Monday, December 12, 2011

I Heart My Mayo Cardiologists

Recently on Facebook, I saw that someone had written to one of her  friends, "I heart you." I thought it was cute and quite appropriate to say to my Mayo doctors, especially since they are cardiologists!

The first time I ever met a doctor from the Mayo clinic was shortly after my cardiologist in Fargo told me I might need to start taking a blood thinner called coumadin because my right atrium was grossly enlarged and then neglected to call me back to let me know for sure.  I ended up having to call them and he told me to just stick with an aspirin a day. Well, there is a big difference between using a baby aspirin a day and coumadin! Of all people, my cardiologist's nurse told me about the Mayo doctors who come to Bismarck, North Dakota.

After some pushing from my mom (who was really worried about me because I was not well at all but was still trying to work full time) I finally called and set up an appointment. I met Dr. Hagler and Dr. Ackerman in April of 1999 and they gave me the shocking news that it would be in my best interest to undergo another open surgery. (My first three surgeries were all done at the University of Minnesota).

My first trip to the Mayo Clinic was in May of 1999 when I had my fourth open heart surgery at St. Mary's Hospital. Four years later, Faith stayed at St. Mary's while in the NICU for two weeks.
Fast forward to 2003 when I ended up having Faith at the Mayo Clinic. There was a whole team of cardiac specialists on hand to make sure my heart remained stable during my emergency c-section. Although my cardiologist gave me a little grief for making him come in on a Saturday, I was so thankful he was there!

My great experiences with my Mayo doctors are the main reason I have gone back to Rochester when my pacemaker needed a battery change. Just recently though, I decided to have it done here in Bismarck. Although everything went well with the procedure, a couple of days later I noticed some erratic palpitations and I was very tired.  The surgeon who had done the procedure recommended a 48-hour holter monitor.

I took the holter monitor off on a Friday and the following Thursday I went in for a follow-up appointment and was dismayed to find that no one had even looked at the results. The physician's assistant I saw pulled up my report while I was in the office with her and said, "No wonder you've been feeling like crap, look at all these SVT's!"

She went on to say if I kept having supra ventricular tachycardia (SVT) I might have to go on a beta blocker to help control the arrhythmias. She said she would forward the results to my cardiologist at Mayo.

Two out of three of my battery changes were done at the Mayo Clinic.
On Friday I  e-mailed Dr. Cetta and asked if he had seen the test results and on Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m, he e-mailed to let me know he had forwarded the results on to the pacemaker specialist at Mayo (Dr. Cannon). Dr. Cannon e-mailed me as soon as he saw the results and assured me that I was not having SVT and that I would not have to go on a beta blocker. While this made me feel better about what was going on with my heart, it caused me to feel extreme frustration towards the cardiology department at Medcenter.

Today I e-mailed the pacemaker specialist one more time and he e-mailed me back telling me he could understand why I was still feeling the palpitations. He tried to explain that as my underlying heart rate gets faster, it's competing with my pacemaker which makes it look to the average cardiologist that I'm having SVT. He said if it continues to be a problem they can try to reset my pacemaker again.

Some of the palpitations are because when they changed my battery, it irritated some of my nerves which will resolve as the skin heals. It's possible that I'm having these reactions to this third battery because my lead is getting old. This battery is only supposed to last about three years and I'm guessing the next time I go through this, the leads will be changed along with the battery. It is a fact I will be going Rochester for that one!

I truly do heart my Mayo cardiologists and am so glad they are just an e-mail away!

1 comment:

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