How I became a cyborg

It all started back in december of 07.My employer gives a wellness screening test once a year. I figured what the heck its free so im in.All went well except blood pressure was 160/100.The lady that checked me suggested i go see my family doctor
A few days later here I am in dr office.Shes listens to my heart and says shes going to run a ekg to be safe .She says not to worry.Too late already am. I just came for some blood pressure pills doc.So i had the ekg and went back in docs office to wait for results.She comes in 5 minutes later and said Ive had an old heart attack.Dont remember having one. Now im really worried. Doc sends me to have stress test and echo. I thought i passed but these docs didnt like what they saw so I was sent for heart cath.Now im really worried.So worried i think im going to have a heart attack that I would remember.
Well had the heart cath and sure enough it showed Ive had a heart attack before.Amazing pictures
Well here I am laying on my back for 4 to 6 hours to let the cath hole close when still yet another doc comes in and said the part of my heart that died throwed my heart out of rhythm and just pumping at 30-35%.doc suggested ICD to prevent SCD.SO on 1/21/08 got me a CRT-D and a few weeks off from work.
Since Ive had my ICD Ive used my weedwhacker, chainsaw,woodsplitter,riding mower and tractor and backhoe.
Not been 6 months yet and already thankful i have my little buddy. He makes me feel safe.


Fellow 'borg

by Smart Redd - 2008-06-02 08:06:39

Mine came about pretty much as innocuous as yours.

I was in my last year of teaching and decided I would go out as healthy as possible. I started running around the gym every morning - at first I got about 1/2 way around and needed to walk for one lap. Gradually I built my endurance up to running 9 times around and walking 1/2 before running 9 laps again by year's end.

I also started weights and stretching for flexibility. Slowly, a little addition at a time, I was able to do push-ups and increased my upper body strength to better than it had been in high school.

Still, I did notice that my chest 'tightened up' but figured it was all the extra weight I was running with. I decided to have a complete physical while school would pay for it. Shock and awe! As I was feeling better and better physically, I was told that I had CHF, cardiomyopathy, an EF of 24, and should have trouble even tying my shoes.

I didn't notice any symptoms of CHF unless I tried walking up more than 2 flights of stairs, up-hill, or tried carrying something heavy - like both grandbabies at the same time. I thought I was doing just fine with meds, but DR kept nagging for a ICD. Three years later I gave in and had the implant March 13th of this year. Phooey! I don't feel any better at all. I don't notice any difference from pre-ICD days except for the scar, the (I think) misplaced ICD, an the lumpy bumps on my upper chest.

I know there are many on this site that appreciate their mechanical 'friend', but I'm not there yet. Still taking all the same meds in the same amounts, so what's the ICD doing? It better be making worlds of difference internally, because I'm feeling pretty much victimized my the medical system. [sigh]


Right on!

by Smart Redd - 2008-06-03 01:06:00

"As far as feeling victimized it is a cooperative victimization." Frank

And that, perhaps, is what has me the most upset - that I caved in to the pressure, threats, and dire warnings when I didn't yet feel the procedure was necessary based on my current health and abilities.


I thought the same!!!

by Peter.Nash - 2008-06-03 03:06:16

Hi Red/Frank,
I had my ICD for 3 years and thought why did I have this I feel fit enough!!!.. not that it bothered me never gave me any trouble from day 1.... then a day when I was miles from anywhere I felt absolutly dreadful and within a few seconds my ICD fired ..believe me you will know if it does if I hand not had the implant I would not be here today ..mine has fire four times.. I personally would not part with my ICD ..but meds are another matter I often. think in some cases they cause half our problems..
just my thoughts ..Peter.N

Me too..

by HelenB - 2008-06-03 04:06:02

I just got my ICD 3 weeks ago. It's feeling pretty good, though I'm still getting used to it.

My uncle was incredibly fit. He was 53 and a competitive cyclist, and never felt ill or tired when he worked out. Then one day, he simply died when he was out riding his bicycle. A passerby found him on a country road. An ICD would have saved him. My Dad and I both have them now. It turned out my uncle had HCM, which he didn't know about, and my Dad and I also have it.

Yes, part of me hates having the ICD. 2 years ago, I would never in my wildest dreams have guessed everything that has happened in the last year and a half, all the medical procedures, the new diagnoses, the ICD. It's hard not to be angry about that. But I also feel like I owe it to my uncle and the rest of my family, and to me, to protect myself.

(And I agree meds are another story. I'm already on enough meds for other problems without starting more of them!).


Less intrusive.

by turboz24 - 2008-06-03 06:06:17

I personally feel that the ICD's would be easier to deal with if they were less intrusive. I think the Doc's can do a lot to reduce a lot of issues with the devices if they would take more time to discuss with their patients.

I needed mine 3 times, but I still basically hate it.

But in my own way I have kind of adjusted to it, I just try to never touch it (no one else is allowed to touch it either) and never look at it.

Reason for not feeling any different

by ElectricFrank - 2008-06-03 12:06:18

The ICD (as opposed to a pacemaker) is only there to give you a jump start if your heart decides to stop. Kind of like a full time 911 machine. So since you hadn't had any instances of passing out or worse, the machine is just baggage unless you need it. I don't have and ICD, but from what I read here and reports of friends if it ever fires you will know it!
The whole issue is at what point we need an ICD. A case could be made that most of us should have one since we could drop dead at any time.
As far as feeling victimized it is a cooperative victimization. The only thing I have found that works is to treat the medical profession with the same questioning approach that I use with the cell phone or car salesman. I also was approached after getting a necessary pacemaker with dire warnings about my future if I didn't have a stress test ,which would have been followed by a angiogram, and then who knows. I simply said no, followed by NO. I also said no to all the meds they wanted to push on me. Of course I'm 78 and don't have much to lose!!


You know you're wired when...

Titanium is your favorite metal.

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