6 questions - can you help?

Hi again. My 2nd posting. I'm having an ICD put in on 4th July 2007, a week later than the original date of 27th June. (Happy Independence to America).

Can anyone answer these?

1. What is a basic explanation of how the ICD works when the heart rate is too fast?

2. Does the ICD shock you according to what it detects - or is that preset by your doctor?

3. Are there any activities that can set off a shock that are unrelated to problems with the heart? Like could I be just going about my day and recieve a shock enough to jolt me? (Not looking forward to that!!)

4. Will I be allowed to drive again - all things being equal? I live in NSW, Australia.

5. As I work in a library, and we use magnetised strips in our books for security reasons, will it be safe to keep using the machine to sensitise/desensitise the strips?

6. Also there is a detector as you walk out of the library which detects the strip if it hasn't been demagnetised and sounds a beeper. Will it be safe to walk through that?

Just as an aside, my daughters 20 and 18, are trying to decide if they'll call me Darth Mother or Cyborg. Anyone else get called such nice things? LOL

Thanks for all your help in anticipation, Jeffi


Some answers.

by Stepford_Wife - 2007-06-19 08:06:09

Hi jeffi.

I don't have an ICD, but I was able to find these few answers for you.

How Does an ICD Work?

The ICD constantly watches your heart rhythm. If it sees that your heart is beating fast, it delivers the treatment programmed by your doctor. The ICD can do several things:

Pacing: If you have ventricular tachycardia that isn't too fast, the ICD can deliver several pacing signals in a row. When the signals stop, the heart may go back to a normal rhythm.

Cardioversion: If the pacing doesn't work, cardioversion can be used. In cardioversion, a mild shock is sent to the heart to stop the fast heartbeat.

Defibrillation: If ventricular fibrillation is detected, a stronger shock is sent. This stronger shock can stop the fast rhythm and help the heartbeat go back to normal.

Pacemaker: The ICD can also see when your heart beats too slowly. It can act like a pacemaker and bring your heart rate back up to normal.

The pulse generator may be implanted under you collarbone, or in your abdomen. The doctor will make a pocket under your skin or in a muscle to put the generator in. One end of the lead wire is put into a vein that goes to your heart. The wire is moved through the vein until it reaches the heart. The other end of the wire is attached to the pulse generator. Once implantation is complete, your doctor will program the ICD to treat your specific heart rhythm problem.

How will the ICD Affect My Lifestyle?

Your doctor will want you to limit your activities for the first few weeks so that you will heal well. Then you can slowly go back to your normal lifestyle. Depending on your condition and local laws, your doctor will tell you if you will be able to drive your car. You should be back to normal after a month.

You will need to stay away from machines that could interfere with your ICD. You shouldn't work near strong magnetic or electric fields. The ICD is built to be protected from most home shop tools and electric appliances, including microwave ovens. However, you need to be certain that all electric items are properly grounded and in good repair. Your doctor will help you understand what to avoid.

I hope you are able to find a few informative answers to your questions, with this excerpt.
Take care,
~ Dominique ~

I love Star Wars

by valerie - 2007-06-19 11:06:52

Sorry, your "Darth Mother" phrase reminded me of that movie :)

Well, dear Jeffia, I dont have an ICD, but a PM. The information that Dominique gave you is great; it practically says it all. But if you still have questions, dont feel hesitant to ask.
For the library issue, all I know is that whenever I walk through the detectors at my university library, the alarm goes off and I have to convince the security people (or staff) that I'm not a book thief. Other than that, I dont have any troubles. Then again, as I mentioned, I dont have an ICD.
Sorry if this totally does not help you! I hope you have a speedy recovery.
Please keep us posted.
Take care,

Gerry and the Pacemaker

by Helen - 2007-06-20 01:06:22

Hi Jeffia,
I was home from hospital about 2 days and my husband was accepting an invitation to dinner over the phone. I heard him say that "Gerry and the pacemaker" will be attending. I was laughing so hard I thought that I might do another injury!!!
He now refers to himself as Gerry.
Good luck with your prodedure!

some answers

by Shell - 2007-06-20 02:06:42

I have a PM not an ICD so I don't know about those. I haevn't once set off the detector at my library (and I go there alot). I'm not sure about the machine that is used for the strips. You may want to ask your doctor the maker of your ICD. (I have to sya that I have 2 kis, 9 and 7 so our fridge is covered with magnets holding up stuff and I've never once had a problem) I was allowed to drive after 2 weeks but again, that may be up to your doctor and how you feel. About nicknames, sometimes my husband calls me his little cyborg.

Thanks so much

by Jeffia - 2007-06-21 04:06:56

Dear Dominique, Valerie, Helen and Shell

T H A T ' S S O N I C E of you all to respond.

Certainly the info you found for me Dominique just about covered everything and was so helpful. In all my surfing on the net, I didn't find anything as good.

I love Star Wars too Valerie - even Darth Vader has his good moments I suppose. It helps just to hear your voice from the wilderness.

Helen, that is my middle name too (after my beautiful auntie), your 'Gerry and the Pacemaker' still has me chuckling each time I think of it.

And Shell the girls at work thought about the security strips and machine. I'll let you know what happens. Good to know another Cyborg!

I'll post my news when I have some. Thanks for listening, Jeffi.

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