A Fib Returns after Ablation

Today, I woke up with a headache. Not a migraine, just an all-over-eye-strain-didn’t-sleep-right headache. With the headache came a bit of nausea. Then my nausea got a bit worse. Then I started to get worried. Last time I had this headache/nausea upon waking it didn’t end well. That morning, back in 2013, ended with vomiting & my second ER visit for A Fib (atrial fibrillation). This morning was eerily similar.

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Seeing the World in Color:  Enchroma Glasses Review

We first realized our middle son, Carter, was color blind when he was in kindergarten during Parent-Teacher conferences. While going through his “coursework” for the first part of the year his teacher was showing us his drawings and one was of a shark.  It was a lovely drawing of a shark swimming in the ocean with a brown boat, but the water was purple.  A few drawings later, the sky was purple.  A few more pictures later, more purple water. Later that day we asked him what color was the sky, what color was the ocean.  His response was blue. 

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Chicago Marathon – Professional Spectator Plan

Forget about a day off school.  Forget about Columbus Day sales.  When October rolls around in Chicagoland it means that the Chicago Marathon is near.  Don’t be fooled – I don’t even like driving 26.2 miles so you won’t find me running the streets of Chicago racking up those miles.  What you will find me doing, when family and friends make the marathon a personal goal to check off their bucket list, is turning into a professional spectator.  My goal: to cheer my runners on at the 2-mile, 8-mile, 13.5-mile, 17-mile, 22-mile, and 26-mile marks.  This is how you do it.

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10 Things From My Hospital Stay After My Cardiac Ablation

It has been a year since my short stint as a patient.  Thankfully after undergoing a cardiac ablation in 2017, I am happy to report that I have been A-fib free for an entire year.  This experience has been quite educational not only as a human that will probably use a hospital again sometime in my life but especially since I spend my working hours as a Nurse Practitioner.

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Nursing Portfolio: Keep Nursing CE/CEU, Memberships & Licensure Organized!

Nursing school is the ultimate test of organization. Organizing study notes, clinical hours, clinical notes, nursing diagnosis, medication side effects, disease processes…the lists are really endless.  You’d think that once you graduate you would catch a break on having to keep track of so much.  Not a chance.  Aside from developing a fantastic resume to secure your dream job – you need to continue to track your CE/CEUs, memberships and all levels of licensure.  Time to create your Nursing Portfolio.  Read more

My Heart Mom Journey – my son’s CHD History

First, do you know what CHD stands for?  I know I didn’t 10 years ago.  Yet over 40,000 infants are born each year with a Congential Heart Defect and still the awareness isn’t where it should be.  When you are at your twenty week ultrasound you are usually hoping for either a boy or a girl.  I know I was on “team girl” (hey, I had two boys at home already) but deep down every mother is truly hoping for healthy.  At the end of the ultrasound I was 0-2.  While unaware at the time, I was starting my journey as a “heart mom”. Read more

No, He Really COULDN’T Hear Me: Hearing Loss in Grade School

Unexpected Diagnosis: Hearing Loss in 2nd Grade

With a household of three boys, quiet isn’t a phrase that it uttered here often.  It is loud.  All. The. Time.  From the moment they wake up (usually in the 6 o’clock hour even on the weekends) until lights out (10pm if I’m lucky), our house is noisy.  To combat all this noise, I usually have to be louder then the boys.  Even before the three boys I was known for my ability to “project” my voice.  Even with my volume ability it never fails that someone “couldn’t hear me”.  Because of this I didn’t give it much thought when Owen couldn’t hear me.  Selective hearing was my assumption, not hearing loss.  However, after a marathon month of hearing tests, it seemed our little Owen had some pretty crappy hearing.   Read more

When the APN becomes the Patient – Cardiac Ablation

I have taken care of many patients over the past dozen years.  Each patient gives you a little nugget to tuck into your nursing ‘experience’ file and your knowledge base grows.  You learn what to do, you learn what not to do.  Truth be told, no matter how many years you have tucked in that experience file, it does little to prepare you for being a patient yourself.   Read more

Atrial Fibrillation – Nine Years of Management till Cardiac Ablation

I still remember the look on the RN and ER tech face in 2012 as the EKG machine spit out my rhythm as Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib) – Heart Rate 150s.  This isn’t what a normal rhythm should be for a 37 year old lady.  This was the first time that I had the EKG capture the irregular rhythm.  That was in 2012 – but I was pretty certain it wasn’t the first time experienced A Fib.  Read more