We have a new member of the family!
She is just a wee little thing, and in no time at all she has completely captured my heart!
Introducing, Penelope the Pacemaker.
We named her Penelope…
Hello? Alliteration? There is no greater literary device?
[What? You DON’T spend time googling “names that begin with a p” while YOU are recovering from surgery? Dude, you are missing out.]
Like many new arrivals, Penelope made a grand, and somewhat off-script, entrance. The plan was to simply slip her under my chest muscle.
(Yes, the word “simply” doesn’t often go with “under my chest muscle” but work with me here.)
Instead of slipping into place, the medical team ended up having to slice and separate my chest muscle for placement. The good news is that they thoughtfully gave me some medicine for the pain…that I ended up being allergic to said medicine is neither here nor there…it’s all about the intention, yes?
The even BETTER news is that this has all been so much fun that I signed up to do it every 10 years!
You know what they say about bundles of joy — you never remember the pain!
After dear little Penelope made her grand arrival, we spent some time in the hospital so I could introduce her to everyone. Also so I could lower the average age on the progressive care unit by a good 40+ years.
In fact, when I called the cardiologist a few days after surgery, I followed directions and gave them my birthdate and name for identification. When I asked if the very kind woman needed me to spell my last name, she was especially thoughtful to remind me that “no dear, you are the only one in the system born in 1983.”
In other news, I’m pulling for a remake of the Jetsons. Ooooo perhaps a musical remake with jazz hands and tap shoes?!?! Clearly I would star as Rosie the Robot.
(On second thought, the tap shoes could prove problematic…)
The day after Penelope was introduced to the world, the Biotronik representative came to my room to check her out. The man kindly chatted with me as he was pressing buttons on a computer.
And then my heart started to have a dance party.
The man controlled my heart by punching buttons into a computer, all while standing 10 feet away.
AND, get this!
After my first device check in 4–6 weeks, Penelope can have her check-ups via TELEPHONE.
I hold up my phone to my heart, and her stats are transmitted via phone.
I. Am. Rosie.
Penelope is not a fan of any source of extra voltage…so I’m going to have to finally put a stop to my habit of spending so much time with the ignition of my car, and operating power tools.
Always did have a soft spot for the miter saw.
I did a bit of multi-tasking during my day at the hospital spa, and also had a catheter ablation. This procedure used cryogenics to freeze a portion of the wiring around my heart, and treat AV Nodal Re-Entrant Tachycardia. I’ve had some funny heart rhythm dance parties in recovery, but not all robots adjust overnight, and let’s be honest — Penelope is cause for hearty applause, yes?
It also appears that the medical world got a little bit nervous that they wouldn’t get to see Penelope and me on a regular basis (gosh, it’s always about her!)…so to reassure them, my feeding tube stoma decided to burst open two days after my surgery.
Rest assured, this happens in 2% of patients.
Some people recover from heart surgery by lying on the couch and reading magazines…I like to add in fun things like esophagrams, fistulagrams, and a visit to the friendly neighborhood surgeon.
(And yes, my dreams have been dashed to discover that neither the esophagram, nor the fistulagram, include anything similar to the opening of a musical greeting card. They don’t even include glitter. This medical world is a SHAM.)
I know it’s November, and the start of a busy holiday season (I saw Santa the other day. It was November 6th?) but if you had a spare moment or two to think some good, quality “no surgery” thoughts, Penelope and I would be most appreciative.
But perhaps more importantly, friends, we have a bigger and more difficult assignment.
T‑minus ten years to think of a new P name!