Just Joined the Club.
Hello, everyone. I'm 38 and I was diagnosed with Nonischemic Congestive Cardiomyopathy in 2019, and I received my 3 lead CRT-D implant about 6 weeks ago. I do not personally know anybody with a pacemaker, much less someone my own age, so I joined this forum today in hopes of maybe finding some information, and/or comfort, to help me wrap my brain around everything.
On one hand, I feel better than I have in *years*. My ejection fraction has been 20-25% for at least a full year, and it went up to 50% a month after the implant surgery. I can breathe properly, I do not feel like I'm dying anymore, and I don't have the insane dizzy spells I used to have hourly. I can actually do things now... walking, housework, exercise, etc. Another positive is that my wife and I can make jokes about how I am now a semi legitimate cyborg.
On the other hand, I have what feels like an Altoids can under my skin and it's driving me crazy. The device is at the forefront of my mind constantly. Every left arm movement feels weird and unnatural now, and I feel somewhat nauseous every time I feel my shoulder move the device slightly during natural movement. The device is so large that my left arm movement seems severely limited. I'm having issues adjusting to the weird flutters, vibrations, etc. I'm honestly scared of being shocked from my difibrillator. It's just overwhelming.
Are these feelings normal? Will I ever adapt to having a CRT-D device under my skin? Will wearing a t shirt not feel like torture at some point? I'm trying to be positive. I'm trying to focus on the fact that I'm alive, my heart works better, and I can be a better husband to my wife... but this mental stuff is just so hard to break through. I can't really talk to anybody in my life about all this because they have not been through it. Imagining a device in one's body is different than *having* a device in one's body.
Thanks in advance for help and advice, and thanks for reading my long winded rant.