life post pacemaker

August 14 – 31

I keep feeling my heart pace pick up, I’m not myself, lethargic, ill.. I can’t describe it,  something doesn’t feel right. I’m doing my best to live my normal life, but I feel I can’t trust my body.  I don’t know how much I can exert myself.  I am worried about being alone with the kids. What if I have an episode, does the pacemaker do what it should? I feel I can hear every heart beat; even when we have company over, their voices fade into the background as my heart beats louder and louder.

Kaiser – An HMO Experience

At Kaiser, I had an EKG and chest X-rays, Dr. Klayton commented on my pacemaker with a sarcastic tone.   His nurse asked me why I had a pacemaker and whether I carried it around with me. They told me everything was normal.

I feel insignificant every time I visit Kaiser. Their doctors and nurses are skilled at belittling their patients’ issues.  Their process is bureaucratic, leading with several steps of form filling and identity verification, as if I change persona from week to week.  The laborious documentation and investigation process is followed by a lengthy waiting room visit. Just when I feel I can take no more, the nurse calls me into the examination room. She checks vital signs and then I wait some more for a doctor to appear.

After an hour, sometimes more, filling forms and waiting, I see a doctor for no more than 5 minutes.  That is the quality of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).  While I accepted this silly process when I was in good health and had to visit Kaiser infrequently,  I can’t stand it now that I have a serious condition requiring frequent visits.

First pacemaker interrogation

Interrogated the pacemaker at Dr. Del Negro’s office, he said all is going well. It felt horrible when he switched it off and I went on my 37 bpm heart rate.

In the evening, after dinner in Georgetown with Emad, the AbuHamdeh’s and Mardam-Bey’s I felt my heart race, with sweat breaks. I called Kaiser and got an appointment for the following day at 8am.