Friday 13 November 2015

Living with my pacemaker( the first 10 days )

Today is a whole 10 days since I received my battery operated ticker !

To say things have been easy would be a big fat lie, omg I didn't realise how hard things would be doing everything one handed especially with a 11 month old little boy that is wild, I have had him hitting my wound leaning on my chest pushing himself up using me as support to get to his feet, I haven't been able to tie my hair up  put a bra on properly spray deodorant or wash my hair because of the pain and I am also so frightened with the whole "be careful with the wires for the first few weeks"

So last Friday 3 days after my pacemaker I went for my wound check up were I felt frightened and scared to see the scar under the dressings, I sound so vain, but even though I am married and a mum I still want to wear nice tops, dresses and bikinis on holiday and didn't like the thought of looking at a horrible scar or others being able to see it, and that was the first thing my cardiologist said when we discussed the pacemaker I would have a Scar, I mean yeah everyone has some sort of  scars or even stretch marks, and I have scars from my three ablations but nobody sees your groin even wearing shorts and skirts its hidden and there so small anyway there barely noticeable but knowing it was going to be bigger and were the dressing was it would be very noticeable. As the nurse took the dressing off I didn't look but when she commented that it hadn't healed properly and she wanted to show me how the top part had but the bottom hadn't I found myself taking a quick look you could clearly see as the nurse pointed out the difference between the top and bottom of my wound, So I didn't get the dressing off or the wound cleaned I got a new dressing on and was giving an appointment for Tuesday.

Dougie went back to work On the Tuesday and its been so hard being sore and unable to do things with having Kian, I have been getting help but as silly as it sounds I prefer spending time  just me and Kian, I do love baby cuddles on the sofa especially with the miserable weather here in Scotland so  having the family coming round at half 7 every morning and staying till Dougie comes home from work was fine for the first day or two but today's Friday and I feel frustrated and have found myself saying to Dougie I will manage next week alone. I like my own space alot well with Kian I feel I have a routine with him and hate not sticking to it all, and since my pacemaker I haven't had that I guess I just want everything to go back normal quickly, yeah I sound ungrateful and I really amt I am so glad and very lucky that I do have good family and friends but it would be so nice to not be treated like an invalid or everyone making a fuss, I don't know if others felt the same but yeah I got a pacemaker but apart from being sore and a little exhausted I feel pretty good so I do want to have a little shot of pushing Kian in his pram which I did do successfully with one hand and make my own tea and toast.
I also got my dressing off on Tuesday as my wound had finally knitted together better, but found my arm was sorer than before it was like the dressing supported it as silly as it sounds, I was pretty impressed with the scar with how neat it looks for a week, it is  amazing how quickly your body can recover.

I attempted my first shower on Tuesday night how glamorous not having a shower for a week but being sore and knackered I had no interest in a shower and also I had to avoid getting the wound and dressings wet till it had healed  , Dougie had to remind me I would need help which at first I was like no I don't .... but then realising I did I couldn't put shampoo on my hair ha ha so poor Dougie has been having to comb my hair help me shower and even having to put my bra and help me with shirts and jumpers and he even watched a video on you tube on how to tie hair in a ponytail, but as the weeks went on slowly the pains getting less so I am able to do more but being advised to not lift my arm high up or lift anything heavy anything that could pull the wires till it settles I sometimes forget as its just so easy for that 5 seconds to do something you shouldn't.

Sleeping at night has been very strange I still can't lie on the side were my pacemaker is because its still sore but also feels weird which I hate because everyone has that one side they find comfy and that's mine and as soon as I role onto that side I instantly wake up so I haven't been sleeping well either, but then having Kian any sleep is a bonus.

Thursday I took Kian along to the soft play cafe with his Nana and granddad which I thought would be a good idea as I could rest grab a drink and chill out ... it didn't turn out like that instead Kian now wouldn't go in the baby area wants to play with the toddlers that are charging about with buggies so sitting on edge having to watch him like a hawk ,arguing with a mum after a little girl well say little, older and bigger than Kian after trying to take the toy off him he grabbed it back she pushed him and Kian pushed her back the mum was not happy so it definitely wasn't the afternoon I had hoped for very stressful and exhausting sums it up instead.

