One more new guy - procedure scheduled for June 29

Greetings everyone, I am glad I have found this site and group.

I have had a slow heartbeat as long as I can remember (around 42 bpm) .  I have had tests and ECG's in the past and doctors have never gone any further with it and I always thought I was just incredibly calm (!).  Fast Forward to 2020 and my wife and I have both retired and relocated from Colorado to Kentucky to be closer to family and I found a new doctor.  On my initial appointment she immediately said something wasn't right and within 10 days I had seen a cardiologist and the electrophysiologist  and have an appointment to have a pacemaker inserted on the 29th of June.  It's been a bit of a whirlwind.

I'm not scared of the procedure itself and have done my homework on it, but it's nice to be able to talk with other people in the same situation and get other viewpoints on it.  I also have Type 2 diabetes which I control pretty well with insulin, sensible diet and exercise in the form of walking.  My biggest worry is not being able to take my normal meds on the day of the procedure and also not being able to eat which might give the added problem of having my blood sugars drop low.  Hopefully that part will take care of itself on the day.

Looking forward to getting this over and done with and starting on the next stage of my life.  Thanks for listening.


June 29th

by AgentX86 - 2020-06-20 18:45:30

Welcome to the club and I hope you get what you're looking for.  

I understand the worry about diabetes.  While I'm not diabetic, my wife is.  Her diabetes is pretty well under control, too, but every once in a while her blood suger crashes without reason.  I think it's a good idea to talk to your doctors about this concern. 

On the day of your surgery, there shouldn't be a problem.  They'll make sure you're OK.  You'll have an IV so they can regulate whatever is needed.  The problem, as I see it, is from the evening meal to when you show up at the hospital.  Again, talk to your doctor but I think I'd have a light evening meal as late as possible (within the guidelines).

Good luck with your surgery.  It sounds like you're in the right place mentally and I'm sure you'll be fine.

Discuss with staff

by Theknotguy - 2020-06-20 20:11:34

About being diabetic, you'll want to discuss with both the hospital staff and the doctor's staff as to what you should do.  Then make sure everyone knows you are a diabetic so they will monitor your situation.  It may sound funny but you'll want to start telling people as soon as you go into the hospital that you are diabetic so there is absolutely no chance someone doesn't know.  

The ideal situation is to get a game plan mapped out before going into the hospital.  But due to schedule changes and lack of communication there are always people at the last minute who won't know.  It's hard for people coming into the hospital from the outside to understand that people may not be  informed.  They do these procedures every day, five days a week.  After a while it becomes mind numbingly routine and, unless someone tells them,  they won't know you are diabetic.  

This probably sounds scary but it's better to pester people about your situation than wind up with someone who is uninformed.  

I volunteered in a 1300 bed hospital and on the floor where they did the pacemaker implants as well as other heart procedures.  They were constantly checking on blood sugar for diabetics.  Things can go badly for a diabetic rather quickly and the staff prided themselves they hadn't had a problem with a diabetic for years.  

Sorry if I scared you.  I do hope everything goes well for your implant.  


by andyinKY - 2020-06-21 12:43:20

Thanks for the answers.  I have an appointment with my own doctor this week so she can advise me what to do as far as shots, meals etc are concerned, so hopefully I am getting ahead of the curve on this one!

Your slow heartbeat

by twodrifters - 2020-06-22 01:59:42

I am also new here and very relieved to find all this knowledge and support.  

I am wondering if your doctor explained the need for quick action on your HR of 42. I would also be interested to know if you experience symptoms at that HR.

In just the last couple of months I have been experiencing periods of HR 40, sometimes for a few minutes at a time and sometimes for 4 or 5 hours (not counting at night when a HR of high 30s to low 40s is pretty much a nightly occurrence, and the dr. says that is normal).  I am fairly symptomatic oftentimes at HR 40.

My EP has suggested a PM but says that at this point there is no urgency but he does expect the problem to progress.  I also have almost constant premature beats many days, and a history of Afib although that's better since an ablation.  And hopefully a PM would help.  

I hope your procedure goes well.


Your slow heartbeat - reply

by andyinKY - 2020-06-23 19:24:31

Hi Ann,

My cardiologist did explain that an earlier intervention would be better than waiting any longer.  My symptoms were basically nil, although I did (do) tire very easily and that has now been flagged as a possible symptom, but one that I was previously unaware of.  The electrophysiologist explained in greater detail the possible consequences of waiting.  He said things could go on as they have with no issues for weeks, months or possibly even years.  However on the other hand he said I could be walking up stairs or (even worse) driving and I might just pass out as insufficient blood would getting pumped around.  He said there was no real way of telling, but the decision to go/no go on the pacemaker was mine and mine alone.

I'm not a gambler so I decided to go with it, especially as these days it seems to be a fairly normal procedure (or at least as normal as possible).

Of course this is just my story and opinion, but I hope it helps!

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