Pacemaker Change Time

April 25, 2017

After we dropped Em off at school, we went for Den’s weekly blood draw. I will need to call the EP nurse with Den’s INR when we get it. He is scheduled for his pacemaker change on Friday. When that was done, we headed for the U of C. Den has his appointment with the Infectious Disease doctor today.

Dr. Landon is happy with the progress Den is making. He shows no signs of an active infection. She gave us an order for an additional blood test for next week. She wants a CRP or C-Reactive Protein test. This test will tell us whether there is any lingering infection is Den’s blood stream. It checks the levels of a specific protein in the blood. This protein is made by the liver in reaction to inflammation or infection. We already know that Den will be on the antibiotic for the rest of his life. The way it was explained to us is that the antibiotic can effectively “wash” all the organs and tissues in the body, but it cannot do this to all the surfaces of the implanted LVAD. Staying on the antibiotic ensures that any lingering bacteria on these surfaces is kept in check and does not cause another septic infection.

Later in the day, I called the EP nurse for Den’s INR. It is 2.4. This is good for everyone and the procedure on Friday is green lighted!

April 27, 2017

I got a call today from the scheduling department for Den’s procedure tomorrow. They needed to push back Den’s start time from 6AM to 11AM. There was an emergency case that needed to go in before him.

I have to tell you I hate late procedures. The later in the day your scheduled start, the more likely you are to have delays. In all my times of taking Den for appointments and procedures and my own medical experiences…if you have a start time after 10AM, you will be delayed. No question about it. It is not a matter of if it will happen, it is just a matter of how long you will be delayed. Period.

April 28, 2017

We dropped Em off at school this morning and headed for the U of C. We arrived at 845AM and checked in at recption. We were told that his scheduled start time is 1130AM…delay. We knew that we would be early so Den and I were prepared to sit and wait. We had books and other things to keep us occupied. I knew that this would be a long day, mentally and physically. Den was not allowed any food or drink since midnight, except a small sip of water to take his morning meds.

They called for Den to go to pre-op at 945AM. I started thinking that maybe we would get out of here at a decent time and not be delayed too much. When we arrived in pre-op, the nurse immediately kicked me out to the waiting area. I tried to tell her that Den needed help changing, but she said it would be taken care of. So out to the waiting area I go. I have to tell you this was the same waiting area I was stuck in when Den had his LVAD surgery a year ago. It still gives me panic attacks just being in this room! So the minutes seem like hours!

They finally let me in to sit with Den an hour later…it really seems like all day to me. When they finally came to take Den to the OR at 1245PM (big delay), I was thankful that my sister, Meg, had come to the house and was picking Em up after school. Den and I said our good byes and I headed up to the waiting area and got myself something to eat and a snack for Den. We had made the plan for me to have a snack and drink for him late last night. I knew that if he didn’t eat before we left the hospital he would be cranky all the way home.

About an hour later, Dr. Nayak call to say the procedure was done and everything went well. Den’s leads were checked (they have been recalled for fracture) and were fine. I would be able to see Den in about an hour in post-op. I was very happy that everything was done and I would be even happier when I could see Den again. Sure enough, about an hour later, I was called to go to post-op. Den was very happy to see me and I am sure that the food had a little to do with it. He was ravenous! I told him that we could pick up something more on the way home. Den was finally released around 4PM. When we got home around 6PM…traffic in Chicago sucks during rush hour….we we so happy to just be home and able to relax that we both forgot about eating and just sat and enjoyed our family.

We have our follow up with the EP department in 10 days. We don”t have a really good relationship with this group. But Den’s normal EP doctor could not do the procedure. The hospital he works out of does not work with LVAD patients. So the LVAD team hooked us up with this group to get the pacemaker changed.

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