Friday, August 8, 2014

Pacemaker Checkup and Upcoming Surgery

So, the time has come. Max is having his pacemaker replaced on Tuesday, August 19th. I wanted to let everyone know so you can be praying for us. 

Here's how this all came to be so quickly...

A few weeks ago we did our monthly pacemaker check from home. I had a feeling that something might be not quite right and I even think I made a comment to Tyler about it. Anyway, they called us a few days later and said that the lead (wire) was not "sensing" adequately and that they needed to adjust some settings to see if that would help. Because the lead was not sensing, the pacemaker was skipping beats. 

So, we went the next day for adjustments but because of many different factors, there weren't too many adjustments they feel like they could make. They sent us home with a Holter monitor so they could monitor his heart over a 24 hour period to see how his pacemaker was functioning. Well, he skipped 700 beats over that 24 hour period. Because of this, the doctor called and said he feels like that the pacemaker is no longer functioning adequately and we need to do surgery sooner rather than later. This wasn't a huge surprise to us b/c we already knew the lead was failing and would have to be replaced within the next 6 months or so. 

So, we talked to the cardiac surgeon and waited for a surgery date. In the meantime, Max went in again for additional adjustments that would help get him safely to the surgery date. 

I finally heard from the scheduler today and his surgery will be on Tuesday, August 19th. He will have both the same doctors that did his first surgery, so that's nice. He will then go to the cardiac unit and stay for most likely 1-3 days. Tyler and I are planning on staying with him 24/7 until he is discharged home. That's all the details we have for now. I don't know much about the unit he will be on, but I'm hoping to learn more in the next week so we will know what to expect. 

Needless to say I'm not looking forward to this surgery and I've had quite a bit of anxiety about it. I've talked to Max's electrophysiologist about 7 or 8 times in the last 4 days though and every time I talk to him I feel better. I think the worst part is the "unknown" factor. I'm also nervous that he is now 3 years old and very aware of what's going on. It's going to be a totally different experience than it was when he was 7 days old. He isn't scared of going to the doctor and I don't want that to change either. 

Please pray for us for all the concerns I mentioned and also for a safe, successful surgery and recovery. I will let you know more details as we learn them. Also, feel free to share this information with whoever you want. The more people we have praying for us the better!

Getting his pacemaker adjusted

Getting his Holter monitor hooked up so we can monitor his heart constantly for a 24 hour period. This gives the doctor much more information than a quick 90 second test that we do once a month.

Unfortunately, during the Holter test, the pacemaker failed to fire 700 times within that 24 hour period. Thankfully, Max's own heartbeat made up for many of those missed beats, but that certainly isn't ideal. Because of that, Dr. Radbill, Max's electrophysiologist, had a conversation with us and the 3 of us decided it was time to replace the lead and pacemaker.

Getting his stickers on so his pacemaker can be adjusted.

This little guy knows the drill. He held the magnet in place all by himself while the nurse adjusted his pacemaker settings.

Having an echocardiogram to see if his heart murmur is still there. Thank goodness it wasn't because that makes his surgery much simpler. 


  1. Will pass this on so more prayers will come Max's way.. Prayers for all of you.. Nancy