Me, again, re: ECK prob & father-in-law question

Thanks to everyone. I agree with all of your comments...and really appreciate the feedback. I keep wondering if I should make a formal complaint as I know I asked at least 5 (and actually closer to 10) tines if there was someone available who deals with pacemakers. They never did. The next day, the pacemaker guy said they have someone available 24 hours a day and could have been reached. I get so frustrated with getting contradictory answers from the professionals.

Plus, I am not a physician and had no idea that this was a false reading and that all the results should have been ignored. Obviously, all the people in the ER had my same lack of knowledge. This is another area of complaint. Now that I read your comments I think the pacemaker guy told me that the machines were probably reading my spikes and QRS-complex (whatever that is). Unfortunately, and I hate to admit this, as I think I am a fairly bright person, but when medical people start talking, I just start going into a daze. I guess I also just got immediately frustrated when he started talking to me and saying that the machines were reading my HR wrong and it was also just a false reading...and that the ER people were not interpreting things correctly. At that point I hit overload and quit listening. Any ideas?

I had my PM inserted 3 years ago and had thought I had adjusted to this. Had read about it online and had never seen that this type of thing could happen. I agree with those of you who said that it could have very negative consequences, i.e. getting medicine unnecessarily. My BP was high so that did need lowering, I guess.

I have decided that being in the ER, not feeling good, and then getting scary readings which everyone acts like they are not my ideal time to determine the best way to be an advocate for myself.

I need a book to learn more. Just last week I told someone that I wondered if they have a book called "ECG for Dummies." On top of it all, I realize that I do not know nearly enough about my pacemaker.

To make it my worse, the day before all of my woes, we had gone to the hospital as father-in-law had suffered a mild heart attack. His 2nd. He had stents inserted this summer as well as 3 years ago, plus had a by-pass. They said his HR dropped to 31 and 28 BPM at different points while in the hospital this last weekend. Since he just had the stents inserted they said he could not get a pacemaker right at the same time. I was not there when the doctor talked to him, but we do not know if he must wait a certain period of time or what. Apparently, the nurses ran into his room a couple times in the night while he was there -- thinking that something terrible was going on. Any ideas?

They also think he should get tested for sleep apnea.

Two more by the ways:

(1) My brother is a neurologist and when I was in the hospital he had called about my father-in-law. I let him talk to the RN that was in the room while I was there and the guy told him that my pulse was way up, there.
(2) I had helped take my father-in-law to the hospital the night he started his heart attack. Yeah, I know we should have called an ambulance, but he refused. Guess what? The ECG machine at this hospital did not work!!! They had to get another machine...and this hospital is reputed to be the best cardiac center in our state. Geez, I always thought minutes mattered.

Again, thanks for your feedback.

Sorry, more questions. (3) Is there a really good layman's book on pacemakers and heart disease? (4) Second, I have been reading about so many different types of pacemakers...I just assumed mine helped when my pulse was below a certain rate. They said mine paces up to 130. Why? I have no idea why he kept telling me this, but again, I was too frustrated. How do I find out exactly what type mine is?

Back to prozac I guess (just a joke).


Help Maybe

by J.B. - 2010-01-03 02:01:09

For starters you might want to look at this site. Then go to Topics and select the ones that interests you.

As for your pacemaker pacing you up to 130, my guess is he is talking about what the Rate Response feature on your pacemaker is doing. This is a feature that can be used to speed up the heart rate when our physical activity increases if the hearts natural pacemaker is not doing the job. The Rate Response can be set to pace you all the way up to about 200, I think I have heard. Mine is set to not take me above 110, but then I'm old and decrepit.


by lenora - 2010-01-03 04:01:31

Your posting is very complicated but the key to the whole thing is what you said yourself: you "hit overload and quit listening." The monitor counted the pacer spikes and doubled the actual heart rate. That happens with any cardiac monitor but pacer rhythm is still pacer rhythm regardless of the rate. They can switch to another lead and change the whole perspective. Or they can reposition the monitor pads on your chest to change the axis view. Were they successful in lowering your blood pressure? That's all that counts really. If I were you I'd take a deep breath, forgive and forget because none of what you describe is incompetence. Education is the key to understanding your pacemaker. Best wishes to you, Lenora

So what's new?

by ElectricFrank - 2010-01-03 10:01:54

1. Most doctors can't even hook up their own hi fi so forget expecting medical types to understand a pacemaker. (There are the rare few who take the time on their own to learn)

2. Pacemakers are complex electronic devices so what you need is an engineer like the pacermaker manufacturer rep.

3. As for incompetence all that is required to verify actual HR is to feel the pulse in the wrist. The electronic monitor should never be trusted until it is verified.

4. Unless the numbers are extremely high controlling short term BP is usually unimportant (other than to treat physician anxiety). We all experience transient high BP on a regular basis. It is part of our physiology.

And finally, how old and decrepit are you. I am coming up on 80 and my upper limit is set to 150.


You know you're wired when...

Your license plate reads “Pacer4Life”.

Member Quotes

So, my advice is to go about your daily routine and forget that you have a pacemaker implanted in your body.