Now I know why I was feeling unwell. On Thursday I took my blood pressure and it was over 200. I rang my daughter and she drove me to the doctor’s. He found I had a complete heart blockage and I did’nt know it. He rang the ambulance and they drove me to Gold Coast Hospital. The medication I was on had taken my pulse to 30. This was the tablet I’d intuited was causing the problem and had been cut down. It was stopped immediately. I got up to the ward about 2 am having arrived at 7pm. I had a lovely room in the Cardiac Ward with a view to the coast. There was a bit of drama when they started an intravenous drug to increase my pulse rate, it went down to 26 when they pushed the panic button and doctors and nurses came running, but it settled and they didn’t need to use the paddles to restart the heart.I was very pleased to see the sun come up over the sea.
Next day I was being monitored and assessed and they said I was going to need a pacemaker. I was on the list for Monday. I was able to get up and go to the toilet which one doctor later described as Russian Roulette
Monday came and my blood pressure was high. I was nervous about the operation which I was to be conscious for. I was scheduled for 1 pm but it was still high BP, so they waited and gave me drugs to bring it down and someone else was done before me.
I was moved to the operating theatre and covered with a kind of tent with one side folded up and open and the other with the surgeon Dr Rahman operating. There was a hole made in the `tent’ for the surgeon to operate, then I felt a cutting sound, like blunt scissors. There was a problem in inserting the electrode as my veins narrowed and another surgeon took over who uses a different procedure round the back of the heart I think. The theatre was full of people and they all cheered when he was successful as they could see it on the monitor. It was quite exciting then. The shoulder was anaestesised but I could feel it without feeling any pain, it was topped up if I winced. During the operation I went into a deep meditative state seeing a golden angel of light and I kept focussing on that, so I was somewhat detached. Unfortunately someone had given me a diuretic and I had to ask for a bedpan – very embarassing,
After the insertion of the electrode, the surgeon had to insert the pacemaker in a pocket below the clavicle, and cover it up and sew up the wound. This took quite a long time as he’s very meticulous and was dabbing at the blood as he went. As a result its a very neat job. Last was a waterproof spray dressing which will dissolve in the shower in a few days.
I’m on antibiotics as a precaution for the next 5 days. The followup was an Xray of the chest and overnight monitoring and a check of the pacemaker settings. If my pulse drops below 50, the pacemaker will take over. I used reiki after the operation to aid my own healing and followed up with daily sessions.
Being conscious in the operation was certainly a new experience, but very fascinating and not at all what I feared, which put my blood pressure up and caused the operation to be delayed, fortunately as it turned out. All in divine right order.
It only remains for me to thank the team in the Gold Coast Hospital Cardiac Unit for their dedication and team spirit. They really are special people and the whole team contributes to a successful outcome. Thank you.
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