Getting Defibrillator on Friday

I'm 52/F who had a LAD Heart attack (aka Widowmaker) Jun, 2019. At the time my ejection fraction was 10-15%. After hard work, eating better and losing lots of weight, it went to 35-40%. Last week, echo revealed that it is now 20-25% so I was referred to an Electrophysiologist. My appointment was earlier today and they scheduled the procedure for this Friday. 

I was definitely scared out of my mind but I wanted to thank everyone posting for sharing your stories. It armed me with tons of good info so I could ask the right questions. The Electrophysiologist answered them all. He even, at my request and soon will find out if at my own expense,  allowed me to do another echo just to be sure. Sort of a second opinion for me to ease my mind and to be sure I was making the right decision. 

I am so fortunate to have found this forum. I truly wish the best for each and every one of you. I will post after my procedure. Thank you all again. 



Good luck Chris

by Gemita - 2020-03-26 16:10:08

and I hope the Defibrillator makes a real difference to your quality of life.  You sound as though you have a very understanding electrophysiologist who is prepared to go that little bit further to help you.  You were lucky to have survived your LAD heart attack.  It doesnt get the title of Widowmaker for no reason does it !  My hubby was very close to having a major heart attack two years ago when he was found to be almost totally blocked in the LAD artery.  He was very lucky too.

Yes please post your experience on implant of defibrillator.  I hope it will help to improve your ejection fraction and that you will continue to live a happy and healthy life.  Well done on the weight loss. My husband's diabetes control has improved simply because he has lost a bit of weight, so weight loss can have many hidden benefits.

Thank you

by msgloop - 2020-03-26 17:40:46

Thank you, Gemita, for your comment. I wish your hubby well and hope you and yours are safe in these trying times. 

Basic ICD will make no difference in quality of life....

by BOBTHOM - 2020-03-26 21:41:23

A basic ICD is just what the initials say, Implantable Cardiac Defibrilator.  It monitors for bad rythm (or stoppage) and then shocks the crap out of you basically stopping your heart in the hopes that it will restart in a normal rythm..  It does nothing to improve your ejection fraction or change your heart beat or rythm in any regular fashion.  There are combo units that do more and if your heart does not restart or restart in a normal rythm it can act as a pacemaker. 

Good luck and I hope it never goes off.  I've lived the shock storm and it's NOT fun!


by Gemita - 2020-03-26 23:58:14

Well you are certainly encouraging.   Chris has spoken at length with her electrophysiologist and all her questions have been answered and she feels she has made the right decision that an ICD is an appropriate treatment for her condition.  

Despite your comments, I remain hopeful that Chris' quality of life will improve just from the peace of mind of knowing that she has a device that will provide backup when she most needs it in the future.  She can now get on with her life and continue to improve her general health so that she can look forward to some quality time ahead.

It is known that an ICD improves survival in patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 35%.  I believe an ICD is certainly more effective than anti arrhythmic meds in quickly stopping dangerous arrhythmias and these arrhythmias would certainly adversely affect heart failure symptoms and ejection fraction.

I do not know Chris' medical history (whether she has CRT pacing?) but I doubt that she or her EP would go ahead with a therapy that is unlikely to help, so I am hopeful for a good outcome.  Can't you offer any words of encouragement?  Something positive about an ICD?




by msgloop - 2020-03-27 04:34:46

Thank you again for your encouraging response and for addressing Bobthom's comment. I do not have CRT pacing. I inquired about it but was told I was not a candidate. By the way, my procedure is set for 7 am today and I'm wide awake! 

To Bobthom: I am well aware that the ICD will not improve my ejection fraction or change my heart beat or rhythm. I am also aware, and accept, that there is a possibility of shock storms. From what I was told during my visit, the chances are low. However, the ICD is certainly a better alternative to oh...let's say...D Y I N G from sudden cardiac death or wearing a God awful life-vest. I feel this best for me and I'm fine with my decision.  I've endured Lupus and Breast Cancer and I'm ready to face this reality head on. Sure I may never ride the highest roller coasters again or skydive like I've always wanted, or blow out the speakers in my husband's truck playing Rush's "Tom Sawyer", but I'm very much looking forward to being able to sleep without worrying if I'll wake up in the morning.  At least now I will feel like I have a fighting chance! 

Thank you for your response. I'm sure you meant well.

Done deal!

by msgloop - 2020-03-28 12:12:25

The procedure went well. I'm just a little sore but not in any real pain  I thought I would have a hard time falling asleep last night but slept through the night. The hard part was trying to get out of bed this morning because it felt as if my chest was being weighed down with bricks! But I am moving around and trying not to stop using my left arm in order to keep it from freezing up. 

This is my life now. I'm not saying I may not have regrets but as time goes on and I learn to adjust , things will get easier. 


You sound better already after a peaceful night's sleep

by Gemita - 2020-03-28 14:07:45

It must be such a relief to have the procedure behind you.  Now you don't have to wonder what to do for the best anymore.  The decision has been made and you can now put it all behind you and start living your life knowing that you are better protected.

Enjoy the security your new device will give you and enjoy lots of quality time

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