I have come to think of V’s ordeal with pacemakers as a very loose parallel to a story I follow with strict devotion – George Lucas’s epic, yet campy Star Wars saga. Maybe because I walk by a 7ft Darth Vader and beeping R2D2 in my office every day I see everything in shades of geekdom.
In the first chapter of her story, we discovered youngling V Turtleheart’s one in a million condition. We watched her battle the dark side of the force and prevail. The story climaxed when she received her Jedi light saber…I mean pace saber…I mean pace maker. She then marched readily out into her new world with a bright future, her ills cured, with much less whine than that pansy Luke. I liken it to A New Hope.
The second chapter in her story – the Pacemaker Strikes Back – was a dark period much like Lucas’s Empire. The Dark Side had made headway and was destroying young Turtleheart from the inside out. The journey was fraught with challenges and setbacks. Her pacemaker had to be removed. That chapter in her story ended with great uncertainty.
It looks like the third chapter is upon us. Her heart rate has dropped perilously low into the 40s and averages over a 24 hour span just 50 beats per minute. Her liver is enlarging and there is a valve issue that is getting worse because of the increased pressure on her heart. The doctor’s say she is now in the beats per minute range that put her at increased risk for sudden heart failure. It is rare. But real enough that her doctor told me she was keeping him awake at night now and he is unwilling to put off putting in another pacemaker any longer.
We have met with the surgeon. She has a solid plan to hopefully prevent a repeat of the problems we faced last time. We have requested a plastic surgeon be on deck anyway to close the wound. And I met with Patient Affairs, specifically the PICC and IV teams, to facilitate a smoother experience for V the next time around. I do believe that whole hospital down to the janitors knows we are coming.
We hope this time around only takes about two days in the hospital. And even if ‘It’s a Trapp!’ (ahem) that the Ewoks will dance and sing and Obi Wan , Master Yoda, and Anakin (not the young one that can’t act but the old guy from the original movie because that is the way it is supposed to be George Lucas. And Han shot first.) look on proudly knowing that the Rebellion has defeated the Empire. We are hoping, hoping, hoping that this isn’t another act in the Pacemaker Strikes Back.
(And if we get this right, she will be in the clear for at least 2 years. And hopefully the next chapters in the story, while not prequels, will not be worth mentioning just like those ‘other’ Star Wars movies.)
Return of the V will begin principal shooting next week.
We will keep you posted as best we can about how things are going on Endor’s moon and with that nasty Palpatine fellow. One thing is for certain, this version of the story will not include an epic battle with her father except maybe to keep her feet out of a poopy diaper at changing time.
She is tough. Tougher than anyone I know. And she deserves to see some stupid little dancing Ewoks at this point damn it.
Turtleheart fanboys, now is your time. We need one more big ‘May the Force Be With You!’
Red Leader Out.