Friday, April 20, 2012

Pacemaker: The Experience

I’m thankful this surgery was nothing like my first surgery when I had open-heart.  I was there for about 24 hours and then released.  I was actually a little surprised they let me go home that day, but very thankful because I was getting a little impatient. J  

You know I really felt like God was trying to teach me a few things during my time there now that I have the time to sit back and reflect.  What I learned was just because things do not go smoothly does not mean God is not with me and guiding the process.  Let me explain.  I got there on Monday around 1pm, they did some preliminary things.  One of the first, we will call them, bumps in the road came while I was getting my blood drawn.  The nurse accidently bumped the syringe (ouch!).  We then move onto my prep room where the next nurse tries to put an IV in my right arm.  For some reason this was one of the most painful IV’s I’ve had put in.  Well if you stay with me, you’ll find out why. 

I get into the surgical room and really I just want to be put under so I don’t have to sit there and watch them put all these wires on me and paint me with orange stuff.  After about 10 minutes the lady says, okay, and she puts a little water in the IV to test it.  All of the sudden, pain starts filling my arm.  I say to the anesthesiologist lady, “That hurts, is it supposed to hurt that much.”  She then proceeds to look at my arm to see that where the IV is in my arm is beginning to bubble.  Bubble!  Why might you ask?  Because my earlier nurse lady did not get the IV inside the vein but only under the skin.  Good times.  Hence, the pain.  So then anesthesiologist lady takes out the IV and she says, “Oh my, that’s just squirting out blood.”  Now it wasn’t that bad, but it did bleed through the cotton ball pretty quickly.  So they call in a nurse to put a new IV.  They turn to my left arm, which is full of little small veins!  She finds one, puts it in, but unfortunately there was some kind of block, it won’t work.  So then, no kidding, the head director of nursing lady comes in and finds a vein in my left hand.  Oye, finally, 20 minutes later  I go to sleep!

Oh, but the fun has really only just begun!  After my surgery they bring me some dinner.  I start eating and begin to fill sick, but I try to keep eating because I know I need some nourishment.  Eventually I get to the point where I’m so nauseous I just have to lay down.  Because of feeling nauseous I really did not eat or drink much before I went to bed.  This is important to remember for what happens next. 

So throughout the night they had to wake me up about three times to check my vitals and all that fun stuff.  So needless to say I was quite exhausted. The third time they woke me up was to go and get an X-ray at 6am.  The nurse pushes me in my fancy state-of-the art wheelchair (Okay, maybe not) to the X-ray place.  I stand up for my X-ray and all of the sudden I start to feel very sick.  I say to the tech, “I feel like I’m going to get sick.”  So she has me sit down in the wheelchair.  Next thing I remember is her snapping her fingers at me.  Why?  Because I passed out.  Opps.  Come to find out I was dehydrated.  So I got some breakfast in me and they pumped me full of fluids.  They told me I might not get to go home because of this so I put on a good show.  I walked out to the nurses station a couple of times (my first time around I told them I came to do a song and dance for them and then my second time around I made sure to wave and smile at my nurse) and they decided to let me go home!  Hey, God didn’t give me such charm for nothing. J

Sure we had some bumps in the road.  But isn’t this life?   You see friends, God was with me, He was in charge.  At times I think we are tempted to believe that if things do not go well then God was not with us or He must not love us.  Oh friends, what a lie this is!  Just because we are following Jesus, this does not mean we will never suffer in this life.  Things will never go perfectly (Read about the life of Joseph and Job).  We must remember and even be intentional about looking for how God is moving in our imperfect lives that are filled with “bumps in the road.”  He is working and He loves us so very much.  I was blessed in so many ways during my time at the hospital with wonderful visitors and some very competent/compassionate nurses.   The way things worked out so quickly with the heart doctors was truly God.  Not to mention all of the people who told me they were praying for me, it truly made my heart feel good inside.  And you know what;  I’m okay, I’m still in one piece and I’m healing, I’m getting better. 

As I pray and reflect on my experience and am even tempted to believe lies about who God is in my life, I am constantly reminded of Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

Thank you Father for being with me throughout this whole process.  I look forward with great expectation and hope for the healing I will experience in body, heart, mind and soul.  My hope is that throughout all of this You were and will continue to be glorified. 


  1. Thanks for sharing this Andrea! Sometimes we nurses forget the other side of the experience, so thanks for sharing a patient's perspective! Praying for a speedy recovery and that this wonderful little piece of technology keeps your heart beating perfectly!

    1. Becky,

      Thank you! I'm looking forward to getting a little pep in my step! :)

  2. Michelle Anne Kincaid, the firstApril 20, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    I want to see your song and dance! Thanks for writing. What an adventure. You never have been a boring one. :o)

    1. Michelle,

      You know, if I was honest, I must admit I did not have a routine. I just told them I did, but they still thought it was funny:).

      You know us Douglas gals, we've always got something happening!