New To ICD's
Wow, I can't believe there's a MB for people w/ ICD's/PM's, that's great! I even see there are a lot of young people on here (i'm 29, female). Well, my story is that I was out jogging on 5/29 (wasn't really going fast, just kindof warming up) and I got extremely dizzy and passed out in the grass (still face planted and ended up w/ a nasty bruise on my chin). A neighbor saw it and ran over and roused me and we headed to the ER. I got the regular workup of tests (blood, EKG, echocardiogram, etc) and it showed that my troponin levels had spiked a bit and my EKG looked very "brugatta-ish" which made them all think "hmmmm?". To make a long story shorter I spent a week in the hospital going thru a battery of tests meanwhile my tropinin levels quickly returned to normal and my first EKG went from "brugatta-ish" to looking the 2nd and 3rd a few days later looking "long QT-ish" which they think was how it probably normally looks when my heart isn't traumatized.
After a week of torture (ended up having 4 EKGs, 2 echos, heart MRI, heart catheterization, Chest Xray, lung scan, abdominal scan, etc and finally the dreaded EP study) and most tests coming back squeaky clean (veins completely clear, heart/pumping, etc is strong, oxygen was great, etc) the conscensus was that I needed an ICD for the very abnormal EKGs that showed "long QT intervals" and they also saw this on the EP study though they weren't able to reproduce any sort of arrythmias. They said I was probably born w/ this and at risk for the sudden cardiac death thing. It all felt really strange, but this was supposed to be the 8th best cardiac place in the country (Duke) so I had to trust them. I cried and stomped my feet at the idea of this damn ICD. I'm too young, there's nothing wrong w/ me, you're "heart" people so of course you're going to recommend a defibrillator for NOTHING, you can't find out what's REALLY wrong so you want to send me home w/ this thing so YOU feel better, etc. I really feel like a freak w/ this weird health problems (I was also diagnosed w/ breast cancer out of the clear blue sky when i was 27) and the last thing I wanted was to see that "freakishness" manifested visually from some ugly bump sticking out of my skinny chest (i'm 5'4, 120 lbs, athletic and take great care of myself). I really thought they would tell me I had low blood sugar and send me home (especially considering I have never passed out in my life other than once in highschool) but 5 EP's agreed that I shouldn't leave w/out a defib. I felt I had to suck it up and not let my stupid vanity get in the way of my health (even though I STILL question if I really need this thing and if it's not overkill ).
Well, I just got my ICD on 6/5 and holy moses am I sore. They made it sound like it would be a piece of cake procedure too but for the past two days I have had trouble even MOVING (seriously). I have pain meds and they knock me out, but right now the only comfortable position for me is flat on my back... turning to my left or right when trying to sleep (which is ALL i'm doing other than watching TV for the past two days) makes it feel like something is just pulling like crazy in my chest. They say don't raise up your arm or really do much for several days well NO PROBLEM b/c I couldn't even if I wanted to. Is this normal and when will it get better? They did say that my case was particularly difficult b/c I'm small and don't have much body fat so they really had to manuever to stuff that box in my chest (I was awake almost the whole time and could feel the surgeon basically trying to pound the thing into the pocket). So I hurt all over both sides of my neck and down both sides of my shoulders and of course anything remotely close to the incisions hurts (I feel like a puppet strung way too tightly who can't move). The most bothersome thing is when i breath in very deeply the end of the breath hurts as if I have some sort of ache in my back, neck, throat or something. I'm sure it's all related to a lung pressing on a sore area of which everything is sore from my waist up....
When will all of this go away??? It IS a little bit better today than yesterday (i.e just being awake doesn't require pain pills) =-) but i'm wanting to go back to work soon (I was told i'd be good to go in like 4 days) and I'm NOT seeing that happened. I know, in general, I'm probably pretty impatient and it's only been 2 days but sheesh.
I also was wondering if anyone had to have an ICD implanted for a similar situation (passing out and one thing leading to another and the docs deciding you might be at high risk for another episode)?
Anyway, just wanted to say how excited i am to see a mb for this and how cool everyone seems (I read some of your posts). Glad I'm in good company and thanks for letting me on your website!!!! I'm sure I will have a lot of questions as I get more used to "Kevin" <--- that's what I named my ICD after my EP. Thanks and god bless.