On my second full day of cardiac rehab the nurses noticed while exercising that my EKG was looking weird. They got concerned and called over to my cardiologist office where my device clinic also is. This device clinic monitors and sets my ICD/Pacemaker even remotely. The tech must have gotten concerned about what the nurses said so she immediately came running over from her building which fortunately was across the street at the hospital cardiac gym. She had a Medtronic briefcase with her which has the computer and software that connects to my device and I was hooked up and the EKG reviewed. She said that my pacemaker was set at a max of 130 bpm which is the norm for most heart failure patients but that I was blowing past that when on the treadmill and had taken my heart rate up to 140 bpm and that had thrown the pacemaker for a loop. The good news was that my heart seems OK with this level of exercise. Again not your average heart patient. But not good news since the pacemaker is supposed to pace 100% of the time to keep my heart beating normally. So she adjusted the upper threshold and we came home.
The next morning, I was sitting in my living room on my chair drinking a cup of coffee and reading up on the news on my laptop. Pepi my little Chihuahua was sitting next to me like he does every morning. It’s a ritual for us. Jude was in her study on a conference call. Suddenly I heard a loud French ambulance sound. Wa Wa, Wa Wa, Wa Wa, I looked around going what the heck is that… and realized it was coming from my chest. Pepi who has an aversion to door bells, whether actual or even just on TV and usually goes into a frenzy, practically jumped out of his skin just barking away. He was looking at me like…”you have a door bell in your chest????”. I noticed all this in the 20 seconds this alarm was going off while also realizing that my anxiety level had suddenly shot up to Def con 5 or is it Def con 1? Anyway, my panicked mind was screaming that I was about to get shocked any second now! Then suddenly the alarm stopped. I guess I had been yelling Jude’s name as she came running. Both the dog and I must have seemed hysterical. Anyway, I called the ICD clinic and the tech said, “no worries, the pacemaker is telling you that something is still not set right”. He asked us to drive downtown to the clinic so he could reset it. Which we did immediately. Apparently, some setting the other technician set the day before was not to the pacemakers liking so this guy reset it and then changed my upper limit and nonchalantly said “don’t worry your heart is all fine and this was just a way for the pacemaker to let you know to get it looked at right away”. That was fine and dandy considering he didn’t have an alarm blaring in his chest! Talk about a weird feeling and experience not to mention freaking me and Pepi out!
So, the cardiac rehab continues well and I am grateful for the nurse there that noticed my erratic EKG leading to a recalibration of my device especially during activity/exercise.
Dragons and Tigers
8 more Sundays to go. Day 1 today. Counting down to 7pm tonight with the rest of my GOT tribe. Enough said. Hopefully the alarm won’t go off.
And in the meantime Tiger roared in Augusta today….. Made a lot of us that follow the game feel good to see that and a great round of golf at that spectacular course.