I'm new and just had ICD implant

I had my ICD implanted this past Tuesday, Sept 28, 2021  I'm feeling pretty unsettled and anxious about things.  I'm hopiong to find others here who are either experiencing similar things or, better yet, have more experience in dealing with them. 

I'm a 50 year old male with a diagnosis of mild non-obsturctive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  I've had excercise restriction most of my life but still managed to play Div I baseball and continue with exercise throughout most of my life.  Earlier this year I had a presyncopol episode while at crossfit which was likely due to a 10 min run of ventricular tachycardia.  After further testing it was found that i also have a deep and lenghty run of myocardial bridging.  Unforutnatley the bridging has caused significant scarring.  I was also found to have frequent and long runs of unsustained ventricular tachycardia during a 30 day monitored period.  To mitigate all said issues I've been fitted with a dual chamber ICD (medtronic cobalt xt) and put on beta blockers (metropolol 25mg/day) and blood thinners (Eliquis 5 mg/ 2x per day) due to an associated anuearism in my heart.  

I'm married with three kids (two boys 20 and 8, and a daughter who's 6) and own a small ranch in a little lake community in Farmington.  I've also  learned to manage a panic/anxiety disorder and alcoholsim (sober since Jan 5, 2002) by using support programs.

I find myself worrying about irrational things... what if my heart has an infection from surgery, what if it causes me to have a heart attack (I'm sure my body doesn't love foregin objects sitting in my heart), side effects from medications etc...  i also wonder if I'll be able to get back to normal again.  Though my doctor says i can exercise again after healing (with some restricitions of course) i wonder if i'll be able to be courageous enough to do it.  Sometimes I feel sad and just wish i didn't have a genetic heart issue.  I also worry about every little twinge, palpiation, little ache, etc... and start thinking catastrophically.  I know this should fade with time, but I just wanted to share where i'm at.   Any and all comments welcome!!!


5 Comments

ICD a life saver

by Old male - 2021-10-01 09:54:13

Drzrider....Glad you were able to get an ICD before a catastrophic event.  You now have protection from Cardiac Arrest.  Should you receive therapy (a shock) I didn't find it really painful as some describe as a "mule kick" and it's over before you realize what happened. My heart issues began at age 49 with bypass surgery.  Two heart attacks and 2 stents at 55 and ICD 7 years ago for Vtac at age 66.  Active in gym all my life and not overweight.  You should have many years of life ahead and need to stay physically active much as possible.  Congratulations on the alcohol....I gave it up 32 years ago.  

Welcome

by Gemita - 2021-10-01 14:14:41

Hello drzrider,  

I have been looking through your history and I am not surprised you feel overwhelmed, but it seems you have now got some advanced technology in the Medtronic Cobalt XT to protect you.

In experienced hands, an implant procedure is generally low risk and you clearly needed the support of a pacemaker/ICD and are safer now with the implant, especially once the healing period is behind you and you get used to pacing.  I see your conditions have not prevented you from living a full life so far and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to look forward to a productive life in the future.

I suffer from arrhythmias, including episodes of non sustained Ventricular Tachycardia and yes I have been “floored” too by episodes at very high heart rates, although my beta blocker now is more than capable of controlling this.  Initially though, I needed a strong cocktail of meds to get my arrhythmias under firm control. 

Take your recovery slowly.  Start with small steps and gradually build on this.  Don’t do too much today and crash tomorrow.  Pace yourself.

It is normal to worry about the symptoms that can arise when we first experience life with a pacemaker/ICD.  Our body goes through a process of acceptance, adjustment to pacing, and this can be hard for some of us.  You will have the courage to exercise again as your strength builds and your arrhythmia is controlled.  I think most of us worry about possible pacemaker infection or some sort of allergic reaction, I certainly did, but this fortunately is still extremely rare.

Sometimes I would like to wind back the clock and start afresh with a new body, free from disease, but I have learned over the years to be grateful for what I have, to build on what I have.  It is human to want more of course, to strive to be the best we can, but I see you have a lovely family and home in a wonderful location, so life has still been good to you.

I note myocardial bridging (MB) can cause chest pain and is associated with exercise-induced ventricular arrhythmia.  Your beta blocker will help to reduce any high heart rates and your anticoagulant Eliquis is one of the safest and best to protect you from the potential to form clots with an arrhythmia.  I am sure your doctors are keeping a close eye on your aneurysm while you are taking Eliquis.  

I send my warmest wishes to you and hope you make a good recovery

Welcome to the Club

by MinimeJer05 - 2021-10-01 15:41:07

Hello,

I am sorry to hear about all of your medical complications -- it is totally NORMAL to feel how you feel, especially given what has all happened to lead you to this point.

But take comfort in knowing that the tough/hard times are hopefully behind you and that you should be able to return to a normal life very soon. The recovery process can be difficult and concerning at times (I STILL second-guess every little feeling I get), but it does get better.

Where I am now vs. where I was 3 weeks ago (I had my PM implanted the Sat. before Labor Day) is significantly different. I don't feel 100%, but I definitely feel better and have felt better with each new day.

Try to take it one step at a time and gradually build that confidence back up so that you can feel normal again and go back to your active lifestyle. I am going to start going for walks outside this weekend and am beyond excited for this to just be a normal part of my day -- there was once a time a few weeks ago where I didn't think this would be possible, but here we are.

I truly hope things start to get better for you. I believe that it will and know that there are others out there (on this very forum) that have gone what you have gone through and will hopefully chime in to provide you with some comfort and encouragement.

Take care

Jer

Thank you

by Drzrider#11 - 2021-10-03 18:29:31

Thank you all for your encouragement and support.    It really means a lot and I've read each of the three posts a number of times.  Again, thank you!

I have been walking and doing small things around th house, but I must say I tend to get worn out pretty quickly.  My wife said that my body has been through a lot and it just needs time.  I hope that's the reason.  I don't really know what recovery from this should feel like.

I also started a beta blocker and a blood thinner so maybe it's that?  My heart rate is set to not go below 60 bom so I would think I wouldn't be tired from beta blockers.  Again, I have no idea.

I also have strange uncomfortable sensations in my forearms that makes it hard to sleep, along with body aches during parts of the day.  No fever though.
 

 Does all of this sound normal for my first week?

I am new too

by Alexander - 2021-10-06 05:45:34

I have the same anxieties as you, I am 2 days out of recovery. I am sore, have aches and have at times an overwhelming sense of despair for my future. I would say though that our bodies are complicated yet resilient and it will take time to heal. The psychological trauma though may take more time. I really have no business giving you advice but just know, you are not alone. 

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