Have not be able to walk outside more than 2 houses from me either direction for over a year now.  Tried to walk to the end of the block  the other day, but am still shaky and off balance when walking.  Can walk from parked van to inside box stores without that problem. Then pushing a cart around without any trouble walking.

Thought the pacemaker would help that, guess not .   Implanted Aug 21,2019.



Trouble walking

by AgentX86 - 2020-01-01 19:53:21

Have you asked your doctors why you're having trouble walking?  I'd think this would be more neurological than cardiac related. If it were related to your heart, you'd be out of breath after exercising rather than shaky.  Please have your doctors investigate this more and don't let them pass it off as age.  It's not right and you want to know why.

trouble walking

by new to pace.... - 2020-01-01 21:23:48

thanks, have Done that, they have no clue.  MRI of brain came up with at some point in my life had a couple strokes.  Before  April ,2017 had trouble with my right foot stopping and left would keep going.  They could not figure out why. Of course would fall sometimes or fall into something.  One time it was an airplane door.  Had to cancel my trip and returned home with a fractured thumb.  The last time,April 2017, fractured left ankle, sprained right wrist, bruised ribs, contusion of right knee, and bruised rt shouder(causing avascular necrosis), doctor  thought had torn rotator cuff.  Still at that point no clue as to what was going on.

Trouble walking

by AgentX86 - 2020-01-01 23:22:33

Sounds vaguely familliar (feel like I'm walking in a canoe). I had an appointment with my neorologist Monday.  Before it, I told my wife that they wouldn't know anything and have no clue - "neurology is closer to voodoo than to medicine".  After, even I was dissapointed. My MRI and ambulatory EEG were negative.  The MRI may have shown some micro strokes, if so, likely caused by Afib, years ago before I realized I had AF. Then the nerologist tried to point back at the cardiologist.  C'mon, really?  There is a big difference between syncope and a (more or less) predictable seizure.

No, I'm not surprised they didn't find anything but I'm not one to let them off the hook so easily.  Hope you get some answers but it doesn't sound like a heart/pacemaker issue to me.


Please reconsider taking an Anticoagulant.

by KonaLawrence - 2020-01-02 02:23:44

Hi Mary,

I have had Afib for 10-15 years, officially diagnosed 10 years ago.  I have also had a stroke, before I was diagnosed.  Once I knew I had occassionally had Afib, I took an anticoagulant.  I took warfarin for 8 years.  It worked.  For the last 2 years I have taken Pradaxa, one of the NOAC anticoagulants.  I have had some issues with the anticoagulants and have switched medications and dosages a couple of times.  But, I kept at it until I found a combination that worked for me. 

I went back and read some of your posts for the last couple of months.  You mention your PM checkup showing that you had episodes of Afib.  Maybe only a few, but there.  You also mention that an MRI showed that you had a couple of mini-strokes sometime, maybe months ago, maybe years ago. 

I'm writing to ask you to please reconsider trying an anticoagulant.  There are about a dozen different ones.  All the clinical studies have shown that tumeric and aspirin and the other "natural" options do not work in Afib people to prevent strokes.  I believe your Cardiologist wanted you to take an anticoagulant and when you refused, out of desperation suggested a Watchman procedure for you.   I believe your Cardiologist thinks you really, really are at risk of a stroke.  If you've had strokes in the past (and you have) you are at a much higher risk of having more strokes.    If you have Afib (and you do) you are at a high risk of having a stroke.  I think you are a time-bomb and your next stroke may kill you, or worse, leave you permanently in a wheelchair in a nursing home.  A lost a dear friend a few months ago.  She had Afib and had a couple small strokes, but with a lot of work, mostly recovered.  Then she had another stroke, which left her without speech, parlyzed left arm and parlyzed left leg.  She then lived in a nursing home.  She needed assistance to dress, to eat, to bath and to go to the bathroom.  In a sense she was lucky.  Instead of living for many years, another stroke killed her after 6 months.

When you have a stroke (even a mini-stroke) a blood clot goes into the brain, blocks an artery or vein and prevents blood from getting to a part of the brain.  That part of the brain dies and does not recover.  That will cause paralisis or death.  When I had a stroke my right leg and right arm seemed to be not quite working right.  I just figured that I had injured a muscle.  When I finally got a correct diagnosis I was able to recover most function with Physical Therapy.  Not quite all.  The brain will repurpose some other area to make up for the dead area, if it can.  BUT, this only goes so far.  If too much of the brain dies from repeated "mini-strokes" it cannot recover and you will be completely, permanently paralyzed or just dead.  About 50% of strokes cause the person to die.  Most of the rest cause permanent parlysis.  You are lucky that you know you are at high risk for stroke.  You have time to "fix" it.  BUT, the only fix that works is an anti-coagulant or surgical insertion of a Watchman.  Most cardiologists will recommend patients try a drug first.  If they are allergic to one, they can try another.  If it still doesn't work, usually insurance will pay for a Watchman sergery.

