Monday, 01/24/2016, I received a phone call from the cardiologist that I had met on Sunday. He tells me that Jim had two more “episodes,” one during the night and then again the in the morning. He decided it was time to do surgery to implant the Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD).
What is an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)?
An ICD is always checking your heart rate and rhythm. If the ICD detects a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm, it tries to slow the rhythm to get it back to normal. If the dangerous rhythm does not stop, the ICD sends an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. The device then goes back to its watchful mode.
An ICD also can fix a heart rate that is too fast or too slow. It does so without using a shock. It can send out electrical pulses to speed up a heart rate that is too slow. Or it can slow down a fast heart rate by matching the pace and bringing the heart rate back to normal.
Whether you get pulses or a shock depends on the type of problem that you have and how the doctor programs the ICD for you.”
Now, the man that had a very healthy heart has implants to regulate his heart beat, an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD). It will first regulate his heart with the Cardioverter, and if that isn’t enough, the Defibrillator will send a shock to his heart. What happened to cause this heart, which was deemed healthy three weeks before, to give out and cause five heart attacks in one week?
He is home and he is weaker than ever, five heart attacks will do that to a man. His right hand and arm swelled up in the hospital. They put heat on it and raised it up, then seemed to forget about it because the heat helped the pain. When we got home yesterday he was in a lot of pain, his arm and hand were very swollen and red. Fortunately I had just bought him a heating pad and as he settled in his chair, he was able to prop the arm up on pillows and use the heating pad. Today the swelling is down, but as I read through all of his discharge instructions, the arm and hand are not mentioned.
I am a little disappointed in Kaiser right now…