Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Big Decision

Some of you may remember the series of tests I had done last year as part of my ongoing adventures in Coronary Artery Disease (which was brought on by my ongoing adventures in End Stage Renal Disease). To refresh your memory, my cardiologist felt it may be time to have a defibrillator placed on the off chance my heart should stop and I should not happen to be in the emergency room at that exact moment, though with me this scenario is not as unlikely as it sounds.

The test results were a mixed bag. The big test, the electrophysiology study where they tried to get my heart out of rhythm, didn't turn out so great. Not only were they successful in throwing off my groove, they had to shock me to get my heart back into rhythm. On the other hand, I keep getting echocardiograms where the results are borderline. My heart function is clearly less than that of a normal person, but not yet to a critical level.

So that's where I've been for the last few months. Data was collected, I was presented with the evidence, and then told "Hey, it's up to you now!"

I'm really not used to this. Though I've had difficult medical choices to make in the past, it's been more of "well, this is obviously what needs to happen right now even though I don't like it". With the defibrillator, things are not so clear cut. I've been told there's around a 99% chance my heart will not suddenly give out, but what happens to the other 1%? Are those good enough odds for me?

I've decided they are. Foolish as it may seem, I've decided to hold off on the defibrillator for a while. I've been putting off making this decision for so long that I think I figured out that means I'm not ready. It's a huge lifestyle change (or so I've been told), and since I've been feeling pretty good most days I'm not ready to change that. Right now I'm opting for quality of life, even if that means taking a risk.

So there.

10 comments:

The League said...

She was mostly concerned about not being able to ride roller coasters or play with her huge electromagnet.

This has been weighing on Jamie's mind for a long time, and I fully support her in her decision. Maybe down the road there will be reason to change her mind, but for the time being I prefer she just work on her quality of lifestyle, as is.

Erica said...

love ya Jamie!

Nathan said...

All the best, Jamie! Yer pal, Nathan

P.S. The word verification for this post is "hopac." I find that extremely funny. Like Mopac, but with.... hos. I am easily amused.

Dug said...

Sounds pretty un-foolish to me.

Steanso said...

This might sound stupid, but could you get one of those external defibrillators to have around the house to use just in case you need one? They put them on each floor of the courthouse last year (although I'm not sure anyone know how to use them).

mcsteans said...

We actually have one, Steanso. So if anything goes wrong while Ryan is around and not sleeping, we're set. Now I just have to get Lucy and Jeff to team up and cover the times when he's not available...

Dug said...

Please... do not teach Jeffrey how to use the defibrillator.

The League said...

Actually, I use the defibrillator pretty much every morning when I get out of bed. Nothing says "Good Morning" like a massive electrical shock to the ol' sternum.

Steanso said...

As long as you stick to only experimenting with the defebrillator above the waist, we're all good.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for you being bionic, but I have a hard enough time keeping up with your amazing super power smile at this point, so holding off on future power-additions is fine by me : )

Nicole