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Patient Stories

Patient Stories

Visit to Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris. What a clever formula. A timeless fantasy world that generations have grown up with, combined with spectacular attractions for the bigger kids & adults.

In Fantasyland, all 'new parents' immerse themselves in childhood memories together with their toddlers. A feast of recognition from your own childhood. My kids are 6 and 10 years old and feel very grown up. And so they can hardly admit that they secretly still love Fantasyland. Fantasyland is for little children, so they cannot wait to go towards the attractions.

And dad has to come along, of course. But is that even permitted? I was in doubt several times in the amusement park. There are warning signs for heart patients at quite a number of attractions. As far as I know, a roller coaster ride should be no problem at all for the functioning of the S-ICD. 

And so I got in the roller coaster together with my son. It's always great fun to be completely shaken up. Naturally, I tried to keep cool for my son, but every time I was a little nervous when I stepped into the roller coaster.

Off we go! As soon as we plunged into the depth, there would follow wild curves, and we bounced all over the place. I held my arms extended horizontally to hold the bracket in front of me. I just did not realize that my upper arm wasn't in front of my S-ICD anymore, and thus exposed to direct hits. So I found that out in a painful way in one of the first curves. My left side bounced hard against the side of the roller coaster car. Exactly where my S-ICD was, and let me tell you: that hurt. My body was not happy with a direct hit on the skin where the S-ICD is placed; this remains a sensitive spot.  (Patient followed up with his physician to confirm that the device was not damaged and found to be working correctly)

Within a split second, before the car arrived at the next curve, I had learned my lesson. From that moment on, I didn't hold my arm horizontally anymore, but held it down next to my body. This way, I took the blows with my upper arm instead of the S-ICD being hit. That worked fine. It was a shame though, because after that I couldn't use my S-ICD as an excuse any longer, so I had to go another four times in the roller coaster that day!

And this is one of those unexpected situations you have to deal with occasionally, making you realize that you have an S-ICD. This time it was in Disneyland. Barring exceptions, most situations fortunately do no require more than a minimal adjustment in your daily routines. Now that I write this down, this observation does feel like a relief.



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