36 years old, LBBB, scheduled for CRT-D, SCARED

I am 36 years old, male, dont smoke, drink, or do drugs. As far as I have known I was always relatively healthy. 6 kids and married for 13 years. 2 years ago I went in to get my gallbladder removed and the staff went into a panic when they found the LBBB. Since then I've had echos (ejection fraction 35%) and heart cath.. no one can figure out why I have LBBB.. 18 months later my ejection fraction still hadn't gone up and medicine wasnt helping, in fact made me have symptoms when I dont have any symptoms without medicine. So they recommended a crt-d. The surgery was postponed due to covid 19. Then they called last week to do it and i backed out. I asked for another echo to see where my heart it. I got the results today and it shows 25%. It has gotten worse. I feel palpitations often now and other weird feelings in my chest that are startling. They have me scheduled for the procedure in June. I am scared. I feel like I'm just giving up by getting it done. Maybe I am in denial and hopeful someone will call and say hey we figured it out you are going to be fine. I am scared about my life span and being there for my kids. I'm scared it isnt going to work. Especially when they dont even know why or what is causing the LBBB. At one point they mentioned it could be cardiomyopathy. Is anyone out there with my conditions? How long have you had it? How is your life since? How long can we expect to live? I hide my stress well but have panic attacks nightly about dying now. I don't want to die. Especially this young. Please help.


6 Comments

Take a deep breath. It's time now to look for the solution, not the cause.

by Gotrhythm - 2020-05-12 20:30:18

I have LBBB. And a bunch of other electrical glitches as well.

The causes of heart disease are well known, and oftern preventable with diet and exercise. Here's the thing about problems in the heart's electrical system---there are many possible causes, but when they can't find any heart disease, what exactly caused  any one particular problem is often unknown.

In many cases, we didn't do anything wrong health-wise to cause it and there's nothing we could have done to prevent it. There really isn't any payoff for stessing over the cause. Nor is there any reason to feel like your condition is some form of weakness.

Instead, thank whatever Powers you believe in that you were born in a century in which there is something to be done about your problem, and the solution is readily available.

Knowing your problem can be helped by a pacemaker is really, really good news. Your life isn't over. People older and younger than you get pacemakers and people who have pacemakers have about the same longevity as those who don't.

I don't have a CRT. Hopefully some of our members who do will be able to address your concerns more specifically.

 

Decision Time!

by arentas80 - 2020-05-12 20:47:42

Hello!

I'm 39 years old and have Sick Sinus Syndrome. No one in my family has any history of heart disease. One day last September I felt like I was going to pass out and ended up finding out that my heart was stopping at night and slowing down way too much. Lowest heart rate was 21BPM. Anyhow I had no choice but to get the PM. With today's technology, safety protocols and the success rate of this surgery you might want to go for it. This will bring you peace of mind and as long as you keep living a healthy lifestyle you have to put yourself in gods hands. No one knows when their time is up. What matters is that you make the best decisions from the information provided to you. I suggest you seek an Electrophysiologist if you haven't already and go from there. Do your research as well. Learn as much as you can. I wish you nothing but the best and hope all of this will be behind you before you know it. God bless you and take care!

Alejandro

Six kids

by AgentX86 - 2020-05-12 22:43:52

If you have six kids, pacemaker surgery is a piece of cake.  Do it!  A CRT is the right solution for you and a CRT-D is the tool for an LVEF < 35% - 40%.  Sorry to say that there is no promise that this is going to work but there is a good chance that it will.  Since the drugs haven't worked, it's really the next step.  '

A low LVEF isn't the end of the world but getting worse isn't an option you want.  Get the surgery.  Compared to the gallbladder surgery, this is a walk in the park.  I 99% of the cases it's either out-patient or an overnight deal. There is comparitively little (for some, trivial) pain, as well.

Fear of the Unknown

by Grateful Heart - 2020-05-12 23:08:45

It's normal to be scared, I was and I didn't know much about my condition, these devices or this site.    

At age 50, 13 years ago, I was diagnosed with SSS, LBBB, cardiomyopathy - enlarged heart.  The doctors think it was a virus that attacked my heart but no one is sure.  It's idiopathic.  One Cardio explained "that means we're idiots....we don't know what caused it".  That was the first time in months since the diagnosis that I busted out laughing.

I have had great improvement with my device and I am now on my 2nd CRT-D.  I do believe I wouldn't still be here without it.

My EF was 24%.  About 6 months after my CRT-D implant, my EF was 50% and more than a year later was 55%.  Amazing!!  

We can expect to live a long time.  Some members on this site have have had a device 30-40 years and are still going strong!  I am in better shape than I was 13 years ago.  I eat healthy for the most part, exercise and have lost weight since then. 

Try not to stress.  I understand, I have a husband and my 4 sons were teenagers at the time.  I thought I was doomed.  It sounds like you have a wonderful large family who needs you and of course there are no guarantees in life but a CRT device will hopefully improve your condition as it has mine.

Enjoy your young family and let them keep you laughing...it reduces stress.  When you explain to them how you will be bionic....they'll love it!

I hope this will ease your mind some.

Grateful Heart

giving up

by Tracey_E - 2020-05-13 10:30:11

It's not giving up, it's fighting back. It's a potential fix that will make you feel better so you can more easily keep up for your kids. It's perfectly normal to be scared, but don't doubt for a minute that it's the right choice. 

You got this.

by Mitch_Crawford - 2020-05-14 17:49:39

In 2007 I was diagnosed with non-ischemic ('we don't know what caused it') cardiomyopathy. I had LBBB and an EF as low as 25, among other things. I was 41 at the time.

I was put on some GREAT meds--I love natural cures, but sometimes you gotta get the meds--which kept my BP low and helped restructure my heart and decreased the size of my ready-to-explode left ventricle. I was told I would eventually have bouts of AFib (started in 2017), then need a pacemaker (got that one last year), then ultimately would need a new mitral valve (hopefully not for another few years!).

Since I got the pacemaker, I decided to give up the competitive volleyball leagues, but I took up tennis and can be as competitive as I want! It really fixed the problem I was having and I feel fantastic now.

Feel free to check my blog, where I documented the time from when I was told I needed a PM to the time where I feel like all is normal again. Might help ease some fears! www.pacemaker50.com

Hope that helps...I still expect to make it past 80 yrs in this lifetime. My wife is 10 years younger, so I'm shooting for 90.

:) Mitch

You know you're wired when...

You have a little piece of high-tech in your chest.

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Yesterday I moved to a new place in my mind and realized how bad I felt 'before' and the difference my pacemaker has made.