Pacemaker Implant

My husband recently had a pacemaker implanted in his heart and is currently on disability. I, on the other hand, got a job offer from a law firm in Washington DC and am super excited. I start in a 2 weeks.

It has been emotionally busy in our house. Summer went by fast, but we spent a lot of quality time and made memories as a family. We went to the pool, went on a trip, played together, watched movies and snuggled…it was one of my favorite summer.

H (my husband) had a pacemaker implanted in his heart in mid-August. He was born with a heart defect and had been recently diagnosed with endocarditis and arrhythmia. The latter two have been caused and by past long-term use and effects of painkillers, alcohol, weed, nicotine have taken a heavy toll on his heart. Though successful, it hasn’t completely addressed his heart issues, so further tests and treatments are coming. It is heartbreaking to watch.

The day he had his pacemaker done, the surgeon wanted to send him home with painkillers. Rightfully so, however I wasn’t comfortable with him walking out with painkillers. I told the surgeon in private unbeknownst to him, about his past use. The surgeon updated his chart and kept him overnight. I do not want painkillers in our home because his pain was expected to subside. If he is not well enough, then he shouldn’t be sent home. I have learned my lesson, as long as controlled substances are involved , I’m not taking any risks. I tell the doctors privately and ask them to keep it confidential so they can make informed decisions about his care.

The next day, all hell broke loose. Another doctor came in, and he didn’t read his chart. He immediately scheduled him to be discharged and wrote him a prescription of Percocet for 3 days! Both doctors agreed that pain should totally subside and Tylenol was enough, yet this doctor still went ahead with the painkillers.

While H was getting his back packed, I excused myself and asked to speak with the new doctor. I told him everything and he said, he was not aware? Well if he had read the chart, he would have been aware. But now I needed him to come right back to the room and tell H he wouldn’t be coming home with painkillers. He went back in the room and apologized he had not read the surgeon’s note and retrieved the prescription from H’s hands. H got furious: ” I want to know why he does not want me to get painkillers home“, ” what if I am in pain?” , “I need him to call me right now“, ” I won’t leave without speaking to my surgeon” etc…I just sat there, not my problem. I did my part, H needed to calm down and the new doctor needed to deal with him.

The surgeon called him back and and told him straight, ” listen, I run a Narco index check on all my patients before I make any decision on their treatment. I have discovered yours is really, really high, and therefore, I have made the decision not to send you home with any kind of controlled substances. For the next 3 days, your pain level should be around 6, but Tylenol should be enough to provide relief. After 3 days, you should not have any pain at all. So you can come home today and take Tylenol, or you can stay at the hospital and we will still give you Tylenol ,but the insurance may not pay for your extra stay. So what would you like to do ?”

I want to go home with Tylenol today”. And so we did. I was thankful the surgeon did not throw me under the bus. I pretended I had nothing to do with all of this. But I don’t feel bad at all.

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