In one piece (each of us have our own pieces, thanks) and George is looking really good considering all he’s been through.
We have a sort of medical mystery though as to what was actually going on…..
He saw his cardiologist last week who said “massive infection, go to hospital immediately” (which of course freaked us out).
We arrived at the hospital on the same day, registered and he was admitted. The surgeon looked him over and said “massive infection, pacer needs to come out”.
And so it did…yesterday after MASSIVE intravenous bactericides and antibiotics directly to his heart through a PIC line…….cultures (many, many cultures) were harvested and placed in agar solutions to grow whatever nasty little bastard of a bug was infecting his heart.
And nothing grew. NOTHING at all. No bacteria. No infection..every result was “gram negative”………….BUT.
His “pacer pouch” in his chest was smack full of pus. During pacer removal the surgeon flushed the pouch multiple times and left it packed and with a drainage tube so it can heal properly. It had “migrated” from its original placement in his chest pouch. The site opened up all by itself (it isn’t supposed to ever do that!), and we were able to partially see the device.
A second group of cultures was taken during George’s surgery…and again, NOTHING grew.
The only thing the surgeon could come up with for all George’s symptoms is that his body was rejecting the pacer. Every one of the criteria for pacer rejection was met. Device “migration”; infection, gram negative; open surgical site, and local tissue reaction (redness, inflammation). (Medtronic article on device rejection)
Now, George had a pacemaker implanted because his heart beat “showed a lack of electrical activity” in a certain spot on his ekg’s. His ekg’s in the hospital showed a beautiful sinus rhythm…which is what we are supposed to have. No pacer seems to be required.
So does he need one or not? Should he attempt a second hospitalization for implantation if his sinus rhythm is now showing up so well?
Boy, do we have a LOT of questions for his cardiologist…………and an extreme hesitancy about a second implantation.