Friday, November 18, 2011

The other side of the mountain

When I have a tough time ahead, I try to look at it as climbing a mountain.  You struggle to achieve the top, and then, just as you achieve the top, you can see that the rest of the trip is downhill.

I'm a lady, of course, and my chest is
a whole lot prettier than this one.
I've started down the other side of my health mountain.  Last Wednesday my doctor implanted a implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) made by Boston Scientific in my chest.  I call it my Pally for short.  You can thank Lin of Duck and Wheel with String for the name.  She always calls her readers her Pally.  Well, my Pally is pretty close and intimate with me.  I can hardly say the scientific name of my device.

Pally will live with me the rest of my life.  Her job is to make certain my heart is beating regularly and doing the best it can.  If my heart's in trouble, Pally can give it a shock to bring it in to line.

It was a tough decision for me.  I had no idea that I was ready for such interventions.  I thought I was doing pretty well for an old lady.  I square dance regularly and go to Curves three times a week.  I eat well.  It took me a while to think it through and decide that this is what I wanted to do.  (Well, I think I really didn't want to do it, but it was the best of my options.)

I was in the Cardiovascular Institute near my home from 6:15 AM until 4 PM.  That's not long considering what happened in that amount of time.  I was semi awake for the operation.  (I would have been more awake, but I had to get up powerful early.)

A rep from Boston Scientific told me he was in the operating room to operate the device.  He told me that a day later when he hung a magnifier-like device over my shoulder, went to the computer and told me everything was fine - except that he wanted my heart to beat a little faster - so he told the device what he wanted.  I could feel my heart speed up a little.  I really feel bionic now.

So, it's a little more than 48 hours later and I've been taking care of myself and marveling about Pally.  It was scary not being in the hospital even overnight, but it had it's pluses - like I slept in my own bed that night with my husband beside me.  That beats the hospital any time.

Now that it's over I wonder what the big deal was.  The procedure itself was clear cut and fairly simple.  I've been promised that I'll feel a lot better.  Feeling better hasn't happened yet, but what do I expect in 48 hours or so?

So, Pally and I are fine and learning how to work together.  My scar is just under my collarbone and won't be a problem when I wear a bikini.  (That's because you're never going to see me in a bikini.)

Now I have to follow instructions and work towards driving again (groan) and going back to my usual stuff.  It will just take a little time.



  1. I'm so glad it worked out so well for you!! SEE!!! I knew it wasn't a big deal!! Well, it IS, but on the scale of procedures, it isn't too bad. And don't you feel safer with your pally in there, safe, next to your heart??

    And now you have your own personal metronome to keep your beat while you square dance! :)

    I'm so glad you are done with that whole thing and you are on your road to recovery!

  2. Lin, I have a tendency to worry too enthusiastically. It was a serious procedure, but one that was fairly simple. It will have good effect on my life. Square dancing!!! Curves!!! I miss both, but expect to enjoy it more when I go back.

    Right now we're waiting for my heart to take hold of those leads from Pally so they'll stay hooked up so I can't exercise of dance. Walking, sure. I intend to do it a bit once I feel better.

  3. Isn't modern medicine amazing! But I can imagine how scary it is to know how much you're going to depend on Pally. P.S. I used to square dance! So much fun! Hope you can get back to it soon!

  4. I am restricted to how high I can raise my left arm and how much weight I can lift. It will be a while before I go to square dancing or Curves. It was more frightening looking at having the operation than recovering. Now I'm already annoyed at the restrictions.

    Thanks for visiting.


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