As I started my regimen of recovering from a stroke I had the double whammy of trying to recover from a heart attack as well.
When I was in surgery to remove the blood clot my heart failed and although I was saved my heart functions were at around 20%.
Recovering From A Stroke And Heart Attack: What Is A Life Vest?
I was put on a Life Vest to shock me if my heart failed. It is a portable defibrillator which was to help save me from sudden cardiac death.
I was told its like a bra for woman and they were correct it was. Here is a little more detail about the life vest.
LifeVest is a wearable defibrillator. Unlike an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), LifeVest is worn outside the body rather than implanted in the chest. LifeVest is designed to continuously monitor a patient’s heart, detect certain life-threatening rapid heart rhythms, and automatically deliver a treatment shock to restore normal heart rhythm.
The device is designed to alert a patient prior to delivering a treatment shock, and thus allows a conscious patient to delay the treatment. If the patient becomes unconscious, the device is designed to release a Blue™ gel over the therapy electrodes and deliver an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm.
What It’s Like Wearing a LifeVest?
It really was not that bad. It took a little getting used to but I eventually got used to it. You have to wear this 24/7 and only take it off to shower or put another one on while its being washed. They gave me 2 total.
With the sensors attached they monitor your heart and will beep when a sensor is out of place. That is scary because you have to reset the monitor in like 10 seconds or it will shock you.
I was lucky and never had to get shocked due to sensor being out of place or my heart stopping.
While sleeping I learned to just sleep on my left side and sort of hug the monitor. I eventually got used to it.
How Long Will You Have To Wear A Life Vest While Recovering From A Stroke And Heart Attack?
I pray that you are healthy your entire life and never have to worry about recovering from a stroke and heart attack or don’t have to recover from both at the same time ever.
It was after 3 weeks that I was home from the hospital that I had to get an echocardiogram done at the hospital.
When I left the hospital my heart function was 20% and to give you an idea 50% – 75% but I was told 45% – 55 by my doctor was normal. You will have to see what your doctor thinks.
Anyway at 20% is not good but you can live with a Life Vest or eventually a pace maker.
If my heart did not improve I would not wear a Life Vest the rest of my life I would have gotten a pacemaker implanted.
So I went in the hospital and they performed the echocardiogram. I was talking to the technician and she asked what my percentage was and I said 20% and I hoped after the test that I would not have to wear the Life Vest anymore or have to get a pacemaker.
She said I am not trying to dampen your hopes but I have not seen anyone I tested get off of the Life Vest or not need a pacemaker.
I felt a little down but at this point I thought it is what it is. I was lucky to still be alive.
So after the test she could not tell me about the results and I had to wait till I talked to my cardiologist.
He called me a few days later and said I can’t believe I am telling you this but you really are a miracle. Your heart functions are at 45% and you can send the life vest back and will not need a pacemaker.
I could not believe it. But after I stopped wearing it I was a little nervous because it was a safety net if something happened but I just had to believe I was ok.
Next blog will continue what happened to me next with my heart.
Live each day as if its your last. Tell and show your loved ones that you love them.
Today is a blessing and tomorrow certainly is not guaranteed…