Surgery update...hospital wise everything was good but I was immobile until the next morning. Yeah, that meant I, as an adult, had to pee while laying down. To use a bedpan, they were going to have to roll me from one side to the other and that was a hell no!! My other option was a purewick (look it up. I'll save you the details) which is what I chose. It is not natural as an adult to pee while laying down so the whole experience is not recommended but was a necessary evil.
The next day was ok besides pressure changes when going from laying down for so long to a sitting position. However, right before I got released I had one of the most terrifying situations of my life. I had my blood pressure plummet but I didn't understand what was happening. I was getting dressed with the nurse in the room in case I needed help. I bent over to put my pants on and had to sit down when I got them up because my hearing started going, then my eyesight. It was terrifying! I want to just pass out to make it stop but I was stuck in like this horrible in between stage!! The nurse in the room called for another nurse who checked my blood pressure and immediately made me lay down. Within seconds of laying down I already began feeling better. They monitored me for another 30 minutes before I could go. Since being home, that has not happened again.
I was sent home with a sling to remind me not to move my left arm too high or behind my back. I now have an app on my phone that connects to my ICD via bluetooth (yeah, no lie. Technology, right? Who knew?) so that if anything happens, it can send an immediate report to my doctor's office. I am only taking Tylenol for pain as narcotics make me violently ill and the last thing I want to do is vomit after a major surgery. Been there, done that and it's a no from me. The amount of Tylenol I could take would never be recommended on a bottle so let's just put it that way. I can't take ibuprofen and haven't been able to since I started my regiments of medications. In addition, it increases the risk of bleeding which I don't need.
The scar is bigger than I thought and not where I thought it would be but I understand it now. It's like 4" above my left breast. I'm doing well and have help if I need it.
September 10, 2023 --- Total billed from January 6, 2023 - August 30, 2023 $229,496.59
Holy $hit!!! My surgery bill was $165,158.91 and that was just for the hospital. I can't be thankful enough that I have insurance. I have no words for how unbelievably broken our healthcare system is. What if I didn't have insurance? This was a life saving surgery. How does the average human come up with funds to ever pay for their own healthcare??? Considering that one of the 5 medications I take everyday without insurance is $801.56 is also just as astronomical.
September 11, 2023 --- So I didn't have my sling on all night. I took it off around 5:30 am and sometime within the hour before my alarm went off, my body decided to stretch. I literally woke up stretching because that included my left arm. I'm still not sure how high it really went but it has caused me a ton of anxiety about the possibility that my lead has moved or something (the wire that goes into my heart). Also, my dog killed a mouse today after he caught it in his mouth. DISGUSTING!
September 14, 2023 --- Woke up with severe achiness today. They told me at my follow up yesterday that I didn't have to wear the sling anymore. I'm not sure that was a good idea because I clearly did something I wasn't supposed to and Lord only knows what that was. Tylenol in increased amounts was back onboard today.
If there's one thing this year has taught me, it's that life is unpredictable and can change at any moment. Have dessert first!
September 19, 2023 ---I am 3 weeks post op today. Can you believe it? Crazy that it's been 3 weeks already. Although, not driving for the first 2 seriously sucked. Even still, driving isn't super exciting yet because I don't have full arm movement and the seatbelt sits right on my incision. Don't worry, I have a belt clip and a small pillow that can velcro to the belt but it's all just a hassle. I have to pull the seatbelt with my right arm too.
Healing is going ok. I didn't initially have a ton of pain (after the first couple days) but of course healing isn't linear for any damn thing I swear. Last week I ended up with pain when going from laying down to sitting up and then it was just achy. I still have some discomfort when getting up in the morning but otherwise, I'm golden.
The Dermabond glue that they used over my incision is starting to lift and that is absolutely disgusting in my opinion. It's like Elmer's glue on steroids for sticking power and has the same kind of peeling look to it. However, it's still stuck to my incision so there's no such thing as pulling on it to get it off. No thanks. (the flaking/lifting is normal)
So far, so good. No zaps and I'm hoping I never get one. I was able to hear the alarms that are built into the device at my two week check up. Nice that I literally have noise built into my body that doesn't consist of my joints going snap, crackle, pop Next device check is October and then they will set my unit up to send quarterly reports to my cardiologist. I won't need to see them for a year then for a device check. I do have to go back in January for a follow up though just in general. Sigh.
I'm glad I'm coming to the end of what has proven to be a very worrisome and exhausting diagnosis. The appointments, the labs, the testing, more labs, heart catheterization, more labs, surgery and did I say more labs? They took my blood twice in the hospital the day of and the day after surgery. My right arm has battle scars from all the damn poking but I digress. Onward and upward my friends!
(PHOTO IS NOT MY UNIT BUT A SIMILAR ONE)