A conversation with Wolfram who lives in Germany
This story reflects one person's experience. Not everyone will experience the same results. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of your treatment options. St. Jude Medical does not provide medical services or advice as part of this Web site.
Wolfram, why are you familiar with St. Jude Medical?
I am familiar with St. Jude Medical because of an ICD implantation I had in 2007.
What is your diagnosis and what was the situation surrounding your diagnosis?
I was very short of breath and had a slow pulse. At one point, my wife called the medical emergency hotline and I was taken into the hospital.
What type of doctors did you see and what were their roles?
At first I was at local hospital in Neuhaus. At this hospital they diagnosed the need for an ICD implantation and I was sent to a specialized clinic in Coburg for treatment.
How much time elapsed between your diagnosis and when you had your ICD implanted?
In Coburg they planned to implant the ICD on the second day of hospitalization. Because I had a bad cold the process was delayed for a few days.
Who helped you through this experience?
I have been well informed by Prof. Brachmann and Dr. Ritscher from the clinic in Coburg. My wife also talked to the treating doctors and we got all the information we needed. Since my daughter is a doctor as well, she was also a great help to us.
Initially, did anything scare you about having an ICD?
No, I was not scared at all. I knew that I definitely needed an ICD and I was happy to know that after the operation I would feel better again.
Going into the procedure to have your ICD placed, what did you know about the risks?
I got all the information I needed and knew all the facts. I had some long talks upfront with the doctors. They explained the things that might go wrong.
Did you experience any complications?
No, everything went fine.
How does your ICD help you?
I immediately felt better after implantation. I now have a pulse that does not go below 60 and this gives me the ability to do what I like to do. For example, traveling or playing with my grandson.
What surprised you during this experience?
I thought that it might take longer until I felt an effect from my ICD.
Do you feel confident in your ICD? If yes, please share why.
I am and was convinced of the necessity of the ICD and I feel very confident with it. It helped me pick up my regular life and it makes me feel healthy again.
What is it like on an emotional level living with the device? Do you ever have stressful feelings about the ICD? If so, how do you manage those feelings?
There is no negative experience with my device so far. I have my original life back after implantation. I sleep well at night and I don’t think about the device which is now part of me.
Describe your interaction with your doctor(s) throughout this experience—from the beginning until now.
The treating clinic in Coburg was very supportive and gave me all the care and help I needed and asked for.
Did you access any support groups or other resources to give you peace of mind?
No, the information I have been given by the doctors and my daughter helped give me a safe feeling.
After the procedure, what type of follow-up care did you require?
I need a regular follow-up visit every six months. This means a check-up of the device and my general condition.
How often do you see your doctor? What type of doctor? What happens during those appointments?
Every six months. At first I went to Coburg but now I have visit a resident doctor in my home town. I get a check-up of the device, the pouch and my general condition. Up to now, everything is fine.
Will you need a replacement device at some point?
Yes, definitely at some point, but the device was implanted in 2007, so plenty time is still left.
What is required for the care and maintenance of the ICD?
I get my regular follow-ups and no more is needed.
Do you have to keep anything in mind when traveling with the device? Have you ever had to find a physician while traveling?
We were on vacation last year and no problems occurred. We did not find out about a doctor on our holiday destination, but we did not need one, anyway. I feel fine.
What are you looking forward to?
We love to travel. Last year we visited Scotland and next year, in July, we will go to Ireland
What would you say to someone who was considering a St. Jude Medical ICD device?
A St. Jude Medical device is a good and reliable choice and it gives you the opportunity to take part in life again.