Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I probably have more to be thankful for today than on many other days.  Yesterday, I checked into a hospital and spent about 5 hours having my heart pacemaker replaced.  (Actually probably only an hour or two in surgery.)  The old (3-1/2 years) one's battery had gone down far enough to require the new machine.  As one of the nurses told me, they can't recharge them.  That had to do with my telling the nurse about my first pacemaker.  I was in surgery, scrubbed and shaved and hooked up and about ready to go when one of the technicians said "We can't do this!"  Everyone else looked at him in wonder and he said the pacemaker they were about to install in my frame had a very low battery.  Apparently it had been sitting on a shelf somewhere and didn't keep its charge.  That would not have been a good deal for me so they sent me home with instructions to return in a week.

My introduction to pacemakers came after I was visiting my primary care doctor and her nurse couldn't find my pulse!  The doctor ordered an electrocardiogram and, after reading the results, came in and told me I was in atrial fibrillation.  To put it simply, that's an irregular heart beat that can result in strokes and . . . death!

She sent me to a cardiologist who put me through a number of tests before determining that I needed a pacemaker.

People ask if I have a lot more energy since I got it.  No.  Possibly because I have never, to this day, had any symptoms of my heart disease.  Actually, I have less energy these days but I attribute that to getting old(er) and the sedentary life to which I've become accustomed.

At any rate, I found that getting the pacemaker replaced was a piece of cake.  Didn't take long.  All I have is a compression bandage where the doctor sliced and stitched me back up and no pain at all.

Modern medicine continually amazes me.


  1. Good to hear everything went well with your pacemaker replacement!

  2. oh boy...what column would you put that gift...of an attentive tech?
    Lucky you..hope all goes well next time

  3. Good thing someone was paying attention! Hope all goes well :)

  4. Thanksgiving doesn't get any better than a new pacemaker. So glad all went well....:-0Hugs

  5. What a co-incidence, I was thinking (on the bus this morning - don't ask why) that I hadn't seen a post from you for a few days!
    Hope all goes well when they get the batteries re-charged!

  6. Re-reading that post, I noticed I didn't write it very well. The first pacemaker - the one with the low battery - was 3-1/2 years ago. I got my "real one" a week later. The one I just got the day before Thanksgiving was a new one to replace the one that had about lived out it's life.

    Oh, hell! That's more complicated than the original story.

    Suffice it to say that I am doing fine in my physical health. I think it's now my mental health I have to worry about!

  7. Oh, and I forgot to thank you all for your good wishes!

  8. When I saw that there was no post for you on Thanksgiving, I thought that you must be off somewhere enjoying a visit with family somewhere. I would never have thought that you were in the hospital. Very interesting story about the first pacemaker. It's a good thing the tech noticed that low battery. Hope all is well and maybe the new one will last longer.

  9. Judy, actually I was home but just being lazy and I couldn't seem to get interested in blogging until last night. I was up at 6:15 this morning and have been going like a house afire!