Pacing Sam

It's a strange thing to watch your child live with a pacemaker.  

Last week, Sam had an appointment to have his pacemaker interrogated and check in with our Cardiologist.  Interrogation consists of a guy from Boston Scientific who wheels in his computer that looks partly like a suitcase and a dated gaming system.  They hook Sam up with wires on his arms and legs and hang a large disk around his neck that encircles the pacemaker that still bulges from under his skin.  From there, they play with is heart rate.  With a simple, split second movement, his heart races like he was mid triathlon, yet there he sits beside me but again, in a brief second, it slows back down.  At one point, they shut the pacemaker off altogether to see what happens.  

I sit beside Sam, watching his face that shows no reflection of these changes going on inside of him and I just want to know what he is thinking, how all the thoughts in his head add up.  Sometimes, I think he is doing fine; that the pacemaker has become part of him now.  Mr. Boston Scientific interrupts my wanderings by saying, "Your heart is using the pace maker just over 50% of the time and things look good."  With that, he left the room.   

Our doctor came in a short while later, and reviewed the interrogation and sized the science up to Sam's symptoms.  He had some concern that Sam is experiencing dizziness and stumbling about.  He felt like Sam would benefit from a higher resting heart beat so Mr. Boston Scientific came in and within a 2 second span, Sam's heart was magically at 70 bpm. 

I still can't believe at times, that this is what we do now.  We monkey around with the heart like it's nothing.  It's hard to believe that all this feels almost normal. I didn't think we had it in us. 

70 bpm isn't feeling very good to Sam.  Imagine that your heart is constantly at a steady beat when you are at rest.  Normal people usually have a 10 bpm drop in their heart rate when they sleep, it helps with falling asleep and relaxing.  Sam doesn't get to do this and he is having a rough time adjusting to this higher pace.  In fact, he is asking to have it turned back to 60 pm.  

Spencer is next on the interrogation schedule so maybe, I can take Sam down with me and have his heart readjusted.   In the meantime, he is a little uncomfortable and it's not as easy as it seems.  With each adjustment, it takes a few weeks for his heart to settle down.  For now, his heart is racing and all over the map.  Hopefully, things will be calm for him soon. 


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