Thanks to Mike for sharing his story.
I had been feeling unwell and generally very tired for the past couple of months and decided to have a chat with the Heart Failure Nurse Specialist in Neville Hall.
My medications were reviewed but the new tablets contributed to a horrible dry cough. I was unable to get a good night sleep despite gently increasing my exercises by walking more.
Whilst organising matters related to the GwentDefibbers I happened to mention to Mandie that I just did not ‘feel right’.
Arrangements were made for me to have an echo scan and an ECG and then follow up in clinic for the test results to be reviewed.
The tests identified that my left ventricle was severely damaged and the signals to the other side of my heart was slow. One side was not speaking to the other side and so the heart was not working as efficiently as it should have been.
Mandie informed me that the team now felt it was appropriate to upgrade my device from a single lead ICD to a 3 lead CRT-d (check information at bottom of this page).
I was referred to Dr Zaheer Yousef and he would carry out this procedure.
A venogram was undertaken.
The big date for my procedure was organised for February 2016.
I attended a pre-op clinic a week prior to the big date and found that despite already having had 3 procedures for ICD’s was still extremely nervous.
The big day – I arrived on the ward by 8am and was seen by the Registrar who, once again, explained the procedure and I was asked to sign the consent form. During this period I was also receiiving intravenous antibiotics in order to prevent infection.
Dr Yousef paid a visit and helped put me at ease. Another visitor was Anna the product specialist manager from St Judes electronics. She would be in theatre and would actually have the job of turning my ICD off in readiness for the procedure.
The theatre seemed very large and there appeared to be lots of staff in the vicinity.
I was covered with a sheet which looked and felt a bit like a tent and had an open area for my face. I was able to see and talk to the nurse the entire time I was awake.
The background music (Yes sir I can boogie all night long) helped me relax and then I felt a small sting in my chest ( no worse than giving a blood sample). I felt myself drifting and the very next thing I was back in the day unit! It was 12.15pm.
I enjoyed some tea and toast. I remained in bed for 4 hours, had another ECG and then Sarah from the physiology department came down to ensure all checks were made on my device. Andy Penny kindly contacted my wife and daughter and before I knew it I was back home.
I’m very pleased to say that I am making a very good recovery.
The CRT-d has improved my quality of life and I have new found energy and interest with life in general.
I’d like to thank the nurses at Neville Hall for the care they’ve shown me and to Mandie (ICD nurse specialist), Sarah & Andy (physiologists), Anna (St Jude) and last but not least Dr Z Yousef and his team for their care and support.