Getting My First ICD

Posts from Jan. 1, 2018 to the present. Plus important announcements. (ICD warning sounds)

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nonex54
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Joined: March 10th, 2018, 1:56 pm

Getting My First ICD

Post by nonex54 » March 11th, 2018, 11:50 am

Thank you for Adding me to this Group!
I am scheduled for My First ICD at the end of March 2018.
I have no doubt that I need it due to a Heart Attack several years ago that left the characteristic scar tissue in my heart. I am not scared BUT I have a great deal of anticipation waiting for the date to have it done!
I would like to hear from people telling me about their Pre-insertion thoughts and feelings. AND what will I experience emotionally and physically Post insertion. Thank You. Mike

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freckles1880
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Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by freckles1880 » March 11th, 2018, 2:46 pm

howdywelcome Well Mike you have asked for a lot.
Almost all of us who did not have time to do research and even those who did have had issues. To bad the Cardiologists/EP's don't really explain more and give us more places to look for answers. We may each have our own issues we think are really bad. I think the best answer is in most cases the ICD is there to save your life. I told my family and friends that if it ever gives a therapy my odds are pretty good I will live to talk about it.
MOST of us have never had a shock and most likely will not have one. Most of us were able to get back to a reasonable schedule and enjoy life.
There will be some inconvenience right after the ICD is put in and you need to follow some basic guidelines, like don't raise your arm above you head until the doctors say it's alright.

Look up Doctor Samuel Sears on the WEB as he specializes in what those of us with ICD's may be feeling.

Don't worry, just let the doctors do their job and ask them anything you can think of regarding the implant.

wavhi
Bob

Medtronic-Visia AF implanted 7-8-2016 stayed with the with 6947 Sprint Quattro Secure lead. Original ICD implant 2-4-2009. ICD turned off 10-6-17 as stage 4 lung cancer taking over.
Major heart attack, carcinogenic shock and quad bypass 10-13-08 post myocardial infarction, old inferior MI complicated by shock and CHF, combined, Atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic Aneurysm, Seroma 7 cm, left leg. Stent in the left main vein 10-7-2014

My "Wardens" are my bride of 54+ years and my daughters.

nonex54
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Joined: March 10th, 2018, 1:56 pm

Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by nonex54 » March 11th, 2018, 3:12 pm

Thank You for your response! I am looking for how people felt emotionally before and after the insertion! My Drs have explained any limitations. For example, I am feeling very good, so why do I need an ICD?? The Drs tell me it’s the Meds I’m taking and my Heart is weak. AND I will feel even better with the ICD! Is my feelings “normal”?

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freckles1880
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Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by freckles1880 » March 11th, 2018, 4:41 pm

The reason for the ICD is not how YOU feel, it's how you body/heart is needing it. I disagree that you will automatically feel better with the ICD, although you may. There are so many different reasons we get these boxes in our chests for many different ailments, that without an explanation from your doctor I have no idea you need.

I don't think you have enough information yet from the doctors.

Again, some people do have an increased EF and do feel better. My heart was so damaged from my "widowmaker" that I felt much better knowing I had some protection.

Don't worry, with the ICD you should be able to live for many years, without it, who knows.

A bus can get you tomorrow way.

wavhi
Bob

Medtronic-Visia AF implanted 7-8-2016 stayed with the with 6947 Sprint Quattro Secure lead. Original ICD implant 2-4-2009. ICD turned off 10-6-17 as stage 4 lung cancer taking over.
Major heart attack, carcinogenic shock and quad bypass 10-13-08 post myocardial infarction, old inferior MI complicated by shock and CHF, combined, Atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic Aneurysm, Seroma 7 cm, left leg. Stent in the left main vein 10-7-2014

My "Wardens" are my bride of 54+ years and my daughters.

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TruckerRon
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Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by TruckerRon » March 11th, 2018, 8:43 pm

I'm in the group that had no warning signs. When your heart has a bad rhythm developing over years and causes your heart to silently try to cope until it slips into fibrillation, you can go from full awareness to a full cardiac arrest with no pains or other signs that you're about to die. I had no idea such a thing was possible. And I'd passed a full physical a few days earlier!

