This Friday is supposed to be the day. Hopefully it will be Ben’s last heart procedure for some time.
It’s been a long five weeks since the last one…you know, when he was supposed to get his new upgraded pacemaker. And didn’t.
Although he received a double ablation in preparation for the new pacemaker, these last few weeks haven’t been all that easy. There have continued to be problems, which are still going on even as I write this.
It actually began the night he came home from the ablation. Walking up the stairs that night the shortness of breath was back. And his heart rate was up to 90, although it was at 70 when we left the hospital. His weight was up to 171 and it had had been 167 when we were at the hospital. How did all that fluid that come back so quickly???? And his fingers were so swollen he couldn’t get his ring back on. And it hadn’t been like that at the hospital. The on-call PA said it was all normal and if it weren’t any better the next day to let them know.
And it was ok. UntilFriday morning when his Kardia app told him he was back in Afib….
It was back and forth like that for the next week, but he was at least able to go to work. He was terribly tired when he got home, but he did it.
Then on a Saturday 20 days after the procedure he got in the pool for the first time and tried to swim. He only went 1/4 of the length and was so short of breath we thought we were going to have to help get him out.
We went to an early dinner and when we got home he leaned over to pet the dogs and got extremely dizzy and lightheaded. We took his BP several times and it was 66/46!
Fortunately when we called the doctor’s office the PA on duty was his doctor’s PA, who knew all about his case. She emphasized his heart was still adjusting to the ablation and since his heart rate was fine, we shouldn’t panic. (Right!!) She told us to cut back on two of his meds because they tended to lower blood pressure. And to eat some salty food! Salt on a low sodium diet?
But we fixed him some salty popcorn which helped and his BP was up to 83/77 when we went to bed. The next morning it was normal.
It’s been back and forth like this for the last two weeks. He’s very tired when he gets home from work and still has to take a nap. The shortness of breath hasn’t gone away, and some days is worse than others. He still gets swelling in his abdomen even though he’s on double doses of fluid pills. His feet are swollen off and on.
Fortunately his heart rate has stayed fairly constant, with no signs of Afib. That’s a positive.
And of course with all of this going on, even though he’s been told by the doctor’s assistant that the new upgraded pacemaker will take care of all of this, he’s still not sure it will. And I don’t blame him.
There’s just been so much….
So this Friday is the day. So far. And hopefully the beginning of a calm period in our lives. A time to
start going places again without worrying if he’ll get too tired to enjoy himself. A time to only take his vital signs once a day instead of four. A time to be able to lift his granddaughters and our little dogs without shortness of breath.
Thank you for sharing this journey with us. And may there only be one or two more chapters of updates about heart surgeries and other cardiac procedures!
Stay tuned for Matters of the Heart, Part 26.