I got my pacemaker checked this morning.
The fact that I have a pacemaker will come as a surprise to any of you who thought I picked the name “Tinman” because of some July Garland fetish, but there you go.
Someday, perhaps on the first anniversary, I’ll tell the whole story of the seven scary months it took from first being part-man, part-conscious to finally being part-man, part machine, but for the moment it is still a Tale for Which the World is Not Yet Prepared (or, I’m not, anyway).
I got it checked after six weeks, and from then on it’s twice a year, so it hasn’t been checked since February. When they put it in they said (a) that because I’m thin, it might be visible (and it is – if I hadn’t picked Tinman18 I could have gone for The Man With Three Moobs), and (b) that I might be able to feel it turning on – no kidding there, it blips so hard it stings sometimes. Because I can feel it, I know how often it comes on, and have been quietly alarmed at how often that seems to be.
So I was a teeny bit worried when I went back to Cardiology in Vincent’s this morning (the guy at the desk said “do you know the way?”. “God, yes,” I answered). There I met the lovely Áinle, who greeted me by name. (By the way, when I do write about all this I will be full of praise for the doctors, nurses and other healthcare people I met during the whole experience, they were absolutely wonderful).
Áinle was the one who had checked my heart monitor last January, and who had read the print-out and then uttered those words you never want to hear in a hospital – “I just want to show these to someone”. It would be exaggerating to say she’d then run out of the room, but she certainly hadn’t slouched out, & she’d then returned with four doctors.
Anyway, this time was much more comforting. She hooked me up, turned on the machine, and then played with the settings to test the workings, so that I blipped, stopped and then blipped again at her command. I couldn’t really complain – after all, it’s been a long time since an attractive young blonde has toyed with my heart.
And she said I was fine. I asked about the number of times it seemed to be on, and she told me my own
heart was doing 99 percent of the beating (back at work, my glass-half-empty boss said “so the pacemaker’s doing one percent? That’s a lot of beats”, but I was too pleased to rise to that).
So that’s my day. I’m still ticking over. Everything is ticker-ty boo.