FoolKiller Becomes Bionic - NEW UPDATE Nov 19, 2012

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FoolKiller

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So, I made brief mention in The Infield's Announcement thread that I was having some heart stuff done on Friday.

I went in for a heart cath because I have an unsustained ventricular arrhythmia. This is where the ventricles of my heart were developing a slightly faster beat than the atrium. By itself it wasn't a major concern but needed testing to see if it could become worse. The risk is that it would become ventricular tachycardia (V-Tach), which can be fatal as the ventricles get to a point where they are ineffective at pumping blood. The common result of this is cardiac arrest. So obviously, this had to be looked at.

So, in a went. They did a Transesophogeal echocardiagram (think ultra sound from the throat) to make sure nothing else was going on and then did the heart catheterization with electro-physiology (EP) study. During the EP study they purposely attempted to create sustained v-tach. Yep, it happened. So, I have lovely defibrillator marks on my chest and back. Not the first time for me.

Anyway, the most effective course of action for this is to give me an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD). This is part heart monitor, part pacemaker, and part defibrillator. It monitors my heart and the pacemaker kicks in if there is ever any arrythmias and the defibrillayor will kick in if I go into V-Tach (am dying). It cuts out that nasty wait for EMS to arrive.

This also meant they had to cut open my shoulder.

Here is a diagram.
pro_icd_us.jpg


But the incision is mostly superficial and doesn't require stitches, just steri-strips, which is basically strips of sterile medical tape that holds it together while it heals.

Here is my lovely hospital room.
photo0196.jpg


And nurse info board.
photo0197.jpg


My incision image is below, but I am spacing it down so those with queasy stomachs can avoid it. It is just tape and slightly bloody gauze right now though.

Because the wires from the ICD are not completely secure at the moment I cannot do any activities that put exertion on my shoulder for two weeks, and cannot lift my arm above my head for a month. Yes, this means no Force Feedback steering wheels. :( But after a month tissue should grow over the wires and hold them firmly in place.

Today a tech came in to test the system. It sends a wireless signal so they place a small device over the ICD for a second to synch up and then are able to read my data on their computer. And here is where the bionic part is not a joke. To test that all the wires were in place and calibrated he sped my heart up from his computer. That is definitely the most disturbing sensation I have ever had.

I have also had a slight emotional reaction to what having this device put in means. I was at risk of dying at any time. Five years ago I wouldn't have thought about. Now I am married with a kid on the way. The stakes are decidedly different.

Physically, I feel fine except for the bruised muscles in my shoulder and collar bone area. They gave me some prescription pain medicine, but Tylenol is working fine for me.

To see the incision site scroll down. If you are queasy, stop here.















































Imageshack screwed up my image.

I will show more when I remove the gauze in four days, and the main scar when the steri-strips come off in ten days.
 
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Been there, done that and got the t-shirt. However, they could never sustain my V-Tach. I'm damn lucky I didn't need a device like you. I got enough 'devices' in me.

BTW, I hate that shot of the hospital room. I lived in that a year ago for a lovely + three week stay as I was getting my medical problems sorted out.

Now the testing is conclusive, you now know what you have and therefor can get it fixed or treated. The surgery went well and you can now you can live a regular life. Another medical success story and you didn't need the government to interlope.

Speedy recovery, friend. 👍
 

a6m5

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Well, I'm glad that you are doing the right thing(many ignores their heart conditions), and that you are doing alright. 👍

Will this affect your diet? More Cheerios? :D
 
2,587
He sped up your heart? Thats crazy. Really neat device they put into you though. Is the defibrillator a one time use type thing?
 

FoolKiller

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BBTW, I hate that shot of the hospital room. I lived in that a year ago for a lovely + three week stay as I was getting my medical problems sorted out.
I understand. When I was 14 I had a few weeks in the hospital and a few in a physical rehab center. It is one of my least favorite place on the planet, but I can say that I find being the one in the waiting room is worse. I didn't realize this until my wife had some testing done.

