Hello again! A few newbie ??

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danaw
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Joined: December 15th, 2012, 8:54 pm
Location: Homosassa, Fl

Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by danaw » December 29th, 2012, 8:32 pm

I introduced myself in the intro thread last week, but am ready to branch out and get a bit more familiar with the board now!
To quickly recap, my name is Dana, I'm a 43 year old mom of 3, and new owner of a Medtronic Protecta XT (2 weeks ago). I was having pretty severe vtach only during exercise, and was planning to have an ablation. The EP realized my heart rate was upwards of 300 bpm on the Holter monitor I wore during P90x, so he opted to do the ICD instead. :-o
I've never had any health conditions or problems, so this has been a tough pill to swallow. Luckily, I have an awesome family- they have all been more than supportive.

I do have a few questions though- I'm sure they have been asked before, so please forgive my ignorance!

How long until I can lift my left arm?? I thought they said a month in the hospital, but handwritten notes I received upon discharge say 2 weeks- it's tough washing my hair with one arm! :)
Also, what about vacuuming?
How long until these steri-strips fall off??

Lots more questions.......I'm just getting started! So glad to have found this board!
Dana

VT
Medtronic Protecta XT 12/12/12

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Jim and Sparky
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Joined: April 11th, 2011, 2:28 pm
Location: Wichita Kansas

Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by Jim and Sparky » December 29th, 2012, 9:21 pm

First off, Ask all the questions you want to. I sure did.

Second, I'd tell your family that the ICD support group forbade you from ever vacuuming again! I tried to tell my wife that, (she didn't buy it).

Third, I think 2 weeks is the standard answer for keeping that arm down, but, to me, more important is to just really be conscious of how your arm and the incision area feels. I think you'll know when your arm and incision area are ready for more activity.

Sounds like you are doing great and sorry this happened to you. All of us on here have our own unique little stories and health history. Glad you found us and I hope you find lots of support on here.

And finally, remember vacuuming is a definite no no. :)

Jim
MI 1/21/11; SCA's 2/3/11 and 2/4/11
I have a Boston Scientific Teligen ICD and a Boston Scientific Promus stent,
I guess my cardiologist is sort of a BS kind of guy.

Two rules to live by:
1) Don't sweat the small stuff!
2) It's all small stuff!


My Intro is on this page: http://www.icdsupportgroup.org/board/vi ... 917#p74917

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Eric
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Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by Eric » December 29th, 2012, 11:25 pm

Welcome Dana,

So glad you found us and this is the right place to ask questions, so ask away. It seems like you have had a very active life before they found your condition. Many on this board have continued to have incredibly active life's after their ICD implant. The one thing you should understand is how long you should wait before you can continue some of your activities. I remember they put my arm in a sling in the hospital on my last lead replacement and told me to wait two weeks and keep the arm in a sling. I spent a couple of days in the hospital and I remember on the second day a nurse walking in, taking my arm out of the sling and telling me "Don't keep your arm in the sling too long, get it out and move it back and forth so you don't have your muscles lock up on you" I can remember when she grabbed my arm and slowly moved it back and forth and I realized how bad my elbow hurt because it had been locked in one position for so long. I am glad she told me that as afterwords during that two week period, I would occassionally take my are out and just move it back and forth to help keep it somewhat active. Of course I never raised it above my head, but I did move it while it was hanging down and it helped a lot.
I am sure you will be able to get back into exercising, but make sure you understand how long you should wait before continuing these activities. Ask very specific questions like "I want to play tennis, how long should I wait". There is a certain amount of time needed for the leads in your heart to get attached well enough so that any activity will not cause the leads to slip. If you have done the P90x system, I am sure you need to ensure that if you are doing a pull up that you have asked your doctor about these and understand how long you have to wait.

Glad you have found us and have decided to ask questions. Also, if you have a question, it may have been asked before, so use the search function on the board and you may find some answers, but if you don't find enough, then ask away.

