Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Medical update

I’m alive. But I’m not happy.

Today’s pacemaker/defibrillator surgery was successful. For maybe half an hour.

The docs were very pleased as I came out of surgery. The vein presented a target large enough and they were able to thread the replacement wire into my heart. Everything was working as it should. I began to feel better as my heart pumped more efficiently.

But between the O.R. and the recovery area, the wire backed out of the vein. I have to go through this stuff once again. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I’m alive and the surgeon thinks a second attempt can work with a different wire with a different attachment device. We get another chance. My electro physiologist surgeon is booked solid tomorrow. Maybe we can get a Friday schedule. If not, we have to wait until next Wednesday or Thursday.

I’m bummed. But encouraged.

And grateful.

14 comments:

Ken Martin said...

George, sorry to hear the procedure wasn't a complete success. But at least we ain't heard the fat lady singing!

Anonymous said...

Forgive me for mentioning this, but shouldn't you be blogging for Wired.com? Sharon

Anonymous said...

I have yet to meet a surgeon I like. I met your guy and I really dislike him. Really, really, really. Hope you find a better doctor and soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

George Phenix said...

despite everything, I have faith in this doctor. I trust him. he said out of 5,000 surgeries he has performed, he has never seen a case like mine.

Anonymous said...

George, this guy sounds like a Class A, arrogant, incompetent jerk. Get well soon and then let him have it!! You're in my prayers! Denise

Anonymous said...

George, when we met 60+ yrs. ago, you were a "cute kid". NOw you're an even cuter "tough old geeeser". You'll be out peddlig again before you know it! -- just think back to the beautiful 806 rooftop view of Downtown Austin (as it was back then) You'll be fine in no time, LE, LK, & AP!!

Escaped Waco Alive said...

George, the guy who did my bariatric surgery is one of the best, if not the best, in the country doing that particular procedure. He's also a heck of a nice guy. Even if he were a pluperfect ass, as long as he's among the best at his job I'd want him cutting on me. I'm glad you trust your guy. I'm even more pleased you remain among the living. I urge you to continue to do so.

My Momma was a Baptist and my Daddy a Catholic. That makes me a Batholic and I shall offer prayers in both languages (Southern drawl and Latin). My wife is converting to Judaism (she's always wanted a diamond encrusted Star of David necklace, she says); I shall ask her to get with her Rabbi-tutor to write a proper Hebrew prayer for pacemaker perfection.

George Phenix said...

If I had it all to do over again, I would come back as a Jew. Seriously.

Max Fischer said...

Keep getting better so you can keep on writing, George. Peace and love from the musings.-Max

Anonymous said...

I work with George's doctor and know him to be the most talented and compassionate man for the job. The posts that suggest that George's medical issues are the fault of an "arrogant incompetent jerk" and that if someone doesn't "like the guy" you should find a new doctor do George a great disservice. Not only has he chosen this man, but he has placed his life in his hands. Your comments are not only offensive but ignorant. Don't give up George. You're on the right track.

George Phenix said...

People who love me are jumping to some conclusions because they want me to get the best treatment possible.

I think I am.

As a matter of fact, I have changed doctors twice to get to my current EP/surgeon. I think he has my best interests at heart (pun) and I know he is among the tops in his field.

This is a long, complicated process spanning several years. A couple of times, I came up with the wrong conclusions and, in the process, helped spread some misinformation.

To all those who are itching to "fix it" please know I am on top of the situation.

And I truly believe I'm getting the best medical care possible. This doctor is my friend. His entire office is aware of my difficulties and they reach out to me. Good folks.

Mark your calendars: January 15th we take another stab at it (pun).

Anonymous said...

George and I are both gratified that people love him enough to fight for his well-being. I look at this saga differently and after all, have been living with the details closer than others. I can not see that it has been human error. George's heart, especially the chamber in question, was weakened by his heart attack, and the leads for this chamber are not attaching themselves. The first one dislodged, shocked him, and so was disconnected. Check. The one to replace it did not connect but gave a "phantom" signal on the monitor that it had. Who knew? Only when the new, improved pacemaker was installed did the monitor show that lead wasn't working. Check. Yesterday, a new, improved lead was tried, but it won't stay connected either. The good news is that even this isn't the last resort. He has not been told to just go home and learn to live with what he's got, right? Next week, there's another new lead to try-- the only reason it was not used to begin with is that it drains the battery faster. So, let's keep rooting for his surgical team that this one will connect. They're giving it everything they've got.
Mystery Woman

Anonymous said...

I dunno, Geo. I would be pretty upset with my dr if they put that thing in my chest and it never worked one time for me.

George Phenix said...

I fired the doctor who did that.

And it originally did function properly until it worked itself against a nerve, which happens with these devices and wires. The heart, after all, is a pulsating organ which ups the degree of difficulty.

But I changed doctors when I learned the extent of the problem.

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