ICD, I'm sure it fired but hospital say no??

Hello All

I posted this on medical procedures but think it's more relevant here? I have biventricular ICD since 2010 and it has never fired offically. I am sure if fired for the first time yesterday but hospital say remote interrogation shows it didn't. I am at hospital this month to have ICD check which will give me a 2nd opinion but right now I feel like an idiot, total idiot. Here's what happened, I was asleep and woke with a jolt, having saw a flash of blue light, my heart rate was fast and hands tingling. I felt like something had happened to my body. Weirdly when I awoke I was dazed and immediately thought I had been electrocuted and was going to search for the offending cable/plug socket in the bed covers! Later I felt pressure in the middle of my chest. I NEVER felt any kicking anywhere, not chest/back or side. Do you think my ICD fired or do you think I need to seek out men in white coats? Thank you all.

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Weird! If it wasn't the ICD.....what was it? A few years back I noticed a significant change in my ability to climb my condo stairs immediately upon returning home from having my ICD interrogated in office. Cardios continued to tell me that nothing had been changed and this couldn't be the cause. Put me through lung tests, etc., etc. Finally they had me see the electrophysiologist/cardiologist. He took one look at the computer screen and said, "Oh I see what's causing this!" Made a correction to the device and I was on my way, trucking up all 49 steps to my front door. Go figure. Hope they have someone who can really check this out for you! Good luck, laurali

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The interrogation of your ICD should definitely tell if the device fired. My husband has had several defibrillations from his device and they all were as if he had been kicked by a mule-quote-strong enough to knock him down but he never mentioned any of the tingling in his hands. He did see a flash of white light but not the blue light you experienced. However until there is a thorough interrogation, it is certainly possible. I would think your electrophysiologist is more qualified to determine what happened. Try to remember the time of the event for them to investigate. Something happened!

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Go to Google, type in "ICD phantom shocks", and you will get more than 100,000 results. I only looked into the first 3-4, from very reputable sources. As one states "Phantom shock is the sensation of shock in the absence of an actual implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) discharge." I would still want to be checked in person, however, not just by remote interrogation.

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Hello All

Thanks for replies. I looked at phantom shocks and I don't really meet that criteria, I've had my device well over 6 months, I didn't have it because of a traumatic cardiac event and apart from the first 2 weeks I was not worried about it going off. However the hospital just did a manual interrogation for me and again, no firing and no arrythmias. Well now I think my monitoring device is wonky!! This only since the discussion with the hospital during which they said I could not do my manual interrogations but guess what...I have been! Oh yes, my device tells me interrogation failed, then I do a manual one and it tells me, interrogation complete, information sent, information received, or words to that effect.

The good news is that I am in clinic at the end of the month for a face to face check and once they tell me it didn't fire, it didn't fire and I will accept it and put it down to a phantom event. I had had a very difficult day prior to the night time event, phantom or whatever!

Thank you all again.

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Thanks for your post - I have been feeling something weird from ICD (implanted 3 weeks ago) occasionally - I thought it was pacing me out of a rhythm but when I went for my checkup they said that it didn't. I just had an ablation and last night (in the middle of the night, so who knows if it was just a phantom) I felt the pacing feeling again. I'm wondering if I'm just sensitive to the wires when they are recording symptoms? Not sure. It was scary since they thought the ablation took care of my VT. Let me know if you figure anything out - seems like this might be a common problem!

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Thanks for your post, I'm encouraged that you've had your biventricular ICD for 2 years. I've had my biventricular ICD/CRT for 3 weeks and have not had any events, but have a sort of pins and needles feeling across my left breast occ. Has anyone else ever experienced this .. I figure it's just a sign of healing. I had to have the LV lead sewn to the exterior of my heart via a thoracotomy, so I'm sure the recovery will be a bit longer. Those of you with ICD's a long time are an encouragement to me! Laurali: 40 steps!! Now that's a goal I'm far from acheiving!!

