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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pacemaker

Monday morning bright and early I had the surgery to implant the pacemaker. It went well. I had to spend the night for observation and I came home on Tuesday. I have to have my left arm in a sling to keep me from moving it in ways it shouldn't be moved for a few weeks. But other than that, I can resume activity "as tolerated."

And right now I'm not able to tolerate much. I'm having trouble adjusting to this new heartbeat and I'm also having trouble adjusting to the increased medications I now have to take. Not to mention the Coumadin (blood thinner). So I just feel weird and probably will for a while.

A home care person is coming in three or four days a week to help me with laundry, shopping, cleaning, getting my mail, taking me to doctor appointments, etc. I'm not used to that and I hate to feel so dependent, but I appreciate it greatly because I couldn't really do those things at this point.

It has amazed me how many people I know have pacemakers and I didn't know it. I'm getting quite a few messages from people telling me it gets better fast and that I will feel so much better. That was comforting.

I got my dog back today and I was so glad to see him again. We have been cuddling all day.

I want to say something to the caregivers who read this blog: people will tell you over and over to take care of yourself while you are taking care of a terminally ill loved one. But I know firsthand that when your loved one is in pain it is extremely difficult to leave him or her to go to lunch with a friend or get a massage or even take a walk. So I want to stress that you absolutely have to do it, even if it's hard. I believe that all of the health issues I am having now are a direct result of staying by Marshall's side and not getting out to take breaks. Please take this seriously.


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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Hospital paraphernalia

Okay I feel like the bionic woman. I have a heart monitor hanging around my neck, an IV on my right arm, blood pressure cuff on left arm, pulse-ox on my finger and compression things on my legs. Going to the bathroom is a very involved process.


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Update

The cardiologist just came by (Dr. Jose Pacheco) and he is going to schedule the Pacemaker implant for tomorrow morning at 7:30A. It will be under local anesthesia and sedatives. It will be a 2-lead pacemaker.

He says that the pacemaker is NOT a treatment for Afib, it is simply a control for the heart rate. So after the pacemaker is implanted we still have to regulate the medications for the Afib, so I will have to be monitored for at least one night, maybe two.

Then if the medications don't work for the Afib, I still will need to consider ablation surgery (which would be done by an electrophysiologist, probably at the University Hospital). They had discontinued the medications yesterday so he is going to start them up again today to try to get started on a medication regimen.

I will have to have a sling for my left arm, for the sole purpose of keeping me from raising my arm above my shoulder level. And he says I shouldn't drive for five or six days. But I will be able to lift/carry my dog and do most other household activities.

He said that today's pacemakers are MRI-friendly and they also come with a radio transmitter to send information to the doctor. I asked him if he would be my doctor and he said that would be fine if that's what I wanted.

I really like this cardiologist. He is upbeat, tells jokes, answers all my questions and is not rushed. He graduated from Harvard Medical School many years ago and has been practicing for 37 years. I found a few reviews of him and they were all good.

So that's the story for now. I will let you know as things progress.



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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Update

Sorry it's been so long. I finished packing (finally) and got moved (for the most part) and started getting settled in. Took a trip back to Westcliffe to get some of the things I left behind. Worked at getting the animals acclimated.

And I haven't been feeling well. So finally yesterday I had six or seven near-fainting episodes and several more again this morning.

So I went to the emergency room and I've been admitted to the hospital. The doctor says I flatlined several times for as long as 6 seconds one time. So it looks like a pacemaker is in my future -- my very near future. I will be in the hospital until the pacemaker is inserted (and right now I assume that will be Monday or Tuesday). I hope that eases up the atrial fibrillation.

Anyway, I miss Marshall so much right now. He should be sitting here in this room with me holding my hand. I have some wonderful friends helping out with the animals and other needs, but I sure wish he was here, too.

I don't imagine I will see any doctors tomorrow (after all, it's Sunday and it's Super Bowl) so tomorrow will be kind of stressful. I am kind of scared.

I will update this as we go on.


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Friday, January 15, 2016

Downtown Westcliffe



Packing (and this is only a fraction of the boxes -- and I'm still not done)!




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Thursday, January 14, 2016

It's starting to feel real...

I just cancelled my DISH TV as of next week, so whenever I come back here to check on the house and spend the night, it will really feel remote with no TV to watch.  I kept the phone line and the internet for now.

Supposedly someone is coming to look at the house on Saturday (although the last two people never showed).  The house is stacked floor-to-ceiling with boxes so they will be looking at a mess.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Snow

They are predicting snow for Sunday.  What will that do to my moving day on Monday?

Cross your fingers for me....