Thursday, November 04, 2010


Tuesday it had been a busy day in Little Rock, further aggravated by a dismal day of steady rain combined with some fog.

My husband (H) had an appointment for his yearly hearing test at the VA facility in North Little Rock. Formerly known as Fort Roots, this facility was renamed Eugene J. Towbin Health Care Center.

If I did not have COPD and other health problems which prevent a walking tour, Fort Roots would be a great walking photo opportunity. Built in the 1890s as a 1,100 acre military facility it is known for 15 large ward buildings and 76 other structures with many Romanesque Revival and Greek Revival architectural features.

Since 9/11 there is so much security, I suspect a person with a camera might be detained. The architecture is impressive, well-maintained and many buildings have National Historic Registry plaques.

We left our motel about 10 a.m. to eat in the food court in the main hospital building . Then we had to move on to another building for the auditory testing. This involved a lot of driving and walking up and down grades which taxes my less than normal physical abilities. Handicapped Parking spots were taken everywhere we went, which, of course is to be expected--after all it is a medical facility.

This appointment turned out to evoke one of my husband's infamous short statements. He is a man of few words. After he finished and we were leaving, I inquired what they did. He said, "Put my hearing aids in." I really chuckled over it. How brief a statement can you make!

Then we went to Sam's for shopping for items create courtesy baskets our Life Group puts together and places in waiting and lounging areas of the Baxter Regional Hospital in Mountain Home, AR.

Since I am more familiar with Sam's general store layout, I had to find the items which, generally, known as vending machine items.  It was relatively short insofar as my shopping trips go.

We picked up a few personal items and returned to La Quinta Motel about 4 p.m.

H went to nearby convenience store for two sandwiches. I ate mine sat in recliner to continue my current Kindle reading selection.

AND THE OLD HEART STARTING THUMPING.....I grabbed my oximeter. The heart rate was spiking to 155 b.p.m. I grabbed the lowly straw and managed two really good manipulations of the VALSALVA MANEUVER for supraventricular tachycardia, or as I commonly call it, atrial fibrillation.

Yes, I found it really was not a trick at all, but an emergency attempt to force the heart into rhythm before other techniques are used or help arrives. The maneuver is based on vagal nerve response. I'm not going into the technical details. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

There is a left and right vagus nerve; as I remember vagus means wandering. If you read the link provided you will understand the reason!

In this particular occurrence, it worked. Supposedly for each spike you only do the maneuver twice.

However, I have to admit I was not as panicked, because this particular La Quinta Inn  has an ambulance stationed there. It was two units down from ours!

Also the medication seems to be taking hold, plus I am finding limitations to my stamina, but these attacks are becoming less intense and much shorter.

I am just glad to know there is some sanity and reason involving the straw technique, besides some hokey pokey witchcraft.

AGAIN, I URGE YOU TO CALL 911 while trying the maneuver. As stated before, it doesn't always work and precious time may be lost if you continue along this path with no results.

It is off to Little Rock again Monday for one day; my Best Friend (BF) and I have annual appointments with our asthma/COPD physician. Shelly and BF will split driving.

Luckie is going with us. Should be interesting! She is a great rider--sleeps for the most part. While we are in for our appointments, Shelly can walk her around. I think there is some green grass, she can mark. Everytime she leaves the car she squats and pees. She is the pee-inest (how about that word!) dog I have ever had. 



lakeviewer said...

I'm seeing a very clear-headed woman face the world on her terms, one breath at a time, one minute at a time. I'm awed.

faye said...

I agree with Lakeviewer..
you are very clear-headed.
An amazing woman ...
kudos to you !!

Lorna said...

You continue to amaze me.

I have bought a Kobo reader, which is supposed to be the equivalent of the smaller Kindle, and I love it. It would be improved if it were backlit, but I've read 3 books on it and can't complain a whit.

Arkansas Patti said...

Good news that the meds seem to be taking hold. I know you will not miss future trips to LR.
Read the post about the valsalva manuever and cracked up at--"push down’ really hard to do a poo”
(not a good instruction to give an elderly patient…"
Very informative with a chuckle thrown in. It would be worth a try.
Keep getting better lady.

Sandi McBride said...

Okay, you're amazing, I admit I already knew this but somehow I just have to say it to you. You're amazing!

Pat - Arkansas said...

I'm very happy the straw worked this time. Fascinating information about the vagus nerve; I always wondered why I coughed so much when cleaning out my ears. LOL

Little Rock is not so bad, it's just the long trip and the reasons for your visits that makes it dismal. However, it WAS a yucky day -- for anything.

Silver said...

'pee-inest'! Such a sweet Luckie!

Mom had cardio/ heart problems- I do remember we had to be watchful when she sudden;y just looked like she needed to sit with the fan blowing in her face, and pop in her medication. She can't walk or travel much after that- but nevertheless, she was always such a sweet positive cheerful person. She taught the healthy more about living than we know.


Lisa said...

I agree with everyone you are a clear headed woman. WOW! This is very good information. I do hope Mondays appointment goes well for everyone. EVEN Lucky!

Small City Scenes said...

A straw---who woulda thunk! So cool that you remained so calm and knew just what to do.
Did anyone but the older nurse show you the straw solution?
Well best of all I am so glad it worked. But keep you phone handy. MB

Dimple said...

Well, I hope you can stay home for a good while, too. Just being away is tiring, I think, let alone the reasons for it! I'm happy Luckie gets to go along the next time, I'm sure she prefers being with her family.
Thanks for coming by, I'm learning more about using my camera all the time. I found, after many out of focus close ups, that the best way to do a macro was to put the lens on its wide angle setting right up close to what I was aiming at. It only took about 10 months to figure it out! :P

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I hope your medicine continues to improve your condition. You are amazing for the way you take control of situations and do what needs to be done.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Bravo!!! You think well during a crisis!!! Thank God for that!!! So glad you are okay!!! Just stopping by to say "hi!" and to give you my love!!! Janine XOXO