Up until this point in my life, whenever I would go to my twice-a-year cardiology appointments, I would do and hear roughly the same thing. I would get my vitals, EKG, and echo done and then my doc would come in and chat with me and tell me things look “about the same” and that I should continue with my meds—and I would keep on trucking along. That was my average heart year.
Unfortunately, this isn’t my average heart year. I would say that I am having the worst heart year ever. In my last blog post I explained that I was admitted for the first time in more than 20 years. Well so far this year I have been admitted three times, have worn no fewer than five Holter monitors, plus a BP monitor, and have had my first cardiac ablation.
Atrial arrhythmias (abnormal heart beats from the top of my heart) have been the bane of my existence. Late this summer I go for what will be my last cardiac ablation. After this, if I continue to have arrhythmias, my EP doctor recommends getting a pacemaker placed.
Because of how they fixed heart more than 20 years ago, my doctor says I am at increased risk of both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. Also because of this, it makes placing a ventricular lead for the pacemaker almost impossible the usual way, through the skin. So if the time comes, they can place just an atrial lead. Later, if I need the ventricular lead, I would need another operation.
Due to my unique anatomy, placing a ventricular lead would not only mean another surgery but means that I would need to have my chest re-opened. This obviously carries a lot of risk and has brought up a lot of scary talk.
I am trying not to worry because there are still time and other options, but it is hard! After so many years of good heart years I am not sure how to cope. How do you cope with less than ideal heart news? Do you have a pacemaker? How did placement of it go?
Add yours below.
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