Dr. Sneakers is something of a media star (at least, in what I imagine is the very small world of cardiac electrophysiology). He's well known and respected, and so he gives frequent interviews and soundbites on related topics when they come up in the news. This morning I awoke to a full article in one of our national papers entitled "Maintenance of Implanted Defibrillators Linked to Complications", featuring good old Dr. S as the man behind the research. I wasn't looking for it. I wasn't even thinking about it, but there he was.
His study revealed that 1 in 25 patients experienced complications - some of which he calls "clinically devastating" - after having their defibrillator batteries changed. Lovely. Some of the other points in the article (for instance, that complications occurred most frequently in hospitals that performed the fewest surgeries) keep the thing from sounding too alarming.
My usual approach to the ICD is that I've made my decision, and I'm past the point of trawling the internet for risk statistics and scary stories. I mean, I can't just decide I don't like it and dig the thing out. Maybe when it's time to change my own battery, I'll go back into research mode, but not now. Not when the little guy is snug in there with a healthy battery and, happily, no apparent desire to cause trouble.
What about you? Do you keep your eye on the latest research into the treatment you've chosen, or do you decide that, once you've made the difficult decision and accepted the risks, you're not going to worry? Then there's all the research into the disease itself, whether you have RA, cardiac issues, or something else. Have you always got your ear to the ground, or do you push ahead with your life and figure your doctor will tell you when something big happens?
Sometimes I'd rather just bumble along, pleasantly ignorant, and leave all that stuff to my doctors.