Thursday 3 March 2016

Out with the old and in with the new,(My second Pacemaker)

For anyone who knows me, I like plans and when things don't go to plan or happens out the blue I get really stressed out, Am the sort of person who books a holiday and has to organise and plan everything so far in advance, like when me and Dougie booked a weekend in London I had to purchase a book about London and learn and plan every little detail from when's the best time to go to the London eye, as I just hate queues I am  the most impatient person you will ever meet, to checking out every tube station and the times, before I have even arrived , so when I received a phone call off my cardiologist on Monday afternoon at 16:40  saying he wanted to admit me tomorrow morning to take out my pacemaker after just been told on Friday it wouldn't be done till there was space and even though I had been placed on Tuesdays list under another cardiologist he ended up not been in the hospital that day so he had only just phoned and cancelled a few hours before saying it would have been impossible to squeeze me in and that they would need to look at cancelling someone next week, here I was a few hours later added again I was an emotional worked up mess, in a way the positive side was I didn't have time to think and worry about it all and also It meant I wasn't stuck feeling so rubbish for another week but I wasn't prepared mentally and physically and with it being cancelled you kind of accept it's not happening so you snap out of scared nervous mode but my plans were shot and then Sprung upon me, so I was a stressed out mess since I had only a few hours to organise  myself and of course Kian.

When I got the phone call on Monday I was shocked the phone call was short and sweet, as I phoned Dougie I don't think it had really sunk in that it was happening tomorrow I wanted to jump with joy but cry at the same time so the rest of Monday was spent packing my hospital bag and organising kian for me not being there I was overwhelmed with emotions and the worst part not knowing really what was happening.

Tuesday morning came  I got up the same routine I do before any heart procedure having a shower washing my hair which is always a must for me, you just never know when you will be able to wash again Which I hate I just hate feeling horrible, I had been told I would be done in the afternoon so it wasn't quite an early start like it had been every other time so I had enough time to enjoy a shower and  try my best to relax, well being a mum I will rephrase that run around sorting and worrying over Kian with the extra time I did have.

Arriving at the hospital the waiting game to be took I found myself coming across the same faces I had met before from the same receptionist to the same nurses who looked after me  even the same cleaner were they all asked how Kian was and how come I was back again yep this was my 5th time being here,  I  met with the same cardiology registrar who had helped do my pacemaker were I was giving the consent form to sign... asking did I know what was happening NO not a clue !!! I knew the pacemaker was coming out but had heard so many different opinions off my own cardiologist to the others I had met in the passed few weeks, either take it out and leave it a few days and then reimplant once the infection was gone or reimplant straight away in the other side. He told me I was a high risk for infection since I already had one this did increased my chances of another and the story he had been told was the last option take out and reimplant at the same time but this meant a longer procedure for me, so the consent form had lots of plus and minus all over it and  was nearly bursting out the page with all the maybes... scary stuff  but basically  we would see what happens once there inside and make a decision. I felt sick this was my body and my heart and I really didn't have a clue and felt completely vunerable and scared not knowing what I would wake up to, if I would wake up to no pacemaker and back to the horrible slow rhythm and pauses or wake to a new scar and new pacemaker its scary when you just don't know, And when they add in the risks like puncturing  a lung with the needle because its so close, to things that are life threatening, it is scary and as much as you think it just wont happen there is always that small chance it will, you think it wouldn't happen to you and I always think like that am sure most people do, but  my last ablation left my heart damaged a risk I knew could happen, but I was told was so slim but yet it had happened and a risk of infection  after a pacemaker which only happens in 2 in every 800 pacemakers but I happened to be one of they unlucky 2 were my cardiologist had said it was simply just bad luck so there's always that fear that something will go wrong.

