Well, what a year it’s been. April-May saw three surgical procedures in six weeks, including a replacement of the defibrillator implant (for reasons unknown to us) and an extended effort to install another lead from it. Another procedure was planned but deferred due to our book launch day. Ten days after that event (two weeks ago from tomorrow) we fronted up to Canberra Hospital in a second attempt to get the additional lead into the heart. It was successful this time and for an unknown reason, they again replaced the defibrillator. Perhaps there are some failings in our hospital system. Booked in at 7.00 am, I was put to sleep around 8.30am. It seems the operation finished around 11.30am but I knew nothing until 1.30pm. Twenty-three hours after admission, along with others, we were told they needed all the beds and the ward was emptied. Earlier similar procedures meant being hospitalised for three days. Not feeling fit to travel home, we stayed in Queanbeyan an extra couple of nights. In bed two days after the operation I felt strange things happening in my chest at times. There was no obvious pattern to it. Over the next few days I discovered that if I lay on my right side, after a few seconds, my heart began to beat like a drum. You could almost imagine being able to hear it. Roll onto my back and it stopped immediately. During a required post op check up with the GP last Friday, this matter was raised. Difficult to explain, he (Les) asked if it could be demonstrated. It could. He was nonplussed and had no idea what it was. He recommended an ECG at the earliest (Monday) and one was done normally and another while lying on my side to activate this thing??? It is strong enough that the entire body flinches in reaction to each and every shock, if that is what is happening. While not authenticated, he feels it is a possible malfunction of the new implant and requested urgent information from the manufacturer. We may get that today and it may mean a sudden drive to Canberra. While it may be possible to adjust remotely, both Les and I believe the last operation may have to be done again, and most likely very quickly. When I suggested it may be necessary to go back in there, Les said ‘I can’t imagine any other way to handle it. If it can’t be adjusted externally, it will have to be replaced’. Nobody can at this stage calculate what if any damage is being done, and only the company technicians can estimate the life of the defibrillator. If the diagnosis is correct, it has probably activated several hundred times in the past week or so. What comes next is anyone’s guess but there’s little amusement here.