The Apple Watch’s ECG Helped My Wife

Some of you might have noticed that I didn’t update the site at all last week. That would mark the first time the site had gone that long without an update since I really started this thing.

I had a lot of irons in the fire so to speak.

Setting the Scene

The craziest of all of it was Tuesday night. It started just like any other day around Houston – it rained again. I’m starting to think that Houston has been transported to the Pacific Northwest, it’s rained so much.

That night, I started dinner so that when my wife got home from her workout we would be able to sit down and eat. Fortunately for me, my wife got home before I got done with the cooking. So we helped each other finish getting everything ready while we got to talk about our days. Unbeknownst to me, she had been feeling mild heart palpitations.

I can’t say that I’ve ever had a heart palpitation. I don’t know what it feels like. She, on the other hand, thought that everyone had them and that it wasn’t a big deal.

As we sat down to dinner those heart palpitations started to come more frequently. Since I hadn’t ever experienced one, I wasn’t sure how serious to really take it. At first, she seemed okay with it, but when the third one hit her while we sat for only a few minutes, panic started to take over in both of us.

Apple Watch to the rescue

Once the fourth one hit, I took my series 4 Apple Watch and put it on her wrist. She had actually worn an Apple Watch since the original came out until just that weekend before when hers fell to the floor, shattering the screen.

broken Apple Watch series 3
My Wife’s broken series 3

Even if she had her watch, she wouldn’t have been able to do what I was trying to. I turned the ECG app on and we monitored her heart. Sure enough, we could see the drop in the ECG every few minutes.

Her ECG from my Apple WatchYou can see the dip during her palpitations

We are fortunate enough to also have a few doctor friends, and of those many are heart focused since she is an echocardiographer (if that interest you, follow her on Instagram!).

Unfortunately for us, no one was answering.

We finally decided that we needed to go to an Urgent Care facility so we packed up and left.

On the way to Urgent Care, one of our doctor friends finally got back to us and said that she might be dehydrated so she should drink a Gatorade and eat a banana. So I pulled us over and ran (literally) into a Wal-Mart. Her palpitations were also starting to come closer together. She continued to take an ECG every so often as well.

We got to the Urgent Care, filled out the forms, and waited. Meanwhile, she continued to monitor her heart on the Watch and drink her energy drinks.

The Doctor Wasn’t Impressed

Finally, about five minutes before the doctor was able to see us, everything was back to normal. We still ran another ECG to check, it came back as normal.

When we made it back to a room, the nurse and doctor did everything like normal – blood work and a non-watch ECG. They all came back fairly normal. He confirmed the dehydrated diagnosis.

We didn’t want the doctor to feel like we were making it up so we showed him the ECGs that we recorded.

He recognized that there were palpitations, but he didn’t think the technology was as cool as we did. He told us his brother in New York deals with people that come in all the time because the Watch says that they have a problem when they don’t really. Still, he said that he did see what was happening.

Wrapping It All Up

There have been many amazing stories about how the Apple Watch has saved lives. It is an amazing device and something that I think will leave a lasting impact on history as our devices start to monitor us (in a good way?) more. I also feel very fortunate that our case wasn’t as dangerous as some that have been published.

Still, I was very happy to have the data and to see what was going on with my wife’s heart. If you’re thinking of getting an Apple Watch, I highly recommend it. Now, more than ever, I would probably recommend the Series 4 over everything else out there.

Stay safe everyone.

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