Eight months ago yesterday, I had my new ICD implanted after a very hairy experience in Victoria. I suffered a lot of shocks and suffered a lot of trauma during the 5 days that I was there, but here I am, 8 months later, shock free. Thankfully.
It’s a feat yes that the time has passed, but it has not all been easy. There are nights when I am afraid to go to bed and days that I am terrified to leave the couch. I still have many, many, sometimes hard PVCs and although my device has been checked a few times, there is no record of anything sustained. Doesn’t mean I don’t feel them and that they don’t scare the bejeezus out of me.
It’s hard knowing that at any moment, things could go wrong. One beat in the wrong direction, and I reset to zero. I try not to dwell on that though. I think that my biggest fear is that something will happen during the night, and for some reason, this new device, yet unproven will not do what it is supposed to do. My next biggest fear is that it will happen on one of those rare times that I do something on my own, and someone will hurt me while trying to help, or that I won’t get to a safe position in time. So many bad scenarios run around in my head, so much anxiety and stress around all of this.
My experience last December did a lot of psychological damage that has not yet subsided. PTSD rules my world and it’s hard to forget all I have been through. I have flashbacks, nightmares and even a few phantom shocks where I wake up startled feeling like I have been zapped. Even smells sometimes will set me off and I am very intolerant of noise of any kind.
Now,I have to pay attention to how hard I push myself. I can’t get too tired, too stressed, too eaten up with anxiety or my heart rebels. I have to be super compliant when taking my meds every 6 hours so when that alarm rings at 5 am I can’t just roll over and go back to sleep, I have to take that pill. I have become super vigilant with my body, I feel and analyze every single thing. I am tired, all the time and often need to take afternoon naps. I get these dark circles underneath my eyes, I know it’s time to stop. It’s hard to just…be.
Gratefully, I have found a few things to help me get through the tough times, art, meditation and spending time in nature. Also, I have an amazing partner in my husband, who puts me often before himself, he makes sure that I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself. I still don’t do much on my own or spend much time by myself, I don’t have that kind of confidence yet and wonder if I ever will again.
I do know that am a better person because of all of this. I am learning to focus more on the positive things and to show myself compassion when I am feeling scared and angry. I am learning to listen to my body and to rest when I need to. I am taking better care of myself which is something I have always had a hard time doing. I am seeing the silver lining in the things that have happened these past almost 4 years. I am learning to live like there is no tomorrow. I have a much softer heart, a more forgiving heart, a more loving heart these days. I am changed.
It’s been a long, hard, interesting journey, but I am getting there, slowly but surely.
P.S. One of my most fav songs by Jann Arden is called “Saved” I have not been saved in a religious sort of way but I have been saved from myself and a life that I have often seen in a negative light. These lyrics always make me shed happy tears because I feel like I am finally becoming the person I was always meant to be. It’s never too late.
Lived a sweet live
Oh, I’ve had the sun on my face
I had fallen to my knees and been amazed
I have walked beneath the brilliance of a perfect sky
Lived a sweet life
Oh I have a beautiful friend
I am breathless from the mercy of a smile
I am standing on the brink of the most perfect love
I am not going to be like I was
I have changed
I am saved
I have torn them into tiny bits of rain
Oh the sun has dried those memories like I knew it would
SavedI have bitten off the pieces that I did not want [2x]
Yes, I am saved