Please, please talk to your Cardiologist again about your stroke risk.  Just call and ask for an appointment to see about anticoagulation.  I expect they will see you because you are at risk of a stroke, but for now you still have time to do something about it.

Wishing You Well,

PS I sent this as a private message also...


by Gemita - 2020-01-02 09:05:24

Dear Mary,

I wonder if your symptoms are the result of your past silent strokes ??  I ask because my husband was found to have had four strokes in the past, the first two of which were completely silent (to him) but not to me.  I fought hard to get him to see a doctor at the time because of his symptoms but he said I was worrying over nothing.  

His last two strokes immediately following stent procedures occurred while he was still in the Cath lab and they were able to immediately intervene and investigate - bloods (including troponin levels) + MRI head/neck.  He developed balance, vision, speech and left sided temporary paralysis during his last two strokes which I witnessed and it was frightening.  They also discovered his arrhythmias (AF and NSVT) and immediately put him on anticoagulation.  He was eventually switched from Apixaban 2 x 5mg daily, to low dose, once daily Edoxaban 30 mg because of his kidney problems and being over 80.  I also take Edoxaban 30mg because of AF and low body weight (less than 60 kg) and I can honestly say it has been a very safe and unproblematic introduction into anticoagulation for the two of us (and I was petrified to take it).  Apixaban is usually the medication of choice because of its safety record, especially protection from a gastric bleed, but the regular twice daily dosing 2 x 5 mg per day still proved too high a dose for both hubby and me, so switching to Edoxaban has been such a relief.

In the very least Mary I would recommend that you go back to see a neurologist for another complete reappraisal of your symptoms to see whether any additional therapy might help you.  You could also (if you haven’t already done so) ask for further investigations into any spinal/neck problems which could cause instability when you are walking, particularly without assistance (pushing the cart).  My husband’s follow up MRI did eventually show a lack of blood flow (intracranial left vertebral artery) and this needs to be kept an eye on.  We certainly didn’t stop asking questions and nor should you.

As you are having “specific” problems walking “more than 2 houses from you in either direction for over a year now”, I wonder whether your silent strokes might have occurred while you were actually doing this at the time ??  My hubby has a block when we go back to a certain shopping centre and gets “unsteady (balance problems) and loses his sense of direction" every time we visit this place.  It scares me but I am extra vigilant and I can sense what is going on with him.  He doesn’t understand, but I think I do.  I feel certain one of his silent strokes occurred while we were in this location several years ago when he went missing for hours with the money, house keys and all the rest !! 

I do hope for the very best for you


by new to pace.... - 2020-01-02 09:55:25

thanks , today thought i would take the walker  of the closet and see if that makes any difference, since pushing a cart is easy.

Walking with support

by Violet West - 2020-01-02 19:41:55

First, I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties.  Loss of mobility is severely disabling (ask me how I know).  I don't have anything to add contrary to the above advice, but I just want to say if you need assistance from a device to walk, like the walker you mentioned, don't hesitate.  I have to use a cane sometimes and I was very self-conscious at first.  But it's a good thing, really.  If you need it, don't be shy about it.  Who cares what others think?

You might also try some walking poles -- the kind trekkers use.  I'm no PT, but I would think that the coordination and opposition of arms and legs when using that would be beneficial for stroke recovery.  


by new to pace.... - 2020-01-02 19:54:59

thanks, did take out the walker this morning just to the corner and back 3 houses past mine.  It was a smooth walk.  Then did to the corner and back to my home, little off balance and my right arm hung heavy.   Going to my accupunturist in the morning.  She does a 

Jaffe Melnor Techique.  Previously used it for my food allergies to accept the foods back into my body with out reaction.  Now am allergy free with some sensitvities where i can eat those every 4 days.   Hope she can get my body to do something about this gait balance problem. 

This problem got  started  when i was at Physicial  Theraphy when she said it was a long walk.  after i had walked from my home .4 of mile to PT using walker.  Somehow have to erase that from my mind.

You know you're wired when...

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My pacemaker is the best thing that every happened to me, had I not got it I would not be here today.