Sue Major woke up early one morning and felt like her heart wasn’t beating properly. “Usually, you can’t feel your heart beating, but I could feel it and it wasn’t normal,” said Major, a retired registered nurse who lives with her husband, Mike, in Prudenville.
An irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, can be serious and sometimes requires emergency treatment. Two years earlier, Major had had an arrhythmia which required cardioversion, a procedure to shock her heart back to its normal pace, or sinus rhythm.
Feeling concerned, she spoke with a nurse at the office of her family physician Jeffrey Strickler, M.D., who advised her to go to the Emergency Department. Sue’s husband, Mike, drove her to MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland.
“Mike and I lived in Midland for 11 years and I worked at MidMichigan as a registered nurse until 1980. I think the new addition is amazing and I have a lot of faith in them,” Major said.
Her confidence was well placed. “They were very good,” she said. “I was put in a room right way and had an electrocardiogram (EKG) and a cardiology consult.” The EKG recorded the electrical activity of her heart and confirmed an irregular heartbeat.
The next day, before performing a cardioversion to return Major’s heart to its normal rhythm, Electrophysiologist Neelima Paladugu, M.D., performed a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE). The ultrasound procedure allowed a unique view of Major’s heart using a probe placed in her esophagus.
“They were very, very good about explaining everything about the procedure,” Major said. “Dr. Paladugu wanted to make sure there were no blood clots in my heart.”
Major, who was in the Medical Center for about 48 hours, is very satisfied with the care she received. “As a nurse, I know when they’re doing things well and when they’re not. The nurses were wonderful,” she said. “Even the staff that came and cleaned the rooms were really nice.”
Released with new medication to keep her heart in rhythm, Major returned to most of her normal activities. “I went back home and felt good,” she said. “I hope to stay in normal rhythm and soon get back to doing more active things like my regular exercise program.”
To confirm her heartbeat stayed normal, she wore a lightweight, portable wireless heart monitor from MidMichigan Health Park–Houghton Lake, where she and Mike also see their family physician, Dr. Strickler. The monitor results were checked daily to make sure her heart was beating normally.
Major says she would gladly recommend MidMichigan. “The staff is very good and they also have some really good doctors,” she said, “My husband also had a total shoulder replacement there a few months ago, and he was treated really well, too. We both have had very good experiences.”
MidMichigan Health offers a full array of heart and vascular services, including open heart surgery, vascular surgery, electrophysiology for heart rhythm problems and advanced interventional procedures. Those who would like additional information on the MidMichigan’s comprehensive cardiovascular team may visit www.midmichigan.org/heart.