Case History #2, 62 Year-Old Man with Pacemaker Implantation
I fear going to the doctor. When I got married, I couldn’t even look at the nurse that did my blood test. A routine physical exam would leave me in a cold sweat and completely worn-out.
My dislike of the doctor’s office, the trip to the dentist, or a hospital visit was solved by “I just didn’t go to those places very often.” My health care system was based on “Denial of Need.” I would tell my wife:
“I don’t need to do that.”
“I don’t feel that bad.”
“I just need more sleep.”
The “Denial” system worked well when I was 21. I had no major medical situations when I was 31 or 41 or even 51. I was living a healthy life-style; I never had to spend the night in the hospital; I never had surgery.
At age 53, and over the next 10 years, my healthcare needs increased. I had a heart attack, open heart surgery, cardiac failure, and this year I had surgery to implant a defibrillator pacemaker. Turns out my family has a history of heart problems and my baby-boomer life-style wasn’t as healthy as I thought.
Am I still nervous or afraid of hospitals after 3 major surgeries and 4 hospital stays — Yes, but let me tell you what I did to improve my surgery experience:
I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 AM and was taken to the pre-surgery area. After shedding street clothes for a hospital gown, an IV inserted, another EKG, questions regarding my medicines, 5 nurses running in and out of the room; my fear of surgery was fully present. My heart rate was up, I broke into a cold sweat, my blood pressure dropped to 79/49, and I felt bad!
The nurses started an IV and I turned on the surgery music the Dr. Alice had specifically selected. Specific music to calm me down through a process known as entrainment. She specifically selected unknown music to prevent my brain from rendering images that might interfering with the entrainment process.
I listened to her music through the balance of pre-op, the surgery, and recovery.
When I awoke, my recovery nurse said every thing had gone well and my chart indicated I had received the “minimum of drugs.”
My surgery had lasted only 1 hour 50 minutes!
(The surgeon had planned on my surgery lasting between 2 and 6 hours based on amount of drugs needed and unknown complications.)
I was up and walking within 4 hours!
I went home the next morning!
I went home with no pain medicine other than Tylenol!
Was Dr. Alice’s music the basis for a successful surgery experience?
Of course I had a talented surgeon working with a great staff in a highly rated hospital. However I can also state: the music did positively affect my physical and mental state before, during, and after the surgery!
Thank you Dr. Alice – Your help was priceless for a relatively small cost! John Henderson
PS: The surgeon had some very loud fast-tempo music playing. I was happy to have your calming headphones.