Taro (mother2012) wrote,

More about pacemakers

So I got to the hospital at 9:00 am, and got prepped, which meant a hospital gown, an EKG, and of course an IV access.  While waiting, Chris (male), best RN ever! explained how to read an EKG chart (dumbed down, I'm sure).  He also made sure that the hospital's intel on me was completely up to date, and was pleasantly surprised about how little typing that involved.

Example: So what medications are you on?
Me: Prescribed?
Chris: Yes.
Me: None.
Chris: None at all?  Do you take aspirin?
Me: Yes.
Chris: Vitamins?
Me: Really?
Chris: Well, unless it's a huge list.
Hubby: It's huge.
Chris: No allergies?
Me: Well, what do you consider to be allergies?
Chris: We really shouldn't say allergies. We should say anything you don't tolerate well.
Me: In that case, acetaminophin and all it's derivitives, including Lortabs and Delaudit (however that's spelled).
Chris: Any implants?
Me: Both hips.
Chris: Of course now you'll have another one.

So that's it.  My medical history.  My cyborg parts outnumber my medications.

But what I want to tell you is what to expect if you ever need a pacemaker yourself.

No matter how lightly the doctor may pass it off as a 'routine procedure', this is a near relative of being stabbed in the heart.
You will NOT feel better the next day.  At least not significantly.
Your left arm (assuming you're not so unlucky as to have it be your right arm) will be totally, completely useless for a while.  50 hours later, I am only able to type because I have my elbow propped up on a pillow.  It's too much of a strain on the wound to let my arm just dangle.
Take the sling.  Apparently, not everyone does.  They mention it as an option 'as a reminder not to raise your arm.'  I hesitated.  Hubby said I would take it.  Good thing.

Oh, I was also going to mention that, for me at least, they did the 'enough anesthetic to be sort of semi-concious, which is the way I prefer it.

I think, based on experience with this and with the hip replacements, that I have less post-op pain than most people.  I didn't have *any* pain reliever after my hip replacements because all they would give me was their stupid dilaudit that does nothing for me.  I was luckier this time in that I had the option of good ol' aspirin.  I took two Friday night which enabled me to sleep, and two Saturday morning.  I'm doing one every six hours now, right along with the antibiotic (and Vitamim C).

This does NOT go for needles in my veins. That is painful!  The IV access was the most uncomfortable item of the day.

I do feel a LOT better today, and wanted to go see "The Battle of Five Armies", but Hubby has a thing he goes to at 5:00 on Sundays, which kind of put the kibosh to that.  (But he did stay at the hospital with me, all 8 hours.)

Tomorrow I'm going to have to resume my regular stuff, somehow.  One-handed.
Tags: health, pacemaker
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