Yesterday was my big meeting with the cardiologist. The results from my MUGA scan revealed that I have an ejection fraction of only 27%, which is only half that of a normal person. The short version of this story is that the next stage of my recovery will involve having a defibrillator installed in my chest. It also means that the damage to my heart is quite permanent. It might recover a bit more, but not much. Up until now, I’ve had that hope that things might be better, but now, well, this is the way it will be for the rest of my life.
The good news, of course, is that I am still alive. The extent of the damage just reinforces that I was very lucky to survive the heart attack. With proper exercise, this shouldn’t have much of an impact on my life expectancy. The side-effects caused by the damage probably won’t start surfacing in a significant way for about ten years and all of them can be controlled by adding or changing medications to my morning handful.
The defibrillator is a safety net I hope I never need, but I will have it. I explained it to my children as similar to the Invisible Fence for dogs, but in this case, if my heart misbehaves… ZAP and back to normal it goes. I think I’m more upset by what this symbolizes (the severity of the damage) than I am by the procedure (give me a few days, the words “screw” and “heart” should never be used in the same sentence) and my impending cyborg status. I live. I’ll whirr. Maybe I can get them to install some more “fun” devices while they are in there…
As you pointed out, at least you are still alive. I hope the procedure goes well. We have the technology; we can rebuild you.