After ICD shocks you, then what...

Several members/SO's have posted that their ICD has activated one or several times. Then what? Do you have to go to the hospital? Do you just go on with your task? Do you see a white light? Just kidding. What exactly happens? Thanks for the info!

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Hi Carol,
When my ICD fired, I didn't even know for sure it had. I passed out before it happened, so I didn't feel anything. When I woke up on the kitchen floor, I suspected that's what happened. I walked upstairs to my bedroom to lay down, and then called the doctor. He told me as long as I felt OK, just wait until the next day to transmit my info to them. Because it happened just before Christmas, and on a weekend, I didn't know until 3 days later that I'd had another full cardiac arrest and that my ICD had saved me. I went to the hospital to be checked out, but i was only there for a few hours.
For a little while right after the incident, my arm felt tingly, and I any clothing that touched my upper left side felt really uncomfortable. That went away by the next day, if I remember correctly.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Mary

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What our doctor has told us.... If my husband recieves a shock to sit and relax, transmit a reading and call him in the morning. If he recives another shock with in 24 hours...head to the emergency room.

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Mary1:
Thanks for your response. Do you worry it will happen again? Were you released to drive at the time? Did they put you on restriction again? I'm glad your little friend whacked you. It's comforting to hear that they really do work. Are you limited in any other physical way? Sorry for all the questions, but even though my incident occured May 2, I'm really still a baby at this whole disease. Thanks again, cg

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Thanks, Sassy1. I guess I didn't ask enough questions at my office visit. I've learned a great deal from reading discussions in this forum and appreciate all the foks who are willing to share (and bare their soul) to us. I don't really "expect" to have another event, but since I live alone, I was just kind of wondering what to do if I woke up from it. Thanks again for your reply. cg

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Hi Carol,
I am more than happy to answer any of your questions. Not only does it help you, but I still find it therapeutic for me. First one... yes, I do still worry about it happening again. Honestly, I am not even really sure why. When it happened the second time, it was not a horrible experience. I just had never felt that dizzy before, and then I passed out. A few months ago I got really dizzy (when I was coming out of a funeral home, of all places!) and I panicked. I grabbed onto my husband, and then started sobbing. I was more surprised by my reaction than what actually happened. But it showed me how scared I still feel after 3 years. I guess the moral of that story is that I was living my life pretty normally, but the scary feelings are hiding just below the surface.
After this incident, I was out of work for about 6 weeks. I felt "weird" for a lot of that time, although I couldn't really pinpoint what was wrong. But it eventually passed. I was not only put on restriction for driving for 6 months, my doctor said she doesn't think I should drive at all. Both times I had the SCA, I passed out with no notice. There would never be enough time to react while driving. They don't have any idea what caused my SCA, so it's totally unpredictable when or if it happens again. Other than that, I have no other restrictions.
Carol, I know this is really hard. I had soooo many questions and it took me over a year to find this site. Do you know what caused your SCA? It is definitely life-changing. It is not easily forgotten. But it is easier now. Let me know if you have more questions or need anything else.
Take care.
Mary

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Dear CarolG: If you were to get a shock, use your judgment. If you feel ok afterwards, call your doctor. If you still don't feel right, go to the ER. I had a shock 5 months after my SCA. Like Mary1, I passed out first and wasn't even sure I had been shocked. I don't know how to describe what I felt, but I just didn't feel "right," so I asked the person I was with to call 911. I'm glad I did. I had another episode in the ambulance, and several more at the hospital (I went into a VT "storm").

I'm grateful for my ICD and its life-saving power!!

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I've had my ICD for a long time and have always been told that if it goes off once, just call the dr.s ofc the next day to let them know and they usually had me come in but now I just transmit if they say to-it just did its job. If it goes off more than once, I need to go to the hospital as soon as possible because something is wrong-either with me or the ICD. I can almost sense or tell when the computer will start counting down now, like a built-in health intuition meter. The seeing a white light is no joke, sometimes when it goes off, my eyes are open and I see a white light that fills my entire vision area. You may have been joking about the white light at the end of the tunnel when you die but I think you were referring to at time of shock. I get fatigued and have to rest for a few minutes before I can finish what I was doing but I can finish when I return to normal. The random full body pin pricks are getting worse and lasting longer after my shocks now too, I can't stand those. The feel of electriciy pulsing through my body is worse in my left arm now and is so strong I feel I could throw lightning bolts from my finger tips if I pointed at something. My muscle weakness returns after a bit, its like when you are trying to do something and laughing uncontrolably, you just don't have that muscle power or control. I don't fear any of this as I have a high tolerence of pain and I have been doing it a long time but it is knowing that my heart muscles get weaker with every shock is what scares me. I have never lost conscience and therefore have never woken up from it as you have, it is very lucid and I can recall them all as if they just happened now. It affects everyone differently and you have to learn for yourself how it affects you, your task management, your recovery and your own symptoms that you are asking about. It comes with time and now you have the time to learn it, be with people who love you and live your life. Good luck for many years to come.

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