part 1

High Heart Rate  + A-Fib = SOB #COPDlife-2

It has been a while since I have written.  It has been incredibly busy over the last few months.  Our entire family (myself, husband, and two small children) seemed to pass around the flu and viruses throughout December, keeping us away from my mom through Christmas and part of January.  Aside from our illnesses, mom was admitted to the hospital four separate times between the second week of December and the first week of February.

The first admission in December was a result of an extremely high heart rate.  She had set up the appointment at the doctor for shortness of breath (SOB).  During the office visit, the doctor noticed that her heart rate was excessively high, even for someone with COPD.  COPD patients will normally have a higher heart rate than a healthy person, just through the normal progression of the disease.  However, the rate which she was “clocked at” was deemed excessive.  It was more like someone running a strong 5k with no breaks, all day.  I believe it was hovering around 150-170 bpm.

Once she was admitted and tests were run, it was discovered that she was in A-Fib.  Her heart was out of sync.  This too was a little difficult for us to understand because we have known that her heart has been both fast and irregular for many, many years.  Again, it was found to be excessive and was not correcting itself.

She was prescribed Xalrelto as she was discharged from the hospital as the blood thinner of choice.  She had been taking Warfarin for several years, with a few months of breaks here and there.  Things seemed to be going well, until her routine blood work showed that she was losing blood, rapidly!  She knew that she was extremely tired and honestly expected to need iron and a Procrit shot (blood building medication).  However, she needed two units of blood.

She has needed blood several times before, but the amount of blood lost in such a short amount of time was very concerning.  She was told to stop taking Xarelto.  Then in about a week, my father called to tell me that they were heading to the emergency room because her arm and hand were terribly swollen.

This would be hospital admission number two, the blood clot.

-To Be Continued