Thursday, January 6, 2011

Doctors Orders

One thing you must remember: There will be NO COMPLAINING! Doctor's Orders. Actually, this sign is in the drug-store drive-through window where I pick up Mom's meds occasionally.

I'm not sure I understand this sign, even though it is written in English!

Once again, we've spent several hours in the hospital. Yesterday it was at Erlanger, a hospital in Chattanooga. Ever heard of "Heart Arrhythmia"? It just means "irregular heartbeat". I don't like it...but it seems to be a necessary part of life for Frances and me these days. It seems that her heart has been receiving conflicting electrical impulses which are supposed to tell her the correct moment for the heart to beat. Because of these confusing signals, the doctor suggested a procedure of intervention of one electrical signal via a catheter into the heart muscle, applying heat to one of the signals, thus "killing" it. That would leave the other signal stronger and cause the heart to beat normally. This is called "cardiac ablation".

Many signs were written in English and in Spanish.

Consideration for others in the room, especially if you have a cough or a fever, is highly recommended.

What a day. I was up at 3:10a. (couldn't sleep that extra 20 minutes until 3:30, which is when I had set the clock for.) I wanted to get my coffee, read my Bible and settle my nerves a bit before waking Frances at 4:00. Even though I got side-tracked in my reading for a few minutes and I woke her at 4:10, we were able to get everything in order, leave here at 5:00, arrive at the hospital on-time, and everything went as planned...

Heart monitors, Blood-pressure monitors, oxygen level monitors, heart-rate monitors, and "you-name-it" monitors are a prominent part of modern day medical treatment.

This sign is prominently displayed in the consultation room in my "primary care physician's" office. That's the local walk-in clinic.

At 10:00a., when the doctor had finished the procedure, he came to explain it all too me and very skillfully - with $64 words - told me that now there is a 50% chance that what he did will work and the bad electrical signals will "peter out" within a couple of weeks. He says that there is also a 50% chance that what was done will make no difference and then he will see her on the 25th for further medical treatment. Don't you love those 50/50 chances on things?

Is there an ominous note here? Are they suggestion that you ought to read up on this book about life after death?

Well, at 2:00p, the nurse came in to say Frances was doing well and began removing heart monitor, bp cuff, etc., and etc. in preparation for our leaving the hospital. I discovered that there was drizzling rain as I crossed the street into the parking garage. This reminded me that I had seen the weather predictions were for possible light freezing rain sometime during the day. However, we had no freezing rain.

As we approached Interstate 24 heading East, I noticed that the traffic was backing up rapidly! I quickly made the decision to go to the old highway (US11) and follow it until I was past the area where I75 and I24 connect, thus beating all that traffic jam. Wrong decision. After an hour of bumper to bumper stop and go on the old highway I finally discovered that there was work on two lanes and everyone was merging into one lane. Once past that spot, the traffic was released and we were soon home. No further problems. So - Thank God - we're once again out of the docs office and now waiting for any signs of improvement in regular heart-beat.

So many friends called to say they were praying. Family and friends mean so much at times like these. I do believe that God pays attention to us when we pray. I feel better today than I did yesterday, that's for sure!!!


Ginny said...

Fred, I'm so glad to read this post today. After your comment the other day, I was concerned and wondering how Frances was. But I couldn't find an e-mail address for you. I will certainly put her on my prayer list! I have worn two different heart monitors and have what's called "extra beat". You may remember my post a while back about the phone ringing one very quiet night and scaring me so that I jumped. That sent my heart into irregular beats for almost two days. A friend has it and has to breathe into paper bags, but she has also had to be shocked, as well. It is a very frightening feeling till you get used to it. I think it is a blessing that we are unaware of our heart while it beats! Where do youy live? We use Rt.11 all the time, in order to avoid the dreaded Rt.81.

jack69 said...

Fred, I love these modern cyber ways to keep in touch. With my hearing gone I can now find out about my friends just by reading. Thanks so much for the dialog of the day and information on our dear friend Frances. The only other person I have known with a continual sweet smile like FRances was my sister Kat.

I hope this makes her life better, give her our love and give her a BIG kiss from me!!!

Take care and our prayers are also with and for Frances!!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Fred, As usual, I'm behind on my reading. Didn't realize that Frances was having trouble. I know that today was probably harder for you than it was for her. Hope the procedure works --and is MUCH better than 50/50.... I will keep her --and you--in my prayers.

HUGS and Prayers for you both,

George said...

I, too, will pray that the procedure will take care of Frances' problem. I've had experiences with doctors and hospitals, so I think I can understand how you felt. Traffic problems getting home certainly didn't help any.

~mel said...

Oh goodness ~ I wasn't expecting to hear this news when I came blog hopping over this morning. Frances is in good hands ~ The Good Lord's and YOU!! You're both in my prayers for continual health and happiness. ... from up north! {{HUGS}} Being a heart patient myself and not being able to control how things go with your own body sometimes can be very frustrating. You tell Frances to hang in there and turn it over to the Lord. HE's not going to put her into any situation that HE and HER can't handle together.

L A Brannen said...

Fred, Mom told me that you had taken Frances to the doc for that procedure, but she didn't tell everything just like you did. We're praying for Frances.

About Me

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Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton