This past Tuesday (December 13, 2011), I met with the electrophysiologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center. This was an initial consultation (at the recommendation of the cardiologist at the U of C) to assess for arrhythmias that may have caused my bike accident back in August. As expected, the doctor recommended an electrophysiology study (EP study), which has been scheduled for January 9, 2012.
Depending on the results of the EP study, we talked about the possibility of getting an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which would constantly monitor my heart rate and rhythm and—should it detected a very fast, abnormal rhythm—would deliver energy directly to the heart, causing it to beat normally again. At first, this sounded rather extreme to me, especially since I have never been aware of any heart rhythm issues. Then again, I didn't even feel the arrhythmia (NSVT) that I experienced back when I was in the hospital right after my bike accident. One of the many things I've learned about CHD over the past couple months is that patients with tetralogy of Fallot are at a significantly higher risk for arrhythmias, which have the potential for causing sudden cardiac death.
Once the EP study has been done, I intend to meet with both the electrophysiologist and the cardiologist to review the results and talk about next steps. While I don't really want to get an ICD, it may be necessary. That said, however, the possibility of doing so is not causing nearly the level of anxiety that the possibility of having another open heart surgery had been causing over the past couple months. As I've said in the past, life is a journey; and it's important to just take it one day at a time.