Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Friday, November 17, 2017

Pacemaker performing perfectly, I'm outa here

This diagram shows three types of pacemakers.
I have the "dual chamber" type.
(Image: Cleveland Clinic)


Thursday, my next to last day in rehab, was spent on the bike in the morning, with the resistance kicked up so that it felt like I was pedaling uphill for 15 minutes nonstop. Some workout!

Little did I know I would put the new level of endurance to the test later in the day.

The post-op checkup on my pacemaker was for noon at the Newark office of the doctor who implanted it -- Victor Mazza, an assistant professor of cardiology and electrophysiology at Rutgers NJMS.

Despite leaving plenty of time (we thought) to get there, we were foiled by finding the inner drives by University Hospital all closed (probably today only) for paving. This meant parking in the deck that was farther from the building I needed to get to.

The walk from the deck to the building was perhaps a thousand feet, putting my endurance training to the test. The last couple hundred feet I had to use the walker and was seriously winded by the time we got to the doctor's office. But the wait in the office gave me plenty of time to cool down.

A very personable and remarkably young looking man for a medical professorship, Dr. Mazza took the time to explain every step to me as he evaluated the pacemaker.

fter an electronic "handshake" that allowed his equipment to communicate with the chip in the pacemaker, he meticulously checked each of its functions. At one point, he sped up the electrical pulses to the leads (wires) in both the right atrium and right ventricle. That was a weird feeling, as I could feel my heart pumping faster. After the check, he dialed the pulses back to the normal level -- once again I could sense the changes in the heart rate.

When completely done working his way through the computer screens, he pushed a button and the machine began to print out its report on a long (about 12 feet) strip of paper. He explained that many of the folds (or pages) had no data in them now, but would begin to fill up as I went through future checkups.

Pronouncing the pacemaker to be working "perfectly", he sent me on my way, with another checkup in about four weeks.

This means that I will be leaving Aristacare in the morning, as soon after breakfast as I can get my things together.

Can't wait.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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