Ignoring your ICD!

All posts from Jan 1, 2007 thru Dec. 31, 2007

Moderators: Suzanne, ~guin, Moderators

Post Reply
Posts: 144
Joined: June 7th, 2007, 6:02 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Ignoring your ICD!

Post by Anthony » June 22nd, 2007, 4:54 pm

Hi to all, I've been reading this board for a while without ever contributing but have always found the contributions helpful and comforting.

I had a sudden cardiac arrest last October at the age of 36, no diagnosis, no reason, nothing hereditary etc. I was given an ICD after a long spell in hospital and have only been back at work for the last few weeks.
I've noticed that my way of dealing with the condition, psychologically that is, is to almost ignore it. I still drink, have occasional late nights, go to gigs and generally try to carry on as normal. I even have the occasional cigar.
I wouldn't talk about what happened if it wasn't for the fact that friends and family ask/talk to me about it regularly, through curiosity or genunine concern.
I'm certainly not as fit as I was, but i'll get there, maybe.

The point to this post was, in a nutshell, to let people know that I'm determined to get back to some form of normality. A large perecentage of the posts I've read form a reassuring purpose but i can't be the only one who doesn't feel like they want to dwell. I'd like to know if there are people out there who feel like me, who still love their music, their sport ,their nights out etc. Maybe I'm still coming to terms with what happened and in denial, who knows?
Keep on keepin on......


Post by Mark » June 22nd, 2007, 7:57 pm

Hey Anthony,

Thanks for posting. I understand what you are saying and of course from you're reading you see that many people handle it differently according to what has happened to them. I, as you, went on the same route: did all the things I did before. I think many of the people here that may seem like they are dwelling fall into several categories.

For one, those that are on different medications that cause them to feel different and are a constant reminder of their condition and what has happened to them in their medical background. Another is someone that has received therapy (shocks) and are handling that aspect of their new living with an ICD, which is probably the biggest reason that people dwell on their ICD's. Hopefully this won't happen to you; until it happened to me I had all but forgotten I had this unit in me. I drank occasionally, played with my fellow musician friends, worked out, and went back to work.

But the day that I got whacked twice while shopping in a grocery store, it set a whole new perspective on what my life was now. It was pretty depressing for awhile and I needed some medication to help me get through it, something I swore I would NEVER have to do- take a pill for depression. But that's the way it presented itself to me, and that unpleasant experience is now a reality I have to live with. I don't dwell on it, but it is a part of the thought process now.

Anthony I really do understand what you are saying and no, you aren't in denial: in fact you are handling it quite well and that is a great thing. I think it's also great to ask these questions and let others voice their opinions. The best thing to realize though is that you have backup in case a dangerous arrhythmia comes along, and that is something we are all lucky for. :D

Feel free to post anytime Anthony, I am sure you will get more responses to this.

Posts: 85
Joined: June 16th, 2007, 8:29 pm
Location: Victoria, Australia

Ignoring ICD

Post by zzwoman1 » June 22nd, 2007, 8:08 pm

this sounds familiar I was similiar to you nothing wrong then woke up in hospital one dayafter I had a cardiac arrest I was 33 got out of hospital a month later with my new gadget. Reality hit when it gave me my first shock I then thought okay I have got something wrong with me and started to deal with it. There are somethings that I can't do anymore like surfing that gives me the shits but I'm still here and thats what counts, I'm not allowed to drink I miss getting smashed at parties occassionally I want to look like an idiot too. I would be lieing if I said that having an ICD has not changed me because it has. And I can't ignore it as the scars I have from surgery remind me and so does tne bump I don't really want to ignore my ICD as it makes me safe I'm still a bit scared of it but hey can handle that if it keeps saving my life.
Don't let your wishbone grow where your funnybone should be


Post by karslake » June 22nd, 2007, 11:15 pm

Hi Anthony,
Yes, I do know how you feel. After having my first ICD and having 26 shocks, I was a complete mess. Didn't want to take anti-depressants etc. But after finding the predecessor of this Board, I became a different person. Admittedly I am old (74 - going on 13 !), but I try to do everything that I did previously - though I know I can't:- can't dance - no breath; can't walk far - same reason; can't write - hands too shaky; but I do still have a drink - just one or two; still smoke cigarettes; take my anti-depressants - and, so what if I become addicted? I still tell jokes, and around here am known as 'the Merry Widow' !!

I do try to ignore my ICD, but people keep reminding me, so I carry around my first one (Blabbermouth Senior) and educate the people about defibrillators!

