I’m back home from my trip to Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota where they added something a little extra than I was bargaining for. At the ripe old age of 28 I joined the pacemaker club. The doctors were concerned for my valves as I had mentioned earlier, but it seemed that everything was a go and the ablation was scheduled for the following Tuesday. During the ablation they noticed that half of my conduction system was not working as well as it should and told me that I would eventually need a pacemaker. I was told that this could happen months or years from now but it would happen. I made the decision to get it done while I was at the best hospital in the world with doctors who specialized in…me. The recovery hospital wise was only one extra day, but for the next month I’m not allowed to lift more than 5lbs with my left arm or lift it above my shoulder. You may be thinking that doesn’t seem that hard….have you tried putting your hair in a ponytail without being about to use one arm at all? It’s also really fun trying to put pants on and not being able to use both your arms to reach behind you and shimmy your way into actual pants (sweatpants FTW!). I’ve been adjusting but I have also been in a lot of pain. Right now it’s easy to remind myself not to lift my arm up, and not to lift more than 5lbs but I’m worried about when it begins to heal and I feel “good enough” to lift that extra weight or put my hair up in a ponytail all by myself. The discharge instructions also include no driving for at LEAST 10 days after the procedure (shofer please!). I’m going to hold out as long as possible afterwards to give my heart more time to heal.
I am very grateful that we (the team of doctors and I) decided to put a stop sign at the intersection before there was a major crash. It’s weird to me that there is a foreign object in my body that can actually be felt (and possibly after swelling goes down, seen). Right now it’s a little hard to have my mind completely together because I’ve been taking half of an oxy during the day and one at night; I’m not sure I’ve been able to think straight for a week now. I fight the urge to take more because I don’t want to become addicted to the calming and relaxing feeling it gives my physical state but also my mental state. This experience has truly taught me how easy it could be for someone to get hooked on pills.
This experience at Mayo as a whole has taught me that even though I HATE being called brave by others, it does take quite a lot of bravery to hand your life over to a doctor you just met to fix you. By the grace of God and the amazing doctors at Mayo along with the entire staff I’m happy to say I’m on the road to recover. Though it be a long road, the gas tank is full!
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Unknown
Live, Laugh, Love…..Always,
PS: I took this picture from our hotel across the street from the Mayo Clinic.