Take care,

Eric
Eric [bot]

Idiopathic CHF/ EF currently @ 53%, Low point 26%
St Jude ICD implanted 6/2008 Device changed 6/2009
1 Shock (innappropriate), ICD reprogramed 6/2010
Lead revision 3/2011 due to fractured lead
53 shock storm 4/21/2011 (Inappropriate)
ICD turned off May 20111 through 8/16/2011
Lead revision 8/16/2011
VT episodes starting in August 2012
ICD Changeout 2/25/2013 St. Jude Inspire Assura
Too many meds to count
Life is too short, live in the moment and make the best of it :)
Intro is here:http://www.icdsupportgroup.org/board/vi ... 271#p75271

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freckles1880
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Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by freckles1880 » December 30th, 2012, 9:11 am

First of all welcome again to the WEB site.
There is a major difference of when you should move your arm VS when you should lift it over your head. We do need movement to keep the muscles active. Doctors vary on how long for not putting it over your head and many say up to 6 weeks. It depends on what they had to do and as mentioned above, needing to let the wires settle in. Vacuuming is another one to ask the doctors as you don't want to stretch too much. Most leads are put in and have "extra" lengths to allow movement without pulling them loose. Many of us accidentally lifted our arms early and although it hurt some we did not do any damage.
I was told to let the steri-strips fall off by themselves. I had the strips plus super glue. The strips lasted a little more than 2 weeks and the glue almost a month. I just covered the area with plastic wrap and showered, washing my hair with one arm.

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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AlexK
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Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by AlexK » December 30th, 2012, 1:43 pm

danaw wrote: How long until I can lift my left arm?? I thought they said a month in the hospital, but handwritten notes I received upon discharge say 2 weeks- it's tough washing my hair with one arm! :)
Also, what about vacuuming?
How long until these steri-strips fall off??

Lots more questions.......I'm just getting started! So glad to have found this board!
Left arm: The thing is, they want your leads to take a set (for lack of a better term) so letting it go a little longer is way better than cutting it short. I'd go a month, that's what I did when I got mine. Mostly, just like in exercise, if it feels funny, stop doing it.

Vacuum: Things with electricity will take some care to be around, just to make sure they won't interfere with your rig. The good news is they probably won't, the bad news is they might. Mostly I have someone around when I first use an electric motor thing, or am near an ignition system or something, to either get me out of the way or turn the thing off.

If your question is related to your arm, I'd go with the one-month "feels right" principle.

Strips: It was going on three weeks before mine fell off. That's something else you don't want to rush.

Mostly, if you're getting insight here, is you now have a thing which requires some care -- not a lot, but some -- in how you undertake your affairs. To put it another way, you'll be here in a year counseling someone to "give it time," and you'll be right.

We all seem to heal and/or respond at different rates.

BTW: 300 bpm must've been a trip. What you're really going to like now is how quickly you recover from exertion. That was the big advantage I noticed in my activities (I like to race bicycles).
August 1, 2007, died; CPR restored
August 3, 2007 implant Medtronic Pacemaker/Defibrillator
Coreg and Atacand daily
"In the end, everything is just a gag," -- Charlie Chaplin

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Suzanne
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Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by Suzanne » December 30th, 2012, 5:54 pm

danaw wrote: I was having pretty severe vtach only during exercise, and was planning to have an ablation. The EP realized my heart rate was upwards of 300 bpm on the Holter monitor I wore during P90x, so he opted to do the ICD instead.
Hi Dana :)

Im curious, why did he still not do an ablation too?
~ Suzanne ~

St Jude ICD and Lead Implanted Feb.20/09
8 Shock Storm March 21/09
Lead Dislodged, so Replaced with Medtronic Lead June 16/09
ICD and Lead Explanted Nov.23/09
Medtronic Reveal XT (Cardiac Monitor) Implanted Jan.25/10...explanted and new one reinserted on July 21/11

Cardiac Monitor explanted Sept.9/14

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danaw
Posts: 48
Joined: December 15th, 2012, 8:54 pm
Location: Homosassa, Fl

Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by danaw » December 30th, 2012, 8:04 pm

Hi there Suzanne!
He was concerned my blood pressure would be too low for too long- he said he would like to try it after I've had the ICD for about a year.
I was in a bit of a fog that whole afternoon, but that's what I recall about it. I will see him again in 2 weeks, so I will be asking him a lot of questions, I'm sure.
Suzanne wrote:
danaw wrote: I was having pretty severe vtach only during exercise, and was planning to have an ablation. The EP realized my heart rate was upwards of 300 bpm on the Holter monitor I wore during P90x, so he opted to do the ICD instead.
Hi Dana :)

Im curious, why did he still not do an ablation too?
Dana

VT
Medtronic Protecta XT 12/12/12

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danaw
Posts: 48
Joined: December 15th, 2012, 8:54 pm
Location: Homosassa, Fl

Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by danaw » December 30th, 2012, 8:06 pm

Jim and Sparky wrote:First off, Ask all the questions you want to. I sure did.

