Holidays are over! WhooHoo! It's 2017!!!!

  • Posted on: 17 January 2017
  • By: Gina

Okay, the holidays are over!  Boo!  Hurray!  On with the new year.  2017!!!!!

So, what did we do over the holidays.  Wow, you don’t want to know.  But guess what, we’re going to tell you anyway. 

Gina and her husband traveled back to California to have a nice, old fashioned and relaxing Christmas with family and friends.  What a disaster that turned out to be.

First night of arrival, Gina’s husband started feeling “weird”.  Now that’s a phrase usually reserved to describe Gina, but enough of that.  Anyway, the next morning he was worse.  So, it was off to the Veteran’s hospital, where they immediately shocked the heck out of Jack and Gina by admitting him for a slow heart rate.  In the blink of an eye it was decided that Jack needed a pacemaker.

Geez, he’s not that old!!!!!!!!

But guess what, there are 20 year olds running around out there with pacemakers.  And even some children.  There’s no rhyme or reason why someone gets a slow heartbeat, but when it comes on you want that pacemaker in there to correct it.  The alternative is not a happy one.

So, several days later, Jack had a pacemaker and it was off to last minute Christmas shopping and visiting friends.

Right?  Wrong. 

Two days after the pacemaker was put in, Jack started having pain.  Well, the VA hospital was too far away, and Gina was too scared to chance the long drive, so they called the VA for advice.

“Chew an aspirin and call an ambulance”.  Fifteen minutes later Jack was in the local hospital.

And they didn’t have a clue what was going on.   So, they gave him blood tests, insisted he take a treadmill test, twice, and refused to discharge him. That meant……Jack and Gina got to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the hospital.   WhooHoo!

Of course, all the while Gina was frantically calling the VA, but his doctors were off for the holidays, and the advice nurse kept reassuring Gina and they were up to date on what was happening and Jack was being monitored and in good hands.

Day after Christmas, Jack was discharged, with no diagnosis as to the cause of the pain.

Two days later, about 10 at night, he started getting severe shocks in his chest, as if he’d put his finger in an electrical socket.

Forget the ambulance, Gina rushed him out to the car and drove like a mad woman to the hospital, two miles away.  Through red lights, down a one-way street the wrong way, and of course speeding.  Too bad.  Jack was in trouble.

So, back at the local hospital, and the ER doctors didn’t have a clue.  They argued that pacemakers can’t give a person electrical shocks.  Really?  Well that’s what he was experiencing.  Then they put a magnet on his chest and Jack nearly went through the ceiling in pain.  And guess what?  They did it again.  “Oh, it’s not working” the nurses assistant said, and started to do it again….only stopped when Gina screamed at him, while frantically calling his doctors at the VA and telling the doctors at the local hospital she wanted him transferred to the VA immediately.  Well they ignored that request, and didn’t even try to talk to his VA doctors.

Finally, the ER doctor says, well I guess I could call the pacemaker rep.  Really?  You guess?

After Gina nearly jumped down his throat, the ER doctor called the rep, who showed up half an hour later. (meanwhile Jack’s pain is getting much worse.)

The rep did his tests, decided one of the pacemaker leads could be malfunctioning, and turned the pacemaker off.

With a little paint medication, Jack was admitted and slept peacefully through the night.

However, next morning, the shocks were back.

Gina called the nurse, who proceeded to argue with Jack that it was impossible for the pain to be back since the Rep had turned the pacemaker off.

Gina meanwhile is on the phone with the VA, and paused to order the nurse to call the pacemaker rep back, stating maybe he turned off the wrong lead  (there are two).

Half hour later the Rep says the pacemaker hadn’t been turned off, merely turned “down”.

Meanwhile, Gina has gotten the VA to send an ambulance for Jack and off they all went.

Thank heavens.  This was the Thursday before New Years.

Jack is again admitted to the VA hospital.  The lead is not only malfunctioning, it has pierced the wall of his heart.  Hence the shocks.  How did that happen?  Consensus is it most likely happened when the local hospital insisted he do the treadmill tests.

Surgery to fix the pacemaker lead was scheduled at the VA for Friday.  But, the cardiac doctors were gone for the holidays.  So, Jack and Gina spent New Years in the hospital.  But they celebrated.  The nurses brought them a couple of bottles of sparkling cider and two champagne glasses, Gina had some fudge, and they celebrated ringing in the New Year….even if it was from a hospital room.

Finally, Tuesday came, along with all the doctors, and at 11:30 a.m. Jack was whisked into the surgery room.  Two hours later he was back in his room and fit as a fiddle, (as my grandma used to say).  Next day, he was discharged.  Three days later, Jack and Gina headed home to Arizona.

That was a Christmas vacation that will never be forgotten, and hopefully never repeated!!!!!

Liz on the other hand, stayed home, had her family over, and enjoyed just kicking back and enjoying the holidays.  (and consoling Gina over the phone while she stayed with Jack in the hospital)

Oh, she also laughed herself silly one night while Gina was driving back to her son’s house and got thoroughly lost while talking to Liz and arguing with the GPS system in her SUV. 

But now all is back to normal.  Gina and Jack are home, and he is doing fine.  Liz and  Gina are back to work at Happy Clutter and coming up with a lot of new projects for the year.  Special guests “artists” and “crafters”, jewelry makers, photographers, quilters, etc., are scheduled to be featured, Liz has been busy working up some new crafts of her own, and some delicious recipes. Gina has been working on travel tips, home décor, health tips, and a lot more book reviews.  Cause she just loves to read!

We will be featuring some new advertisers soon, so watch for them too.  They are fantastic!

But if we’ve missed anything you want to see or know about, please feel free to zip us an email and let us know.

Until next time,




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