Tuesday, 15 February 2011

And now a word from our sponsors

from phunkstarr's flickr photostream
So this was going to be a post apologising for not having put anything up over the weekend and talking about OSCE's, stupid sociology essays and my favourite blogs/ applications.


I've just had a 'phone call from my mother telling me that my 60-something, otherwise fit and healthy father has just been admitted to the local CCU with a pulse in the 30's and feeling a bit "funny".

That he drove to the GP who told him to pack a bag and present at A+E and then drove home is testament to the fact he doesn't feel unwell, per se.

But from what I could gather from my mother on the 'phone he doesn't have a P wave on his ECG. And a borderline troponin. So they're hanging onto him over night and talking about maybe a pacemaker as a treatment.

I know that without all the facts any research I do is just so much guesswork and I'm bound to focus on the worst possible diagnosis I can find. But I don't know what else to do. Mother told me she would call tomorrow to let me know what the consultant said after the ward round tomorrow morning.

All I can do is wait, bury my nose in Kumar and Clarke and feel a little bit nauseous. I think it's the nerd in me that finds this the easiest way to try and process being told this kind of thing, even down to feeling annoyed I can't see his ECG for myself. My friend Hazel suggested it was the alpha male in me - something which made me smile as I don't think anyone has ever described me as an alpha male in my life.

I guess it also goes someway to explaining why I ended up in medical school.

This is not a great feeling at all.


  1. I am sorry that you are away from them and in the thick of it with school. It is really hard to be away from family when you want to be right by their side, ensuring they are getting the best care.

    I had a very similar thing happen to me (only with my mother) my first year of nursing school. She was SOBOE for about a week, then almost fainted while driving. Her doctor told her it was "old age" (she was 55). I told her to go see my doctor who checked her pulse when she walked in: 30 BPM. One emergency pacemaker and she's been grand ever since (that was 10 years ago).

    Hope things go well--


  2. Thoughts and prayers to your Dad.

  3. Ack!! Best wishes to your dad!

    And you know as well as the rest of us that pacemakers can lead to a long and happy life.

    Hoping it's best case scenario!!

  4. Thanks all :)

    The initial shock has given way to a more placid mood. And I've made an effort not to look at the worst case stuff.

    ABB - What you said made me feel *so* much better. I'm fingers-crossed that maybe they'll send him home and everything will be fine, but knowing that you've got first-hand of how this can be just a bump in the road makes it that bit more bearable.

    NP - Thanks, I appreciate it :)

    XY - Yeah, I'm focussing on best possible outcomes, too :) And yeah, I'm sure if he needs a pacemaker, he'll do just fine.

  5. Keep us posted on how he is doing.


    (Incidentally, my mothers first 'blip' with her pacemaker was on Monday. Going through airport security--even though she doesn't go under the metal detectors--screwed it up and it started giving her minute jolts. She went to the pacemaker clinic and had it reset with no probs. Said it was the most excitement her heart has had on Valentines day in a long time! haha Nerd.)

    I am pretty sure her complete HB was 2ndary to the carbon monoxide poisoning she had recently gotten from her fireplace. Her pacer is a demand one, and at her last check they told her that over the past few years she is using it less and less, to almost not at all. I guess she re-grew her SA node?!?

  6. How's dad doing? And how are you doing?

  7. Father is proving to be something of an oddity and I am... Distracted? I will have to post about this.