Second, I'd tell your family that the ICD support group forbade you from ever vacuuming again! I tried to tell my wife that, (she didn't buy it).

Third, I think 2 weeks is the standard answer for keeping that arm down, but, to me, more important is to just really be conscious of how your arm and the incision area feels. I think you'll know when your arm and incision area are ready for more activity.

Sounds like you are doing great and sorry this happened to you. All of us on here have our own unique little stories and health history. Glad you found us and I hope you find lots of support on here.

And finally, remember vacuuming is a definite no no. :)

Jim



Love the vacuuming part! :D
Thanks!
Dana

VT
Medtronic Protecta XT 12/12/12

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danaw
Posts: 48
Joined: December 15th, 2012, 8:54 pm
Location: Homosassa, Fl

Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by danaw » December 30th, 2012, 8:10 pm

Eric wrote:Welcome Dana,

So glad you found us and this is the right place to ask questions, so ask away. It seems like you have had a very active life before they found your condition. Many on this board have continued to have incredibly active life's after their ICD implant. The one thing you should understand is how long you should wait before you can continue some of your activities. I remember they put my arm in a sling in the hospital on my last lead replacement and told me to wait two weeks and keep the arm in a sling. I spent a couple of days in the hospital and I remember on the second day a nurse walking in, taking my arm out of the sling and telling me "Don't keep your arm in the sling too long, get it out and move it back and forth so you don't have your muscles lock up on you" I can remember when she grabbed my arm and slowly moved it back and forth and I realized how bad my elbow hurt because it had been locked in one position for so long. I am glad she told me that as afterwords during that two week period, I would occassionally take my are out and just move it back and forth to help keep it somewhat active. Of course I never raised it above my head, but I did move it while it was hanging down and it helped a lot.
I am sure you will be able to get back into exercising, but make sure you understand how long you should wait before continuing these activities. Ask very specific questions like "I want to play tennis, how long should I wait". There is a certain amount of time needed for the leads in your heart to get attached well enough so that any activity will not cause the leads to slip. If you have done the P90x system, I am sure you need to ensure that if you are doing a pull up that you have asked your doctor about these and understand how long you have to wait.

Glad you have found us and have decided to ask questions. Also, if you have a question, it may have been asked before, so use the search function on the board and you may find some answers, but if you don't find enough, then ask away.

Take care,

Eric


I am really anxious to get back to exercising- I like to eat too much to not work out!
Dana

VT
Medtronic Protecta XT 12/12/12

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Eric
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Joined: May 1st, 2011, 7:39 pm
Location: Utah

Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by Eric » December 30th, 2012, 8:25 pm

I am really anxious to get back to exercising- I like to eat too much to not work out!
You know, amazingly I have the same problem. :D
Glad you are here and participating, hope we can help you on your path.

Happy New Year to you and your family!!

Eric
Eric [bot]

Idiopathic CHF/ EF currently @ 53%, Low point 26%
St Jude ICD implanted 6/2008 Device changed 6/2009
1 Shock (innappropriate), ICD reprogramed 6/2010
Lead revision 3/2011 due to fractured lead
53 shock storm 4/21/2011 (Inappropriate)
ICD turned off May 20111 through 8/16/2011
Lead revision 8/16/2011
VT episodes starting in August 2012
ICD Changeout 2/25/2013 St. Jude Inspire Assura
Too many meds to count
Life is too short, live in the moment and make the best of it :)
Intro is here:http://www.icdsupportgroup.org/board/vi ... 271#p75271

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dadmanbob
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Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by dadmanbob » December 30th, 2012, 8:30 pm

danaw wrote:I am really anxious to get back to exercising- I like to eat too much to not work out!
Ah Dana I liked to eat a lot also but now I can not work out much any more as you can see in my signature I am on a load of medicine that restricts my heart to much so I have had to cut way back on food. If I look a sugar I put on weight.

As far as lifting the left arm I was told one month so I learned how to shampoo my hair with just my right arm. My DR told me that if I could keep the left arm down longer it would make it better for the heart to form around the lead inside and become stronger.

