Pacemaker Removed/ICD Implanted

Hi,

In 12/07 I got a pacemaker after passing out two times due to really low heart rates. After a very long recovery with a lot of problems, I finally was able to return to work on 5/29/08. Everything seemed fine for three weeks then I started to feel like I was going to pass out again all the time. Pacemaker interrogation showed that I had several episodes of v-tach five days in a row.

Electrophysiologist did an EP study on Thursday. She said she didn't expect to find anything; thought that the v-tach would turn out to be benign. Well, that wasn't the case and within two hours of the EP study being finished, I was in surgery to have the pacemaker removed and get a Medtronic ICD. I didn't have a lot of time to think about it beforehand but now I really wish I didn't get consent to getting the ICD. I am so scared thinking about what it will feel like if I get shocked. And what if I'm driving my car when it happens?

The doctor also put me on Sotalol to try to get the abnormal heartbeats under control to prevent the device from being used but it's just a lot to worry about. And the night that I got the ICD, I passed out in the hospital bathroom. They said it wasn't due to my heart rate because when they checked the rhythm strips there wasn't anything abnormal that happened at that time. They attributed it to a very long day with the EP study, the surgery, anesthesia for both and not eating for 26 hours.

Just when I thought my life was starting to get better, this happens. I read in the ICD manual that the device can monitor for changes in your rhythm that your doctor would want you to be aware of and make a beeping sound for about 10 seconds. While I don't really want to walk around beeping, it seems a better alternative if you could at least get a warning that something might happen. Does anyone know anything about this?

Judy


2 Comments

ICD Issues

by ElectricFrank - 2008-07-07 01:07:52

I can certainly understand your feelings about being unexpectedly shocked, but having your heart stop isn't a great experience either. You do make a good point about thinking before signing a consent form. I have learned to tell myself that no matter how lousy I feel I need to bit the bullet and think about what I am signing.
Hopefully, you won't need to have the ICD fire and it will just be a backup for you.

frank

Getting the Shock

by fireryan - 2008-07-09 03:07:24

Judy,

As you begin the journey many of us are in, I can tell you from the first shock to my last one. It isn't pleasant and it is scary. Some people tolerate it better than others. Some people never recieve a shock. Some people like myself recieved multiple shocks (28 in 14 min).
If your medicine is balanced and you stay away from stimulants, then that is the first part of the battle. Other than that take vitamins to help regulate your heart. (Chromium,CoQ10, Magnesium, Fish oil)
I almost recieved a shock yesterday as a matter of fact. I thank God for answering my time of need, and allowed the medicine to kick in.
Your concern with driving.....it usually shocks after 20 to 30 sec in my past experiences which you'll feel dizzy with blurred vision...pull over. Drive in the right hand lane as a rule. Swimming...onyl with a friend that knows CPR....I haven't swam yet but its common sense really.

I pray the little hunk of metal stays quite and your medicine is well balanced.
Consider ablation at a nationally recognized facility.
Go to A-fib dot com for some good info.

Many blessings....

Ryan
30 y/o

You know you're wired when...

Your old device becomes a paper weight for your desk.

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