I don't have much new to say yet. Not sure whether we'll get to see her today. I'll post as soon as I know.
A few people have mentioned their curiosity regarding what caused her Sudden Cardiac Arrest to occur in the first place. The short story is, of course, that we don't know. But we do have a few ideas.
Mom has a lifelong history of what you could call head rush. (She has passed this along to several of us.) Her resting heart rate is 40 beats per minute. I think I've seen her pass out 2-3 times--in the middle of nowhere, just a regular day--although I know that it has happened many other times when I haven't been there.
It should have been a huge red flag 6 years ago when she passed out after waking up one morning and stretching. She woke up on the floor, screaming, with a broken foot.
One thing they believe she may have is a disorder called Long QT Syndrome. Say you're looking at an electrocardiogram. (It's a series of wavy lines produced by a cardiograph which measures the electrical activity of the heart.) A normal pattern has a predictable series of spikes and bumps. A long QT pattern shows a longer stretch of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram. Here's what it looks like:
Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) is a genetic condition. If Mom's blood test for the syndrome comes back positive, it would explain a lot. It would also mean that the rest of her children and perhaps siblings would have to be tested and receive some sort of treatments (which are usually not as drastic as implantable defibrillators). People with LQTS can live totally normal lives.
The highly unusual part about Mom's case is that her heart is not responding well to the treatment. As Dad mentioned in his update, we expected her to go straight home after they put the defibrillator in. The vast majority of patients having this surgery respond positively.
What they are just beginning to realize there at the hospital is that even though they are pumping her full of electrolytes (which include sodium and potassium--those elements her heart needs), she isn't retaining them. They are considering that she may be experiencing a kidney problem which is drastically complicating her condition.
For now, Mom and Dad are trying to avoid further surgery until they can find the real source of the entire problem. Your prayers in this matter would be so very appreciated.