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My husband often reports tingles or llittle shocks around his ICD. Nothing ever shows up on the device check. The best guess of his cardiologist is that it is from nerve damage from the device being implanted. Most events seem to occur approximately where the wires are and he is very thin with little fat padding. I wonder if the little impulses sometimes can be felt along those wires. This is a longtime occurance so it is probably normal and no cause for worry as I have seen other posts reporting the same feeling.

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Phantom shocks - I am on icd #4 - have had them for more than 20 years since my original SCA. I have had 9 life-saving shocks and 11 inappropriate shocks (early technology was more likely to do this, but the life-saving shocks outweighed it) and 1 phantom shock. I fell asleep watching Star Trek, dreamt I was in a phaser fight, with blasts all around me, woke up with my heart pounding, sure i had been zapped. I had had icd's for years and had experienced shocks before. Nope, just a dream.

Yes I also have experienced tingling, nerve stuff, weird sensations around the devices, especially soon (first 1-2 years) after implantation of a device.

From twenty years out, with improved heart functioning and no shocks in almost 10 years, I believe the icd and meds kept me alive long enough for my heart to have a chance to heal. Yes, it has been weird (shocks are weird) and scary, but it sure beats the alternative. Hang in there.

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What are the ICD meds? I have an ICD but no meds. What meds are you talking about? I have had mine for almost 6 months.

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People get icd's for various reasons because they are at risk for Sudden cardiac arrest. The icd is there to save you if you go into an abnormal rhythm and keep it from becoming a cardiac arrest. The meds treat the underlying condition and/or control rhythms so you don't get as many shocks. There is no specific icd med - it depends on the underlying problem.

After my SCA in 1992, I was on various meds in the hospital, was discharged on Vasotec, an ACE inhibitor for three years. I have been on various other meds at different times, including Atenolol (a Beta Blocker) and Verapamil (a calcium channel blocker because I had episodes of atrial flutter that made my icd fire inappropriately). In 2002 after 3 zaps in about 6 weeks, I started Sotolol, a combined Beta blocker, antiarrhythmic. Since that time I have had one episode of sustained v-fib, about 6 months after I started Sotolol and none in the almost 10 years since. I am currently on an Ace inhibitor (Lisinipril) also. This was started in 2009, when my heart function was weakened by chemotherapy for breast cancer. After a year my heart function was back to normal and despite the cardiac stuff and the cancer, I work full time, am an avid sea kayaker, work out three times a week and generally live a pretty normal life. I have been pretty fortunate.

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WOW! Thank you so much for sharing this. I am getting more and more educated as time goes on. I have been looking for a support group in the Orange County, CA area. I love this forum. Thank you for contributing.

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Real shocks or phantoms???That is the question. I will say that I have had many very real shocks(which saved my life) and before they happened I had a strange "buzzing" which climbed up the back of my neck and then I would "zone out" for a minute.When the shock came I did see a blue light flash in a thin horizontal manner for a nano-second then boom-being kicked like a mule and knocked off my feet.
Now for those pesky "phantoms". They appear to come only when I am just falling asleep and laying down on my back.
They feel like I have stuck a wet finger in a light socket rather than being kicked by a mule. I suspect that it comes from body positioning,falling into sleep,nerves near the heart being compromised by the ICD,and anxiety.Thankfully,I have not had one for a very long time as I started sleeping only on my right side-seemed to help.
There have been times when I didn't feel any heart irregular beats and yet the interrogation revealed I had a-fib or other skipped beats.Other times, I was sure the heart was doing a tap dance or shock and the device revealed nothing unusual.
I find having a good blood pressure cuff that also takes your heart beat count is helpful for my peace of mind.

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Hello All

Thank you for additional replies. I recently went to my ICD clinic for a face to face interrogation of my ICD and it has never fired according to the interrogation so phantom shock it was.

I am glad I am not the only one to experience this but do wonder what's with the blue flash of light, that's just plain weird. Feeling like you've stuck a wet finger in a light socket sums it up perfectly by the way!

Take care and forums like this are an invaulable resource, many thanks to everyone who participates.

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