Well it’s official, I have a pacemaker! (If you’re wondering why I have a pacemaker, read here)
I must say, I’m slightly unhappy with the stupid thing at the moment, but I’m sure I will forgive it eventually.
So here is a picture, if it looks rather unpleasant…well that’s because it is.
According to the doctor this morning this looks “beautiful”, and the device is exactly where it should be (they put it in yesterday, sent me home, and then made me come to the doctors office this morning for an x-ray to make sure it hadn’t moved overnight)….which is a damn good thing! If it wasn’t where it should be we would be scheduling another surgery to put it BACK!
All went according to plan…except the fact that I was awake and feeling just about the entire surgery! Yep, you read that right. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of “conscious sedation”, I hadn’t really until yesterday, but basically they give you enough anti-anxiety and pain medication that you don’t feel much and don’t care that you’re awake during surgery, the nurse told me that most people take a nap. Well, apparently I am not “most people” (we already knew that, didn’t we?!). I apparently require higher doses of medication than most people, and metabolize medication faster too…so they kept giving me more and more and it wasn’t doing much and never lasted more than a minute or two. It got to the point where the doctor (who was being a complete ass and ignoring how much pain I was in, in favor of his political debate with the anesthesiologist) did not want to give me anymore, and later implied that he thought I must be abusing my regular pain medication in order to have built up such a tolerance!
He also refused to give me anything else for pain for the better part of the day as I sat in the hospital for “observation” (code word for “stick her in a corner and ignore her except to make sure she doesn’t die”) **Nurses, don’t shoot me! I know it’s not you that does this, it’s the doctors!** So I sat there, in tons of pain, for hours until I finally got to go home. The doctor told me to just take my regular pain medication when I got home, even though I explained to him that there was no way it would be strong enough (it’s been barely relieving my pain from lyme lately, let alone this acute pain from the trauma of surgery!). He told me that all I should need would be Tylenol, and gave me a lecture on the dangers of getting addicted to opiates! So I threatened to call his office and demand a prescription when what I had at home didn’t work, and he said “ok, you do that” (with an attitude, naturally!).
So I got home, and took double doses of my regular pain medication for the rest of the day…needless to say, I was right, it didn’t do a damn thing. I barely slept, due to having to sit/lay on my back (very painful because of my bad back) to avoid moving my left arm or laying in a position that hurt, and was still in tons of pain when I got up this morning.
Luckily for me, I had a follow up appointment today! I thought this would be with the doctor (and I was sooo nervous about it after yesterday!), but it wasn’t, it was with my favorite nurse practitioner who always listens and understands! She said the way I was treated yesterday was ridiculous, and that I should not have had to go through that; she said that my incision and device placement look awesome, and promised to get me a prescription for better painkillers than what I have. :] So now I am just waiting for her to call and say that the prescription is ready so that my mom can go get it, have it filled, and I can finally get some pain relief! (HOPEFULLY!)
So, I have learned a couple of very important things from this experience:
1. I will never, ever, see that doctor again unless absolutely necessary (and it will be necessary, but not for many years until I need the battery changed)
2. I will never, ever, EVER, agree to “conscious sedation” again in my entire life!
3. If I encounter a situation like this in the future, I will know to tell the doctor that I require much higher doses of medication than the average person does (not looking forward to explaining that, so let’s hope it never happens!)
Now I can just focus on healing..thank goodness! I am not noticing any symptom relief yet, since I am still having palpitations…but the nurse practitioner says it is normal to have increased palpitations after surgery, and that the settings on the device will need to be adjusted to fit my needs once they observe what my heart is doing (I will have that appointment a month from now).
I am so glad that’s over!