This week I wish I could talk about how many amazing things I saw or participated in…but this week I had the most humbling experience of my life. It is really amazing how a quick moment can make you realize how precious and fragile life is.
So, my story of the week goes like this. It was a normal Southwestern Willow Flycatcher survey morning, early but beautiful. Eddie and I were doing nothing more than walking, listening to all the birds sing and freaking out because there was a major increase in numbers. Because of a medical condition I have called Long QT syndrome, I have what is known as an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, or ICD, located under my arm in case of an emergency with my heart. I had just had the leads on it replaced in January, so when it first started beeping during our survey I had no idea that I had again broken the lead that goes to my heart.
This device is designed to shock an abnormal heart rhythm into a normal pace if needed, like an external defibrillator, but when you have a broken lead it can cause the machine to misread a heart beat. That is exactly what had happened in my case. My broken lead made the machine think my heart was out of rhythm, and it tried to shock it back into a normal pace even though I didn’t need it.
Because of this incident I was transported to a local hospital, where I was transported to the airport, where I got on a plane and flew to a hospital in Colorado Springs where my device was shut off. Then I was transported to Children’s Hospital in Aurora to get my lead replaced.
The good news is that I am doing just fine, and will be back online after the holiday!! (with minor restrictions)