Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th, Broken Wing and BAM Baby!

Sorry for the short post on Wednesday was a very long day but I wanted to let everyone know the DH is A-OK. :)

I thought I would also share a bit more with you about the pacemaker....since I know most of you know Jody is a pretty darn good athlete. :) About two years ago, Jody and I were getting ready to go to the gym and he had this really funny feeling but we both dismissed it and went to the gym. About 10 minutes in to our workout while I was doing pull ups on the assisted machine, Jody leans up against the machine and passes out - hits the deck. Hard. I jump down and because of the angle he fell at, I tried to turn him over and when I did that his whole body went stiff and he tensed up like he was having a seizure. I am FREAKING out at this point screaming for someone to call 911. The gym people came over and were asking me if he was taking supplements or drugs and I am screaming no back....well, after about 20-25 seconds of this - which felt like an ETERNITY to me - he woke up and thought we were on the floor doing crunches. So, after I told him that he just passed out and basically had a seizure, I told him we were going to the hospital.

We get to the hospital where they basically think he has been on drugs, stimulants, steroids, etc. and dismiss his concerns but say they are going to hook him up to the EKG machine and see what happens. About 30 minutes later, he flat lines the EKG machine for about 8 seconds (while he was awake) - all the medical staff on the floor runs in the room and is freaking out. Then his heart starts again. Cardiologist comes in the room that night to talk to hubby and after looking at the EKG print out tells Jody he needs a pace maker. A PACEMAKER! His resting heart rate is like 36 and because of that he has these long pauses in between when his heart beats and sometimes the electrical pulse that restarts your heart doesn't work all the time for Jody.

The next day, they roll him into the OR and put in a pacemaker. But they did it just like they do any other pace maker patient - right under the skin - as opposed to considering this is a 38 year old with 9% body fat. Here are some pics of what it DID look like (we call this his broken wing cause he had to wear a sling):

It is hard to see from these pics but it really did look like three poker chips stacked on his chest. You can see it best from the side angle pic. The pace maker is a device with a battery and a super high tech computer that has wires that route into the ventricles of the heart so when his heart rate dips below 30 (most people have theirs set at like 50 or so) it restarts his heart.

Anyway, after two years of being frustrated with how it looked like he had a 3rd nipple even when he had his shirt ON and catching it on all kinds of stuff - boxes, car doors, the rope push down, he decided to talk to a doc about getting it moved. Please know that we are SO GRATEFUL that we caught this before something horrible happened to him or before he passed out while driving a car and God forbid hurt someone else. His health is number one!! And while the vanity of it was hard it was eventually the catching it on things that bothered him so much. And without doing too much WTMI, there are certain activities we do that it was uncomfortable with as well. Wink, wink.

And so on Wednesday they put him under general anesthesia and cut him open - doubling the length of the scar - and went to work. Here is what they did:
  • The wires under the PM had gotten tangled up in scar tissue so the surgeon had to pull the wires out and dissect them from the scar tissue.
  • Then he had to create a pocket for the pacemaker closer to his armpit which required they cut through his thick chest muscle and then create the pocket.
  • They placed the pace maker in the pocket and then routed the wires underneath the muscles (something they hadn't planned on doing).
Anyhoo, he was in A LOT of pain when he woke up and they gave him two shots of Demerol over the next hour and then sent us home. He slept the whole way home and went to bed almost immediately when we got home. He had a tough day yesterday with mobility and the expectation for what the surgery would be like (a lot harder then he had thought). But he is doing better each day. We looked at it last night when we changed the bandage and it looks like Frankenchest but it already is not as obvious as it was before. Again, thanks to all of you for your help , thoughts and prayers. I can really feel all of your thoughts coming our way! :)

I didn't workout on Tuesday or Wednseday with the surgery - too much stress and too little time. But I had an awesome workout last night. Four sets of four super sets with an emphasis on shoulders, triceps and back. About 80-90 minutes of sweat and intensity. Loved it.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Have a safe and happy holiday! I have a three day weekend (as I am sure most of you do) and I plan on getting some awesome workouts in - how bout you???

There is a poll on the right side of my blog - make sure you vote for your favorite body part to workout (you can vote for more than one!! :)).



Krissa said...

First off, I am glad he is doing well still.

Second, I am glad you explained the situation. I was soooo curious! As a new nurse on a cardiac floor, I am extra nosey. I get patients often from the cath lab that just got their pacemaker inserted. I am facinated by the technology we have now. Its amazing isnt it? I often stop and think about HOW that thing actually works, or WHAT is it actually made of, and WHO made it? It is one of those things that blows my mind like the thought of eternity does. Technology is amazing.

Jessica said...

You bet chica! And ask as many questions as you want! :) I realized after I nonchalantly posted about it and got tons of emails and questions that perhaps I should explain it! :)

It IS amazing! It is made out of titanium and has a lithium battery and should last around 30 years before they have to replace it.

Guidant makes them!;)

Have a great day!

Kelly O said...

I think I need to go pass out after reading this.

Tressa said...

wow!!! i'm glad it was caught and he's doing fine after sx again!!

i have a ? for you nurses! i'm taking that i have blood sugar issues... like dizzy, black/fuzziness when i stand sometimes. i have low blood pressure? and i did pass out and seize once - less the 2nd/3rd times like your hubby.... woke up and thought everything was fine too - i was gonna wear a heart halter monitor?? but haven't yet- each time canceling as i don't think i have serious issues, the only thing docs tell me when i'm in "normal" mode is my heart sounds fine just i have low blood pressure. any ideas???


Jessica said...

Hey Tressa,
What I will tell you is that the doctors probably would have dismissed Jody too if he hadn't had an episode while hooked up to the EKG machine that night so I don't know what to tell you - Krissa and Cathy - any thoughts?
And honestly, I don't know if there is a test that can tell you if you have this problem.. Sorry chica! Wish I was more help!
But do push your docs to help you find a solution!