Sunday, 28 September 2014

Pacemaker Problems!

This update is a little late but I've been in hospital, dealing with all the news and not quite feeling up to writing about it. Today, I'm feeling better and have had plenty of time to get my head round everything.

So with my usual display of bad luck the healing of my new pacemaker was pretty slow and rubbish. I wasn't too worried at first but then a blood blister began forming over the scar and in fear of it popping and causing an infection I went along to hospital and they admitted me. They were too scared to do anything at first and left the blister to pop, which opened up my scar and made it really hard to keep bacteria out. It was covered up for a few days while I waited for my surgeon to see it and when he did he found a deep hole and actually caught a glimpse of my pacemaker through the wound. Not good! So the pacemaker needed to come out. My body was rejecting it and physically trying to push it out of my body. (Yes, ouch!). It took him a while to decide what to do because putting a new pacemaker in would just cause another infection and because I have a central line of the other side of my chest we were in a bit of a pickle. The first surgery was cancelled as usual and I ended having it done on Friday, over a week after I'd been admitted. 

He took the old pacemaker out and all the leads. Unfortunately the leads broke as he was getting them out and as my anatomy is quite strange they couldn't get it out. My surgeon had to call another surgeon for a chat and they decided it was safer to leave it in as it's inside an artery. The surgery took about 5 hours in total and I was quite unwell when I woke up as my lungs were very unhappy with being ventilated so long. My oxygen levels are only just getting up to 70% after a few days of struggling to hit 55%. My body is full of fluid and I'm achy and sore but slowly improving. Good news! I might not need another pacemaker as my heart seems to be working fine without it. I'm so pleased as I was really unhappy with going through more surgery because I just don't feel strong enough and it's just going to make the transplant less likely to be completely successful. I'm too ill for this stuff now. And putting in a new pacemaker would mean an extra surgery to move my line also. If they do find my heart is getting a bit tired they'll wait as long as possible for a good recovery before they do it. But fingers crossed!

I've been practically bed bound for four days but I'm getting better now and able to move around a little. I think I'm on the mend now. But I can't tell you how strange it feels to not have a lump of metal in my chest! I've had my pacemaker since I was 3 and it does feel like I'm missing something. But I'm definitely happy not having it back and enjoying having a nice flat chest. Very grateful to my surgeon for doing such a neat and careful job, so much so that I have very minimal bruising and pain. 

I'll be in hospital for the next week to 10 days having super strength antibiotics to blast away the infection, getting a little more active as well as keeping an eye on my heart to make sure it doesn't do anything funny. I should be back to regular blogging soon! 

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