Now the testing is conclusive, you now know what you have and therefor can get it fixed or treated. The surgery went well and you can now you can live a regular life. Another medical success story and you didn't need the government to interlope.
Actually, this does nothing for my congenital issues, which will still require surgeries over the years, but this should put an end to the arrythmia issue.

And yep, no government intervention. I may, depending on how the hospital defines overnight, need to pay $300 total, but since I was in a room less than 24 hours I will likely pay nothing.

Well, I'm glad that you are doing the right thing(many ignores their heart conditions), and that you are doing alright. 👍

Will this affect your diet? More Cheerios? :D
No dietary effects. Good thing too, because that KFC Double Down hasn't made it here yet. I am positive that would be a big no-no on a hearty healthy diet.

He sped up your heart? Thats crazy. Really neat device they put into you though. Is the defibrillator a one time use type thing?
Yes, he sped it up, and I felt it. That is not something I like knowing can be bone.

No the defibrillator can be multiple times until the battery drains, which they estimate at 4-7 years.
 

FoolKiller

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I forgot to add, I'm not supposed to get my chest within 12 inches of anything that creates an electromagnetic field, including cell phones, for more than just a few seconds as magnets are how they shut it off when they need to do other medical procedures. This also means that I get a pass to avoid security at airports and just get swiped over by a wand.

But it also means that I am screwed if there is ever an event within range that creates an EMP.
 

SRV2LOW4ME

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Wow, quite interesting problem you have there, but glad to hear its been found and you've gotten some work done to make things better. So whats it like when he sped your heart up from his computer? Did it give you a sudden boost in energy or anything like that?

Now the important question...any hot nurses?!
 

FoolKiller

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Wow, quite interesting problem you have there, but glad to hear its been found and you've gotten some work done to make things better. So whats it like when he sped your heart up from his computer? Did it give you a sudden boost in energy or anything like that?
It felt like I suddenly had just stopped running, probably having my rate up around 110 (I'm 70-80 at rest). Then it went back to normal after just a few seconds. When it first started it clearly felt like it jumped in my chest.

Now the important question...any hot nurses?!
One in prep looked like Morgan Webb, but she was stuck up, and then I never saw my other nurses that much because my instructions were just to have my vitals checked twice a day. So they mostly just popped their heads in to ask if I was OK.

The one I saw the most was my night nurse, but it was a guy. He was cool though. He would joke around a bit and laughed along with me and my friends when they visited.
 

TB

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That is both incredibly cool and incredibly disturbing all at once!

Best of luck, FK! :cheers:
 

Small_Fryz

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Good luck mate!!

Ive got one too, initially mine paced both chambers when my heart dropped under 50 + also paced to help speed the heart up in activities, however these days it only paces one chamber and only when my heart drops under 50. I almost never use it anymore.

its a cool party trick cause you can see and grab it through the skin haha.
 

TheBook

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What? You disabled your VTAK? :lol:

Good to hear everything went all right. 👍 That's kind of cool, how they can mess with your heart's speed with a computer.
 

Omnis

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Yeah, I wonder if the doctors say, "V-tach just kicked in, yo!" :lol:

If only your heart had VVT.
 
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Great to hear things went well. I must say I was predicting something more like Bionic Commando looking at your sig. :P Maybe a dumb question, but I'm curious if this caused by anything (such as diet) or were you just born with a heart defect? How much would everything have cost if you were uninsured? My hospital stay would've been ridonkulously expensive if I hadn't been. Also, you eat at KFC? I guess I shouldn't be surprised given your location... but I am.
 
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Jay

  
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Sorry to hear this was required but now atleast you know you have a something 24hrs a day watching your back (heart), did the doctors get you running on the dyno to give you a full dyno tune? :P
 

FoolKiller

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Yeah, I wonder if the doctors say, "V-tach just kicked in, yo!" :lol:
They weren't that cool. I kept trying to crack jokes but their responses were minimal. Had I not been sedated I would have said it.

