Follow
Share

Yesterday and she has been restricted from driving for six months. She isn't "aging" (any more than any of us --- she's only 49) but she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure five years ago when she had an aortic dissection and she has various comorbidities. The defibrillator was implanted about three years ago. If you have experience with afib/defibrillators with your parent or spouse, please tell me: does the fact that the doctor restricted her driving indicate that she's entering a more serious stage of CHF/afib or is this a normal precaution following an afib episode? I figure the doctor thinks it was definitely afib, not a misfire, or he wouldn't have restricted her driving for SIX MONTHS! I'm trying to figure out how to be supportive long distance of my son and DIL, while living with and caregiving for my mother, 600 miles away.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Back when my Dad had a mild heart attack, his cardiologist said no driving, I can't remember if it was for 3 months or 6 months.

Six months will either feel like eternity, or will fly by quickly. I know how it feels not to be able to drive for 6 months, that happened to me when I broke my right shoulder :(
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My dear friend has a defibrillator implant...and advanced to a pacemaker that regulates heart rate. She had just the defibrillator for many many years (I want to say 20?).before the advance to a pacemaker.Getting zapped does mean you have to be more careful...you don't want to be driving when you are zapped....hence the law. But My answer is no, it doesn't automatically signify an advancement of the disease. Her first zap was within the first year of wearing it, and she didn't have another zap for many years. All it means is that she potentially went into a-fib and needed a zap to regulate.

I think of this like...a diabetic is generally in control of their health but one time forgets their insulin and go into a diabetic coma. They are brought out of it with a shot of insulin or some other treatment. They need to be more careful for the next couple of months but it does not signify a definitive downhill slide towards organ failure.

Angel
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks all. If it's a DMV requirement rather than the doctor's (thanks, Pam) it could very well have been a misfire. It's odd, though --- no "kick." She just became dizzy and fell.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I assume you're aware that some of the defibrillator leads are defective and can misfire whether there is justification or not? The defective leads were discovered some years ago.

After researching the type of lead my father had as well as the defective leads, I raised with his cardiologist and electrophysiologist the issue of removing the defective lead.

They felt that it was too much of a dangerous operation to remove the defective lead, but it was disconnected or rendered inactive in some way so it wouldn't misfire.

Has the cardiologist confirmed that the episode was in fact NOT a defective lead misfiring?

My father's had A-fib for 16 years but the issue of driving has never been raised. But each person is different, as are the co-morbidity factors.

I would ask the cardiologist specifically if the A-fib issue was more serious than previous ones to the point that he/she recommended no driving.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I feel so bad for your DIL. I had a friend with a defibrillator and he said it was like being kicked by a mule. The suspension of driving is just a precaution her doctor is taking to make sure her heart is in good working order before she gets behind the wheel again. I know you understand. Six months does seem to be a long time. It could be that he has some special concerns about your DIL. Is it only afib, or does she have some heart damage?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Oh, it's not the MD who restricts them, it's the state law. In VA it is three months. Check with your state motor vehicle website.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.