New Member Needs Help
I had a dual-chamber Medtronics pacemaker implanted in November '06 after a symptomatic ER admission to a major Heartland hospital and a subsequent diagnosis of sick sinus syndrome. This "Adapta" pacemaker was reimplanted in the other side of my chest later that month following the onset of unusual, new symptoms which arose at home one week after the initial surgery. These symptoms included significant left jugular vein distension; frequent belching and hiccuping especially when the distended left jugular vein and/or lower neck area were touched; chest fullness, tightening, periodic thumping and pain; pulsations and tightening of the neck with choking sensation; bilateral closing of the ears and Eustacian tubes; jaw pain left and jaw numbness right; significant dyspnea; sporadic hypotension; general weakness; transient headaches; and some lightheadedness, vertigo and near syncope with torso/upper arm exertion.
I have no concomitant heart problems. In the beginning, all of the above symptoms were episodic; at present, most have become chronic. They now arrive with or without any kind of exertion and there remains an on-and-off again redness and tenderness at the pacemaker implantation sites which from the start felt and feel like a subcutaneous sunburn; my right lung was punctured during the reimplantation and the resulting pneumothorax chest tube site also remains tender. In addition, I have recently developed troublesome pressure in my head which accompanies the onset of these symptoms each day as well as disturbing gastrointestinal problems. And, I have gone from being a healthy, active and engaged individual to one whose daily goal is simply getting through the day. All of the symptoms I have described are not present at night when I am lying down but return in the morning when I rise; they are maddening.
Can anyone tell me if, following a heart pacemaker implant or reimplantation, you have experienced such a wide range of challenges simultaneously? Doctors tell me they have never seen this rather large constellation of symptoms, that I do not have pacemaker syndrome because my fractional % is good and that my pacemaker is working properly. Some attribute my challenges these past 5 months to venous congestion and backflow from my smaller sized veins - three of which (Both subclavians and innominant.) clotted and narrowed post-op, and they insist time and Coumadin will improve my situation; others simply don't seem to know what has and is happening. However, in the past 8 weeks all of my symptoms have worsened. The pain and daily discomfort are extremely stressful and I am very discouraged. Could perhaps undetected electro-magnetic interference in or close to my house also be contributing to my challenges? There is, for example, cell phone relay station apparatus atop a nearby building. There are so many variables to eliminate one by one and I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can help me sort through any of this. Many warm thanks for your patience with this very long message ... Lou