Heart Pace Condition

Reverend G. Gordon Allen Summer 1998

In 1998 Gordon's former cardiologist placed him on a very high dose of medication, which was to chemically keep the heart in rhythm. Gordon reacted poorly to it but he was kept on it despite obvious signs of the body that it was not right for him. It made him feel sick and things he ate would at times make him unreasonably ill. His doctor ignored his complaints.

Several weeks later he was driving on a freeway at 80 mph in the early morning and started to pass out behind the wheel. A panic shot of adrenaline woke him in time to regain control of the car and leave the freeway. This was 100 miles from his house and doctor. That next day another person drove him to his place and then the to the doctor. After testing it was shown that the firing nodes of his heart had been eaten down by the overdoses of the medications and that his new regular heart rate was 34. Enough to keep him alive but not at all active. [These nodes are like the spark plugs in your cars engine. They make the heart pump, control its rate and keep you and it going.] The remedy is to install a pacemaker to keep the heart rate up at 70 beats per minute, which allows for normal activity. The rate can go higher but not lower. This was Wednesday afternoon late.

A Pacemaker operation was scheduled for the 6 AM Friday morning in a major hospital. It would be placed in his right shoulder and have the wires cross over the left side into the heart. There are two pacemaker leads in the heart, one in the upper chamber and one in the lower chamber. After the operation and as he recovered from the medications given him prior to the procedure, the doctor who preformed it left town that night for a two week luxury Vacation. The following morning another doctor saw him from the vacationing doctors group. He was doing very well and things went well. Gordon was released and allowed to go home late that afternoon. The next Sunday was a simple recovery day.

Later that night as he lay on his bed talking on the phone with a close friend he had a hiccup, then another, and another. There was no real reason for this and as he talked on the phone the hiccups came closer together and he became very concerned. Getting off the phone he then called the doctors offices answering service. By now he is completely taken over with hiccups. While waiting for the call back from the doctor on call he found that if he lay to one side it would subside. When the doctor called he said the odds were a million to one but perhaps one of the leads had come somehow lose and was pacing the diaphragm at 60 beats per minute.

Getting through the night and at eight AM greeting the doctor who had seen him Saturday in the hospital the doctor asked what he was there for. Gordon smiled at him as he took the doctors hand and place it on his gut and which was pounding hiccups at sixty beats per minute and told the doctor "He can feel the baby kick!".  The doctor fled not to be seen again. Soon another one showed up and took steps to confirm what indeed happened. Announcing that the lower lead had come lose and needed to be replaced in another operation which was then scheduled for the up coming Thursday.

That Thursday the operation was done and Gordon asked if they had also done the upper lead while they were in the heart. He was told the odds of both being bad were millions and millions to one. The following Tuesday Gordon returned to the doctors for follow up and the test then showed indeed the second one had come lose also. Another pacemaker install was set up for the next Thursday.

The week before the doctor in a hurry to get it over with had sewn himself with a row stitch to Gordon when he closed up the operation. Gordon came to know this when he had to sign consent forms for them to do blood work for STD. This Doctor is doing a third operation on Gordon for the same issues the first one did.

During this operation Gordon only took minor local anesthetic so that he would monitor events around him. He joked with the surgeon and others in the operating theater that he and the surgeon were now blood brothers in that they had shared blood when he had sewn himself to Gordon when closing him up. Good humor was there for everyone but the surgeon who now was shown less then perfect. The very first doctor who was on vacation was shown to be completely inept at his craft.

When Gordon next needed a cardiologist for monitoring he fired the others and wisely chose another who is truly skilled at his medical art. A decision, which as events has turned out, is truly led by the spirit.

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