Hang in there and yes tell your family no more vacuum :mutt:
Also ask away
BOB
ischemic cardiomyopathy NSVT, stent 1 left side 4/5 &1 right side on 6/9 2011
MI Heart attack unknown when it happened 20% dead muscle
CHF-3, PVD, CAD, CKD-3 & EF 35 now 55 12-19-11
ICD ST JUDE 6/29/11, CD2215-36Q, RVA LEAD, RA-LEAD
Med's
AMLODIPINE 7.5MG AM 5MG PM,ISOSORBIDE MONO. ER 120MG, PLAVIX 75MG
ASPIRIN 81MG,HYDRALAZINE 50MG X4,CARVEDILOL 50MG AM/PM, LIPITOR 80MG
Spironolactone 25mg am/pm,FUROSEMIDE 40MG, Calcitriol .25mg mon,wed,fri
ZANTAC 150MG

I welcome my ICD he is Electron a transformer

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4EverHopeful
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Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by 4EverHopeful » December 31st, 2012, 1:28 pm

danaw wrote:I introduced myself in the intro thread last week, but am ready to branch out and get a bit more familiar with the board now!
To quickly recap, my name is Dana, I'm a 43 year old mom of 3, and new owner of a Medtronic Protecta XT (2 weeks ago). I was having pretty severe vtach only during exercise, and was planning to have an ablation. The EP realized my heart rate was upwards of 300 bpm on the Holter monitor I wore during P90x, so he opted to do the ICD instead. :-o
I've never had any health conditions or problems, so this has been a tough pill to swallow. Luckily, I have an awesome family- they have all been more than supportive.

I do have a few questions though- I'm sure they have been asked before, so please forgive my ignorance!

How long until I can lift my left arm?? I thought they said a month in the hospital, but handwritten notes I received upon discharge say 2 weeks- it's tough washing my hair with one arm! :)
Also, what about vacuuming?
How long until these steri-strips fall off??

Lots more questions.......I'm just getting started! So glad to have found this board!
Hi Dana and welcome to the group howdywelcome

When I had my implant I was told 4 weeks before lifting my arm, but I could lift it as high as my shoulder. The only problems I had in remembering this is when I started to feel better and the soreness was gone. Also the first couple of weeks I slept with a sling to keep from lifting accidently during sleep. My EP said if I did lift it accidently temporarily that it should not be a problem, only when it's lifted repeatedly or while pushing, pulling, or lifting something too heavy.

My incision was sealed by glue so I was able to take a shower within 48 hours. As far as washing my hair (I have long hair down past my shoulder blades) I have always done that separate from my shower anyway which worked out perfect after my surgery. I've always washed my hair upside down over the tub using the shower hose. In this case you don't have to lift your left arm but can actually keep it your elbow close to your side while washing it upside down. By tilting my head over the tub to the left I could then scrub with both hands without a problem. The only problem I had was making sure I didn't get dizzy or too tired too quickly:)

My implant has been almost a year and I am still not allowed to go back to the gym per my EP. Before my diagnosis I was lifting weights and doing cardio 3x a week for almost 18 years. It kills me not to be able to work out! But to tell the truth I think I would be too tired anyway:) The reason the EP said no gym or any kind of workout other than walking is because of my heart not because of my ICD (Bubba). They're waiting to see if Bubba will eventually strengthen my heart before I pursue anything any more physical. So be sure to ask your EP when and if you can continue working out for everyone is different physically and we all have different outcomes.

Like others have said, be specific on telling your EP what you want to do and get clearance on doing so being aware of all the risks if any. I didn't know I couldn't go back to the gym until I asked my EP if I could I least go to cardiac therapy (even though I didn't have a heart attack). I thought being so tired was an endurance issue and I wanted to regain that endurance through working out. It was then he said absolute not, your heart needs to rest so no workouts, only walking for now! Up until then, no one told me so I was shocked to say the least.
Phyllis

God's prescription for the heart:
O LORD, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit
down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. You chart the path ahead of me
and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment You know where I am.
Psalm 139:1-3

Non-ischemic DCM 09/11
PVCs, LBBB, leaky mitral valve
St Judes CRT-D (Bubba) 02/12; (Bubba II) 09/17
EF 20% 09/11; 25% 07/12; 35% 02/16
Failed PVC Ablation 11/12
Coreg, Zestril, Asprin, Aldactone, Lasix, Zocor, Levothroid
viewtopic.php?p=87649#p87649

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

Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by JohnM » December 31st, 2012, 2:04 pm

Welcome to the site, glad you found us. I think it would be good to move your arm back and forth. As for over head movement i;d listen to your doc. Just have to make sure leads had time to settle. Im sure you'll get back to your exercising, we all have similiar issues whether better or worse. It takes time to get used to having your new device but it will become part of you and you'll except it eventually. As my cardiac nurse sister told me you now have your own personal paramedic with you all the time.
John
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 :-(

srmartinson
Posts: 77
Joined: December 18th, 2010, 7:22 pm

Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by srmartinson » December 31st, 2012, 8:03 pm

Hi, Welcome to the board, the members here have tons of wonderful info. Here are my two cents! Since I was also really young and active when I got my ICD, I didn't think too much of it, I continued to do some pretty high impact exercising (rock climbing, mountain biking, and Bikram Yoga) I would suggest just a bit of caution if you are anything like I was as I unfortunately experienced tons of difficulties with ICD migration, hernia of the muscle which was all likely due to my excessive twisting and movements. Looking back at this, it was not the best but tell that to a 30 year old who just wanted to keep a "normal"active life!

