On Black Friday, I sent this email to Phil’s closest people. It’s an update from the chair of the recovery room, where I sat beside Phil as he snored.
Phil is out, in recovery now. There were no blood clots in the heart, so they were able to successfully cardiovert him (shock him with the paddles). But his atrium (upper chamber) heart rate is still high (considering he has a pacemaker that’s set to 71 bpm), at rest, asleep, it’s now at 108-125 bmp. The electro-cardiologist says he’s happy that Phil is out of danger (from the Afib), but that he needs to know why the heart rate is so fast (for Phil, who has a slow heart rate). He said possible causes for Phil are a blood clot somewhere in the body (said it’s a “Zebra” hard to find, rare, and you’d usually see symptoms. shortness of breath, etc.), or maybe a fast thyroid, but he’s really puzzled and just doesn’t know. I said “Stress?” He said, “No, that’s not it. It would have resolved by now, because we can see his whole history on the device in his heart, and it would tell us if his heart rate slowed any. This has been persistently high.” So, he’s upping Phil’s dosage of Carvedilol (Coreg) which is used to treat heart failure and hypertension (high blood pressure), AND he’s sending him to his GP for thyroid testing. All of Phil’s blood work is normal. That’s all I’ve got. Phil is upset that he has to take more Coreg “because it’s poison.” But he’s snoring beside me now, and he is well. And, his ejection fraction is 40, which is good for Phil, Normal is 60-65. But Phil’s once was as low as 15! That’s where we are. 40 and holding!