Checkup (about 6 months after surgery)
The checkup. It doesn’t actually amount to much..... and yet, it does.
After six months, I am still not 100% recovered in terms of fitness, but I’m pretty close. The first few weeks, I could hardly believe that I would ever get back in shape again. But suddenly, it seemed as if an invisible 'on' button was pressed. My fitness level increased enormously - what a relief! I've even managed to get back on my bike twice a week (during which I wear a rib protection shirt to protect my S-ICD). It was as if I had won the lottery - I was so happy when I found that I could cycle again blissfully.
I just had my first S-ICD checkup. I lay back and relaxed while the ICD technician performed an ECG and at the same time wirelessly read out the S-ICD.
Diagnosis: the battery is still almost completely full and working fine, and it hasn’t suffered any shocks yet. Everything is in perfect order, so the practical checkup doesn’t amount to much. However, an appointment like this does make you realize that you are a heart patient, because you're waiting in the ICD clinic until it's your turn, amongst strangers who are all actually real heart patients. Therefore, I suppose I am one too, but I don't feel like one in any way!
It seems like I'm stuck in a kind of denial phase, because I can’t simply accept the label of 'heart patient'. It's unreal... and it’s also difficult to put into words that unconsciously you're waiting with a little bit of fear for the moment when the S-ICD will need to intervene.
After the S-ICD checkup I still have to pay a visit to the cardiologist. I am asked whether I like the S-ICD even a little bit? Well, actually, I do, yes. No, I still cannot sleep on my left side, but on the other hand I don't wake up with a start anymore if I roll onto the box in my sleep. So it’s getting better. And yes, I do feel the little box under my arm, and I feel the occasional pinching, but this is rarely too annoying, so quite frankly, that is not too bad. Slowly but surely, we're finally moving back towards 'business as usual'. I’m curious as to what percentage the battery will be during my next checkup in six months.