Today a whole 10 days after my pacemaker surgery I got put back on my heart tablets the lovely ivabradine  for my fast rhythm, even though my pacemaker settings are set to 60pbm and if my heart drops below that my pacemaker will kick in, my fast rate is still there its better than before my last ablation back in July which is something positive. I am still finding it hard to get used to it all .. like today for example standing at the microwave heating Kians food up Dougie had to remind me to move away incase it mucks the settings up its simple things like that you forget, its all taking time to get used to but I am very happy with it all so far its still so early and I really haven't done much but I am slowly getting stronger and the pains getting less with each day, So I have to say I am so glad I decided to go through with the pacemaker its really made such a difference no more faints (touch wood) dizziness, can walk further and none of the waking up feeling like you cant breath and your dying. So for anyone going for a pacemaker soon or thinking about it its really not that bad it just sounds more scary than it actually is.


I cant forget to update you all on Kian who is a full year on Thursday, I hate the fact hes not a tiny newborn anymore the years went to fast, I love watching him grow and becoming his own little person and a stubborn boy at that as I mentioned in my last post we had booked a cake smash for Kian and I was well enough to go apart from being a little sore... it was awful Kian hated every minute of it screamed and was frightened of the cake he just really didn't want to be there, and refused to even touch it were we had to bribe him with quavers, I must sound like a terrible mum but we have to bribe Kian so much these days, the only way we can do shopping is by bribing him to sit with carrot sticks, quavers or hoops anything that he loves, he hates shopping and as soon as you walk into a shop starts moaning and tying to climb out the pram or trolley. He now likes to throw everything and anything out the bath fills up his cup and throws that with all the water out the bath so the bathroom really is a swimming pool, he  understands the word no as soon as you say it he shakes his head and also has a huge temper were he stamps his feet and screams really loud if he wants something, I always thought things with a baby got easier but infact its like everyone says it just gets harder but hes worth every minute I am so looking forward to his birthday and I hope by then I will be completely pain free and able to enjoy Kians first birthday and for me a celebration of surviving motherhood for a whole year with my bad heart hahaha


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Wednesday 4 November 2015

the start of a beautiful new friendship, my pacemaker

Wednesday the 4th

 Where do I start....

I got my pacemaker surgery yesterday and the day started out crazy mad, heading to the hospital and half the hospital being shut off for the sick kids being built we had to walk the long way round so to start off the day I was late .. not like me but yes I am always late for my cardiologist. Being took to the ward the same old checks being done before hand everything was spot on even my heart rate and blood pressure, my cardiologist came to see me after pulling the seat and sitting down beside me I really wasn't prepared for the situation I was about to face, explaining to both me and Dougie how he was still unsure if my ablations had caused the damage or if my heart had always just been this bad but the fast rhythm had just hid it  was something we would never know, he started explaining that even though my hearts sinus node( hearts natural pacemaker) just doesn't work the way a normal persons should I was still so young to go ahead with the pacemaker and even though I have awful symptoms and black out that at this point in my life I wasn't in any immediate danger, and it was at this point he asked me if I would rather wait to think about it all more, that the pacemaker would need to be done at some point but it didn't need to be done right now as he explained once it was done they wouldn't be going back in until the battery needed changed and by then my heart will be totally pacemaker dependent so really the call was up to me, the first thing I asked him was did he not want to do it, were he said he was more than happy to do and he explained compared to my ablations this would be a piece of cake for me and him, but that I had to be certain this is what I really wanted and being so young that I had to understand how many more procedures and endless checks I would need to go through and of course the main one that it wont completely solve my problems, so I had to know deep down I would still have my fast dodgy rhythm and not think this would cure all my problems, if I wasn't nervous enough I sure was now I still decided I wanted to go ahead, he explained that my pacemaker was first on the afternoon list and then I was amazed when he said normally pacemaker patients get kept overnight but since I was young didn't live far away and as long as Dougie was driving me home I could go after it which I was so happy about as  staying in hospital I hate so much and causes me so much anxiety and of course I also miss Kian I signed my name on the consent form to go ahead with the pacemaker.

Once my cardiologist left I found myself getting angry at Dougie who kept asking me if  I was sure about it all, and more angry when he kept saying how It wouldn't fully fix it all did I really understand it , I done the worst thing ever and told him to leave were I found myself sitting with my own thoughts till the porter came to take me along for my pacemaker, so sitting for nearly 4 hours alone being nervous and scared wasn't fun, but I have found I always like to cope better on my own I knew I was doing  the right thing I felt I had prepared myself long ago, way back when I was admitted into hospital and told I would need a pacemaker at some point and had faced up to already. Waiting to go I was starving and feeling like such a big baby.

