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Chris L. Recipient

Life with a Vad

to rippyak;

My husband had his Lvad implanted Jun16,2014 and he turned 60 July 29,2014. He is doing great with showering himself. I do all of his dressing changes because it takes as you know a lot to do with the sterile environment! 3 1/2 months out and all seems to be working great for him. He just needs to learn that he can't do all that he used to but he will now be around for awhile yet to enjoy our 15 grandchildren!


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Tania H.

liked the bit of humor in your post...

You speak the truth, however. Living with a vad has to become a way of life for you and your caregiver. My hubby Rob had his implanted Aug 18, 2011. He is doing great with it! He actually has a pretty cool looking backpack I found for him at KMart that he carries his spare batteries and controller in. He finds it easier than a shoulder bag.

showers are fun...we use press and seal and cover the driveline site, then tape it with waterproof tape. Seems to work pretty I change his dressing as soon as he gets dried off.

life is a LOT better with his LVAD. Sure it is a lot to get used to at first, but you do learn to adjust and then you realize that a second chance at life is the most important thing.

oh yeah, we noticed that the vads like to get caught on everything, and open all drawers too lol

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Hi LVAD community,

I notice the posts are a bit older, so not sure if anyone will respond to this, buuut my mom (only 60 years old) just received an LVAD a few days ago. She is still in the ICU recovering. I'm trying to read anything and everything regarding the LVAD and life with/caring for/etc.

In the comments, all of you mention your spouse and all the help they give. However, my parents divorced many years ago and my dad isn't involved in our daily lives anymore. I have 3 siblings but we are all in our 20s at various different stages of life (my older sister has a 2 year old, I am getting married in a few months, and my younger siblings just finished up college).

I was hoping someone out there could give me some idea of how much help we're going to have to provide for my mom. We know in the first few weeks it will be 24/7 around the clock care...but all of you mention having your partner help you shower...etc. etc. Will our mom be able to shower on her own and take care of herself while we work and take turns stopping by in the evenings? She currently lives with my grandmother and we don't ever expect her to live alone...but for the time being, I just would love to have some sort of idea of caregiving requirements...and any more tips would be great! (As soon as I figure out what type of bag she needs, I'm running out to get her a cute one!)

Any help/tips/info/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!


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Rob J.

To rippyak:

I would not trade the help I've received from my spouse for anything, however I believe the LVAD is very self manageable. One can shower and change their own dressing, though it's much easier having a caregiver present. Other factors will come into play in self management, for example how well the LVAD manages all the heart failure symptoms, especially fatigue and shortness of breath. Showering can be exhausting and frustrating due to the bag that is on you. My advice is either a shower stool and removable shower head and/or a very long stick brush so she's not bending over a lot in the shower. DONT TAKE THE BAG OFF YOU IN THE SHOWER. Dressing changes can be done with planning in maintaining the sterile field. (It can be tiring... Because the person will have just spent the last 1/2 hour (plus) prepping for shower, showering, then spending the next 20-30 min doing a dressing change.) I would recommend her scheduling her showers so it coincides with your visits. She will get the hang of it and be able to do it on her own, but there will be those days when she will need the pampering. Just go by the book, you want to treat this device as the life changer it is.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask me anymore questions if you'd like.