I made Dougie leave I cope so much better on my own I get an emotional mess saying goodbye as they wheel me through, I hate goodbyes I know it wouldn't be forever but I hate saying goodbye to the cat in the morning when I leave to go to work so you can imagine what am like in hospital. Sitting on my own I was sat looking around the ward at a room full of older ladies now I know this is something I always go on about a lot but it really hits hard  that am so young to have all these problems and everyone my age is out working having a drink enjoying life and instead I have spent most of my 20s in hospital fighting for good health and a normal working heart. and it does hurt emotionally. My cardiologist  came to see me were  he said the 2 options again and there was risks with both but what would I prefer ?  in my head I was thinking none, a wand were it would all  magically disappear, but obviously wands and magic are made up stories, as much as I wish they were real or I had a lovely fairy godmother who would come and save me from it all, he said how he felt the second one removing and re implanting at the same time would be best, as being a mum it would mean I would get home quicker and it killed two birds with one stone I wouldn't need to stay in hospital and go through another operation and also he feared by removing it and leaving it out it was putting me at risk of the pauses and slow rhythms which brought the huge risk of  me fainting again. But this one did increased the chances of infection to that side , all these hard  decisions and I had to decide there and then. time was ticking he was on the case before mine. I went with the first it was hard but knowing I just wanted to get home to Kian and be one step closer to being were I want to be I thought lets just get it all over with ( a little crazy I know ) Putting on my gown and of course the lovely paper pants, the needle was placed in my arm with all the nurses avoiding me like the plaque my veins are just terrible and the same routine of running my hands  under warm water searching for a vein It went in with the first go thankfully, surely this was the start of good things to come.

Wheeled through I didn't feel nervous I just wanted it all over with giving antibiotics we spoke about Kian and my next Holiday were he said I had to bring him one day to my appointment he would love to meet him I laughed honestly the word stressful and nightmare come to mind haha lying on the same table I had found myself lying on so many times before I was giving sedation I have to say this time was like my 2nd ablation horrible and painful I think because they were working on both sides at once yep I had my cardiologist  doing the pacemaker and the registrar taking it out the other side so even though I was a little spaced out I could feel pulling and tugging at every angle not to mention the drape lying over my face I can't really remember if it was right over my face but it was there so when I did kind of come to I just felt it there and I hate things close to my face but I would doze back off  I was struggling a lot with my breathing and they did have to help me out with oxygen were the nurse kept saying It would all be over soon and I would be sedated back to happy land maybe not quite, I could still feel the tugging and pain especially the  right side were they were putting in the pacemaker I did feel a little sorry for my cardiologist who did keep apologising to me but I did prefer last time when I don't really remember anything.

When I came round on the ward a few hours later the first thing I noticed was my hair yep they had the lovely dye used to clean your skin and blood all over my hair which  had actually dried in and was stuck together urg ! My cardiologist came and said even though my pacemaker wasn't full of puss there was a few bits that didn't look right and shouldn't of been  like that so he had cut away tissue to send off to the labs he apologised again for it being painful and said he didn't no why it was painful as he had used so much local to numb it but it just didn't seem to work the left side did, just not the right weird and I would love to know if anyone else has experienced this and its not me just being weird ?

I had fasted all day I was so hungry it was 6 o'clock by the time I got back to the ward I could of really ate a horse and I was greeted with a big fat chicken burger and chips just what was needed after my ordeal,  but it was freezing cold and I couldn't even cut it up as using a knife was agony. I really felt like an invalid and was really anyoyed that my dinner was freezing. Dougie came to see me with good old chocolate and lucazade and when he left the nurse on nightshirt came on she was short and fat and was one of they ones that you think omg she's going to be mean, especially when she shouted through the ward' if your in pain I don't know you have to tell me to give you painkillers' really loudly but as the saying goes never judge a book by its cover and she was one of the nicest kindest nurses I have met, noticing I was lying in my bed which was covered in blood and dye along with my pillow she demanded me to get up and sit on the chair so she could strip it and change it where she tucked me in and told me everyone who's unwell needs a clean fresh bed to feel that little bit better and why the hell had they left me lying in that, she then noticed my hair and helped me wash it at the sink since I was unable to move my upper half,  and then helped me to get my pyjamas on, it was one of the best sleeps I have ever had in hospital she turned the lights out put the lamp on above my bed and I really slept like a baby. All I needed was a hot chocolate, a hot water bottle and a good chick flick and I would of felt right at home haha, but  really good nurses are worth there weight in gold and one of the main reasons i do want to return to work, anyone can look and care for someone but having learned through my own expierence of being sick it's the little extra things you don't get taught and I guess having being through all these surgerys and hospital stays and being so unwell I learned them and many nurses aren't lucky well lucky is maybe not the right word but to know what that's like to be on the other side and for that am greatful for because without it I wouldn't be the caring person I am today,which when I am well enough to return to work I will use it to help others. I mean a smile and treating someone with dignity and respect really does go along way when your unwell.

