Which Type of LVAD Do You Have? The HeartMate and HeartWare Devices
Featured HeartMate & HeartWare Products
I’m Brent and my LVAD was placed in 2012 at age 49. This new addition to my body was the new me and I needed to accommodate it. With my career gone, I focused my energies on making LVAD life easier.
Consulting with physical therapists, a world-class clothing designer, and other LVAD recipients, we developed solutions, such as LVAD clothing to make life easier. Fresh solutions for different activities and lifestyles was one of our primary goals. We found ways to reduce the weight, fit the LVAD to your body, and make daily life easier.
With our new products that you can find here at LVAD Gear, my LVAD life became sustainably simpler. I started my days using a shoulder bag, then switched to a vest when I dressed for the day. Then I used a sleeping belt at night. I also found several innovative methods to easily carry my emergency gear.
Here at LVADGear.com, we are showcasing the products we have developed since 2012. These items were developed with the LVAD user in mind each step of the way. Every day, we strive to make your LVAD life easier. Please feel free to explore the site and pick out items for those you love who live with LVAD each day.
Making LVAD Life Easier
We address 3 main problems with LVAD life.
Safety: Our life depends on a machine, protecting this machine is a primary concern and stress! Safety, the worry of cables getting caught on door knobs or tugged on by kids, pets, etc. is a constant concern. Having that controller secure so it never gets bumped hard or falls, is something we constantly worry about. Our life depends on it. So the items you can get here at LVADGEAR.com hide the controller in the pockets, using different methods to secure it so it never falls out. Keeping it inside your clothes is a great way to hide and protect it.
Comfort: Our new friend weighs 5-7 pounds and causes consistent neck and back aches. There is no break from it. The LVAD goes every place and does everything with us. I personally worked with hospital physical and occupational therapists to find solutions to the comfort aspects of living with an LVAD.
The goal was to balance the weight and allow for movement. Therapists suggested we tuck batteries in the space directly under the arms, but above the waist. This balances the battery weight and allows for better movement. The elastic shoulder straps we designed for our products reduce the weight of the LVAD and continuous shock to the body from the weight hanging on the shoulders with no give.
Appearance: We want to live a normal life, go places, and do things in public without everyone looking at us and asking questions. We want a normal life. We made sure each piece of LVAD gear we created allowed the wearer to look as normal as possible, while still maintaining safety and comfort.
Everyone has a different lifestyle, there is no one solution that is perfect for everyone. Thus, we have an assortment of items to fit different lifestyles and activities. Sitting at home, going out for dinner, golfing, walking, and working all require different solutions. I found the use of different products to accommodate what I was doing was the best solution. There are times when appearance is important, and times when you just want to be comfortable. So, we make different products for different activities. Even sleeping!
Make LVAD Life, the best years of your life!
Each LVAD life recipient now has a new appreciation for living life. Let’s give them the tools they need to really enjoy it. Let’s reduce their stress, hide it so they feel normal, and relieve that neck and back discomfort.
For Family, Friends, and New LVAD Life recipients
LVAD is an acronym for Left Ventricular Assist Device. It is a pump that is installed next to your heart. They cut a hole in the bottom of your left ventricle and pump the blood back up to your Aorta. The pump provides the power to circulate blood to the whole body, because your heart didn’t have the strength to do it. For most of us, getting our LVAD was a choice of live or die. We were faced with a choice of live a few weeks or months as we were, or get an LVAD. It’s an emotional journey, and often, the toughest thing we have ever been faced with. At the time we made that choice, we were focused on these two options, not the other aspects of living with an LVAD.
Soon after we received our LVAD, we learn of the responsibilities associated with the LVAD life. Responsibilities, along with stress, pain, and looking like a medical experiment, are all things we hadn’t considered in our decision. Sure, the hospital covers all these, but the reality doesn’t set in until you get home. This is something that scares most recipients, even though it may never be spoken.
So, now the LVAD recipient is at home with either a bag or harness type thing to carry their equipment. The bag pulls on the neck and creates neck and back aches. The harness leaves everything exposed for everyone to see, plus it’s uncomfortable to get into. It also creates back aches. Going out in public is uncomfortable, not to mention we hurt in a million places. Despite these things, we are happy to be alive, and soon we will be walking and doing things we hadn’t been able to do for years.
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