I got my surgery when I was 14 years old (currently 19) and I used to play a lot of sports and be super active, but since I got my pacemaker I feel really bad when I run or try to do any type of cardio. I talked to my doctor and he didn't really pay attention to it. When I try doing cardio my body feels really weak and my heart starts pumping really really fast. Does this happened to anyone else? If it did, how did you fix it? I hate not being able to do any type of cardio.

Thank you for your time.



by Tracey_E - 2019-10-28 09:26:51

Is it possible the pacer is getting you faster than you are used to and it just feels different? When I first got mine, what felt racy and awful was really just normal for everyone else. At a quick guess, I'd say your settings may need tweaked. However, if you were able to get your rate up on your own enough to do sports before, that shouldn't have changed with the pacer. The pacer is a gas pedal, not a brake. If the heart goes fast on its own, the pacer will just watch. So the pacer is just adding to what your heart was doing before, not stifling it. 

A stress test is the easiest way to figure out what's going on- get on a treadmill and let them see what happens when you exert. If your doctor isn't listening, find one who will. Do your parents still go with you to your appointments? Sometimes it's hard to speak up and advocate for ourselves, but it's a skill you are going to need as a lifetime heart patient.

Are you still seeing peds or have you switched to adult? I've had both but a few years ago found an adult congenital specialist. There is a list of clinics on the Adult Congenital Heart Association website. The care there is night and day from a regular cardiologist, imo it's well worth traveling to find one. I'm no longer the only patient in the practice like me and instead of making it up as he goes along, my doctor has a lot of first hand experience with others like me. 

Last, and this is something to keep in mind down the road, always find a doctor that values being active and fit. We already have messed up wiring, the last thing we need is weak heart  muscle or clogged up plumbing, so healthy diet and lots of exercise is important. A doctor who doesn't understand and encourage that is not the right doctor for us. 


I agree

by Janessaa - 2019-10-29 23:28:10

ya, I got my pacemaker when I was 12 and for the first few months I felt the same  way you're describing when you do cardio, but it's been almost 4 years since then and a few setting changes and that problems compeltely gone. I agree it may have some to do with your settings!

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