I'm going in for heart surgery this Friday the 19th, a procedure I've been dreading the better part of a year. It's minor as heart surgery goes. They're not opening my chest, for instance. But they are mucking about with it, and given my history I'm rather more than nervous.
But in one real way, this surgery will be the end of the troubles that began in 2006. When they first put this device in my chest--an "internal cardio-defibrillator" or ICD--we thought that was the end. If my heart ever stopped again, the ICD would restart it.Then, not three months after they installed it, the maker recalled the wire attaching it to my heart. It fractured more easily than other ICD wires, meaning it might break and thus deliver unnecessary shocks to my heart until the battery wore down. One person I've talked to was shocked upwards of 30 times in one of those incidents. Each time it's like a horse kicking you in the chest. Imagine getting kicked 30 times in a row. For seven years, I've had that hanging over my head.
This Friday, I'll go into the hospital and they'll replace my old ICD; its battery is almost dead. At the same time, they'll be replacing the defective wire. They're gonna use a laser to dig out the old wire and put the new one in. Then I'll spend the night in CICU and go home the next day if all goes well. I'll be without my left arm for a couple of weeks and not be allowed to lift anything heavier than a couple of pounds for a few months.
Think good thoughts for me.