What I can add to the conversation is this: Not lifting your arm above your shoulder doesn't mean to not move it around below that level. You want to keep your arm moving as naturally as you can below that point to avoid a frozen shoulder. For instance, you can still lift your hands above your shoulder to comb and brush your hair. Just remember to keep your elbow from going higher than that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adhesive_ ... f_shoulder
TruckerRon -- Received Minion I on 17 Sep 2009, Minion II on 26 Jan 2015

Non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
Medtronic Viva XT CRT-D
No shocks yet...
My intro is at: http://www.icdsupportgroup.org/board/vi ... 099#p57099

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TruckerRon
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Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by TruckerRon » March 11th, 2018, 8:52 pm

Now for the emotional part... Waking up in a hospital to be told you've had a heart event isn't the best way to start a Monday.
:-(
To further learn that you need a device implanted to have any chance of a normal life after that is frightening!
:cry:
To discover that a semi-normal life is still possible (I'll never drive a big rig again) and that many heart issues do respond to our devices and the newer drugs gives you hope.
:eek:
Going on to participate in life and be there for your family, to watch your daughters graduate, and to see grandkids born... You realize that life is an adventure and certainly is worth living even with a device in your chest.
TruckerRon -- Received Minion I on 17 Sep 2009, Minion II on 26 Jan 2015

Non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
Medtronic Viva XT CRT-D
No shocks yet...
My intro is at: http://www.icdsupportgroup.org/board/vi ... 099#p57099

nonex54
Posts: 16
Joined: March 10th, 2018, 1:56 pm

Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by nonex54 » March 11th, 2018, 8:56 pm

I had a Heart Attack 12 Years Ago which left scaring in my heart. I have had 2 stents in my RCA and I am on my third Cardiologist!!! I think I have been told ALL I need to know about my Heart and receiving an ICD! And yes I can get hit by a truck and Die tomorrow (let’s hope that doesn’t happen!!). I am very comfortable with the decision of getting an ICD. I want to know from many people their anticipations before and after receiving their ICD!

Leedur
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Joined: May 24th, 2015, 10:25 pm

Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by Leedur » March 11th, 2018, 10:53 pm

Two previous heart attacks, bypass (5 grafts) 20 years ago, 2 stent 14 yrs ago. ICD 4 years now. Age 69. Didn't have much time to consider the procedure as doctor advised not to wait. Had a couple of one second blackouts only symptom. Diagnosed Vtac and EF 30. I wasn't convinced about the need for device until 15 months later it saved me from cardiac arrest. As for living with an ICD, I go about life and still work. Mostly forget it's there after a while.

Rough Rider
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Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by Rough Rider » March 12th, 2018, 5:11 am

I want to know from many people their anticipations before and after receiving their ICD!
Probably half the people here had a heart attack, ended up in hospital, told they needed an ICD installed all before they were even fully conscious. So not much anticipations before for that group. Everybody else and after depends on whether an optimist or pessimist. The ICD should not hurt your heart and may help it (think CRT). Should protect you from suddenly dropping dead if you worry about that stuff. Otherwise think of ICD as like a good artificial knee job. If knee done right, you shouldn't even think about your knees again. Similar with ICD. Now if pessimist type, might think ICD is end of world

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codman59
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Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by codman59 » March 12th, 2018, 7:49 am

When the EP first decided I should have an ICD due to low EF in late 2007, they wanted to put it in the next few days. I've never had a heart attack... cardiomyopathy. I discussed it with my cardiologist who basically said you've gone quite awhile with the low EF; it's up to you, but you can certainly take some time and get info on the ICD before you make the choice. The biggest part of gathering info came from reading this forum. I found if you google it, the sites you get are more like sales pitches or ads for devices that don't really give you the full picture. At any rate, after finding out whatever I could, I had my first ICD implanted in August, 2008. Had 3 life-saving treatments in 2014, was put on an antiarrhythmic, and am on my 2nd ICD now with no further shocks.
Of course I was very apprehensive prior to the first install, but I had no complications, and after it was done was kind of telling myself "well, that was no biggee"... the 2nd device install was even less of a "biggee" as they used the same lead. I certainly don't regret taking a little extra time to find out info, but I guess that cannot apply to everybody, depending on the state of one's heart. It certainly made the choice to go ahead easier, and I'm still on top of the turf rather than underneath it because of that choice!
Cardiomyapathy (reason unknown; suspect viral infection 1998), chf, gout, diabetes, asthma, bad hair.
Medtronics Virtuoso VR implanted Aug 28/08, single lead.

"The generation that would change the world is still looking for its car keys" - "The Rainmakers"

Craig

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ROBO Pop
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Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by ROBO Pop » March 12th, 2018, 9:56 am

nonex54 wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 11:50 am
...I would like to hear from people telling me about their Pre-insertion thoughts and feelings. AND what will I experience emotionally and physically Post insertion. Thank You. Mike
It's been a long long time since my first, but I'll try to remember what it was like. I do recall walking around with a grin ear to ear for probably a week after the experience. I vaguely remember being extremely excited, shaking with anticipation as the moment of insertion approached. My breathing became labored and fast, heart rate accelerated...oh wait not what you were asking about was that? Hey come on, what did you guys expect when you make it so easy for me.