What you will be able to do will still be amazing: trust me! I still run and bike, and hike (I LOVE the eastern Sierras right now!) and I also do yoga but not the heated one. Since you are likely in really great shape, you will heal really fast.

Did you get your ICD subpectorially?
Dx 1995, HCM, non obstructed, verapamil 120mg
2004, first ICD, battery recall, migration of ICD x2
2007, 26 inappropriate shocks, lead failure, lead extraction (total 8 surgeries in 4 yearts)
2008 Living without ICD
2011 First chest pains,
10/2014 Ready to try again!

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danaw
Posts: 48
Joined: December 15th, 2012, 8:54 pm
Location: Homosassa, Fl

Re: Hello again! A few newbie ??

Post by danaw » January 3rd, 2013, 9:41 pm

4EverHopeful wrote:
danaw wrote:I introduced myself in the intro thread last week, but am ready to branch out and get a bit more familiar with the board now!
To quickly recap, my name is Dana, I'm a 43 year old mom of 3, and new owner of a Medtronic Protecta XT (2 weeks ago). I was having pretty severe vtach only during exercise, and was planning to have an ablation. The EP realized my heart rate was upwards of 300 bpm on the Holter monitor I wore during P90x, so he opted to do the ICD instead. :-o
I've never had any health conditions or problems, so this has been a tough pill to swallow. Luckily, I have an awesome family- they have all been more than supportive.

I do have a few questions though- I'm sure they have been asked before, so please forgive my ignorance!

How long until I can lift my left arm?? I thought they said a month in the hospital, but handwritten notes I received upon discharge say 2 weeks- it's tough washing my hair with one arm! :)
Also, what about vacuuming?
How long until these steri-strips fall off??

Lots more questions.......I'm just getting started! So glad to have found this board!
Hi Dana and welcome to the group howdywelcome

When I had my implant I was told 4 weeks before lifting my arm, but I could lift it as high as my shoulder. The only problems I had in remembering this is when I started to feel better and the soreness was gone. Also the first couple of weeks I slept with a sling to keep from lifting accidently during sleep. My EP said if I did lift it accidently temporarily that it should not be a problem, only when it's lifted repeatedly or while pushing, pulling, or lifting something too heavy.

My incision was sealed by glue so I was able to take a shower within 48 hours. As far as washing my hair (I have long hair down past my shoulder blades) I have always done that separate from my shower anyway which worked out perfect after my surgery. I've always washed my hair upside down over the tub using the shower hose. In this case you don't have to lift your left arm but can actually keep it your elbow close to your side while washing it upside down. By tilting my head over the tub to the left I could then scrub with both hands without a problem. The only problem I had was making sure I didn't get dizzy or too tired too quickly:)

My implant has been almost a year and I am still not allowed to go back to the gym per my EP. Before my diagnosis I was lifting weights and doing cardio 3x a week for almost 18 years. It kills me not to be able to work out! But to tell the truth I think I would be too tired anyway:) The reason the EP said no gym or any kind of workout other than walking is because of my heart not because of my ICD (Bubba). They're waiting to see if Bubba will eventually strengthen my heart before I pursue anything any more physical. So be sure to ask your EP when and if you can continue working out for everyone is different physically and we all have different outcomes.

Like others have said, be specific on telling your EP what you want to do and get clearance on doing so being aware of all the risks if any. I didn't know I couldn't go back to the gym until I asked my EP if I could I least go to cardiac therapy (even though I didn't have a heart attack). I thought being so tired was an endurance issue and I wanted to regain that endurance through working out. It was then he said absolute not, your heart needs to rest so no workouts, only walking for now! Up until then, no one told me so I was shocked to say the least.




Thank you for the hair washing tip- I think that will work! Mine is pretty long, so it's been a big pain in the butt! I still have a lot to ask- I' m a little embarrassed at how little I know! :?
Dana

VT
Medtronic Protecta XT 12/12/12

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