New to the pacemaker world

Hey everybody.

Got my pacemaker 4 days ago after 15years of syncope with no knowledge of what was causing it. After having a Medtronic Reveal device put in a year ago I found out I was having constant ventricular standstills of 20-30 seconds and so a pacemaker it is (or more hospitalisations for the concussions when collapsing). 

I know it's only been 4days but currently I'm feeling pretty apprehensive about the device and the way it makes me feel. The implant site itself is allgood and the pain is to be expected after surgery but I cant seem to shake the feeling that I'm not sure if this was a good idea (which I know sounds very silly considering the alternatives). Anyone else have this feeling when they first got their implant and did it go away? I can feel my heart beating alot more and at times I feel dizzy from it. It's just so unusual and different from what I have experienced for at least the last 15 years. I also am struggling a bit with the concept of having this device inside my body and being able to feel it and it makes me feel physically ill if I brush past it with my hand or when I feel it as I'm getting dressed. Do you get used to this?

I'm hoping that in 10months time (for my 30th) I'll feel so much better about it and happy to go away on holiday but for now I'm staying close to home and feeling a bit unsure of what's next.



it takes time

by Tracey_E - 2020-03-20 10:51:08

It takes some time to wrap our heads around it, but your heart could stop and not start up again so getting it was not optional! Concussions aren't exactly a picnic either. Do not second guess the decision, be glad you won't be at risk any longer. 

It will get less conspicuous as it heals so don't judge how it feels yet. It can take 6 months, even a year, before it fully settles. 

It should not make you dizzy. Mention it to your doctor. It's common to need to fine tune the settings. 


by AgentX86 - 2020-03-20 12:07:20

I understand being scared of having a machine control your heart but think of it this way, nothing was controlling your heart before.  Instead of a 20-30 second pause or even asystole (amazing) your heart could easily have been stopped forever. It's random luck when the heart restarts after it stops (it may not).  SCA got my brother, who was in perfect health (swam two miles every day). Even if SCA didn't get you, just the syncope is enough to have done you in.  Fainting at the top of a flight of stairs, or while driving, wouldn't have a good outcome.  Now you can be thankful that that is all behind you and can look forward to a normal life. I know this can be hard to wrap your head around but that's the direction you should be heading every time you think about your pacemaker.  You are the lucky one.

It's unbelievable that it took fifteen years for them to find this.  I hope you're not going to the same quacks now. This sort of thing isn't rocket surgery. They know it's a problem (you've fainted - pretty obvious) and it's fairly easy to find this particular problem. They found mine within a week of the first near-syncope (eight-second asystole while I was sleeping).

perfectly normal

by dwelch - 2020-03-20 12:13:37

anxiety and other concerns are very normal.  depending on your condition the pacemaker has smoothed out/fixed your heart rythm.  and this will also feel weird until you get used to it, it is a step change in how you feel internally.  and that will also play into your mind as you are constantly noticing the difference and constantly thinking about it.   

Everyone is different as to how to get through this, but pacemakers become like big toes and belly buttons, you know you have one but you dont think about it until you stub it on something, then shortly after, you forget or dont think about it again.

You are not alone in how you are reacting to this change in your life.

I agree with all the comments here!

by arentas80 - 2020-03-20 12:38:00

Everyone above me is right. This was for the best. Consider yourself lucky because the alternative was grim. Like you I recently got a PM put in on 12/30/2019 and I am still not used to it. The daily monitoring at 8am, the palpitations, feeling my heart beat more than usual etc etc. It is going to take some time to adjust and everyone heals differently. We just have to look at the bright side of things because almost all of us here can say that the alternative was not being here anymore. Wishing you a speedy, safe and healthy recovery. God bless!


Me too.

by Graham M - 2020-03-20 16:31:45

I only had one syncope, and that was enough for me. The scars on the back of my head are a constant reminder.

I' m 7 months post implant and still remember those first few weeks when I felt exactly the way you are feeling now.  Believe me, it does get better a lot quicker than you expect. I'm very pleased to have a device that not only keeps me alive, but makes me feel better too.

Best wishes and welcome to the club.


Thanks for the reassurance guys.

by JaeJae - 2020-03-21 08:07:26

Thanks everyone.

I'll keep on keeping on I guess and hope it starts to feel better soon.

I'll follow up with my doctor re. The dizziness when I go in for my two week check.


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