I am back with gratitude for all the thoughts and prayers

I am overwhelmed by all the well wishes, thoughts and prayers that I received from all of the kind people here! I am filled with gratitude. Thank you! It made me feel so much better after a difficult experience. For all those that don’t want to read the following long book that I wrote, I understand and apologize. The bottom line is; I am doing fine and expect to continue feeling good into the future. However, after 3 days in the hospital I only have a new simple dual chamber PM instead of the CRT that had been planned.

So I am somewhat disappointed, but also grateful that I am doing well and my prognosis is positive. In the 3 days at the Clinic I underwent 2 procedures. Checked-in on Tuesday afternoon and did not get into surgery until late Wednesday. Spent well over 2 hours on the table almost fully awake with minimal anesthesia as they removed my device and began inserting the new leads. The Doc called me at home the night before I was scheduled to be admitted to advise that I needed 2 new leads instead of the original plan to insert one new lead and use my existing 37 year-old atrial (that works fine). Problem with my 37 year old lead is that Medtronic no longer makes a CRT that will accommodate it. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to insert the leads the Doc said that he just could not do so and we needed to abort the procedure. They were finally able to see the problem in the OR after viewing the vein from different angles that there was a blockage (occlusion) in the collateral vein that did not appear on the venogram. The Doc said to me that we have to abandon the procedure and then discuss our options going forward. He had already performed three procedures ahead of mine and it was now after 7 pm on Wed. He remained after the OR staff left and went over the venogram with me as he apologized repeatedly for misreading it. Really, I don’t think he misread it as it was just one of those rare events that could not be avoided by even the best medical professionals. It looked very clearly on the venogram that it was open all the way to the SVC. It in-fact was open, but what you could not see was a very narrow loop behind the vein that was not visible in the pictures. The Doc that performed the venogram missed it as well.

So after a long discussion with my Doc we decided that I have two options. Since there is no problem with the existing leads and I am not symptomatic (my EF has been stable and we’ll again verify tomorrow morning, we can simply insert a new dual chamber PM and follow my EF closely into the future. He said that if my EF drops and I start becoming symptomatic, we can extract then. The other option is that we can extract now. It is my choice. I asked how comfortable he is with extracting 37 year old leads? He said it will be very difficult, but he will do it if I choose. So I decided on the former given the circumstances. The folks at the Clinic tell me that this Doc does more extractions than anyone there. Additionally, and also very important is that he is the most thoughtful and caring Doc that I have ever had. If necessary, he is the one I would want to do the extraction. My rational for being risk averse is that at age 75 while I am no athlete, I am very active and I have no other health problems. I can do anything and everything that I need to do. So kicking the can down the road even for a few years is a far better option for me now than taking any unnecessary risks however small they may be. Also, I have some very important personal matters to deal with in the next couple of years. Beyond that, I will be much better prepared for whatever God has in store for me. I know others may make a different choice, but I am at peace with my decision. So now: on with my life!

BTW: Angry Sparrow, If you are still reading this; I appreciate your two cents. I am using an ice pack! Thanks!


14 Comments

wow

by Tracey_E - 2024-03-15 09:35:58

A whole lotta hoopla to simply replace the 2 lead! Glad you are ok. I think you made the right decision. Why go the high risk route if you have no symptoms? Cross that bridge if/when you get to it. 

Prayers for quick healing. Good to hear from you. Being my twin, you've been on my mind all week. 

Thanks To My Pacer Twin

by Good Dog - 2024-03-15 09:52:24

I appreciate it! Although this whole thing ended-up with a simple solution, it was an extremely stressful time! Just happy to be happy and healthy after it all!

btw: That whole Clev Clinic experience was something else! A whole lotta good and a little bad!

Sincerely,

Dave

Oh it is good to hear from you

by Gemita - 2024-03-15 10:08:17

Oh Dave, I am so sorry to hear all about your difficulties and I would agree completely with your decision to leave well alone and to go with the dual chamber device.  After working so hard to achieve the outcome planned and then finding at the final hurdle a problem like that wouldn’t have bode well if you had decided, perhaps in sheer frustration, to go ahead with the original plan.

