New to having an ICD

Hi

 

Im 47 and from Blackpool UK. I've just had an ICD fitted due to VT heart rhythms and diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Weeks prior to knowing this outcome I was swimming at a competitive level both in pool and open water. I was an active member of a triathlon club and walking the Lake District Wainwright summits. 

I know it's early days, 2 weeks post op, but I'm trying to look what I may be able to do in the future after I get the first 8 weeks out of the way.

I'm trying to understand how beta blockers work to slow heart and prevent dangerous VT rhythm and how  that effects raising heart in excercise. Also trusting the device will recognise the difference and not shock me. The VTs were non sustained and about 4 seconds in length.... would the device just alter the rhythm or after when when it shock me. I had no idea I was in these rhythms before the device as it was the 24 hour monitor which showed them so I probably wouldn't know now either. 

Anyway, advice greatly received about getting back into water, repetitive arm movements, back cycling hiking and running and the effects in the device. 
 

Regards

kirstie 


2 Comments

It won't shock for NSVT

by crustyg - 2023-12-17 06:27:24

I understand your concern, but it won't deliver a defib pulse for NSVT.  4s is pretty short anyway, and isn't the reason why you've been fitted with an ICD.  HCM + NSVT => that's the concern, and VF is the common end for this combination, if not detected and steps taken to prevent it.

Hopefully you've had a chance to talk to your heart team about your lifestyle, competitive sports and your future.

Unless you've been told not to undertake really vigorous sports, the general message is carry on as normal.  No swimming at all until the wound is completely healed, but otherwise keep moving, keep your arms active and don't let yourself get a frozen-shoulder.  Beta-blockers will definitely make you feel tired and out of energy long before your usual levels of achievement.  But that's the hand that life deals us.

Arrange a follow-up appointment with your EP-team for about 6weeks (if not already in place), and explore if your area offers a 'cardiac rehab' service which may offer something for new ICD recipients (it's not all about lose weight and exercise, but coping with emotional damage to our self-identity - sports-superstar => cardiac cripple in a couple of week!).  I exaggerate, but a lot of our self-image/self-worth is bound up in what we *do* and this takes a real knock when something like this is diagnosed.  You have to be positive and focus on moving forward with what you can.

Best wishes.

TIme frame...

by R2D2 - 2023-12-17 14:05:13

Hopefully this is just a gentle reminder, but I too have an ICD (July 17 this year) and everyone is different in regards to the healing time curve. If you expect to be back to "normal" in a specified time frame, you may end up disappointed. The important thing is to give your body and mind a sufficient amount of time to heal properly. Our expectations can be a stumbling block to healing if we don't put it all in perspective. 

I would like to be able to tell you that age and health before implant are the biggest factor in healing times, but it's an individual thing. Each person takes different times to heal based on their lifestyle, diet, age, health history, support system, etc. Don't stress it if you are taking longer to heal and get back to doing some of the things you used to do. Take your time. If you have a day when you just don't feel like doing anything, listen to your body. 

I'm 5 months post surgery and still struggling with no energy, and many of the symptoms that put me here in the first place, but I also started with an ejection fraction of 16 a year ago. I get my first post op echo on the 28th an am seriously hoping my EF has improved. 

You know you're wired when...

You have a dymo-powered bike.

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