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(Accidentally) Destroying My Heart Hardware

Monday, June 24, 2013

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

If any of you have ever talked to me about my experiences, you would find out pretty quickly that I am notorious in my local hospital for destroying or wearing out everything that they put in me. Case in point: I’ve never had a pacemaker last longer than four and a half years and I even smashed one and had to have it and all my leads removed and relocated due to infection. So last summer I got all new hardware, including a new lead run into my right atrium.

Well, I’ve been up to my old tricks. Sometime in the last three months I’ve managed to pull that lead free of the heart wall. So what does a person do when they destroy equipment? I laugh about it, make sure I’m not in immediate danger and then take care of the situation. There isn’t much else you can do, because worrying about it isn’t going to change anything.

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. The best way to deal with CHD is a three-step process. You find a doctor who SPECIALIZES in adult CHD and who you like and work well with. You take an active role in diagnosis and treatment of your CHD. And you eat well and stay active to prevent any other health problems. If you do these three things consistently then you have done everything you can to prevent any future issues.

Everything else is out of your control and worrying about things you have no control over does nothing for you. In fact, it can even work against you—reducing your health and causing problems for you down the road.

During the next couple of weeks I will be in both Minnesota and California on vacation. I plan on taking my own advice, enjoying myself and not worrying about the wire banging around inside the top half of my heart. Ha! Easier said than done.


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