coworkers and your ICD

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coworkers and your ICD

Post by Daniel » December 13th, 2009, 12:26 am

It absolutely amazes me how many people, mostly coworkers, laugh and make jokes about my ICD. How could anyone think that I would find any humor in thier wisecracks and thoughtless comments. I'm so humiliated when it's happening that i'm at a loss for words and have no idea how to react. Most of the time I end up just laughing along because I don't know what else to do. Sometimes I wish no one knew I had an ICD. People who have never had a life altering experience just don't understand what it's like to live with an ICD. Many nights I'm up late wishing I felt better so I could just fall asleep, or the moments throughout the day when my heart has seconds of arrhythmia whileI wait for my pacemaker to pace me out of it hoping I won't get shocked by my defibrillator. I have been shocked so many times that I have lost count. Being shocked can be overwhelming, it is like getting hit in the chest with a sledge hammer. The best way I can describe it is it feels like I have one foot on a banana peel and the other foot in my grave.
Daniel Carrigan

Elizabeth Martineau

Re: coworkers and your ICD

Post by Elizabeth Martineau » December 13th, 2009, 9:40 am

Daniel, I can identify with what you're saying. I think a lot of times people are uncomfortable with the situation and think that humor might diffuse it. They're making jokes to make you laugh and hopefully lighten the situation.
The other thing is, unless you are in that circumstance there is no way you can understand just how it feels. I know before I was a candidate I had some "vague" idea of what it was all about and didn't think it would be so bad. I thought it would only kick in when you definitely needed it. Had never heard of the inappropriate shocks, etc. So, perhaps a lot of it is ignorance.
Try to remember that what others think is the least of your worries. If this thing saves your life, that's what counts.

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Re: coworkers and your ICD

Post by freckles1880 » December 13th, 2009, 10:28 am

Daniel you have the advantage. They may joke about your ICD as I do about mine once in a while. I now feel MORE protected than any of those insensitive people. Don't worry be happy. (as the song went) They do not have your bionics. They are not protected. wavhi wavhi :balloons:

Medtronic-Visia AF implanted 7-8-2016 stayed with the with 6947 Sprint Quattro Secure lead. Original ICD implant 2-4-2009. ICD turned off 10-6-17 as stage 4 lung cancer taking over.
Major heart attack, carcinogenic shock and quad bypass 10-13-08 post myocardial infarction, old inferior MI complicated by shock and CHF, combined, Atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic Aneurysm, Seroma 7 cm, left leg. Stent in the left main vein 10-7-2014

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Re: coworkers and your ICD

Post by Kat » December 14th, 2009, 4:36 pm

Hi Dan,

Great to hear from you sweetie. But sorry to hear they are still cracking on you at work. There is no way anyone can understand those fears and stresses. I will often joke with my family and friends but at night when I am up feeling my heart race, I worry too. I don't share those feelings as I know there is no way I can get them to understand. So I smile, and take a ribbing about being a cyborg, the terminiator or whatever... It is here that I come for understanding.

I do feel that you should mention it to someone that it is out of hand.

BTW, I am moving this thread to the main forum as I feel this is an issue for all of us ICDers and not a local issue
~Kat - Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
-That which does not kill us can really mess up our hair!
-Having one near life experience after another.

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Re: coworkers and your ICD

Post by uksteve » December 14th, 2009, 7:50 pm

No need to put up with that my man its called harrassment and you can put a stop to it, speak to your boss if your co-workers continue this, its not right and with all the other stress we cope with this is one you can well do with out, It may be hard for you to go down this road at work but you need to do it Steve
They say lightning does'nt strike twice...."They" dont have an ICD!!! -Steve G

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Re: coworkers and your ICD

Post by JR1966 » December 14th, 2009, 8:31 pm

Hi Daniel
That is called bullying in the workplace and is completely unacceptable.Do not put up with it.

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Re: coworkers and your ICD

Post by whiteheadjf » December 14th, 2009, 9:23 pm

I agree with Steve (aka Hunk) and John. No place for that kind of crap. It's no different than kidding someone for having cancer or other serious operation. If that fails, take a cattle-prod to work and next time someone kids you about your ICD whip it out, give em' a prod and say "now do you think it's funny?" ruhroh
non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
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Re: coworkers and your ICD

Post by Clint » December 15th, 2009, 12:47 am


John, Steve and WH are absolutely corrrect. that is harassment and it's against the law in CA. ONe word to your compliance and Ethics group and those guys will be pulled through a knott hole backwards....

Nows m on the other hand.....I keep a sample ICD and leads in my desk, have a button in my office that says...Ask me about my unit....and copies of my latest interrogations pinned to my wall board......mess with me and I'll defibulate on your weak a$$!

Then I do have kind of acaustic nature and will not - absolutely under any conditions or circumstances take crap from anyone...

Botttom line is stand up to the creep.......hell, your mechanically enhanced! Have ADA rights and can probably wqork circles around the jerk.

I am trying to develop a lifestyle that does not require my presence.

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Re: coworkers and your ICD

Post by Manxman » December 15th, 2009, 9:39 am

I work at a Radio there's an immediate rib tickler...

"The reception is really good today, Steve must be close by" jestersmile
"Ask Steve , he can tune into anything" jestersmile
I must admit my fellow co-workers are really supportive about my condition/ ICD and always offer help whenever they feel I may need it , so I suppose i'm one of the lucky ones...
I had to laugh at our recent Christmas party when I excitedly unwrapped my secret santa present to find a set of car Jump Leads looking at me lmao4dx jestersmile

If its getting you it to your line manager nononono !!

I agree with John , Steve , WH and Clint :cool:
Ventricular Tachycardia
ICD Model - Two lead Medtronic Maximo II
Implant date - 6th June 2009

Logic will get you from A to B , Imagination will take you everywhere.

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Re: coworkers and your ICD

Post by TravelingMan » December 15th, 2009, 11:55 am

This is what's known as creating a hostile work environment. If you make management aware of it they are required by the same law to take action to correct it.

The flip side of this is-who cares? It's pretty obvious your co-workers aren't your friends. If they were they wouldn't be making jokes about your ICD. Treat this like any other distasteful or uncalled for comment and ignore it. If you can ignore for 8 hours today and then tomorrow it will go away.

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Re: coworkers and your ICD

Post by candlegold » December 15th, 2009, 12:04 pm

It is harassment and you shouldn't have to tolerate it, period!!!

I had a guy tell me once that I was making a big deal out of my heart condition, he said it wasn't like I *had Cancer or a Tumor or something really bad*...

I told him how fortunate I was that I didn't have Cancer or a Tumor, and how fortunate he was that I hadn't kicked his A$$ right then and there, even though I probably would have been fired.

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