Probably most of us have heard the song with the lyrics – I got rhythm who could ask for anything more ! Boy if that isn’t the truth. The song is of course about musical rhythm, unfortunately something most of us take for granted the rhythm of our heartbeat or in medical terminology sinus node rhythm I don’t have right now.
Sometime in the next week or so I will be going into one of our fine hospitals in the Columbus area for my third visit to the electro-physiology Lab, the EP lab for short. I am hoping the third time is the charm as the saying goes.
These people do a great job making me feel at ease before and after the procedure. During the procedure the doctor administers medication which totally knocks me out and cardio-version is done sending electrical current to my heart through electrodes placed on my chest.
During my last visit I developed quite a rapport with the technician who gave me my tape to share on the family blog which shows the syncing of my irregular heartbeat on the left (the black arrows), the shock and then a return to regular heartbeat intervals on the right. He said they do around twenty of these procedures each day with very little risk to the patient.
Isn’t medical technology wonderful – so take heart (no pun intended) – if you develop atrial fibrillation this procedure is nothing to worry about !
Yesterday our family had urgent need of our American medical system . . . and boy, did it ever deliver!
In our case, the medical problem was a blockage caused by a large blood clot in the brain. A skilled surgeon was able to use a new, less invasive procedure — one that has been in use at the hospital for only about six months — to follow the blood vessel up into the brain and use suction to dislodge and then safely remove the clot. The entire procedure took less than an hour and left the blood vessel and brain tissue undisturbed.
Americans often complain about the cost of our health care system, but we also should boast, even more frequently, about the amazing quality of the care it provides. In our case, the very recent technological advances permitted a result that is nothing short of miraculous — and it was a result that wasn’t reserved for royalty or the super-rich, but instead was available to a worried family that brought a loved one to a neighborhood hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Where would we be if our hospitals were not striving to provide the best care imaginable?
Without lapsing into the political realm, I think it’s fair to say that our experience is one of the reasons why the Affordable Care Act is of concern to so many people. Yesterday, when time was of the essence, we received the care we needed immediately, without having to cut through red tape or waiting to receive bureaucratic approvals. I’d hate to think that things might change that would change that result — or, in some way, remove the incentives that our hospitals have to purchase and use the space-age technology that consistently delivers the modern medical miracles to which we’ve become so accustomed — and for which we are so grateful.