Wednesday, January 12, 2005


My old man (a.k.a. father, dad, the old fart) got a pacemaker this morning (Wednesday). I went down to provide taxi service, to keep my mom company, and to provide comic relief. This is my 4th such trip in the past 2-1/2 years. At least this time he's at the hospital with the good food.

Two of the frustrating things about hospitals are the lack of information and the time it takes to do anything.

For example, we couldn't get a straight answer before the procedure (I wonder what it takes to call it surgery?) about whether he was getting a pacemaker (and what kind) or an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator — a pacemaker with a "kicker"). After the procedure the plumber (cardiologists love to be called that :-) told us that he had installed a plain two-chamber pacemaker made by St. Jude Medical. Yep, you guessed it, St. Jude Medical doesn't make pacemakers; they make ICDs. So what did he get?

Of course the procedure started an hour late and took twice as long as advertised. He's also going to be put on this federally controlled drug called Tikosyn (Dofetilide), which requires you to spend 3 days in the hospital under observation when you first start taking it. It took them until 4 o'clock in the afternoon to give him the first dose. There goes the hope of getting out of the hospital on Friday.

On the positive side, my dad is still with us. And everyone in the waiting room was amused (horrified?) when I asked him if I could have his Rolex if he didn't survive the procedure. :-)

I wonder if he's gotten lunch yet?

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