In a previous article I outlined the Implantable Loop Recorder. I pretty much covered the basics of what it does and how it was installed. Here I will go over what it is like to live with.
Let me start with the fact that I now have a device implanted in my body that is the size of a AAA battery. Considering the last version was the size of a large thumb drive, I am actually happy to have the smaller version. The unfortunate part is that after a month, I am still painfully aware that it is there. I feel it move around in my chest. I feel it try to push its way out of my skin when I lay on my side the wrong way at night. I can visibly see it under my skin.
Every single time I feel an event (arrhythmia), I am supposed to push a button on a remote devise I have hanging around my neck. This would not be such a bad thing if it were not for the fact that I am supposed to hold it against my chest when I press the button and wait for the very audible BEEP BEEP to happen that everyone within 20 feet can hear. So basically, everyone hears this thing and turns to look at the guy who has had a heart attack holding his chest. Not at all embarrassing.
Then, every single night, I get to lay in bed and take the Home Monitor out of its Cradle and place it on my chest and wait for however long it takes to download the data from the Loop Recorder and into the Home Monitor. You know it is done when, once again, it lets out 2 very loud BEEP sounds.
Once this is complete, I put the Monitor back in the Cradle and it then transmits the data to the Doctor. You know when it is done when, you guessed it, it makes two very audible BEEPS.
But wait, there’s more! There is a screen on this thing that rivals the brightness of some smartphone screens. It stays illuminated for what feels like forever after you turn the lights out to go to bed.
This thing records your heartbeat all day, every day. So, when your heart rate increases at 11:00 PM for no reason, they know what you are up to and for how long you were up to it! Travelling for business or vacation? Guess what comes with? ALL OF IT! Think of this as an electronic leash that yells at you every time you use it.
Until next time folks, stay safe and take care of yourselves!