Jun 26
mattrapaport , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

My story

Hi everyone.  My name is Matt and I am a 37 year old living in NW suburban Chicago.  Four years ago (April 18, 2012), while taking a shower before work i experienced very dangerous PVC's that lead to V-Fib.  Thankfully, my wife was home, heard me collapse in the shower and quickly called 911.  Since we live close to the firehouse, paramedics were at my house in about 4 minutes.  They were able to quickly diagnose my irregular rhythms and shock me back into regular rhythm.  However, since i wasn't complaining or talking to anyone prior to the incident, upon my arrival at the hospital, Dr's weren't sure what was the exact problem was.  They did great work, diagnosed the V-Fib, stabilized me, and after a couple of days, inserted an ICD into my chest.  Lucky to be alive, 10 days later (had an infected arm) I walked out of the hospital only needing to take Metropolol (eventually 200 mg daily).  Having my regular check ups and my quarterly device reading had largely been uneventful.  In October of 2014, i had 2 irregular heart rhythms, both i didn't feel or had any idea they happened, as my heart went back to normal rhythm withing 1-3 seconds.  At that point, my Dr. raised my medication to 300 mg of metropolol.  Fast forward to this May, was at the Dr for may annual apt and a device reading.  Upon reading my device, they noticed that i again had a couple incidents, which again i never felt and they corrected them self rather quickly.  given the fact i had a couple incidents, my Dr suggested an ablation.  After discussing with my family, we felt it was an appropriate course of action, so on June 13, 2016, I went in for an ablation.  Long story short, the ablation didn't work, which i know isn't all that uncommon.  I did have to be shocked back in to regular rhythm during the procedure, but everything else was rather normal.  Here is where it gets interesting.  Since i had the ablation where they went into both the vein and artery, i had to lay flat for 8 hours.  Not ideal but whatever.  7 and 1/2 hours into it, which was about 2:30 am, i was uncomfortable and laying in bed watching TV and playing on my phone.  All of a sudden, a flutter in my chest, weirdness in my head and my ICD fired, shocking me for the first time.  Needless to say i was surprised so i yelled, the nurses came running in, told me hay happened, told me everything was OK as my heart was back to normal rhythm.  The nurses were great, asking me what else i might need.  I was pretty cramped up from the bed (I am 6 foot 2) so i said i just needed to stand up.  the nurse said OK.  AS soon as i stood up, the ICD fired again, shocking me.  At hat point the nurses called the ICU and i was taken up there, where i had a couple more shocks before 6 am.  Over the course of that Tuesday, i was shocked a total of 11 times and put in the cardiac ICU.  Thankfully they were able to stabilize me via IV meds, and were able to switch over to oral meds.  6 days after i entered for the ablation, I left the hospital.

I left the hospital taking 150 mg of Flacanide two times daily and 200 mg of Metroprolol daily.

Physically i feel good.  I need to get my strength back, but that will come as i get back into my routine.

Mentally its been a bit tougher.  Unlike my original incident where i hadn't a clue what happened, this time i knew exactly what happened and how it felt.  The first couple days home, all i could think about is "what happens if it happens again?"  that has since subsided some as i get back into things.  I have been waking up at nights with "dreams" that i am in the hospital or that my heart needs to be monitored.  Hoping that will subside soon.

If anyone has insight to provide, it would be greatly appreciated.

  • Revirginiades
  • purple heart
    purple heart,
    The first two times my ICD fired I passed out and didn't feel it. Then once it went of a second time as I was getting up from passing out. I felt it! It was very scary! I felt my chest go out so far although my children said it really didn't! For a long time I feared it happening again. So I tried to read as much as possible about a-fib and ICD 's . As time passed my fears soon faded. Try not to focus on it which is easier said than done. Let time heal! Best wishes for you!
  • carol1950
    Hi Matt, My brother had to have 3 ablations before he quit having his defib finally quit going off. The first time his defib went off it knocked him to the ground but now that the 3rd ablation finally worked, he hasn't had the defib go off but for a long time he was very anxious about it and even had to take some anxiety meds for it. So it seems to be treatable but you may have to have another ablation or two before it works well. He also has copd so he is coping with that too. Heart problems run in our family. I have been diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension and Congestive Heart Failure and there is nothing that can be done for the CHF. But trying to cope with the PH as if I can get my breathing under control that would slow down the CHF. Just hang in there as they do have things to help what you have! Keep us posted! Carol
  • Bobcat
    I want to share my stories with your reader: The call for independence after stroke! I am Author & Motivation Speaker for post-stroke recovery to help and inspire others and a Small Business Enterprise: The Power of I Believe, A book of motivation, encouragement and inspirational thoughts after a stroke, a Christian-themed book written to help stroke survivors and others touched by a disability regain their faith and strength as they recover and move forward with their lives. Though I wrote this book with stroke survivors in mind, the feedback I have received through my blog and Facebook page has shown me that The Power of I Believe is a source of inspiration for anyone who needs it. Everyone experiences doubt at some point—whether in themselves or in God—and this is especially true after a sudden and traumatic event. I know from experience. In December 2006 I experienced a sudden stroke, which left me battling aphasia. As part of my recovery, I returned to the journals I had kept for many years to find the same inspiration that had motivated me throughout my life. Through these meditations, I came to understand The Power of I Believe. Many people who have a stroke simply do not find the motivation they need during recovery. And this is not an experience unique to stroke survivors; anyone struggling with a disability, or even a difficult time in their life, can find it hard to muster the strength they need. The Power of I Believe is written for these people. The Power of I Believe means making the choice to accomplish your goals—it means having the determination to keep striving and the faith to know that you will succeed. In this book I share the thoughts and the inspirations that gave me the determination and faith to keep working to overcome my aphasia and recover from my stroke. My reflections focus on the power of God, the power of faith, and the power of the mind. Through these inspirational words and thoughts and through my faith, I found the personal strength preserve. I am now back riding my bike, playing golf, swimming, and going to the fitness center. While most books for stroke survivors focus on specific exercises and tasks that will help a survivor to recover and regain functioning, The Power of I Believe is focused on instilling the strength and faith necessary during the recovery process. www.robertleefields.com/
  • Bevrly
    Sorry about you problems with your heart. My sister-in-law has had heart failure for many years and is still living at 91. My son also has heart failure at 62 and is still able to work. He is being monitored by a cardiologist but is doing okay. If you can find a support group it would be beneficial for you I belong to a stroke support group as my husband had a stroke in 1990 and we joined it. My husband passed away 7 years ago but I still go to the meetings once a month. Praying for yoy. Beverly
  • heartsecrets
    i tried 2 mg of copper, 10 mg of biotin, and something called "vitamin O" from the website R-garden. some of my hair color after three months reversed back to it's original with specks of gray. i also bought oximeter from R-garden to check my oxygen level and pulse rate. 98% oxygen is normal and 89% is critical. God Bless.
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