Shake, rattle and roll- 11/21/2010

It's kind of hilarious at this point. Coming home from the ER last night at 1am, Nick and I were just shaking our heads. What are the odds?

Let me back up to what that I thought this blog would be about. Getting Sparky 2.0! I got my new device on Wednesday and everything went smashingly well (I'm celebrating all things British this week as Kate Middleton got Prince William to put a ring on it).

The surgery went fine and when I got out of recovery, I felt just fine. Not even fine for post-surgery, but just fine-I didn't even have to take a painkiller. Totally cool. Anesthesia did seem to make me more groggy than usual, but it was nothing awful.

I spent the night at the hospital on Wednesday night and Thursday morning they sent me home! Thursday and Friday were a little rougher as the anesthesia really wore off. I got sore and just didn't feel great. But my arm was still 100x better than last time. Yay!

Mom headed home Saturday (yesterday) morning. She was such a wonderful help and she is the best hair-patter west of the Mississippi. We were so sad to see her go. But the rest of the day, we managed just fine.

I do have to tell you about one disappointment. Since I got Sparky 2.0, I've still been feeling the pacemaker pacing. Not all the time, but at least several hours each day. It is pacing almost 100% of the time, but I guess I just feel in when I'm in certain positions. So if you see me sitting down, with my back arched and my head on my right shoulder, you'll know what's going on. : ) It's not painful, just surprising and uncomfortable. But it is not accompanied with the severe dizziness, nausea, and my knees almost collapsing. So it is really an improvement.

So back to Saturday evening- I was watching a little "Watch What Happens with Andy Cohen" (love it, by the way), when I started feeling lots of pacing. Enter weird back arch and head on shoulder. That lasted for about an hour, and then "It" started. I was standing up and then I felt like I was getting the Heimlich maneuver, over and over. I freaked out, because I'd never felt anything like that before and I'd never ever heard of a symptom like this.

So right away I told Nick we had to go to the ER. Usually, I wait a few minutes to see if the episode will calm down, but not this time. By the time we were halfway there, I was sobbing (half from the pain and half because I was FREAKING out). Nick drove like a madman and we zoomed into the ER. They got me a wheelchair and into a bed in about 10 seconds.

I told the nurses and doc what was happening, and they all did their work quickly, all the time looking at me with wide, confused eyes. They could see my whole body convulse at about 70 beats per minute. It kept going for a several hours while the docs called the cardiologist and electrophysiologist to figure out what the heck was going on.

It honestly felt like I had some foreign being right below my ribcage. Like if they cut me open, a clown would jump out like from a jack in the box. I kept imagining Dr. House finding a 4 foot eel in there or something. And I was only partially kidding. And the other weird part is every time I'd sit up, the jerking would get way worse, and I almost fell off the bed.

Based on recent events, Nick and thought it was probably something to do with one of Sparky's wire being somewhere it shouldn't. The doc didn't agree- he thought it was gallstones.

Well, Nick and I should start our own medical practice (I think we'll call it The Morrelli Group). We were right. And the doc was wrong-o-la.

After awhile, the electrophyisologist got there to interrogate Sparky. He read 10 feet of readouts the machine printed, and poked around on buttons for a while. Then all of sudden he asked "have they stopped?". Um, yeah. "How about now?" Ow ow ow ow. No. Then he stopped them again. It was like he was the puppet master and I was on a string.

Evidently, the new wire I got for Sparky has moved to the wrong place and settled on my diaphragm (the place your hiccups come from). So once it moved there, it was trying to pace my diaphragm at 70 beats per minute. That caused the convulsions (imagine the worst hiccups of your life, then throw that out. This was way worse. ; ).

So once the doc figured this out, it was an easy fix. He just turned off the rogue wire and all was well again. Ahh....peace.

They want to get me in for surgery on Monday (tomorrow) but they're not what time they can squeeze me in. It sounds like this a pretty simple fix- just use a tiny wire to move around the other wire. But as we've learned today, the strangest things can happen.

Anyway, thank you all for your love and well wishes for the first surgery. I'll just assume those continue on for this next surgery. :)

I'll keep you posted on the weirdness!


  1. Jana, It's so good to hear from you. I've been refreshing your blog daily to see how you're doing. I don't know if you remember me, but your mom was my maid of honor and I remember you as a little tike when you lived in Tulsa. Your mom posted that she was going to see you for your surgery and I found your blog. I read it from beginning to end. You are amazing!! I will keep praying ... and I hope your diaphragm is getting some rest! Ruth Sutton

  2. Unbelievable. The two of us should write a book called something like, "Think you've seen it all, doc? Check us out." Hang in there and keep up the good attitude!