Friday, 20 April 2012

Post-Surgery Update

Today - Wednesday, the day I wrote this, not the day I posted this - is 6 weeks since my pacemaker surgery. The recovery has gone pretty well, with the exception that if you asked me to swim freestyle I wouldn't be able to. The scar tissue seems to have tightened things up in my pec/front of shoulder, which isn't really surprising given that I girled out over the pain and held my arm to my side to protect it for more than a week after surgery. I know, silly Nessie. If I can't stretch it out myself within the next couple of weeks I'll head to the physio.

I'm supposed to have a follow-up appointment with an electrophysiologist in a couple of weeks' time, but over the last few weeks I've had a few things happen that I'm not entirely sure I dreamt, or if they actually happened, so I've scheduled an emergency appointment for this coming Friday (which is probably the day I will schedule the post for).

You see, three times each over the last couple of weeks, I have woken up absolutely certain I was about to have a turn (as in, enough to wake up and, two out of three times, sit up and call out); and I have also dreamt that I have received a shock vividly enough to have "felt" it and woken up (one time of the three I didn't wake up but I sure as hell remembered the dream!). Because I have been asleep at the time I have no idea whether it's just in my head; whether maybe my heart has played its old games, but just a little, just enough to prey on my mind and cause me to dream about it.

I hope it's just that.

I really hope it's just that.

But I'm not entirely convinced that it's all in my head, because this morning, when I "dreamt" about the shock, my ears were ringing a little when I woke up. Thing is, though, my ears ring just about all the time, and it gets louder and quieter of its own accord. See why I'm confused??

Things going in my favour, are that although  my ears have been ringing, my entire face hasn't been numb as it has been in the past. Mind you, in the past I haven't had a defibrillator to curtail the whole brain-losing-oxygen thing, so that could go either way. I haven't felt like I'm pushing through layers of black water when I wake, but again, that's a loss-of-consciousness thing and probably wouldn't happen if I had been defibrillated and not spent a great deal of time unconscious. My pulse rate has been... relatively steady after feeling like this, but then I **do** have a pacemaker now to beat that into submission. My head goes around and around and around this, in case you couldn't tell.

Things going against me are that I have felt funny in my waking hours. Nothing that lasted too long (I'm talking a matter of moments or seconds at the most), nothing like before, but still something. I guess Zappy MkII is ironing most of the hiccups out, but he has obviously not been 100% successful. Bless him for trying.

This sort of thing quite seriously screws with my universe. If it has happened, then a) well, it's just plain ol' not good, and b) I can't drive for six months afterwards. At least, I think that's how it works. It's how it has worked in the past, anyhow. On top of that, it also has the tendency to make me a blithering mess (at least on the inside - I tend to act tough on the outside but suspect it's pretty transparent!) and scared for about 90% of my day. As in, I think about it more than I think about food. And that's really saying something!!!

I'm scared. I'm really bloody scared. I hate being alone, especially at night, but the nature of my work means I don't have much choice in that. Well, I do. I could ask to be sent back to head office. But then that opens up the possibility of blacking out on public transport, collapsing onto train tracks and generally making a fuss in a public space, and knowing that I have Zappy looking out for me I would - believe it or not - prefer to be alone. I'm stronger when I'm alone, which is a bit of a paradox given that I hate being alone!!!

I am also beginning to be scared of dying, for the first time ever. It doesn't make any sense because there's nothing different now to last time. Actually, maybe it's just like it was before - that I'm not as much scared of dying as I am of not living - and there is SO MUCH MORE that I want to do now. I have this helpless sense of time passing, of not living life to the fullest, but I don't know what else I could be doing. I do need to rest every now and then, you know ;)

I also had this ridiculous thought this morning that if I were to die, there are probably things in my room I wouldn't want people to see. Letters to and from highschool friends about boys. Underwear with holes in them. Stupid sentimental things from years ago. A tube of Wartkill for that weird spot on the palm of my left hand (oh. Well now the interwebs knows about it. Never mind!). Stories I wrote that were the daydreamings of a teenage girl; poems and songs I wrote to express my angst over unrequited love. The list that goes on. Maybe it's time for a clean up!

I know I'll be okay, one way or another, but every now and then a girl needs a little breakdown! Thanks for listening, and spare a thought for me at around 1pm on Friday when they tell me whether I'm a total nut job or just of grave medical concern - all good mojo greatly appreciated :)

Thank you also to those two or three kind souls who have been keeping a particularly close eye on me since my little stunt at Christmas. It has come from - not unexpected quarters, because that's not fair to say, but just, well, not who I imagined would pay the most attention to how I was feeling. True, the majority of it has been via text message, but I have felt like someone is there and listening, and that means a lot. Not that I've ever actually really been alone, and have had most of my nearest and dearest around me or at the end of the phone at all times, but still. Thank you.

I'll let you know how I go, and will also post a picture of the new scar sooner or later - it's way better than my old one!


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  3. I hope you got some info. today that has helped you to understand what is going on with Zappy MKII and went some way to putting your mind at rest :)
    I chuckled at your thoughts about what's in your room, I have many of these items as well, particularly a few half written love stories written by my teenage self that I wouldn't want anyone to read either! So corny to read over, but still fun to look at every now and then :) So what ever you do, don't throw them out. Maybe we should both buy strong boxes with a combination lock to store these treasures in, that way we can still get to them when we need a laugh! :)
    (....well, maybe our holey undies can go, they probably don't need to be kept under lock and key!)
    I'm sorry that you're having all these troubling thoughts, everything seems so much worse when we're scared. But good on you for being pro-active, trusting your gut and scheduling an earlier meeting to possibly get some answers, much better than sitting at home, waiting for the later date and feeling like you are losing your mind! :)
    Again, I hope today was positive for you,
    Sending you a big hug!
    Erica :)

    1. Thanks Erica :) As it turns out, I'm just a nutjob. There have been a few hiccups with my heart but nothing as bad as I thought. Fingers crossed it stays that way and I can learn to wrap my head around it!

  4. I agree with Erica, I hope the doctors have some answers for you now, or at least a path forward? People are thinking of you, not that we can do much to help :-)

    1. The doctor I saw didn't have many answers but he's not my usual doctor. Can't wait until mine comes back. On the plus side, I did an online assessment for travel insurance the other day, and Covermore seems to think that I'm a low enough risk to insure... so that is, in a way, kind of reassuring!


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