Need Helpfor my Mom/80 years old

My mom is 80 years old, and went to the dr complaining of fatigue and heart palpitations. Two weeks later, after a Holder monitor, we were told she needed a pacemaker because her heart was beating too slow, caused by faulty electrical action of her heart. She had a st. judge dual chamber installed mid-March. She seems to be feeling a lot worse, not better. The fatigue and now, depression, are extreme.

We were told by the doctors on Friday (April 26) that they had never heard these types of complaints after this length of time. She complains of chest tightening and shortness of breath; but the dr. who installed the pacemaker says everything with the device is ok, and now wants to send her to a cardiologist. I feel like we're being passed around like a hot potato, and I don't want her to be treated like a commodity. We are at a teaching hospital, and the pacemaker group was very interested in her as a subject for a study, as she fits the profile of needed subjects.



by SMITTY - 2007-04-30 01:04:21

Get your mother to the cardiologist poste haste and away from those wanna-be-doctors. Before somebody crawls all over my back, I know we have to train doctors in order to have a continuing supply, but they should also be taught to recognize when they have reached the limits of their expertise. The statement "We were told by the doctors on Friday (April 26) that they had never heard these types of complaints after this length of time." tells me this bunch has exceeded their limits. That complaint is not uncommon for new pacemaker recipients.

Don't let that statement of "everything with the device is ok" mislead you. A perfectly working pacemaker simply means it is capable of doing whatever it was designed to do. It does not mean that the PM has been matched to the patients need's and that is the important part. A PM with improper settings for a particular patient can be worse than no PM at all.

So get you mom to a doctor that will recognize her needs.

By the way your mom is only 2 years older than I and I know how easy it is to get the feeling that some doctors figure "they are old and going to die soon anyway, so why take much time or put in much effort on them." I returned from a short stay in the hospital just a couple of days ago and I definitely had that feeling about some of the doctors that I had more than once.


re poorly mum

by belly321 - 2007-04-30 04:04:53

hi legalwman
i agree with everything that smitty said especially about the way older patients are treated. my mother was seriously ill last year (she is in her early eighties) and was passed from pillar to post until we said enough and demanded she was seen by a consultant who eventually diagnosed and treated her and luckily she is making good progress. the inital reaction to her was well she is quite old and the symptoms are unusual.this is disgraceful everybody has a right to be investigated and treated until they feel well whatever age.good luck i hope she feels much better soon.


by randrews - 2007-04-30 10:04:28

I've had my pm for 6 weeks now and am just now getting a handle on the anxiety, depression, etc. that followed. From reading what others have posted it's doesn't seem all that unusual. But it's still tough because it's life changing. Fatigue can be a symptom of depression. I agree with what the others have said, see a good doctor. Please stay in touch and let us know how she is.

I have same feeling

by KarenLL - 2007-04-30 12:04:42

I complained of chest pressure and breathing issues a week after my surgery enough that I went to the emergency room. They said I had a small amount of fluid around my heart but not enough to be concerned about. My surgery was 6 weeks ago, I go for my first appointment this Wednesday. I am sitting here typing this with the same chest pressure which I can also feel in my throat and at times I have shortness of breath. I think this feeling returns everytime I do too much. Especially when I do a lot of leaning over, like when I am cleaning. (Guess I'll just have to give that up!) I am a lot younger than your mother, I'm 44, so I am trying to get on with my life, but this feeling is driving me crazy. I will let you know what they tell me on Wednesday.



by teen - 2007-05-06 02:05:16

i have just joined the club because i am looking for information on pacemakers. my son is 18yrs in aug and has just been fitted with a pm three weeks ago. he has a checkup appointment on fri 11th may. his condition came as a shock although he had been having dizzy turns for a while and the turns only came when he was lying flat on his back. he passed out once when he had a brace fitted on his teeth at the orthodontist because of the chair being tilted back. he had tests, ecg, echocardiogram and a 24hr monitor fitted. we had a call to go see the dr and was told his heart had stopped for seven seconds during the night. a week later he had the pm fitted. it's possible he has had this condition all his life. he has been complaining of a feeling in his throat and a little pain when he coughs. i took him to the dr and she said it was unrelated and he had a chest infection and has given him anti-biotics. scott say's he's fine as teenagers do but i was made to feel like an over reacting mother. so, i am in scotland and it sounds as if it's no different here after reading some of your stories.

any information welcome and i will let you know how it goes on friday.


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I have an ICD which is both a pacer/defib. I have no problems with mine and it has saved my life.