Sunday, February 8, 2015

Same Channel, 2 Months Later

Last post ended in the cardiac unit at Utah Valley Medical Center.
This post starts like a serial . . . on the same channel. . .  2 months later.

Remember Dr. Hwang -- "Three months of rest!"

After one month he said,  "You are not better. You are not going to get better. It is now time for a pacemaker."

Friday, February 6 at 2:30 p.m. we walked into the north entrance of UVMC again. Felt like a re-run.

This smiling lady named Lark checked us in. You know just for a split second you wish they had messed up your paper work and you would need to come back another day. Then you remember, "Oh yea, I've been waiting and waiting for this so I can feel BETTER!

On ward and upward to the 5th floor.

If you are wondering . . . Telemetry means they put stickers all over your chest and hook wires to them. You get to carry this heavy little pack around in your 'Spa glamour gown' pocket so the monitor in your room can stream your beating heart right on the screen. You can walk around your 3' X 3' room and even go into your 2' X 2' bathroom and still be connected because you are WIFI!

But that's getting ahead of myself.

My Suite for the next 24 hours was E254.

My first 'hostess' was Jessica with my 'Spa Glamour Gown' in her hand.

 I started out dressed for a normal Friday afternoon but before you could blink I was prepped and ready for a life altering adventure.

And in another blink they were wheeling my bed out into the hallway on the way to the Electro-physiology Lab where I would get my new and most expensive computer to date. See you in 2 hours!

I ask the nurse pushing my bed why they had to take me in the bed. She said I had to come back in the bed so it was just easier to take the bed and me down together. When you get to the lab you jump off the bed and on to the procedure table. So how did they get me back into the bed??? Hmmmm. Not a pretty image.

So Barry left and went to Bam Bam's Barbecue and I slept. When I woke up I felt like someone had BAM BAM -ed my shoulder!!

After an eventful night -  who sleeps in a cardiac unit!?! I was ready for some breakfast. The look on my face had nothing to do with the food and everything to do with the 'swath' keeping my left arm down, the ice pack sticking out of my gown, the IV in my left arm and the EKG leads hooked to the transmitter tucked into the right side of the 'swath'. Whew! Heavy equipment. The veggie omelet was great.

After breakfast, off I went for a check x-ray. And what do you know!? There is a computer in my chest with little wires screwed into the walls of my heart. Are you jealous!? (The guy who wheeled me to x-ray said I could take my films home. How could I pass that up?)

Todd, the rep from the St. Jude pacemaker company measured the output needed by my battery and says mine will last 11 years. Then it's back for a newer model. In the process of testing, Todd put his 'magic wand' over my pacer and revved my heart rate without warning me. Now THAT was INTERESTING!

My resting heart rate has gone from 45 to 62 but I am still waiting to feel better. I am counting on that happening. Soon!

For now I have this. Oh yes, I've changed the dressing and taken a picture of the my battle scar and I've posted below. You don't have to look.

If you are curious, when the swelling goes down I won't have much of a bump - the pacer is less than 1/4" thick. But the surgical team gave me a hard time about being "calorically challenged" and not having a enough "insulation" to bury it in. 

Don't look if you are bothered by . . . . wound stuff.

I am not excited about the thought of an electronic device inside my chest. I am not excited about depending on that electronic device for my well-being. But . . . well . . . the alternative is even less attractive. So for now. Little pacer, do your stuff and let me ride my bike again and we will get along just fine. :)


  1. No fair you get to show your "owies"; I'd be black-listed ;-) . Maybe we can compare when i come down to visit Olivia this spring?

  2. My dear energizer bunny friend - best wishes for a quick recovery. You are my hero!