• David Smeltz

A Gratitude Update

So, today is my second day released from the hospital. I’m feeling much better than I had been feeling the entire month prior to my admission to Cleveland Clinic on November 18, 2020. Let me share with you the events leading up to my most recent hospital visit. I have a remote monitoring device in my bedroom that monitors my Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD). Wednesday morning I received a voicemail from the device monitoring techs at the Clinic. The VM asked me to call them back. I attempted to do so. After a multitude of redirects and elevator music I gave up. I had been feeling very dizzy when standing and kind of yucky for a few days but nothing more or less different from how I had been feeling daily. I decided to take a shower. While standing in the shower I felt as though I was going to pass out. I wanted to sit down but didn’t want my slippery butt to slide off the bathtub. I decided to rinse the soap off of me first before sitting. Before I had a chance to do so; something pounded me into the wall! I heard a scream and saw a flash of white light! Next thing I knew I was on the floor of the tub. My defibrillator had discharged and shocked the s**t out of me and my heart! The scream I heard was from me and the white light I saw must have been God passing by..Lol! I grabbed a towel and walked quickly but gingerly to my bedroom and jumped onto my bed. The skin on the left side of my chest felt warm and I could swear I smelled barbecue! When the shock of what had happened wore off I tried to contact the monitoring techs again. This time I got through. I told them what had just happened. They said that the reason they had attempted to contact me was because they had detected my heart in atrial fibrillation since 9:45 P.M. the previous evening. They then said they detected the recent shock. She exclaimed that immediately before the shock my heart went into ventricular fibrillation on top of the A-fib. The right top and lower chambers of my heart were quivering at 214 beats per minute! Had the ICD not shocked it, I would have either had a stroke, a heart attack or both! After thanking a God of my understanding a few thousand times, I called my Amyloid Heart Failure nurse. She calmed me down and told me to have someone drive me to the ER at Cleveland Clinic. She suggested someone drive me in case it went off again. All I heard was “Go to the ER”. Just as I was headed out the door, Martin (good friend and Clean House board member) called. I told him what happened and he asked if I wanted him to take me to the hospital. My selfish ass said “no thanks” and I proceeded to head out the door. I rememered the nurse telling me I could possibly receive another shock. I thought of what that might look like with me driving down the highway. I called Martin back and he took me to the ER.

I was admitted to Cleveland Clinic and stayed for 3 days until they got my heart beating again with minimal deviation from normal (whatever that means). I was told by the Doctors and device clinic that the shock reset my heart. Previously, I was in ventricular tachycardia most of the time. This would be my first introduction to A-fib though. Both have vanished. Which is why I’m feeling much better. Thanks to all for your prayers and all the support you’ve given me via food, rides, warm blankets, Clean House Inc. donations and love. This month is labeled “Gratitude Month” in recovery circles. Well, I have gratitude everyday for friends like you!

Everyone have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving! With ongoing gratitude and love,


Me

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Cleveland, OH, USA

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