It’s been one month today since Rick was implanted with an LVAD and officially became known as “iRick.”
He already had iPhone, iPad, and iMac “gadgets,” so when he became a semi-bionic “Gadget Guy” himself, I decided he needed an appropriate nickname, and slapped the moniker iRick on him.
The top left picture is iRick wearing his dual battery holster and holding his “Controller.” The Controller monitors his pump speed, flow, power, battery charge and a couple other important things. We record the numbers every morning, and call in to the VAD Coordinator if there’s a trending change.
Second picture, on the right, is BUB. BUB is iRick’s Back Up Bag. He goes nowhere without it. Not even inside the Post Office for a quick check of his mail. BUB holds an extra set of batteries, and a second defense controller.
Picture number three, on the left, is his battery charger. iRick has six batteries—three sets of two. These pairs of batteries are rotated daily. BUB batteries go to holster, back charger set to BUB, front charger set to back. The terminals are cleaned weekly.
The fourth picture, on the right, is the Power Module. iRick plugs into the PM at night to sleep. There is a 20-foot power cord which allows some movement within the apartment, primarily from the bedroom to the bathroom in the middle of the night. One of iRick’s new dexterity games is to see if he can disconnect from the PM and connect the batteries so quickly he doesn’t set off any alarms.
Yes, it’s a brave new world for iRick… and for me. I’ve never been much of a techie, but I’m learning fast. For iRick, well, it’s just another gadget—one that keeps his heart running strong.