Great to hear things went well. I must say I was predicting something more like Bionic Commando looking at your sig. :P Maybe a dumb question, but I'm curious if this caused by anything (such as diet) or were you just born with a heart defect?
I have a heart defect (five actually) but they are not sure if this is related. I am first generation pediatric to adult cardiology and these things appear to show up, and the main theory is that it may be due to the scarring from pediatric heart surgery. I have been dealing with flutter issues for about four years now and this is where it came to a head and became a severely fatal risk. All previous flutters were a risk of blood clots, but not cardiac arrest.

How much would everything have cost if you were uninsured?
A normal heart cath runs about $25,000 all together, but the ICD was an added procedure, so it is hard to tell. I'll probably know in a few months when my insurance statement comes in.

Also, you eat at KFC? I guess I shouldn't be surprised given your location... but I am.
Yep, I love KFC. Their biscuits are so buttery and flaky. We also have Claudia Sanders Dinner House, the restaurant that The Colonel opened with his wife after he sold the KFC chain. They have an all you can eat chicken meal with eight different vegetables. It is southern cooking that puts Cracker Barrel to shame.

Jay
Sorry to hear this was required but now atleast you know you have a something 24hrs a day watching your back (heart), did the doctors get you running on the dyno to give you a full dyno tune? :P
Ha ha. I have a feeling there will be a stress test after everything is healed and secured, which practically is a dyno test for a human. Run on a treadmill uphill at a faster and faster speed and steeper and steeper angle until you give out or your vitals scare them.
 

SRV2LOW4ME

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They weren't that cool. I kept trying to crack jokes but their responses were minimal. Had I not been sedated I would have said it.

Thats a shame, I actually had a pretty good doctor tonight. I had rust in my eye so he went in with a needle to get it out. My vision became a huge blur of color for about a minute while he was doing it, and afterwards he asked how it was and I told him I used to pay big money for visuals like that* and he laughed out loud pretty hard. The nurse on the other hand just kind of went "uhh..." and left the room like she was too good for a good drug joke.


*He actually asked me earlier if I had recently done X, coke or meth as my pupils grow large very fast (always have, don't know why) and I told him about my past addiction. I'm just glad he didn't say "hey me too, high five!" as he went digging into my eye ball. :scared:
 

Giancarlo

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Glad to hear things are going alright so far and the surgery was successful. 👍

Bypassing airport security is a pretty sweet perk too! :cheers:
 

Jordan

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Just now saw this thread, FK. That's definitely an interesting medical issue, but I'm glad to know everything turned out well! :D
 

Rotary Junkie

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Glad to hear you made it through with as little drama as possible and as a result theoretically won't be having a random heart attack that could kill you.

Not dying is always a good thing. ;)
 

Pako

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I agree, both an interesting and scary read. I am, as others have stated, relieved and glad for you that the operation went well. Your doctors seemed pretty stiff, the last thing I remember my doctors saying (the surgeon and the anesthesiologist) was, "yeah, we're all pretty much psychotic" and then the lights went out... :D

Speedy recovery my friend and kudo's to catching this early enough before something serious happened.

:cheers:
 

FoolKiller

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I agree, both an interesting and scary read. I am, as others have stated, relieved and glad for you that the operation went well. Your doctors seemed pretty stiff, the last thing I remember my doctors saying (the surgeon and the anesthesiologist) was, "yeah, we're all pretty much psychotic" and then the lights went out... :D

Speedy recovery my friend and kudo's to catching this early enough before something serious happened.

:cheers:
Any tips on keeping one arm dry but not smelling like old socks after a few days? We are using garbage bags at the moment, but that is quite awkward.




Anyway, the best news to come out of this is that my first weekend of being allowed full activity again is Petit Le Mans. I feel that will be a proper celebration.