No you made the only decision you could have made, and as we always say, if something isn’t broken, why fix it.  Your EF isn’t optimal, but it isn't dangerous either and you are able to do everything you need to do now, so why take the risk and change anything after such a trauma.

What an experience though.  No one’s fault.  These things just happen and it is only when we get in and on closer inspection, can we really discover what needs to be done.  

I am happy you are safely back with us Dave.  I was beginning to worry.  Take care and I hope you recover quickly

 

So Glad For Your Report

by benedeni - 2024-03-15 10:11:06

I know I speak for everyone in this Club when I say that we are SO very glad to hear from you and that you are doing well. Everyone in this group is appreciated and respected but you and a few others take that to a whole different level.  Sorry you had to go through so much but I also feel you made the correct decision.

Get lots of rest and WELCOME BACK, Dave!!!

Gemita & Benedeni

by Good Dog - 2024-03-15 10:54:28

Thank you! 

glad to hear all is well

by new to pace.... - 2024-03-15 11:55:45

I too had wondered how you were doing.  Glad to see you are doing ok.

new to pace

Grateful

by Grateful Heart - 2024-03-15 15:36:17

I know what you mean.  Been following your current journey Dave. 

Glad you are back and recovering.

Grateful Heart  

So Pleased You Are Okay

by SeenBetterDays - 2024-03-16 12:12:28

Hi Good Dog

I am sorry that you've had to go through a more complicated process than you had anticipated.  I think, in your shoes, I would have made the same decision, particularly as you are not symptomatic.  Extraction of an old lead would come with a degree of risk which I can absolutely understand you would rather not take at this point in time.  The good thing is, if you need to revisit this in the future you have a caring and competent team who you know you can call on.  It's great that you are through the procedure and resting at home now.  I hope you have a nice smooth recovery and I know that your positive outlook will help speed up the healing.  Brilliant to have you back Good Dog! Sending you love and best wishes.

Rebecca x

Rebecca, Grateful Heart, New to pace

by Good Dog - 2024-03-16 12:37:27

Rebecca, Grateful Heart, New to pace:

Thank you all for your kindness!

Sincerely,

Dave

Glad all went well

by Aberdeen - 2024-03-16 16:08:08

I am very glad you have had your procedure and everything went well. 
You always make excellent contributions to the Pacemaker club!

Hi 🐶

by Lavender - 2024-03-16 16:52:14

Ah so good to read of your most excellent adventure. Sounds like your tour guide was very informative and helpful. After a rocky road, you reached the destination desired which you stated, "The bottom line is; I am doing fine and expect to continue feeling good into the future. "

The journey is behind you with so much to which to look forward.  Thank God for shining a light on the pathways inside of you!

🥂

Ordeal

by Penguin - 2024-03-16 19:53:39

That sounds very stressful and yes, disappointing Dave, but you made the right decision I'm sure. I'm pleased that you're OK. 

 

Penguin, Lavender and Aberdeen

by Good Dog - 2024-03-17 07:59:12

Penguin, Lavender and Aberdeen,

Thank you all so much for the kind words! I am so fortunate to have so many generous folks on this site willing to give their time and support when it matters most. I am also grateful to those that struggle and fight through so many greater difficulties than I have experienced. You folks are a huge source of inspiration! For any of you reading this:

"Never stop dreaming, never stop believing, never give up, never stop trying, and never stop learning.” - Roy T. Bennett

Glad to hear from you!

by Andiek11 - 2024-03-17 18:19:34

Quite the journey and experience to say the least, but it sounds like you had a highly qualified team attending to you when it counted the most.  Decisions about the options put before you are always more nuianced that they appear at first blush but you made some sound choices. In the end remember that at any given time we make the best decisions we can given what we know at that moment.  Can't hold yourself accountable for what you may learn in 6 days or 6 months or 6 years.  And here's to many more years of health for you to ponder future options.  

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