Ventricular Tachycardia, with Severe Dilated Cardiomyopathy
I am a 39 year old male; living in Northern California, who has Ventricular Tachycardia, with Severe Dilated Cardiomyopathy. I was diagnosed on May 7, 2008, after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest two weeks earlier while working on a remodeling project in my home, fortunately my heart was able to correct itself.
My story starts a year before my Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurred, when I was given a full physical with an EKG that was clear, and had no sign of cardiomyopathy or any other health issues. Six months later I contracted a staph infection while on a business trip to France. The Staph infection attacked my heart and which led to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). After the SCA I went to my primary care physician who gave me a EKG that showed sever left ventricle hypertrophy, at that point I was referred a cardiologist who performed all the standard test, which revealed that my ejection fraction was at 25% and my heart muscle was measured at 7.6 centimeters, which lead to a diagnosis of ventricular tachycardia, with severe dilated cardiomyopathy, with mitral valve prolapse.
After my diagnosis I was given an Angiogram to confirm the findings, and at that time it was recommended by three cardiologists that I receive an Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) immediately. Since I was so young (38) I was not convinced that I needed an ICD, I chose to try to treat my heart with a heart medication regiment for three months, before I would accept the ICD prognosis. Well after three months, my ejection fraction had only increased to 32%, and the heart had not shrunk at all. So on September 4, 2008 I received an ICD. Since I received my ICD I have continued my heart medication regiment, and my ejection fraction has increased to 45% and my heart has reduced in size by .04 centimeters.
This last April 2010 I had two heart arrhythmias that were considered dangerous and came within 1 heart beat from delivering a correction from my ICD. My heart surgeons first comment after the arrhythmias were found was aren’t you glad you have an ICD? I feel that I am alive today due to the technology and medication that has been developed to treat heart diseases. Without the ICD and the heart medication, I would have had another SCA, and would have more than likely not recovered.
I know that I will have to have an ICD and be on heart medication for the rest of my life. Any advice or suggestions on my condition and treatment would be greatly appreciated.