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cardiac arrest


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Rene' Koenig Find out more about Rene' Koenig
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  • cardiac arrest

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This year is especially meaningful for me.

    I won't go into all the details right now...just too worn out. I'll give the details later, unless I get a spurt of energy!

    Last Thursday morning I finally went to the ER after feeling horrible a hundred times over the past 6 months.

    Was only in the ER for maybe 2 minutes, and went into cardiac arrest. Hadn't even been registered yet. God definately had me in the right place at the right time, with the right people and equipment.

    I was shocked, was in VT, then VF. A temporary pacemaker was put in (told my family I would not live if they didn't) and was lifeflighted to a hospital an hour and a half from here.

    Obviously, I don't remember any of that, and woke up Friday on a vent and freaking out. My hands and feet were restrained and I couldn't talk and felt like I couldn't breath...it was such a horrible feeling!

    Was in the hospital on total bedrest 'till Mon., then came home yesterday. They wanted to wait until I was a little stronger to put the permanent one in, so they couldn't take the temporary one out, since my body was using it the majority of time. I now have an ICD/pacer.

    I haven't even had time to wrap my brain around all that has happened in the past week. One minute I'm fine and laughing, and the next minute I'm crying my eyes out. I know all this will get better, but at the moment it just doesn't seem that way. I feel like I've been hit by a truck...I don't think that there is a part of my body that doesn't hurt.

    As I was laying in the hospital, I was trying to remember everything I've learned and read from all of you. Everything from amniodorone (sp) to dual chamber pacers, to biventricular pacers...ICD's...arrythmias...my mind was whirling!

    Anyway, I just want to say that this year I'm especially greatful that I'm still alive. If I had gotten to the ER even 2 minutes later, I may not be.
    And, I'm really greatful for everyone that posts and shares their knowledge and kindness with others!


  • #2
    Re: cardiac arrest

    Wow, Rene',

    You have definitely been through a lot!

    I have to say that I don't think that it is just luck that you were in the right place at the right time. You obviously have more to do on this earth, and it is not your time to go yet.

    I'm sorry that you have been through such a difficult time, but I am glad that you are still here to go through it. The alternative is not very good.

    You've actually been given a great gift, don't you agree? You know that there is definitely a reason that you are on this earth, and now your goal should be to figure out why that is.

    God bless you, and keep us posted on your progress.



    • #3
      Re: cardiac arrest

      WOW, what a story and I'm glad your here to tell it.
      I can see why your mind is going from very hi to very low, there must be a million thing going thru it right now.
      Look at it this way, there must have been a reason you were at the hospital when it happened. Fate, absolutely.
      Sounds like your going to get the right treatment to prevent this from happening again.
      I think you were very lucky and you should look at it as if this is a new phase in your life.
      Good Luck Rene.
      Every great thing that has ever happened since the beginning of time has started as a single thought in someones mind.
      So if you are capable of thought then you are capable of great things
      Good luck and stay well.


      • #4
        Re: cardiac arrest


        Oh my what a WEEK , But i hope you had a great Thanksgiving, I guess it would mean more with what you just experienced and came back from

        Diagnosed 2003
        Myectomy 2-23-2004
        Husband: Ken
        Son: John diagnosed 2004
        Daughter: Janet (free of HCM)

        Grandchildren: Drew 15,Aaron 13,Karen 9,Connor 9


        • #5
          Re: cardiac arrest

          Rene', I'm so glad you're ok now. That ICD is a godsend. I agree that you were at that ER at the right time for a reason. You take care and rest. We'll be here when you're stronger and up to chatting again.


          Husband has HCM.
          3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


          • #6
            Re: cardiac arrest

            Wow-what an experience. There really is a G-d! Congrats on saving your life. I am sorry you sufferred so much. You seem to have a good grasp, of all that happenned.
            Be strong. Don't expect to heal (physically & mentally) immediately. Give yourself plenty of Hugs.
            I bet your Family & Friends really appreciatee you right now (that should last about a week!)
            I'm thinking about you.


            • #7
              Re: cardiac arrest

              Wow, talk about being in the right place at the right time!!

              My how life is a mystery at times and I am very thankfull for you and your family that your HCM heart tested fate and won. Thank god you have an ICD!

              Rest and relax and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

              Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
              Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
              Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
              SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
              [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
              Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
              Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
              Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


              • #8
                Re: cardiac arrest

                Thanks for the kind words.

