I got shocked and now I'm scared

  • by R2D2
  • 2023-12-05 16:15:18
  • ICDs

Yesterday, after feeling really good for over a month and having no issues, I was just resting with my feet up and started to drift off to sleep when I noticed my heart having an oddly irregular beat, rather fast and concerning. Before I could even think about it much, I blacked out. I don't know how long I was out, but it wasn't but maybe a few seconds. When I came to, it felt like a struggle; I immediately knew something strange happened and the area around my device was tight and painful, plus the area around my heart. Instinctively I used my monitor to time stamp the event, and called my device doctor who said he would check the recording to see if he could determine what happened. A few minutes later, he called back and said he didn't see anything of concern. But I KNEW something bad happened. This morning I got an email from my medical chart that stated the results from my device upload, and sure enough, it said I was shocked. As I was staring in disbelief at my phone, wondering why there was a discrepancy in results, the tech called and said he made a mistake and I really did get shocked. We don't know why yet, but they are working quickly to set up an appointment with my device doctor to go over the results. In the mean time, I feel very drained and slightly nauseous today. Is that normal? I'm afraid of it happening again too. I do know it wasn't a malfunction; my heart was experiencing some sort of dangerous rhythm. I don't think I would be alive right now if I didn't have my defibrillator. 



by Penguin - 2023-12-05 17:28:11

Hi R2D2, 

I get nausea after rhythm disturbances (that are symptomatic) and when I receive higher levels of current from my pacemaker.  I'm not a nausea sufferer usually - very rare for me - so my best guess is that the nausea (and blacking out of course) is telling you that something isn't right and that the 'shock' has made you feel shaky and sick. 

  It can feel like a struggle to regain consciousness when a heart event happens.  Like many people on this forum who have lost consciousness due to long pauses - I remember the feeling well. It really shakes you up! The days afterwards and before any treatment / decision / investigation can be a bit nerve racking.  Hang in there! 

I'm pleased that you will be reviewed as quickly as possible 

I'm so sorry that your episode was initially missed, but pleased that your symptoms were double checked and found.  Any doctor or tech who makes an error and owns up is a good egg in my book!  We all make mistakes but it's important to own up about something as important as this. Sounds like they're taking good care of you. 

Let us know what they find and in the meantime, take it easy and be vigilant.

Best Wishes 


I can understand your very real fear

by Gemita - 2023-12-05 18:07:14


Your comments that you have been feeling really good for over a month without any issues is very reassuring and I want you to try to focus on that, not on the shock.  It seems to me that your CRT is really helping and perhaps as your EF recovers from a dangerously low level, your serious ventricular arrhythmias will ease and your defibrillator will stay quiet.

You had a dangerous rhythm disturbance and your defibrillator did its job. Look at this as though it was a blessing.  The shock has saved your life and will continue to give you peace of mind and protection which you so deserve.  I can imagine how frightening it must be wondering when the next shock could occur, but perhaps this won't happen again?  I feel if you can get over this fear you will be able to cope much better in the future.

Once you are able to speak to your doctors and to see for yourself what has happened, this will help you to come to terms with the event.  To feel drained and nauseous after a significant rhythm disturbance is normal.  Don’t fight it, just rest.  When you see your doctors you could ask for some physchological support to work through what has happened or ask how you could keep these sort of rhythm disturbances under better control in the future by a change in meds or other treatments.  I am sure this is what they will try to do, to keep defibrillator activity under firm control.

I will end as I started, you have been feeling so well. That would reassure me that you have been better. This is just a tiny setback. It may never happen again.  Hold onto that belief and remain happy and strong xx


by R2D2 - 2023-12-05 18:26:50

It's very reassuring that I have somewhere to turn when I feel discouraged. I recommended this group to my doctor who implanted the device and he was quite pleased to hear there was such a good place online for people to go for support. He also said he would give this information to his other patients, which was really cool. 

I'm trying to remain positive even though it feels like a setback. It did save my life after all. Waiting for crucial information is nerve wracking, but at least I have plenty of support. 

Re: Got Shocked

by H van Dyk - 2023-12-05 18:31:58

I'm with Gemita. Please understand that the unit is doing a splendid job in monitoring your well being. In an extreme case, it is even capable of saving your life. No need to worry. This incident may never happen again, but your medical team must be the judge of that.
Here in The Netherlands we have a soccer player called Daley Blind, who is allowed to play every week - even at the level of UEFA Champions League... Hope this will set your mind at easy concerning your ICD unit...

Greetings from Amsterdam 

You know you're wired when...

Intel inside is your motto.

Member Quotes

It may be the first time we've felt a normal heart rhythm in a long time, so of course it seems too fast and too strong.