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Spent Christmas Morning at ER with James


About the Author


Janet McClure Single mother to two amazing kids. James is 13 and has HCM. Emily is 11 and recovering from TBI. Find out more about Janet McClure
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  • Spent Christmas Morning at ER with James

    So we were in the middle of opening presents Christmas morning at about 8:30 a.m. and James got to feeling very badly. He said the began to feel very dizzy and light headed and felt his heart beating funny. He got up and went and through up twice. He then went and layed down in his bed for a few minutes and called me to come in his room. He asked me to say a prayer for him. He then asked me to take him to the hospital. He asked me to run several redlights to get him there quickly.

    When we got him there his heart rate was 98 and his bp was 158/70. They took him right back nad his ekg of course was irregular. he said he was having trouble getting a breath. They checked him out and his lungs were clear. They put a call into his doctor in Atlanta. They faxed a copy of his ekg from atlanta. He had some irregularities when we first got there but changed has he stayed longer back to his normal. He fell asleep while we were there and I watched his heart rate on the monitor. It went from 45 to 60 to 50 to 73 to 42 to 58 and constantly kept going up and down like that. They offered to send him to Atlanta and let them monitor him for a day or leave him there and watch him for an hour or two and then let him go. Since it was Christmas we decided since he was feeling better we would let him go on home and get with doctors on Monday. They seemed to think he was developing a stomach virus. But he never through up again.

    I think that he threw up because of the issues with his heart not the throwing up being the issues.

    I was just wandering if anyone had any ideas what would make his heart be so crazy beating while just laying there not moving. I am going to call his doc tomorrow.

    We got home about 2:00 p.m. and was able to enjoy the rest of Christmas. Just curious what could have went on that morning. Thank
    My son James, Age 18, diagnosed in January, 05. AICD - 4/5/05 at Tufts NEMC. Myectomy -1/25/06 at NEMC. Currently having heart failure issues. James' father and uncle both have HCM and AICDs. James dad, Carlton, had Myectomy at Cleveland on 4/10/06. James Medtronic recalled lead fractured 5/26/11. Had Biventricular Cardiac Resynchronization AICD put in on 6/3/11 Emory Midtown.

  • #2
    Re: Spent Christmas Morning at ER with James

    Years ago, my sister who passed away took Flecanide or Sotalol and got complete AV node block as well as chronic bradycardia w/ HR in 40s; forgot which once caused either bradycardia or complete AV node block. The doctors didn't believe her until she went into the hospital. She was told to stop both meds and was found to have Flecanide toxicity.
    My other sister who had a transplant once was in the room and she couldn't move; I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital and she said yes. Her heart rate was so erratic that I saw it fly up into the 160s and down to the 60s and in between. She was scared and I was scared watching the monitor in the hospital.
    I'm sorry for what you both had to go through and family over Christmas.
    HCM & diastolic/systolic HF (burn-out HCM) DX in 2010
    Brother 34, sister 45, & mother 73 passed away from HCM burn-out/CHF/DCM
    Sister @ 41 got heart transplant on Valentine's day 2002
    Oldest sister, diagnosed with HCM in 2010
    only niece cleared by genetic testing; son not genetically tested yet
    Suspected HCM in maternal grandmother (d. 39), 2nd cousin (d. 33),
    maternal grand aunt (d. 51), & maternal great grandmother (d. 50s); with hrt. conditions/hrt. surgery/kidney d.


    • #3
      Re: Spent Christmas Morning at ER with James

      Hi Janet,
      Sorry this is going on!

      I can't recall: does James have some arrhythmia issues? The reason I ask is that if your heart is beating irregularly, the rate that the machine calculates will vary a lot. When you or I take our pulse, we hold our hand there for something like 15 or 20 seconds, count the number of beats, and multiply to get beats per minute. When a machine does it, it's using much shorter samples -- some machines just look at the time between individual beats, so in principle a person's heart rate can vary quite a lot that way.

      This may not be the explanation, and if it is, there's still a worry: the arrhythmia itself. It's just that that may be the important concern, not the variation in heart rate.

      Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.


      • #4
        Re: Spent Christmas Morning at ER with James

        Sorry I have nothing to add except I hope that his doc can help him tomorrow. I know that it is no fun being in the hospital on a holiday.
        Daughter of Father with HCM
        Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
        Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
        ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
        Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.


        • #5
          Re: Spent Christmas Morning at ER with James

          Gordon's right about the machine counting - you said James' heart rate was irregular when you first got there, so that may very well be the explanation.
          They will have sent a report to his doctor. Make sure he explains it all to you.

          I hope he is feeling better today.

          Thinking of you both - Linda


          • #6
            Re: Spent Christmas Morning at ER with James

            Sorry to hear this and I hope he's doing better.
            Diagnosed @ 48
            Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
            Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
            AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
            After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
            Quietly going insane . . .


            • #7
              Re: Spent Christmas Morning at ER with James

              My heart seems to be most happy when it is doing what I call the roller coaster in the hospital. I can just be laying there be in the 50's and it jump to the 130's. My local cardiologist was watching the monitor once when that happened he ran into the room to see if I'd went to the restroom and saw me just sitting there. I really didn't feel it as in it wasn't uncomfortable guess I've gotten used to it. Mainly, when I'm home it happens around 9 at night. When my heart is acting up I tend to get neauseated as well. My crohn's and HCM are so intertwined I've given up on finding what is causing what symptom we just try to get rid of them.

              My new problem is my iron levels have decided to fall off the deep end now I'm supposed to be on an Iron supplement three times a day. This was found out during my pre-op for surgery but I didn't get that information until I got home from surgery. I'm at a loss anymore.



              • #8
                Re: Spent Christmas Morning at ER with James

                Very sorry to hear this .. I hope James is feeling better now.
                Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
                Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
                Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
                SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
                [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
                Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
                Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
                Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


                • #9
                  Re: Spent Christmas Morning at ER with James

                  Sorry to hear this. I hope by now James is doing better and that you've gotten some answers.
                  Philippians 4:4-9; Wife, & 39 yo Mom to 9 year old son and 6 year old son/daughter twins; Diagnosed with HoCM 1999; Cleveland Clinic Myectomy and ICD, January 2006.