                I actually feel worse for my husband and sister since they were in the midst of everything. I knew something was seriously wrong by this point, and the last thing I remember was telling my husband that "something is wrong".

                I'm trying to keep a sense of humor about it as much as I can. I keep teasing him "you let them cut off a good shirt and $30 bra!"

                It's odd/funny some of the dumb and COMPLETELY unimportant little things that go through my mind now. I'm not sure exactly at what point it happened (whether it was when they were putting me onto the guerney or when they shocked me), but I must have really bumped a couple teeth because I have had 2 teeth killing me since I woke up, and my elbow is really sore!

                Back to seriousness though. When I was lifeflighted, my husband, sister and daughter drove and met me there. Apparently, the cardiologist on call was more concerned about how long I was "down," rather than my heart at that point. He told them that they'd have to give it several days for the swelling on (or around?) my brain to go down to determine how much brain damage I had sustained, and decide what my quality of life would be. He obviously doesn't know me! My family said they knew I was fine the next day, when I was writing smart/sarcastic remarks down to them.

                I have always tended to have a much more laid back attitude about HCM
                that I should have... in the back of my mind thinking "maybe my symptoms are just in my head". But, not anymore!

                Now that I'm new to the ICD world, I'm freaked out that maybe it'll fire unnecessarily, like others have. I'm completely ok with the idea of it being there if I need it, and as a safety net... but thinking that it may actually fire at some point makes me really, really nervous! But then I think of all of you who lost family members to HCM and would give anything to have them back. Then I remember how unbelievably blessed I am that I was where I was when my heat stopped, and now I have a
                fabulous piece of equipment in my chest in case it ever happens again.


                • #9
                  Re: cardiac arrest

                  Hi Rene'

                  Wow, you have been through alot. I am so glad that you were in the right place at the right time. God is there for you.

                  That is quite a bit to take in right now. Please give yourself some time, and if you have any anxiety, it is normal.

                  I kind of know how you feel. Almost 2 years ago I suffered a trauma too. Long story short: Dec. 21, 2002 sudden cardiac death, husband found me on the floor, he shook me vigorously until I came back, went to the ER, they sent me home....Jan. 6, 2003 Hemhorraged so badly during menstration I went into shock, was rushed to a different hospital, had blood transfusions, hysterectomy, electrical ablation, and ICD implanted. I spent 10 days in the hospital.

                  I too felt like I was hit by a truck after it all was over.

                  I had mortality kick me in the butt and I wasn't happy about it. But as time goes by it does get better. The ICD is a really good insurance policy, I am so glad you have it.

                  I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you

                  (((((((Big Hugs))))))))))

                  49 yrs. old
                  Diagnosed at 31.
                  Cardiac Arrest 2003, RF Ablation in AZ, no positive result -
                  First ICD 2003 - In 2006 lead went bad, abandoned lead, threaded new one & new generator
                  Myectomy 5-5-05 at The Cleveland Clinic - Dr. Lever & Dr. Smedira -heart surgeon.
                  Currently have Grade 2 Diastolic Dysfunction with pulmonary hypertension & pulmonary edema.
                  My brother passed away suddenly at 34 yrs old from HCM.
                  2 teenage children, ages 17 and 15.


                  • #10
                    Re: cardiac arrest

                    Rene: God does know what he is doing doesn't he? I am so happy it all worked as it did. Your attitude sounds like mine. A little smart *** keeps us going. Sense of humor is important. You will adjust to an ICD. Think of it as your own little ER. We have a lot to be thankful for. Hang in there.

                    Diagnosed in 1977, Myectomy in 1981 @ Mayo Rochester
                    ICD&Pacemaker 1996
                    Heart transplant March 19, 2004 @ Mayo Rochester
                    Mom of Kaye.


                    • #11
                      Re: cardiac arrest


                      There are a lot of emotions and fears you will go through on the ICD journey. Check out http://zaplife.org/ for AICD specific message boards.

                      Take care and know we are here for you. It can be scary, but you are stronger for the experience.



                      • #12
                        Re: cardiac arrest

                        I'm so happy to hear you got an ICD and are doing much better now. You're here for a reason, that just proves it.

                        The best,

                        I cannot fear death, because when dead, death does not exist. Love is the reason for being, it can never be taken away nor lost, so hold on I will, and in death I will not part, but rejoice for the time I’ve had with you.