I've been thinking...

For years now I've been perplexed and frustrated at the confusion there seems to be concerning what exactly a pacemaker will and will not do. I think, generally, all of us were made aware of our issues concerning heart rhythms either by an abnormal EKG, symptoms, or episodes of passing out, ect. Most of us have no expert knowledge of our sometimes surprising diagnosis', and we listen with a kind of numbness to the news that we need a pacemaker or an ICD. I know I truly was under the impression that a pacemaker or ICD would correct and "fix" all my problems and I would CEASE TO HAVE SYMPTOMS! So when I experienced not only all the old symptoms, but some new ones as well, I went running to my Dr. Most of the time, my concerns were met with a nonchalant lack of interest. I was told over and over, it was not the pacemaker! There is where the confusion and frustration starts. I read post after post about people not understanding what's going on, and the outrageous lack of information we're given to deal with this! I've had a pacemaker for 7 years now, and it was not until I read Smitty's wonderful informative posts, did the word "assist" jump out at me and make some sense of what a cardiac device is supposed to do. Now I think I understand that the pacemaker doesn't fix the original problems, but will sense an abnormal rhythm, and then assist the heart to beat in a more normal way. That's probably way too simplistic, but I think that's it in a nut shell. If I had known this at the beginning of my "walk with a pacemaker", it would have eased my worries and reassured me. The technicians and Drs. love to discuss our read outs among themselves, but show disrespect and annoyance to us when we ask questions. Also it seems that they are only interested in the functioning of the device, and not with how we are actually feeling despite the fact that the device is "doing it's job"! What do you all think?


agree 100% with Bambi

by debbie - 2007-11-29 03:11:38

Bambi, i have to agree with you, by reading what you have been trough it's like reading my one case, it's so depressing not to have good answers from doctors, they make all this tests on you and all you hear from them when you go get the results they tell you everything it's fine pacemaker working ok, but I all want to know is why I have a pacemaker on at 35 years old and why do I still have synptoms like before, chest pains, numbness, tired etc.

Debbie in Houston, TX

so true

by aldeer - 2007-11-29 12:11:43

Bambi.... thanks for your letter. How very true it is. I have found so much help right here in the club....not in the doctor's office at all. aldeer

I agree

by boatman50 - 2007-11-29 12:11:45

I have to agree with you Bambi, but they are not all like that. I am a very nuts and bolts type of person and wanted to know how the pm worked in me. The pm clinic and my cardiologist never really explained it right. The NP said it would keep my heart from going to slow and would not let it beaty over 140bpm because thats what the upper limit was set and would cause my heart to skip a beat to limit that speed. That made no sense to me. Finally there was a problem with VVS they could not handle and I was sent to an EP. I had no idea what he did, if I knew I would have gone to him right away. He explained in detail how it all works and put me at ease. I believe many of the people here know more about the workings of their device then the cardiologists do.

Hi Bambi

by IanMcC - 2007-11-29 12:11:59

I can relate to every word in your post. I find it very disrespectfull when the teckos switch you off during the testing and don't bother to ask you if it is ok . I dont think that these guys realize what it feels like when your heart stops beating. I nearly passed out in the chair last time and no one said a word. The only words spoken to me where at the end of it all , I was told "its all good". I didn't bother to ask any questions because I knew I would just get fobbed off with a stupid answer.
I have learned more from being a member of this club than I have from asking Doctors. I have come to the conclusion now, that most Doctors simply don't know and don't understand. I was in having my blood pressure tested the other day and as the doctor put me on his new testing machine he said, I bet it will show your pulse rate at 60, and he was quite thrilled when he was proved right, I patiently (pun intended) explained that my pulse should read 60 because that is what my pacer is set at.
I would love to be able to test and program my own pacer and curcumvent the middle man, it sure would save a lot of frustration and I could get it just right to suit my body and not just to suit a computer programers idea.
Take care, Ian.

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Member Quotes

I've seen many posts about people being concerned about exercise after having a device so thought I would let you know that yesterday I raced my first marathon since having my pacemaker fitted in fall 2004.