Monday, October 4, 2010

A Thankful Heart

As I sat there, listening to the four of them talk, I asked myself, "How many professionals does it take to figure out what's going on with my pacemaker?" I was thankful for the comfy chair I was sitting in because it looked like this was going to take a while.

All I could do was sit there and listen to them talk about me. It's not like I could go anywhere since I was all attached with leads and a big magnet on my chest. I didn't fully understand the terms they were throwing out - P-waves, QSRs, farfield waves, etc. I did however understand the part where they were trying to figure out if my heart was going into atrial fibrillation.

This whole mystery had begun in early September when I went to the pacemaker clinic for a routine checkup. A few days later my cardiologist from Mayo called and asked how I was feeling. It appeared I was having some arrhythmia. He wanted me to wear a 24-hour holter monitor to try to figure out what was happening.

Because of a few errors in the handling of my monitor, I never did find out my results. Until today. And when I did hear what the holter monitor showed, I almost broke out in tears. Not from fear but from thankfulness for God's protection.

According to the holter readings, my heart was having episodes where my heart was not beating for 3-5 seconds and my pacemaker wasn't catching it. During those episodes, I was at risk for fainting and passing out. Really the only thing I ever felt was being more tired than usual but I just attributed that to taking care of Faith as she gets bigger and nights where she doesn't sleep well.  I'm just very very thankful that God was watching over me and I didn't have any fainting spells.

So now this afternoon, my cardiologist along with his cardiologist in training, the pacemaker lab tech and a rep from Medtronic, along with a pacemaker specialist who joined us via telephone, all came to the conclusion that no I wasn't in atrial fib, instead it was my pacemaker's atrial lead acting up.

I don't think I'll get into all the technical jargon - I barely understand it all myself. They did make some adjustments to my pacemaker (all done externally) and because of those adjustments,  my pacemaker is going to use more battery power which means I'll be getting my new battery in about 12 months as opposed to 16. And now when they do replace that battery, it might be time to replace my atrial lead as well.

Also today, they placed another 24-hour holter monitor on me to make sure these adjustments are working. In the meantime, I'll continue getting my pacemaker checked every few months and I'll keep praising God for watching over me, knowing He always has and always will.

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