Last week I drove to NY to see my old buddy Dr Rubin, electrophysiologist supremo. He's just the best darn doctor I've ever had the pleasure to be a patient of. Well, it turns out that that I finally made some use of my ICD (Medtronic Virtuoso). It's the second ICD I've had - it replaced the first one after its battery was running dry. I had this one implanted in July 2010 and it has a new feature called ATP (Anti Tachycardia Pacing) which is pain free therapy that is delivered if the device detects a VT.
On July 17 and October 20, the device did just that. Both times I was in a stressful situation (giving an important talk with an audience). And both times though I knew I was nervous (lots of palpitations), I did not, repeat, not, notice that the device operated. I'm very thankful for this ATP thing which supposedly can stop VF from occurring.
Now, here's the best part. All these years (10), I've been saying "I don't need this darn device". My SCA all those years ago was diagnosed as idiopathic, so it was convenient from me to stay in denial that there was anything wrong with me. Well, I now I know I can use the ICD. And I'm grateful I had it, and that it worked and did what it was supposed to do. I'm way less afraid of it now. I've always thought of it as protection, but it was very cerebral, almost a justification. Now it's real to me.
A major shift in my perception of the ICD. A significantly good shift.
And a reminder of how precious life is. Every moment. Every day. Every person.