Roadblock of 2016: Heart Surgery

2016 started out as an awesome journey with some great accomplishments, like my first 50 miler.   Towards the end of the year I started having dizzy spells and passing out.   I tried not to think anything of it until I passed out in front of Paul and hit my head.  He had to get me to wake up.   It was that incident that triggered me to go to the emergency room.   I had been on such a great streak, I hadn’t had any problems, I hadn’t been to the emergency room in I don’t even remember how long it had been.

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They decided that I needed to be put on a heart rate monitor to determine the cause of the passing out.   Keep in mind up until this point I had no symptoms or problems with my heart that I was aware of.  I wanted to continue my lifestyle, I wanted to keep working out with the wires attached to me.  I was always tired, no matter how much I slept I was tired.   No matter how well I ate I was tired.   I worked out and it would kick my ass.

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I wanted to find the solution, I wanted to know what the hell was happening to my body that made me feel like crap all the time.   The day before my 32nd birthday the heart monitor phone rang twice that morning, they notified me that I had an “episode”.   That I needed to go to the emergency room to get checked out.    Sure enough they caught what my heart was doing.   It was better explained to me by my cardiologist but sums up to be this:

The lower half of my heart periodically doesn’t receive the electrical impulse so it knows to pump the blood.  This in turn deprives my body of the oxygen rich blood I need, hence me passing out.   It had been fixing it self.   They problem that bothers me the most is that they can’t explain WHY this is happening just that it is.   I had only one solution that would fix my problem, heart surgery to have a pacemaker installed.  This would involved having electrodes inserted in through my arm pit and attached to the upper chambers and lower chambers of my heart.  The pacemaker itself is placed under my boob, yes I know TMI, but there is a reason they did this.   I do crossfit and I sure as hell wasn’t going to stop doing crossfit because of this.   The typical placement is right below the collar bone, right where the bar bell would hit, potentially causing damage.  I am glad that my doctor was willing to work with me and make an alternate placement so I could continue my lifestyle I love.

The day of surgery I was nervous, hell they were operating on my heart.   Not exactly a simple surgery but know its one that is done on a regular basis……to 60 year olds.    I find it hilarious that the nurses didn’t think it was me that was supposed to be having surgery, or at the doctor’s office to get checked up.   Your young to have a pacemaker is my new phrase I hear all the time now.   In order to be placed under sedation, they have to put in two IV lines.  No matter how much water I drink, I am always a hard poke.   It took two nurses and 6 tries to get two IV lines in not exactly comfortable locations.   Paul had to work so my mom was there for me.    Post surgery I wasn’t allowed to move my left arm much so that scar tissue could build up and keep the wires from moving.

Needless to say post surgery I hurt, a lot.   I was so thankful so have so many people come visit me in the hospital in my drug induced state.   I am grateful I have so many people that care and wanted to check in on me.   I truly didn’t expect that many people to come visit me for a one night stay in the hospital.

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Post surgery was going great, then randomly my incision in my arm pit started hurting A LOT.  I had three layers of stitches below the skin and then my skin was glued together.   It was hot and sensitive to the touch.   It finally got to the point that my clothes touching it even hurt.    I know my body doesn’t handle infections well so I was slightly concerned about what could potentially happen if I didn’t get this taken care of immediately.   I went to the emergency room, got admitted yet again.   The first cardiologist scared me because she told me that they would have to take my pacemaker out and replace it.   When my cardiologist finally got to the hospital he explained to me that is an extreme measure and would only do that if the infection was on the wires.

The next morning I went in for another surgery to cut out the infection.   One of the disolvable stitches didn’t dissolve.   He cut out the infection and was in the hospital for a couple days on antibiotics.

I am now back to normal and will be hitting the gym back at the beginning of January.   I am excited to get back to it and see what I am able to do with this bionic heart of mine!   I know it will be slow to get back but I will get there!img_2667


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