Things got even worse the nurse came to take blood from me and put in the venflon were she was shocked how bad my veins were, asking me to run my hand under the hot tap the veins she did try and use would just collapse so she gave up after another 3 nurses trying and failing I was like a pin cushion were they wrote it in my notes and left it for the theatre to do. I had literally just put my gown on and my lovely paper pants when the porter came to take me.

Lying on the bed in the same corridor I had been in three times before I was so happy when the lovely nurse Jeff came along from last time I had my ablation and recognised me right away were looking at my notes I had an ablation every year since 2013 all he could say was you haven't had much luck, my nerves were calmed straight away with Jeff who told me there was only 52 days left to Xmas  and the loud banging was just orthopaedics working, so that's what would happen if I broke my leg were my cardiologist had to remind him I worked in theatre hahaha after trying and failing a few times they finally got a Venflon in and led me to the table.

I never forget the table they make you lie on its high up and feels narrower each time you lie on it obviously It cant be but its like you forget how uncomfy it is, the lovely ecg lady who has been there throughout all my ablations placed the ecg stickers on me and always asked me how Kian is doing she asked if I wanted to see the pacemaker before they started were I said yes and was amazed how small it was but at the same time shocked that this was going to go inside my chest helping me put a hat on to keep my hair out the way  I was then giving antibiotics before it started my nerves were really kicking in the lovely reg who was helping my cardiologist came and spoke to me and explained I shouldn't feel it I would be numb and sedated but that the local anaesthetic doesn't work under the collar bone so I would feel pain but not for very long  and they would do there best to  make me as comfortable as possible when it came to that part he asked if I wanted him to explain what they were doing as they done it but If  I was asleep they would just leave me were I asked to just be sedated and not know anything that was happening part of me thinks it would of been good to know, but the scared part of me just wanted it to be over so giving the sedation the last I remember was then placing the oxygen mask over my face I didn't even feel the local going in and can't remember very much at all apart from the painful part were it was over in seconds like they promised and topped up my sedation. when It was over and my cardiologist asked if I was ok I don't even know what I said I just remember him laughing and saying yeah your fine your still very sleepy though, and then trying to roll myself were they reminded me they were going to do it all its the best feeling ever known its done you don't feel sore or anything the only way to explain it is like you've had one to many at the pub feeling so cold they gave me more blankets and put my slippers back on for me.

Wheeled back to the ward I slept but was awaking by the porter with a wheel chair to take me round for my chest xray, that's when the pain really kicked in of  trying to get out of bed and standing up having to put your arms round the xray machine was painful back in the ward I was giving painkillers I was feeling so weak still and needed the wheelchair and help from the nurses to get to the toilet, when I said to the nurses I was getting home the look I got were they said no you always stay in after a pacemaker, and that my xray had to be looked at to make sure my lungs were fine and nothing was damaged and also my pacemaker settings had to be adjusted, and its all done the next day but 2 seconds later my cardiologist turned up with the reg and a machine to adjust my pacemaker settings asking how I was feeling I was just sore were the reg reminded me its like I had a stab wound  so yeah it would be sore placing a monitor on my pacemaker which was so painful the ecg lady Jill had to take the weighed from the machine so it wasn't fully on my bandage a few clicks and my pacemaker was adjusted the battery was 100 percent everything was sorted and my xrays where fine  my cardiologist said I could go home but since u don't normally get home I did have to wait till 8o'clock and if my pain did become worse they knew about it before I got home.

The next few hours went in so quickly and around 7 the nurse got me up helped me dress  and yeah I didn't realise a bra strap would be so painful , the nurse made me have a little walk around the ward to make sure I was feeling ok I was giving my discharge letters my pacemaker card to keep in my purse and a booklet on pacemakers and wound care. and at ten to 8 I was free to go home I managed to walk to dougies car without feeling breathless or dizzy, the drive home with the seat belt was pretty sore and the first night sleeping was painful, my whole left side feels like its on fire and I am unable to move my arm but all things considered I thought it would be a lot worse so for now am taking each day at a time, I am hoping to turn all my cant's into can's and dreams into plans.

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Monday 2 November 2015

Night before my pacemaker procedure.

So tomorrow is my pacemaker procedure.

A pacemaker is a small device that's placed in the chest to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses low-energy electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.

Little explanation  and pictures for anyone who doesn't know what they are!

