I haven't felt "right" since Sunday afternoon. Wasn't sure what was off, but I knew something didn't feel right. My chest was heavy and I was struggling to catch my breath. When you are a heart patient, you learn to listen to your body and the subtle cues it gives you. I strap on my Polar heart rate monitor and 10 minutes into my treadclimber workout, I am still at 70 bpm when I am usually at 140.
I call my heart doctor and tell her I need to see her. Today. She schedules me and I make the 1.5 hour drive to Pittsburgh. 20 minutes later she spins her stool and says, "Your pacemaker is running on back-up power, we need to get you in here this week or early next week for surgery to replace it." Shit. My last check-up said I had an average of less then 1 to as many as 14 months of battery life left. I guess that was a generous average and the less then 1 was right on. I just saw her last Monday for my 6 month check-up and everything was good. Funny how life can zing a curve ball right at you. Basically, when a pacemaker kicks into reserve mode, it puts your heart at a low limit, in my case 65-70, and keeps it there AT ALL TIMES until replaced. It has around 3 months of this juice in it.
What does this mean? Well, no training of any kind until post surgery, and then as long as 4 weeks off from lifting (hopefully much less) until the incision and pacer pocket heals. For sure no upper body/bench work for 4 or more weeks. Luckily, the leads that run down into my heart are still good and don't need replaced, so the recovery time will be quick.
So, if you don't see any posts please refrain from commenting something ignorant. This is a doctor enforced layoff and I WILL BE BACK. Don't fret, I am going to give an 800-pound deadlift air time in 08'.
No worries. I am anxious and ready to get the surgery over with. They are going to call me sometime today and let me know what day the surgery is, either Tomorrow-Thursday-or Friday. I think of it as getting a $30,000 car. A newer model with more bells and whistles.
Until next time, stay strong, and I will post again when I am cleared to get back on the bull.