My Hero, Zero

The pacemaker technician stared at the print out. She showed it to her supervisor.
“Rachel, you’ve had zero episodes in the last six months!” the supervisor grinned. I tried to understand what she was saying.  My pacemaker is set up to pace me up to 100 beats per minute if my heart rate drops rapidly. This is to prevent asystolic episodes like the one they caught on my Tilt Table Test when I first got sick. It’s been my security, my safest and most effective medical intervention over the last seven years. It even got to the stage where the wiggly worm feeling in my chest when I have a pacing episode was comforting. But come to think of it, I haven’t felt that for some time…

“Should we check to see if it is working?” I wondered aloud.  They nodded, one of them had never seen a zero reading before and it was important to make sure it wasn’t because something had gone wrong with the pacing program, the battery, or something else. So they looked at the data, ran the tests, paced me a few times to make sure it was behaving according to the parameters. They commented that all my stats looked great, like a young woman.

And a happy bubbling thing broke the surface of my brain.

ZERO!

A picture of me making the hand symbol for zero

When I started immune suppression at the beginning of this year, I couldn’t even imagine a result like this one.  But there it is. Concrete evidence that things in my body have changed.  I don’t understand it. But I love it. And I have a new favourite number.

Zero is my hero.