This morning, before the 8:30 a.m. Mass, I received a phone call from my pacemaker specialist. She said, “So, you hear your alarm?” I told her that I didn’t and she said I would probably hear it at 9:00 a.m. Last night, my pacemaker transmitted to her office that it is at the end of life and needs to be scheduled for replacement. (There is a built-in three month window for that to take place.)
Sure enough, at 9:30 a.m., the internal alarm went off for five seconds. It is very quiet so I probably won’t go in to have her turn it off. It’s not at a Mass time and it’s not loud enough to cause any disruption.
What are the next steps? Well, she will get all the information over to the cardiologist’s office and his scheduler will contact the insurance company for authorization to replace. Then the scheduler will consult the doctor’s calendar and contact the hospital to schedule a surgery date to replace the unit.
What happens in a “battery replacement”? They cut open the incision area from the previous surgery and lift the pacemaker. They unplug the leads from the pacemaker and put the leads into a new pacemaker. They test the unit to make sure it’s functioning and then they insert it into the pocket in the chest and suture the patient back up.
Afterwards, I’ll spend a few hours in the recovery unit and then be discharged to home. It’s generally an outpatient procedure, barring any complications.
I’ll let you know when I’m going in for surgery. I just hope it doesn’t mess with Easter or my upcoming cruise at the end of April. However, it’s all up to the surgeon and not me.