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My New ICD


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  • My New ICD

    [My New ICD]

    Author: Mary Catania (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 08-06-02 09:55

    I had my ICD implanted on 7/23/02. The EP testing and surgery went exceptionally well, and I am now recuperating very nicely. Although the procedures themselves were well-coordinated by a wonderful and highly-experienced team, my stay at the hospital was not what I would have hoped for. I was so glad to get home to a peaceful and conducive-to-healing place. I will probably confront the hospital about the problems I encountered (when I'm feeling back to normal again).

    My husband took off from work during the first week and had to help me with just about everything. I managed my pain with extra-strength Tylenol. My husband returned to work the second week, but I had visits from friends and relatives each afternoon. Now starting my third week, I'm feeling much better, and have curtailed my steady use of Tylenol. I must say, I only had one very bad night: I cried from the pain and stress. My husband listened supportively without trying to justify anything. When my crying and self-pitying jag was over, that was the absolute end of it. I accept my ICD and know that I can live with it.

    My problem is this: I am unable to sleep through the night. I have stopped taking mid-day naps, and still I can't sleep all night. At first, I awoke every 2-3 hours, not necessarily because of pain, but more because of inability to find a comfortable position. Now I awake at around 3 or 4 a.m. and fall back to sleep at around 6 or 7 a.m. for a couple of hours. I use that waking time to read or write, sometimes to watch t.v., but no matter what I do it takes a few hours to get back to sleep. I'm tired during the day, but try to avoid napping for fear of total inability to sleep at night. I refuse to take sleeping pills...never have, hopefully never will.

    My left arm is still quite sore, and I'm not allowed to lift it above shoulder level for another 2 wks. I can't imagine going back to work yet, although I've read that some of you have returned after 2 wks. Not me! I'm 59 years old, and age or no age, it takes me a little longer than the average person to recuperate from surgery.

    I want to thank all of you who gave me encouragement during my time of decision-making. I know I did the right thing, and I will be feeling better and better with each passing day.


    [Re: My New ICD]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 08-06-02 12:43

    Dear Mary

    Congratulations and best wishes. I'm glad that you are doing so well, despite the sleeping problems. Have you talked to your doctor about this? I find that meditation helps me sleep. You can buy guided meditation tapes and CDs almost anywhere now that are really nice --you just listen and follow allong --no special knowledge or skill needed. If you e-mail me, I'll send you a link to the one I use (ano to anyone else who would like it).

    I'm sure that your fellow ICD'ers will chime in with their sleep solutions as well. You also may want to consider talking to a therapist during this stressful time. You may be afraid to sleep? Just an idea. (my psychology degree rearing its ugly head here.)

    take care



    [Re: My New ICD]

    Author: Sue (---.howard01.md.comcast.net)

    Date: 08-06-02 18:18

    Mary--I had trouble sleeping after my ICD procedure, waking up about the same time of night (morning) that you do and it has gone away as my physical comfort with the implant has increased. Two things I have done, suggested by others, are (1) wear an exercise or leisure bra to bed to help keep everything in place, and (2) hug a pillow to my chest---I use a little neck roll. These have really made the difference for me.

    Have you found the website Zaplife.org? It is for people who have ICDs and have either been zapped or not. There is discussion on the bulletin board there about comfort after implant---that may be where these suggestions came from. I'm a true believer in searching the web for information about my problems.

    Hope you feel better soon.



    [Re: My New ICD]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 08-06-02 20:21

    Mary -

    Welcome to the ICD world also known as the ER in the Chest club

    Sue has some good points re sleeping. You may also want to try to become a little more active during the day so that you are a little more tired at night. I know that over the years when I have been home from work (my stroke, baby or any of my device implants 3 to date!) I have found that my lowered activity level has made me less tired at night and waking at 2-3 am just waiting to go back to sleep, which would come around 5-6...which was perfect for making me sluggish all morning then awake all afternoon and night. If I try to move around a little more then I seem to sleep better. Just an idea.

    Best wishes...and sweet dreams,



    [Re: My New ICD]

    Author: Mary Catania (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 08-07-02 12:22

    Dear Sue,

    Thanks for your suggestions. After I read your reply this morning, I put on a sports bra and already feel a difference. I'm sure that sleeping in it tonight will help. Also, last night we went out to dinner and I wore a regular bra for the first time since surgery. It wasn't too bad, but I was sure glad to get home and remove it. I think I'll use the sports bra from now on, at least for a few more weeks.

    I checked into Zaplife--good discussions there about anything and everything pertaining to ICDs. Unbelievable!




    [Re: My New ICD]

    Author: Mary Catania (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 08-07-02 12:27

    Dear Lisa,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I'll try not to lay down so much today, although I really haven't been napping during the day for a whole week now. Sue suggested wearing a sports bra, which I tried today and it feels great. I'll try it tonight for sleeping.

    Good wishes to you,



    [Re: My New ICD]

    Author: Julie (216.181.113.---)

    Date: 08-22-02 15:43

    Hi Mary,

    I had my ICD put in May 23. I used to sleep on my left side, and am still unable to since my surgery. For me, it was very difficult deciding on a new sleep position. I did wear a sports bra to sleep and still hold a pillow. These things all helped.

    I find that it gets easier and more comfortable all the time. My mom has had hers for years now, and says she really doesn't know it's there most of the time.

    It gets better.

    Good luck,

    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.