inappropriate shocks

I believe that the more I learn, the less anxiety I have.  I am now trying to learn from experiences.  Facts and experiences work best for me , which is why I feel that this forum is "quality of life saving". 

I have read that most ICD shocks feel like a kick in the chest. I had several shocks over a six hour time span. They were diagnosed as "inappropriate" shocks.   However, they did not feel like thuds nor kicks in the chest . That is the information that I get from the Internet on how an inappropriate shock should feel.   They felt more like execution. I actually thought that I had touched a hot wire somewhere or an appliance had fallen into the water that I was washing my hands in.  However, the pain stopped immediately after it began.  Then it would start up again.  After "recalibrating" or "reprogramming" the leads, and changing my meds, I hope to have this under control.  

My question, has anyone been diagnosed with an inappropriate shock and if so, is it possible to describe?  My appreciation to all on this forum.  





it depends

by AgentX86 - 2020-10-27 12:09:17

Your EP has all sorts of knobs to turn to get your PM to operate as he thinks it should for your specific needs. It can be set to start low and if that doesn't fix the detected arrhythmia, increase the zap. So.e will set it to the max to make sure there's enough juice the first time. When my brother's goes off, it takes him to his knees and he's useless for the rest of the day. It's not a rare event, either. Touching him on his left side can set it off.

Several contributors here have had 'inappropriate' ICD shocks

by crustyg - 2020-10-27 14:03:43

It seems to feel very different for some people, which may be related to the big differences between how some people experience heart attack pain.

I've had quite a few electric shocks over the years (AC mains and DC HV, and some RF) and there's a clear difference - not that I ever wanted to recheck to calibrate my experience (I really am more careful about AC mains now).  They were all painful and made me want to withdraw ASAP.  Even the nerve stimulation for some recent neurophysiology investigation was pretty painful, so I dread to think what that might have felt like in my chest.

In truth I don't think anyone can really tell *you* what an ICD firing might feel like - it's pretty individual.  But your description of 'execution' sounds pretty clear.  Ouch.

I hope you're going to have fewer of them from now on.


by Katelyn - 2020-10-30 00:29:31

Ive had both inappropriate (6) and appropriate shocks (11)... they feel the same.  There actually isnt pain associated with it because it is so fast as you describe.. depending on how many shocks in the event, i could get a little muscle soreness the next day.  The only pain i've experienced was in the early days when I didnt recognize the symptoms that a shock was coming and would then pass out/fall down and hit something.  Now I know when to quickly lay down before a shock happens (high recommend this technique!).  The sudden confusion and then the quickly following fear of that comes after getting a shock is what I dread - but Im working on positive psychology techniques to turn my fear into gratitude.  

Inappropriate Shocks

by sally40707 - 2020-10-31 14:14:08

Thanks to all of you.  Like Katelyn, I am also working on framing positively.  Better the inappropriate shocks than none if I ever need it.  I still have to work a little on the anxiety of  when I get that "funny feeling" in my chest, although I do not experience a shock anymore.  I have not experienced an inappropriate shock since the initial experience.  I believe that my EP did calibrate or "turn some knobs" to prevent that from happening again. Agent X, I cannot imagine it happening frequently like your brother's.  Has it always been like that?   If so, how long has he had it?

Jesus jolts

by ROBO Pop - 2020-11-03 01:24:04

I get so irritated when people say a Jesus Jolt feels like a horse kicking you in the chest. I've enjoyed both and they ain't even similar. 

My Cardiologist and I agree that what you feel, or how you perceive it, is directly related to the amount of damage your heart has already suffered. The more damage, the less pain from a jolt. I interpret them as an instantaneous thump to get my attention with residual mild pain like after a muscle cramp. Still the actual jolt is fast and over

Inappropriate Shocks

by sally40707 - 2020-11-04 13:16:37

Although I will take my chances on having more inappropriate shocks to obtain a life saving shock, I have read where they may increase mortality 2 -5 times.  That tells me that they may damage the heart.  Has anyone else read that.  I cannot find how they damage the heart.  below is an exerpt from Medscape journal.  


The shocks may be an epiphenomenon, that is, a marker of underlying disease progression; however, it cannot be excluded that shocks cause direct myocardial damage. This latter question is difficult to clarify .

You know you're wired when...

You can hear your heartbeat in your cell phone.

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