Today is my first day back at work, and I can hardly believe that I only got my pacemaker a week ago. The time has flown by, and I am a little shocked myself at how fast the recovery has been.
The ablation and implantation of the pacemaker went really well. One slight glitch in the process, when my doctor attempted to ablate from the right side, the pesky thing just wouldn’t stop. Not shocking knowing my history. So, an additional catheter had to be inserted and they threaded that up through my aorta. From there, they did an additional burn on the left side of my heart to the AV Node. That was the ticket! My heart stopped and the pacemaker was implanted as normal. Not technically anything wrong, just one more odd thing to put me in the anomaly category. My doctor said he had only had to do this three times before, so it is a rare occurance.
I ended up having a different pacemaker implanted from the version that I mentioned before too. The Consulta was an ICD device, which had a defibbrilator, and that really wasn’t needed for my condition since I don’t have A-Fib. Apparently the defib device causes some pain and discomfort when it sends the shock, and most patients develop an aversion to the device over time.
I have a model called the Insync III, and before you ask- no it doesn’t make me a better dancer. The Insync III is a pacemaker that is used for Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) and is a bi-ventricular model. Basically that just means that the device can be programmed to have a high and low limit and has three wires leading into my heart instead of two. Right now my pacemaker is set for a minimum of 80 beats per minute, and a maximum of 120 beats per minute. To put a little context behind that, 80 BPM is like Marcy Playground, Sex & Candy and 120 BPM is more like Limp Bizkit, Nookie. I’m currently hovering at about 85 BPM most of the time which is like Alanis Morrisette, Ironic.
I left the hospital just over 24 hours from the time I was admitted, and went home feeling pretty good. I was sore from the incision in my chest (only about two inches long), but I took some Tylenol and felt pretty good. I couldn’t sleep on my left side, and couldn’t drive a car.. so I sat my ass in front of the TV for a few days until all was well with the world again. I have a couple of physical limitations for the next 30 days (no lifting my left arm and no lifting over 10 lbs.), but really I’m back to normal for the most part. I think I’ll even go to the gym and do a little running this weekend.
A ton of people have sent me well wishes and shown me love and support, which has been great and much appreciated. I have also had many people ask if I can tell the difference between the pacemaker doing the work vs. how my heart used to work on it’s own. I think the biggest difference is that I just don’t notice it anymore. I just go about my normal activities and there is no uncontrollable pounding in my chest. It’s wonderful, and I haven’t had one episode of syncope (dizziness) during the last week either.
Both of these are great things, but the best thing is that I have adrenaline again! I don’t have to take my heart meds anymore (beta blockers), so I don’t have anything chemically blocking my adrenaline. It’s cool, I was always exhausted before, and now I’m finding that I have a ton of energy. In fact, I’ll have to get myself on a regulated schedule because so far I’m not tired at night either. Slightly problematic.. but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.