Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The restrictions are no more!

I’m pleased to say I did my full workout this morning. Doing my weights above my head felt rather funny because I haven’t done anything above my head for two months. Oh, shucks, I just now remembered the balance ball. I didn’t do it this morning, only because I forgot it. I’ll get back to that dreaded thing Thursday.

I did take the advice of the cardio people and the PT and AT at the fitness place and didn’t push too hard today so that I can gradually work back into full throttle. But it was nice not having those restrictions on what I can do. I can already see the wheels turning at home as Wife Gator thinks of things for me to do around here. It’ll all be worth it.

In case you didn’t figure it out, my visit yesterday at the cardio place was highly successful, at least from my perspective.

It’s been a long time coming, but except for living with it, the adventure of my ICD (implanted cardioverter device) ended yesterday. I got my final O.K. to return to all my normal activity. I have my ICD tested at the heart center and all is working just fine. Having a routine test is now another of my annual events, but implant is solid, working exactly as it should, and is keeping a close tab on the workings of my heart.

Actually the device gets a full test every three months and, as soon as the receiver arrives, takes readings nightly. I didn’t know it until yesterday, but the device has a wireless transmitter in it that sends the readings to a receiver in my bedroom while I’m sleeping. If it shows all the parameters are in a normal range, that’s it. If it determines one is or more is out of range, it automatically transmits the readings to the heart center for doctor reading.

After the doctor’s review, I could get a call to get to the office immediately or the call could inform me there was a situation and what I should do about it, such as change some medication. I suppose I could be told to get to the hospital; but if it were that bad, by the time the doctor read the readings, I could be dead, or already on the way to the emergency room.

I should point out that if I get two shocks (defibrillations) I’m supposed to call 9-1-1 immediately.

Problem or no problem, the readings get transmitted automatically every three months. Quite a device that ICD. It watches for abnormalities and makes corrections like a pacemaker if the heart beats too slowly or defibrillates like those paddle devices you see on TV if the beat gets too fast. Or something like that. All I really care about is it’s trying to take care of me.

The important outcome of yesterday’s session was the lifting of all restrictions that had been placed on me at the time the device was inserted. I still have three and was told these would be with me forever. I can’t shoot a gun with my left hand, especially one resting against my shoulder. I cannot have MRI’s, and I cannot use an arc welder. I also should avoid anything that could cause a sudden jolt to my left chest or shoulder.

That means today, as I mentioned above, I could return to full activity at my senior fitness center. I was advised to get back into the full routine slowly, more because of my age and condition than because of the implant. So this will probably be the last extensive message about the device. I would be pleased if some of you have followed this from the beginning and have learned something about the Implanted Cardioverter Device. When I first began, it sounded scary. I’d recommend it to anyone whose doctor says, “We need to start a discussion.”

I’ve spend a lot more time on this today than I had planned when I started, but I think it’s important that people know of the miracles available to us in these times. My discussion of the ICD has been periodically on-going since last September. We’ve also attempted, with the help of my Fearless Friend, to give you a little education with a multi-part series about another important, scary sounding operation, cataract surgery. I know he alleviated my fears about that operation. I hope I’ve helped any of you who have heart disease.

Because of all these words today, I’m holding off any rant or rave today. I’d be surprised if something didn’t come to me for tomorrow.


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