A term that now is on my mind since I seem to have developed the condition. This is a personal post, most likely boring, but others might learn from my experience. Read on if interested, or go on to other, better, bloggers.
Some six years ago, I developed bradycardia, that is to say; too slow a heartbeat to keep sufficient blood flow to my brain. I face planted, twice while sitting at my computer and ended up in the emergency room. Soon after I received a pacemaker. The pacemaker kicks in whenever my heartbeat drops below 60 per minute. Since then I’ve had no problems.
The pacemaker has a memory that can be read in the office or remotely with a handheld transmitter and the internet. My schedule for the remote reading is four times yearly. A telephone conference follows once the results have been read and interpreted.
Per the pacemaker memory, I have a brief bradycardia occurance, on average, one or two times every four to six months. Within the past year, the memory has recorded a few Afib episodes.
Several people work in the cardiology clinic and the one who has been calling me with the results is of the, “I’m the expert, you aren’t, so do as I say”. Wrong! First, I won’t tolerate someone talking down to me. Second, having spent most of my working life compensated on commission, the nuances in a person’s speech mean more than the words they a saying to me. Sisty will undoubtedly add I’ve a habit of over thinking everything.
I did agree to start on a blood thinner. Said prescription caused my blood pressure to soar so I stopped. This set off the cardio tech. She said that can’t happen! Hey bitch, I’ve a blood pressure wrist cuff that sits on my desk and I use daily. This morning, 125/84/72.
After the last go around with her, I was able to get and appointment with the physician who actually implanted the pacemaker. She is an old Army doctor and rather plain spoken, which I appreciate. We recently had a nearly one hour adult conversation. My risk factor for strokes, while still fairly low, is elevated. She went over several options. After discussing the various options I picked one that seems best suited to my lifestyle and am now on another blood thinner prescription. So far, I’ve had no problems.There is a point to this long ramble. My body, and my health, is my responsibility and I will make the decisions. I will strive to make informed decisions and not be so bullheaded that I ignore the advice and counsel of those with more knowledge and expertise. As an example, I’ve used a CPAP since 1995.
My biggest fear isn’t dying. That will happen, sooner or later. My biggest fear, which many share, is being disabled to the point I need daily care and will become a burden.
Most of my neighbors in this 90 unit senior apartment have health issues. We have, on average, one death a month. Many of my neighbors have suffered strokes. I want to avoid that.
One neighbor is six years older than me. He has a replacement heart valve and now needs a stent in a leg. His favorite joke involves his replacement valve, from a cow. When he asked his surgeon why a cow valve, and not a pig, she answered, “I’m Jewish”.
As always, YMMV.