Thursday, April 21, 2011
Before we left the hospital, they went over EVERYTHING! I'm so glad they were so thorough. The biggest thing I'm concerned with is that they said to WATCH FOR INFECTION. They gave him an antibiotic, he needs to take four times a day. Infection means trouble... So we have to keep it clean....Also before we left the hospital, the incision had a small little patch of red blood, that the nurse was concerned with. She said it should of looked darker. She said to keep an eye on it.
And then they went over and over all the information to make sure we got it. As a teacher, I know I can't just say something once and expect a student to get it. I have to teach it in different ways exposing a student to the same information in different ways. That is what we got today. It was like every nurse and doctor we spoke with explained it to us again.... at first I thought it was a little silly...then the teacher side of me kicked in and I thought OMG... They are teaching us how to live with an ICD.
For the next six weeks Jake can not lift more than 5 pounds with his left arm. They stressed the importance of following the activity restrictions because of placement of the leads from the ICD. NO repetitive over the head arm movement, because they put the lead in a different vein than usual, so it has a bit more of a bend which may cause it to get worn faster. Jake will need to wear a medic-alert bracelet or necklace. He will also need to carry a card with him to prove he has an ICD. They gave him a temporary card today and the permenent card will come in about 6 to 8 weeks. He needs to stay away from large electrical motors, strong magnetism and welding equipment. His ICD will set off alarms in a metal detector, so he'll need to be patted down at the airport, ( which is why he needs the card to prove he has an ICD) and no he is NOT as excited as you'd think he'd be about that... Also, he needs to avoid the hand held wands due to magnets.
He can use a cell phone on the opposite ear of the ICD, and he can not carry a cell phone in his breast pocket ( The nurses suggested 6 inches away from the incision is a safe distance). The instruction booklet says to avoid holding the following items closer than necessary to the implant: hand held applainces with motors, such as hair drawers and shavers, light shop equipment such as drills, table saws, etc. and transmitters for radio-controlled equipment or toys.
Certain tests and procedures can interfere with his ICD so he will not be able to have , electrocautery, Lithotrispy, MRI's, Radiation therapy, Radiofrequency ablation, and he should not use a TENS unit.
Also they are recommending a healhty heart diet- oh boy this could be the worst part for Jake- low in fat, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, moderate calories and sodium, and high in fiber.
We will see Dr. Mathews next Thursday, then in six weeks, we will need to see an electrophysiologist who will moniter the ICD, and check it's battery life and read the info from it... They said something about being able to the send info through a land line phone... but I'll learn more about that after our first visit to the electrophysiologist. Today before we were released from the hospital, we met with an electrophysiologist, he read the ICD and said it is set to do a shock therapy if his heart rate reaches 230 beeps per minute and the battery is projected to last 9 years. He also explained that if there is something wrong with the ICD it will vibrate letting Jake know that something is not right. So he tested it, Jake said it felt like a cell phone on vibrate inside his chest. If it goes off we have to call the electrophysiologist's office.
Dr. Marons office called and said the next available appointment for an MRI is Monday... We fly home Friday... So we will get Jenn's MRI done in Florida.
So how is the little romeo doing? He's sleeping. A few minutes ago he gasped as he was sleeping, Jenn & I jumped to his side, he looked at us like we were crazy, scratched his chin and went back to sleep. He sleeps until it's time to eat. Then and only then can I get him out of the room, but if you know Jake he LOVES food... so that makes sense.
So the tough little guy, refused pain meds. I am concerned about the flight home tomorrow. What if there is turbulence? I'm paranoid as we walk down the street, trying to stand in front of him .. running block... making sure no one bumps into him. I can't wait to get home to our somewhat normal life.