Weekly Thought 11 December 2020

Today’s story is just about me. I write to you this morning from Johannesburg, before flying back to Pietermaritzburg later today.

I think it can be good to let my clients know that I might go through the same events in life that many of you might do too. On Wednesday this week, I had a Pacemaker fitted in a hospital up here. For various reasons, it was preferential to come here to do it than in Durban.

My story is that for a few years now, my heart rate has been very low. At rest, I have usually been around 32 to 35. A high level of fitness is partly the cause of such a low rate in many a middle-aged man. But my low rate has been compounded by my body’s own, natural, primary pacemaker not always waking up, resulting in a longer pause before our body’s natural, secondary pacemaker wakes up and kicks the heart into action. This has resulted in my heart rate sometimes dropping into the high twenties, especially at night, with regular 4 to 6 or 7 seconds between some beats.

The various cardiologists that have helped me, have explained the electrical conduction problems I have. Can’t blame this on Eskom or anyone – just my own chambers not sending their allotted voltage to wherever they should be sending it to. So now I have my own battery pack to keep me at a minimum resting rate, while still being able to exercise as much as I wish to.

It was a simple, 40 minute under local anaesthetic procedure. With the Cardiologist tugging and pulling and prodding at me, as he put the stuff into me. And then for the first night in many years, I slept without feeling this irregular marimba band going on inside me!

I will now experience what many of you have, or one day might have to when I deal with claiming on my dread disease insurance. If I understand the technical jargon, I think I have a valid claim: “Half broken heart needs permanent help”.