Coneil Lafarlette has remained active and healthy throughout her life, so she was surprised when she suddenly felt like she had the flu with aches all over her body and trouble breathing. After these symptoms persisted for almost a week, she tried to take her pulse but couldn’t find it. She then asked her daughter to take her blood pressure, but her daughter was unable to as well. She then called her doctor, Utica Park Clinic physician, Dr. Donald Cooper, and he told her to come immediately to the office to be examined. After performing an EKG, Dr. Cooper realized Coneil had atrial fibrillation.
Coneil was taken to Bristow Medical Center where they put her on several medications, including blood thinners. Dr. Cooper then called Oklahoma Heart Institute Electrophysiologist Dr. David Sandler and he scheduled an appointment to perform a procedure where he would shock Coneil’s heart back into rhythm the very next week. Once Coneil’s heart was back in normal rhythm, she began to feel better. “I was doing really well and went in for my two week checkup and passed the treadmill test and then one week later, I started feeling bad again,” Coneil shares. “I went back in to see Dr. Sandler and he explained atrial fibrillation (AFib) and catheter ablation to me.” Catheter ablation is a procedure to treat atrial fibrillation by inserting catheters into your heart to electrically isolate the areas most commonly known to cause atrial fibrillation. Dr. Sandler asked Coneil if she needed time to go home and think about the procedure but she already knew her answer. “I told him I wanted to go ahead and schedule the procedure because I couldn’t live the way I was anymore.”
A couple of weeks later, at the age of 68, Coneil had the ablation surgery. By the following morning, she felt well enough to go home. “The morning after I got home, I went for a walk, and I’ve been walking every day two to three times. I feel great,” exclaims Coneil. “I feel so much better then I have in a long time. I’m back to exercising and doing all of the things I want to do.” Coneil also shares how satisfied she was with her care during her time at Oklahoma Heart Institute (OHI). “The people there are so nice. You have one nurse that meets you when you arrive and stays with you all day and it was just really personal. Out of all of the experiences I’ve had with hospitals, OHI’s was the best.”