If I was going to have to do this, then there was no sense in putting it off. Labor Day Weekend was coming up and I scheduled the procedure (I don't call it surgery because it's really not) on a Friday and planned to go back to work on Tuesday. In reality, though, I did not go back to work until Wednesday due to the soreness. The electrophysiologist (another fancy word I learned this year) was kind and patient in spite of the fact that he was running about 4 hours late due to complications in an earlier procedure that morning. I don't do well with anesthetics and learned later that I talked their heads off in the procedure room...haha. Again, everyone at Christ Hospital was top rate and I even got to stay overnight. Cutting the little flap that the device fits in was painless and the only real issue I had was when they had the drape a little close to my face; I am somewhat claustrophobic. But when I asked to have it moved a little, they were quick to do so. I have absolutely no complaints about the procedure nor the aftercare. I also don't do well with pain medications; the only thing I can take is Tylenol 3 with codeine (oh yeah, that is some good stuff). I was allowed to stay on that for only 5 days, though. After that, the soreness of the incision was more apparent but nothing worse than the pain level of a normal headache really. Sleeping was a real challenge because the device felt like a brick in my chest and so I used pillows to prop myself up on one side.
About a week later, still feeling pain, and not yet used to my little "friend" I started to wish that I had not had the procedure done. This thing felt like an unwelcome house guest - someone you thought you wanted to spend a lot of time with but after a week they began to get on your nerves....sometimes it felt as if it was caught under my collarbone. I was supposed to restrict lifting for 6 weeks and it was actually about 8 weeks before I could really use my left arm as normal. Frustration began to set in and I often forgot to be thankful. All of my scoop neck and v-neck shirts were pushed to the back of the closet as I tried to hide my healing scar. It seemed very long, red and ugly and I felt that I would never get used to seeing it in the mirror. Some days I just wanted this thing out of me.