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May 2 – 10, 2009
Unfortunately, the problems with my driveline site didn't stop on Friday and I ended up with additional trips to the hospital's LVAD office on Saturday and Monday. Saturday, Marcia cauterized the driveline site, but it continued to bleed and they had me see Dr. Adamson on Monday. He decided the driveline site needed to be cauterized more deeply than Marcia had done over the weekend. I'm not going to lie, it stung and hurt! Dr. Adamson said I needed to have it cauterized two more times. I suggested that Cora from Sharp Home Health Care do the cauterizing. However, I wasn't looking forward to having it done again!
Tuesday morning I had an appointment with Dr. Prabhu. He's my pacemaker and defibrillator specialist. He tested my unit and told me that my battery was low and I needed to replace the battery within a couple of weeks. He recommended Dr. Athill at Sharp Memorial to do the battery replacement. When Dr. Prabhu told me this, I was upset at first because I didn't feel like having a minor surgery to replace a battery when I could possibly get a heart. I kept thinking, Why did the battery have to run low now? I thought the timing was really bad and kept thinking that if I got my new heart I wouldn't have to go through this. Don't misunderstand me, a battery replacement is very simple, I just didn't feel like going through something else. After all, I was already dealing with my driveline infection. Ohhhhh heart ... when will I get you???
Cora, the wound care specialist, came to my house Tuesday afternoon. Cora cauterized the driveline site and said Monday's cauterization had already helped to release the infection from the inside. Cora said she'd be back to check my driveline site on Friday and felt the cauterization was helping.
Kristi, my transplant coordinator, called me Thursday and said Dr. Athill would do the battery replacement this Friday. My dad and I arrived at the hospital early on Friday. They admitted me into the "new" hospital and I stayed in one of the new hospital rooms! The rooms are so much bigger and really comfortable. Because I had the chronic driveline infection, Dr. Athill thought I should have a dose of antibiotics. I didn't get my battery replaced until later that afternoon. The good news was they released me that evening. I was happy to go home because we had a lot planned for the weekend.
Considering how my week went, I had a wonderful weekend celebrating Mother's Day, our daughter's 30th birthday and my 54th birthday with friends, family and our five granddaughters! I don't look at it as another year older ... I'm happy to be celebrating another year of life! Follow more of Debbie's heart transplant journey.
For More Information
To learn more about the heart transplant program at Sharp Memorial Hospital, please contact the program directly by calling 858-939-3831, Monday through Friday, 7 am to 3:30 pm.
To learn more or to find a cardiologist affiliated with Sharp, please call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-824-4277) or go to Find a Doctor.