Zapped

I'm just barely nine months post ICD-CR implant - and Friday night I got zapped for the first time. - Yikes! Just sitting down to have dinner with my family - when I felt very strange for a few seconds - and then before I could even articulate what I was feeling - I was being lifted out of my chair by what felt like lightening going through my chest. A spilled drink, a yelp, and a few seconds later - it was all over with. I have a message in to my doc to let her know what transpired - but beyond that - nothing seems much different. Except I find myself waiting for it to happen again. and I feel a bit more down and vulnerable than I had allowed myself to notice before. I would appreciate any input from others who've been zapped - Thanks - PD


9 Comments

zapped

by Anita - 2008-06-09 01:06:08

Hope you are feeling much better. My 14 year old has an ICD so I can't say I know how it feels, but I know he saids it hurts. He has been shocked 9 times. Last summer he had an ICD storm. An ICD storm is where you are shocked multiple times in 24 hours. He was shocked 8 times in 20 mins. He has so much anxiety. He is still trying to get over the scare. His heart rate goes over 300 bpm. He has ventricular tachycardia. He was near a baseball field the first time he was shocked. He didn't feel well and was trying to get down on the ground. He was on all fours when it knocked his hands out from under him. He thought a baseball had hit him , He was looking for the baseball. He said it hurts much worst then the doctors said it would. .. good luck...

zapped

by Anita - 2008-06-09 01:06:09

Hope you are feeling much better. My 14 year old has an ICD so I can't say I know how it feels, but I know he saids it hurts. He has been shocked 9 times. Last summer he had an ICD storm. An ICD storm is where you are shocked multiple times in 24 hours. He was shocked 8 times in 20 mins. He has so much anxiety. He is still trying to get over the scare. His heart rate goes over 300 bpm. He has ventricular tachycardia. He was near a baseball field the first time he was shocked. He didn't feel well and was trying to get down on the ground. He was on all fours when it knocked his hands out from under him. He thought a baseball had hit him , He was looking for the baseball. He said it hurts much worst then the doctors said it would. .. good luck...

Hi

by Peter.Nash - 2008-06-09 01:06:57

Hi PD,
well at least you know what it feels like now. so you don't have to worry on that score... I sure does give you a bit of a kick... but the thing to do now is go and see ICD tech's and they will be able to see how well the ICD handled the situation and will probably alter the boundaries and the pacing ect. and the next time it may not feel so bad ..that was my experience anyhow... It is only natural to feel a bit aprehensive about it firing again ..just give it a bit of time and it will wear off..... take care Peter N

I guess it's just me...

by turboz24 - 2008-06-09 03:06:29

I hear a lot of people talk about how bad it is to get shocked, but I really didn't hurt me a lot, it more startled me because I knew it was coming, but not exactly when I was going to get shocked. I consider it between a hand joy buzzer and a pet electric fence.

I've been shocked siting, and shocked standing. I didn't fall to the ground or jump. I did yelp a little, but went right back to working out in both cases.

I can imagine

by bambi - 2008-06-09 09:06:45

how anxious the thought of your ICD zapping you is making you feel! Sort of like the Jack in the Box popping out at any time huh? My heart goes out to all of you with ICDs! From what you've all described, I hope I never need one! Thank goodness for the members on this site that can help you deal with this! Take care, and try to keep in mind, that the device is saving your life.
Bambi

Empathy

by NJEMT1968 - 2008-06-10 12:06:01

I was at work in April when I went into Ventricular Tachycardia, I suddenly felt dizzy, blacked out and within a few seconds I was shocked. Not the first time though, the first time was 6 months after my device was placed for SVT, I was dehydrated and out mowing the lawn on a 90+ degree day, my bad, but my heart rate went over 188 and got shocked 6 consecutive times, felt like getting hit with a baseball bat. The next time came after doing CPR on a co-worker who complained of feeling dizzy and collapsing. Unfortunately he didn't make it, the 2 most recent times occured 3/28/08 while I was taking a nap, I thought that I dreamt that I was shocked and then on 4/3/08 while at work with the sypmtoms described above. I felt a lot of anxiety and had a few panic attacks. My doctor reccomended seeing a psych, because many patients that get shocked suffer from post traumatic shock syndrome PTSD. I take Klonopin and Lexapro to help control the anxiety and have not had a panic attack in almost 2 months, anxiety for the most part is under control.

I look at it this way. The device did its job, it saved your life. Just as device saved mine. For the record I also have a Bi-Ventricular ICD/Pacer. We are both here today to talk about it due to excellent doctors, new technology, and God's Will......I hope that helps. Write Back and let me know

Fellow zapper

by joy1 - 2008-06-11 05:06:29

ICDs are a whole different breed of monkey compared to the PMs. I experienced an electrical storm; 10 zaps in 20 minutes. I had had anxiety before I got zapped because of the fear of the unknown...what's it going to feel like?... but I dealt with it. Afterwards, I knew what it felt like and my anxiety got out of hand. My doctor recommended seeing a psych, because I was suffering from depression and anxiety. Often, people who get shocked develope post traumatic shock syndrome PTSD. I have PTSD. My ICD is turned off now and still if something happens to cause my heart rate to jump, I stand and wait for the shock to come. Or, If I receive a static charge from touching something, I can shake the first one off but subsequent ones will cause me to freeze in place and start crying. If I had only received one shock, everything might have been different. You were lucky. I would still recommend finding a therapist and maybe using some anti anxiety meds for awhile. There are counselors who specialize in cardiac patients because we frequently have unique problems with anxiety and depression anyway.

Good Luck and be sure to write if you need someone to talk to. It helps. Also there is a yahoo group called Zappers. check them out. They have some wonderful info on their site. There is a link on this site under "links"

Joy

i was shocked too

by curly - 2008-06-27 07:06:43

i was shocked in april twice in two hours. i was in the hospital for a week. now i am on amiodarone to prevent vt again. weren't you told to go to hospital after you were shocked? if i were you i would see my doctor about the shocks. i hope everything works out for you yours truly curly

Getting Welded

by fireryan - 2008-07-09 04:07:09

The term is "getting welded" or "giving the mule" when paramedics ( I am one) give Pt's a shock for an unstable condition. Well I am crossed over fully. I have an ICD and have recieved a VT storm 28 times in 14 minutes with two seizures due to lack of Oxygen. To those that say..."not that bad" Amen to you and your experience. As for me I go with the PTSD crew. I think professional help is well encouraged...I use Biofeedback (breathing exercies). Other than that the most important component to my sanity is seeking God. This life changing experience has brought me closer and I thank him for it. I don't like it and wish it wasn't the case, but its not my call.
Yesterday I felt it coming on (first time in 3 months since med change and an ablation) but it never got to it (Thank God) Now I am scared all over again and need to "forget" the feeling.
Getting Shocked is not the way to "Live." The medication and lifestyle changes should avoid it from happening. If anyone is getting shocked on a regular basis, I recomend that they seek a doctor change, a med change, or even better an ablation. If you are interested in ablation then go to the a-fib dot com website and check out thier EP docs they recommend highly. I did my own homework and went to Boston, but I saw this site and it was done already.

God Bless and please reach out to me if you think I can give you info or you want to chat.

Ryan
30y/o
Fire/medic

You know you're wired when...

You forecast electrical storms better than the weather network.

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