Walking up its that moment you think your fine till you go to sit up and I really felt like a bus had walloped me in the chest Its so hard and painful to get up first thing. I managed to get up and dressed and took my antibiotics and painkillers moved through to the seating area I just had to wait on my chest x-ray and my pacemaker settings being adjusted. I had my breakfast which consisted of cold toast and tea as always in hotel Royal Infirmary. Suddenly I started to feel dizzy lightheaded and faint as the nurse coming on shift walked passed I shouted out that I didn't feel to good yep I felt like an idiot as the people sitting stared at me its always the same though people are just so noisy, but I did create a bit of a drama it wouldn't be like me, lying me down on the bed my blood pressure had dropped and was so low giving me water and pulling a curtain round they checked it again it was still low, after about half an hour and them giving me more tea and biscuits it was still low they phoned my cardiologist , he does make me laugh he asked them to check it again and it had just dropping even lower he then asked them to give me more food and drink and he sat me up a little in bed  coffee seems to be his answer to everything haha but in all seriousness i was just wiped out and basically he thinks its just to do with everything I have been through with the infection, having to fast and it all just been a little to much at once. Luckily a few hours passed and it came back up slowly, it got there just enough that I didn't feel so faint and horrible, took round to x-ray I got my chest x-ray and taking the bra off was a mission I was in agony, and required the student and radiographer to help me get it off its funny how you don't become embarrassed anymore at taking your clothes off when  your that used to it,  peeing in bed pans and needing help after ablations and taking your bra off for heart scans and ecgs the list goes on but really you don't care who helps and looks at you when your unwell.

Next was the pacemaker check so things were explained again and this time a little bit better, my pacemaker was set to 60bpm so when my heart rate goes to drop below 60bpm my pacemaker would kick in, the  rate response was turned on since my heart doesn't increase like a normal persons should this would mean it would increase  how it should depending what I'm doing, she warned me she was going to switch it off and as she done it Suddenly I started feeling my own horrible heart rhythm and it made me remember that all the pain and heartache was worth every minute to never feel like that again even just for that few seconds it was awful I could feel it slow and pausing and the horrible crappy side effects that come with it she didn't do it for long but my pacemaker had been working and when it was switched back on it was gone like a huge weight had just been lifted it was one of the weirdest strangest things I have ever experienced but it really hit home and made me see the positives having the pacemaker there to not ever feel  that way again, next she sped it up which is strange again when your lying there doing nothing and suddenly you feel your heart racing like your running yet your not moving, having ist and sss am used to my heart racing randomly but it's strange when they control it by a few clicks on a computer, it was all set so I was free to go home the nurse changed the dressings which I didn't expect because it wasn't done the last time part of me wanted to look as the dressings came off but she told me not to, I hate the fact I now have 2 scars but its a part of me and everything I have been through and having that few seconds of feeling my own horrible rhythm is another scar really a big deal and no it isn't to never feel that way again a million scars wouldn't be a big deal if it means kissing goodbye to my own horrible heartbeat.

I'm on antiobitocs and strong painkillers to hopefully prevent an infection happening again which is now  my 7th dose of antibiotics in the space of 3 months but here's hoping this time round is clear sailing.  Armed with my positive attitude and inherent stubborn nature, I keep my mind focused and my life moving forward, I may stop to rest, pout and even cry sometimes, but  always I get back up, life is giving me this challenge and I will plow through it, out of breath with my heart racing if I have to, am in pain, pain I haven't ever felt before am beyond exhausted emotionally tiered and a little frustrated but its not a race I will get there eventually and having this 2nd chance,  and 2nd pacemaker I will achieve everything I have ever dreamed of and even though right now I  do feel further back from were I started times a healer and that's all I need is time I know I will smash this eventually. I mean what a birthday present a second pacemaker at 25 it wasn't quite how I had planned or dreamed  to spend my first few days of being half way to 50 in hospital swallowing antibiotics and painkillers but there could of been a lot worse ways right ? I did manage to enjoy a meal and a few cocktails on Saturday the first time in a long time but hopefully many more to come with this new battery operated ticker.


Love and hugs

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