The Mom Photo Essay Project On Instagram: Sixteen

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Mom developed arterial fibrillation (A-fib) in 2010, shortly after her heart valve replacement surgery. A-fib is an irregular heartbeat – sometimes a faster beat, sometimes slower, rarely rhythmic. Because the beat is irregular, blood can linger in the chambers of the heart. When blood lingers, it begins to clot; if it clots in the heart chamber, it can push the clot out into the bloodstream, into the brain, leading to a stroke. In order to keep the blood from clotting, mom is on a blood thinner: Coumadin. Coumadin side effects include easy bleeding, and slower clotting when there is a cut, gash, or rupture. So wounds have to be tended to quickly. External wounds are (generally) easily cared for at home. It's internal bleeding that can be dangerous. Mom fell on Thursday (9/24). She tripped on her cane, fell back, hit her head on the magazine rack. It took me a while to get the blood to stop gushing; once the steady stream of blood slowed, we took her to the ER. Typical procedure is a CT-scan to look for any bleeding in the brain. Thankfully, there were no ruptured vessels in her brain. She did twist her leg, and is having a more-than-usual difficulty moving around. And, the wound on her head needed three stitches. She didn't want me to take a photo of it, but I got a quick shot of the doctor in action. She doesn't want her doctor to find out because she's afraid the doctor will make her go into a nursing home. #aging #elderlyparent #caregiver

A post shared by John Francis Nooney (@john_francis_nooney) on

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