Alright back to the subject at hand. Like many others, mine was a rush order. I was one week out of the hospital for major open heart when they realized I needed a pocket protector. My Cardiologist took a quick look see and sent me across the hall to his partner who is an EP. He scheduled my implant for the next day. No discussion or explanation just that I was very likely to enjoy an SCA if I didn't get one post haste. I was still dizzy from all the other work they had done and frankly the way I was feeling kept my mind from concentrating on any details. In in the afternoon, 30 minute surgery early evening, an interrogation the next morning and checked out before breakfast.

Never had any real pain or problems except about two months later I developed frozen shoulder syndrome from not moving the left arm enough. What they mean is just don't raise your elbow above your shoulder but it is important you use the arm normally. Anyhow, not all that exciting as far as surgery goes. Now if you want to discuss vasectomies, that's a whole other story, let me tell you.

What...huh...No I didn't Freckles. I don't recall ever committing not to share my vasectomy story. Let's see a show of hands, how many of you would like to hear that one? I may even have a film somewhere around here... :lamo:
Broken Heart
Nobody has ever survived life, but I'm trying...
My story and sticking to it
http://www.icdsupportgroup.org/board/vi ... 97&p=91375

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TruckerRon
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Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by TruckerRon » March 12th, 2018, 10:28 am

ROBO Pop wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 9:56 am
...I don't recall ever committing not to share my vasectomy story. Let's see a show of hands, how many of you would like to hear that one? I may even have a film somewhere around here... :lamo:
For most, if not all, of us, it's enough to know you won't be procreating.
:run:
TruckerRon -- Received Minion I on 17 Sep 2009, Minion II on 26 Jan 2015

Non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
Medtronic Viva XT CRT-D
No shocks yet...
My intro is at: http://www.icdsupportgroup.org/board/vi ... 099#p57099

nonex54
Posts: 16
Joined: March 10th, 2018, 1:56 pm

Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by nonex54 » March 12th, 2018, 11:07 am

I am enjoying and learning from your stories!
Thank you!
I feel fortunate that I can ask questions and do research before receiving my ICD.
My EF is around 35 according to my EP.
Can I count on my ICD to increase my EF to 50+ or what my EP calls “normal”!!

Rough Rider
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Joined: January 28th, 2014, 3:52 pm

Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by Rough Rider » March 12th, 2018, 11:27 am

Don't count of the ICD increasing your EF. It MAY or it may not and only if you are getting a CRT-d type of ICD. The CRT resynchronizes the heart to perform better. You won't feel anything different with a CRT. Some people respond better than others to a CRT. Some drugs may also help your EF. 35% is low, but there are lower numbers with people still functioning. Time will tell.

InSync
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Re: Getting My First ICD

Post by InSync » March 12th, 2018, 12:07 pm

I wore a LifeVest for 4 months prior to implant to give meds an opportunity to help. It didn't. I didn't have any improvement in EF until I got the ICD. I have LBBB as well as cardiomyopathy. My doc told me that about 30% get improvement with CRT, about 30% remain the same, and about 30% decline. There are no predictors for outcome. I've had periods of improvement and periods of decline. Fortunately, your EF is pretty good. I hope the CRT will help your heart.

My heart was damaged as a result of a lung infection that had to be treated surgically. When I got to the hospital the morning I discovered how sick I was, cardiac tamponade had begun and my right atrium had collapsed. I had a pericardial window procedure and the lining of my heart was fused to the lining of my lung to allow infected fluid around my heart to drain into the lungspace where I had 2 chest tubes. On the morning I went to the hospital, I had taken my grandson to preschool and driven myself across town to my GP. Turned out that my left lung was nearly 100% collapsed during that time. My GP sent me to the hospital from his office by EMS. I never felt especially sick. I just had a small dry cough for a few weeks prior. After surgery I became septic and wasn't expected to leave the hospital alive. I did, and during recovery I became very short of breath and the cardiomyopathy was ultimately found. My doc kept telling me that I had a very sick heart. He became aggressive about wanting me to quit working. During all that, I just didn't feel that bad.

For that reason, I was surprised after implant, when I felt sick and fragile. The surgery and recovery were quite easy. It took a while for me to process why I felt so frail. For me, the implant represented the end of recovery....I wasn't going to be cured. I would have heart disease for the rest of my life. I wish my EP had discussed the emotional adjustment, or at least suggested that I consider it.

Best wishes.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy, LBBB, CHF
St. Jude CRT-D 5/12
The beat goes on.....

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