Questions for first checkup

I am going for my six week exam. Is there any questions I should be sure to ask? I know I have my list but I don't want to forget anything. I still occationally have pressure in my chest which is only relieved by taking advil for at least 24 hours. I though this would be gone by now. Does anyone else have this?


2 Comments

yes

by queen_beez - 2007-04-29 02:04:32

I thought my pain and pressure would be gone sooner too. But I had this for a long time and still occasionally have discomfort. I got my pm on 1/16 so as you can see healing is different for all. I can say about a week or so ago I was finally at the piont where I could do things and at times not even remeber I have a pm. I know that it took awhile to get to this point but just listen to your body and back off if something hurts. One day you too will be doing things , go through the whole day, and realise you forgot you even have a pm. Good luck and I can't think of any ???s to ask sorry. Just ask about what ever you have been feeling and going through.
truly, your "strange" friend,
Susan

Pressure? Be sure doctor understands

by valbob89 - 2007-04-30 01:04:59

Karen:

You probably have dozens of questions. I asked so many and my doctor and the reps have told me so many things that I can't remember everything. So I'd say keep a log of everything you want to ask, and answers. I also get copies of the pacemaker printouts and keep those in the folder.

I guess the first thing is to ask your doctor to explain every setting she/he thinks is important for you to know. For a little device, it has a LOT of programmability. Ask about the wires, the likely battery life (could be anywhere between three and 10 years!), the reason she chose this model over another one.

Be sure to say what level of activity you expect to engage in, so the pacemaker can be set to help reduce tiredness/exhaustion due to low circulation. Name anything that you have done recently that made you feel "wrong," or caused palpitations, or made you breathless.

The pacemakers being made now are extraordinarily reliable and rugged. You don't really need to ask about safety or hazards. Those old, old signs that said, "Warning pacemaker users, microwave in use here" should all be torn down by now, because microwave ovens don't seem to be a problem. Pacemakers are designed to be safe in almost any circumstance you can get yourself into. I've even had an MRI with my cardiologist's permission -- although I'm not pacemaker dependent.

Is your motion detector turned on? They call it rate response. When you become active, if your heart rate doesn't rise on its own, rate response is usually switched on and set for your needs. Another member asked about that in a posting that came in after this one of yours.

What is the "magnet response" set to? When doctors put a magnet next to your pacemaker, it can record things or switch your programming. (Some people get checkups over the phone, and use a magnet with the phone modem and a sensor to pass data to the doctor. If that's you, then that's what the magnet response is.)

What is your normal heart rate, and what is it when paced? How fast can it go under pacemaker control? (This is important because you might be able to raise your own heart rate beyond what the pacemaker does, through exercise. Or, some people get high heart rate in response to pressure, etc., often called a panic attack because it's like your heart is acting like you're in a panic, even if you don't feel "panicked" by events.)

Does it have a sleep mode, under which the pacemaker slows your heart rate when no motion is detected for a while? If you're sitting still or laying down, you may check your pulse and find that it's below the normal setting, and knowing about the sleep mode avoids a scare.

Best wishes, and welcome to our "exclusive" club! I've been qualified for about eight months now, and get lots of information here.

Bob

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