So as you all know back in July I was told I might end up needing a pacemaker I always knew it was something that could end up happening and in august my cardiologist  decided a pacemaker would be the best option, when the letter dropped through the door with a date for my surgery , it really couldn't have happened at a worst time, the day I was supposed to be starting back at work from maternity leave, it just feels like another huge obstacle in the way, the dread of having to explain that your off sick again, it would be so lovely to just recovery and not have the worry of work, or the thought if things don't work out will you ever be ok to return to work. all of it I just find so frustrating, and find myself worrying about it all, its like when you worry about one thing you end up finding yourself worrying about everything, Kian's first birthday is the 19th of  November  and I just want to be ok to celebrate and make his day special ,we are supposed to be doing his cake smash a few days after my pacemaker,  and all I keep thinking is how  all this is possible it just feels like everything is happening all at once, part of me thinks its all a good thing because I will push myself to recovery quickly for Kian, but I guess you have very little control when you will be ok to leave hospital and even little more control over how well the operation goes, so for now I know all I can do is keep a positive mind and attitude towards the rubbish situation and just make the most out of it.

 i'm getting really nervous now, I wasn't bothered before and was over the moon,  the fear was never really a thought, but now its getting closer I'm thinking about everything, I mean there is always risks to things and I am never normally one to focus on the risks, but over the weekend its been niggling away at me, I'm only human.

Then there's the shallow side of me, when Its over and I look at the scar.

And then there's the pain side of things... Another painful few days, and adjusting to life with a pacemaker, and the hardest one knowing that it won't solve my heart rhythm completely and for the rest of my life I am still going to be on medication, hospital appointments, pacemaker checks and as my cardiologist mentioned at my last appointment maybe even more ablations, I do try my hardest to get on with thing and try and not let it get to me but its so difficult sometimes, when your health effects so much not only your body physically and mentally but also work, family, plans you always feel like you can never fully commit to things because you just never know how your heart will be one day to the next, its like when my boss said to me before I went off  the last time 'your sick level can't continue the way it is' part of me has to hold back the laughter because if you didn't laugh you would end up crying because you simply can't help it its all just so unpredictable, so for everyone who says I don't moan and just get on with things never ask Dougie hahahaaha.

It's just one of those weeks coming up that I wish I could fast forward like 4 weeks time when every thing will have settled by then, and healed and il be used to it all!

On a brighter note, Dougie took me away this weekend to pitlochry which was where we spent our first ever holiday together a few months after we met, I love it up there the little town is just beautiful and the people are so friendly, we visited an old house were we randomly took a picture so we went back to the same place and took one now with Kian, we walked along the lovely dams and the lovely swinging bridge, we visited the enchanted Forrest which was amazing enjoyed some mulled wine and since it was Halloween we dressed Kian up for it.  Except our romantic  and relaxed get away wasn't that at all it was the complete opposite Kian wouldn't sit still at all for more than 5 minutes so we ended up cancelling our dinner table and then because he wouldn't go to sleep with us in the same room we ended up having to grab a chippy and spent our night sitting on the bathroom floor anything to not wake the finally sleeping baby, so it wasn't quite what we had planned but something we will never forget. Having so much to focus on the week before has really helped taking Kian along to Halloween parties picking and carving our pumpkin I do just love Halloween.

Kians first Halloween.

 Today I dropped Kian off at his Nana's were he's staying for the night so Dougie can be with me at the hospital, I really hate saying goodbye to him and he's just learned to wave bye bye so it made it even more emotional seeing him waving at the window, leaving him is the worst of it all I feel like am missing an arm, Dougie had to remind me today its not just me anymore its Kian I also need to think about which for him I just want to be better and ok and be home as quick as possible.

My appetite has been a bit rubbish the last few days I blame the worry about tomorrow without even realising it, so I have found myself having to push myself to eat today since I have to fast and since I don't no when I will be taking I just have to go in at 8o'clock and I know I will be starving come 11.

I hope I don't turn into a big cry baby like the last time with my ablation, I know people must be sick of my face popping up on there news feed but I really just want more people to be aware of ist, ist has basically took the life I did have away and made everyday so difficult, I hope tomorrow will be the start of a beautiful new friendship with me and my pacemaker, which I still haven't thought of a name to name my pacemaker so if anyone would like to help me out feel free to drop me a message.

Thanks you everyone for all the support, and following my blog it does mean so much and knowing I amt alone on this journey really helps, I will keep everyone updated on my new battery operated ticker.

Beautiful Pitlockry and our lock at our favourite spot were we visited on our very first holiday.

                                                           Love and hugs

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