Actually I am happier now than I have ever been in my life.

Keep up the good work.
Eve & Blabbermouth 111


Post by uksteve » June 23rd, 2007, 5:40 am

hI Anthony,as youve seen we all deal with our ICD in different ways,I think age is a big part of it but also have /or have not recieved a shock from it,and as Mark has said what drugs your taking,some of them can knock you for six ,Im 53 now I still smoke ,drink,like a party,Ive got my meds under control,Ive never recieved a shock so in all I tend to foget my box is there,do what you can with your life this device is not a hinderance,but most of all KNOW your limitations, Take care Steve

Posts: 144
Joined: June 7th, 2007, 6:02 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Post by Anthony » June 23rd, 2007, 1:33 pm

Thank you all, I'm glad you understood where I was coming from. I'll keep visiting (for those who asked, my medication is a simple beta blocker,Cardicor and Ramipril, not much at all!)

A good site, please keep up the good work!
Keep on keepin on......

User avatar
Senior Member
Posts: 2150
Joined: August 29th, 2005, 5:59 am
Location: Lake Jackson Texas 77566

Post by don » June 26th, 2007, 1:56 am

Hi Anthony

I guess it depends on whether you want to live a long life or whether you want to live a fun life.. I had my SCD (sudden cardiac death) in 1994. I had my first ICD implanted then. I got all the instructions at that time.. Don't do this, don't do that. Anthony i'm more interested in enjoying life than the length of my life..I'm enjoying a cold beer as we speak. Gee whiz, i've already lived longer than the 'experts' said i would. I'm on my third ICD. I've been shocked over two dozen times. I'm happy. Everyone has to do what they are comfortable with. If you think your ICD is the end of your life, then so be it. If you think it's another opportunity to go have some fun, then this Bud's for you. LOL



know what you mean

Post by Medwards » January 21st, 2009, 12:28 pm

I would love to have several drinks some nights. I had a few a xmas. The 2 out of 3 times I was shocked I had some booze in my system. I think time is a good healer and I will have a few more drinks. I would love to visit close to where you live my family came from Aberystwyth. My great grand father is buried there. Have a good weekend.

Mike E

Posts: 369
Joined: November 10th, 2007, 8:33 pm
Location: Washington State

ignoring ICD

Post by JohnM » February 1st, 2009, 12:42 pm

Hi Anthony, When I got mine I unfortunately was going through multiiple problems all at once. I was recovering from a Heart Attack when I had my first VT episode. I got my ICD then. But still had 3 more stents and bypass surgery before anything settled down, even remotely. And I recieved 2 shocks during that time period. It had been since June 08 and hadnt had any problems and was working out, riding my motorcycle again, working, having a few beers here and there. And then got shocked twice again. So I try to be as close to normal as I used to be, although I know I'm much different now. I quit smoking at heart attack. I try to continue on and hope for the best. I try not to dwell but somethings are very hard to forget. I think your dealing very well, and be as normal as you can be, if all stays quiet you should be able to maintain a pretty normal life.
MI 8-1-07, 4 Stent Failures from Aug 07 to May 08 ,Right Bundle Branch Block, Multiple VT episodes, SCA 10-09-07, ICD 10-10-07, Appropriate ICD shocks (5), Bypass Surgery 6-6-08, Cardioversion from A-Fib 6-9-08,CHF Diagnosed Class II 2-09, Pulmonary Embolism 4/10, IVC Filter Insertion, Colonectomy, Appendectomy and Hernia repair 8-30-2011, April 2013 Hospitalized Severe CHF, and Ishemic Cardiomiopathy, Sept 2013 Removal of ICD and replaced with CRT-D.
St. Jude Medical CRT-D. CD3365-40C and Coumadin for life :-(

Posts: 53
Joined: January 17th, 2010, 10:32 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Ignoring your ICD!

Post by tiggershere » June 6th, 2010, 8:36 pm


I try the not-thinking approach much of the time, too. I'm 39, just got this thing a year ago. I still go out and dance the night away, I love my guiness, and when I'm really bad I have a smoke. It drives my friends nuts. I suppose the logic doesn't hold, but I feel safer now with the icd, so continue doing a few things that my doc would not appreciate.

And then there's times, weeks or a couple months at a time, that I can't ignore it. Maybe because the area hurts because I've strained the muscles again, or I feel arrythmias. And in those times, I think about it more.

My friends keep me mostly stable, in both my risk-taking and in my quiet times. Friends are good.

Long QT Syndrome
Boston Scientific Teligen ICD

Post Reply