Thursday, August 28, 2008

I took my own advice, I asked for what I wanted.

So, the doctors all agree on one thing, my device is out of the pocket, it is causing pain and could eventually cause nerve damage and it's putting undo stress on the lead that has been recalled. As such, the doctors all agree that it is medically necessary to go back in and move the ICD back into place. While in there, time to pull that re-called lead and replace it with one that isn’t at a higher risk of fracture.

What they don’t agree on is the placement. Since I have lost 34 pounds, the cushion I had that covered the device has significantly thinned out. My activities may have put some stress on the device too, I am not sure. But either way the subcutaneous placement I had before isn’t working anymore.

The first EP, we will call him Dr. No, said that he would move the device to the same subcutaneous placement of before. Even though I pointed out that it would show and would be quite disturbing to me. Dr. No also said he wouldn’t be able to use the vertical incision like I had before, but instead would use the more traditional horizontal incision. I pointed out what I thought was obvious, I am not a small-chested girl and the horizontal incisions are problematic when you got that much weight pulling on the scar tissue. It tends to stretch and pull the tissue resulting in a large obvious scar. He said no, he couldn’t work with the vertical scar. Also, I asked him about moving the device to a sub-pectoral placement so that I wouldn’t have to worry about dislodging it again and when I lose the next 25 pounds it wouldn’t show. Guess what he said, no.
I was pretty bummed out. I wanted that bad lead out more than I can really say, but I didn’t want to have an ugly lump on my chest. I kept thinking that it was easy for Dr. No to say no. At the end of the day, he got to go home and forget about it. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t be able to ever forget about it. Every time I took off my shirt, I would remember.

After I fretted about it for awhile, I brought it up at one of our meetings. I mentioned that felt that Dr. No wasn’t even considering my lifestyle or situation, he was just doing what he has always done. Then I wondered what my first EP (we’ll call him Dr. Rock star) would do.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner, why not just go see Dr. Rock star. I called and had an appointment within the week. I went in and he agreed with the facts that the device has moved significantly and that the lead should come out at the same time. However, he was completely open to working with the vertical scar and that based on my lifestyle and thinning body, a sub-pec would be the best placement for me. It pays to ask for what you want and it pays to check with more than one doctor. In the bay area, we are very lucky to have the options of many great doctors, it would be crazy not to look around for the one that takes your needs into consideration.

1 comment:

~guin said...

Good for you Kat -- if we don't advocate for ourselves - no one else will!

I plan to have a plastic surgeon in the OR for my next replacement!