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Art M. Recipient

Shower bags

I have a heartmate 3. implanted in January,  I can finally shower, I am able to cover the driveline site, but the waterproof bag is a pain. For those of you who shower often how do you manage to protect and keep your batteries and controller dry?

 

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Andy V.

Hi Art M.

I used to have a LVAD system (mate2 I think) and I used to hang the waterproof bag by the shoulder strap from the shower head so the water can't run in the bag but only drip down from it. The edges that 'flap' over the zip prevent the water from coming in and because of gravity, the water is only allowed to flow down so it can't really get in the bag. The bag also had a 'tightening cord' (not a native speaker) under the zip that you could pull very tightly around the controller and batteries. The lifeline should have no problems with the water as it is supposed to be laminated in a sort of plastic/rubber coating but be sure to check for cuts or holes once in a while. 

 The hospital also gave me surgery sheets to use in the shower. These had a sticky edge on one side so I taped them in a straight line right above the entrance wound. So you can't shower the part directly underneath the sheet decently but I used a washing cloth to clean this area as close to the wound as possible. 

I wish you a lot of comfort in your upcoming showers, try to enjoy them. It took me a while to be able to really enjoy them.  

 

Greets, A.

 

 

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In reply to by Andy V.

MIke S.

Hi, Andy.  I would be very leery of hanging my shower bag from the shower head. If it slips off, it could easily pull your drive line, which could lead to an infection, and that's the most common cause of problems with LVADs. Make sure that bag is very secure and can't slip off, say if you trip or slip in the shower. I'd be very cautious about that.

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In reply to by MIke S.

Andy V.

Yeah indeed, I was thinking about it again and  I clicked the strap loose, turned it around the handles of the faucet (just above hip height) a few times and clicked the strap back in. This way it wouldn't go anywhere and it was a lot more comfortable to take showers. And indeed you have to be careful, but normally you are very aware of it. My shower had some ribbles as antislip in it so it was OK.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention and have a good one! 

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Brian F.

I used the shoulder bag to carry my heart mate.  I would just slip that bag inside the waterproof bag so I didn’t have to remove all the parts, (batteries etc.) I hope this helps

 

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Lisa J.

I use the shower bag but hang it on an IV stand that I roll into the shower.  We have a walk in.  I could not shower with that thing hanging on me.  This is not approved by my LVAD team.  

The bag is a pain to close.  I would imagine you could find something at REI that would be waterproof that might be easier to manage. 

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Diethelm K.

 

Hey.

Ich habe in Freiburg zwei Original Duschtaschen Erhalten.

 

Für Mich sind die SUPER.

Controller + Akku sind Optimal Geschützt.  Ich Benutze Sie auch bei Regenwetter.

 

Welche TASCHE hast DU Erhalten. ??

 

Gruß

 

Diethelm

 

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Bill N.

  Hi my name Bill and at first I thought that I wouldn't  be able to because the bag was to  much trouble and I would never get a good shower ,and after washing up out of the sink I decided to give it a try again and after a few showers I was getting  used to it and now after having the heartmate 2 and three and half yrs. I would never take one with out. That''s only way of keeping the controler dry. You will get used  to it. If I can  answer questions you may have, I will try to answer them. Peace be with you. 

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Reiss T.

I have been using the waterproof bag provided - as part of the Go Gear - 9 years with no problems, same bag, no sign of leaks. I hang it around my neck. Yes, a bit awkward but I deal with it. I use no other protection such as surgery sheets, etc. So far, no signs of infection, no signs of pump problems.      Reiss Tatum

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Larry B.

To not use the shower bag provided is literally taking your life in your own hands! I don’t like the bag. I don’t know anyone else that does either! But, it has two belts for a reason. It’s called backup in case one breaks while showering. Remember this, the number one cause of problems with this jewel we have is infections. The number one cause of infections is trauma to the driveline. Dropping your bag while showering will cause trauma to your driveline. But, it’s your life.

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MIke S.

I agree with Larry B. The bag is cleverly designed to shed water and has worked for me for four years. After you get used to having it around your neck when you shower, it's not so much of a bother. It takes a bit of trial and error to figure out how to get clean with it hanging there, but it can be done. I use a sponge on a long handle to scrub my back, and just lift the straps off my shoulder when I clean there. 

Just keep working at it. It will get better.

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Bill N.

 I thought the same,I got my lvad 4 yrs. ago; it just takes time  and  you eventually get used to it  and now you can't  take  one without it !!! You take care.  Peace be with you. 

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Susan S.

My husband uses very wide masking tape.  It works beautifully.  Easy to come off and keeps everything dry.

My husband his destination HM2 surgery in oct. 2016.  He had to have a replacement 5 days later , Thrombosis on the pump.  He was in the hospital 61 days.  His age is 74.  There has been some events due to the Lvad, but nothing basically faulty with it.  He recently had an alarm go off and he stopped breathing , was unconscious for 1 minute. His pump stopped and there was no blood being pumped.   I am his wife and caregiver, very scary.  Did the steps, called the team, he did come back to me.  He was hospitalized at Mayo in Pheonix , for what they call “short to shield “.  They preformed an external percutaneous lead replacement , this did not solve the problem ,when returned to grounded cable.  He was discharged with a power module and a non-grounded cable.  We will be replacing his pump again due to continued wiring damage progression. 

I, Susan would like to know if any other Lvad patient has experienced this.