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My name is Chuck I am 63yrs Retired and I have been diagnosed with Coronary artery disease, Afib, and Left bundle branch block I had a stent put in 12yrs ago they just checked that and it is still good to go. now they are talking a PM with a defib unit. How is it to live with one of these units?






by Theknotguy - 2020-10-26 10:36:43


"Living" with one of these units is what you make of it.  If you decide your life is over, it will be over.  If you decide it's bad,  it will be bad.  If you decide to make the best of it, you can have a pretty good life.  Or, as the quote goes, " People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

I had a lot of trauma before I got my pacemaker.  They broke all the ribs on my right side and collapsed the right lung.  The nurses broke ribs on my left side.  I was in a six day coma.  It took me two years to get back to a "normal" life.  I'm still having problems because of the broken ribs and at my last doctor's appointment he told me I'll live in pain the rest of my life.  But my other option was being dead and I didn't like that option at all.  And, of course, I still have the underlying heart problems with afib.  But if you ask me, I'll tell you I've got a good life.  And up until covid I was walking several miles a day and working in a charity woodshop making furniture.  I'm still trying to walk as much as I can and I still go in two days a week to work on furniture.  

The pacemaker hasn't been a hindrance, it's been a help.  At six and a half years out I had to have my pacemaker adjusted.  It wasn't keeping up with my life style and I had to have my rate response adjusted to react more quickly.  I can do things now I couldn't do before the pacemaker because I now have a good heartbeat and more blood and oxygen are being pumped around my system.  For the most part I feel good.  

So your life post pacemaker will be what you want to make of it.  Your decision.  I wish you the best.  


Welcome Chuck

by Gemita - 2020-10-26 11:12:03

Hubby and I both have pacemakers.  My husband too has Coronary Artery Disease, AFib and stents (3 in number).  He also has Left Bundle Branch Block and Mobitz type II block.  His AFib has an exceedingly slow ventricular response rate and therefore his doctors are not particularly worried about it.  My husband is 82, and his AFib has unfortunately become permanent.  Because of his age and other health conditions they are leaving well alone, as least for the moment.  His only treatment is the pacemaker for AF induced bradycardia, hypertensive meds for high blood pressure and an anticoagulant to protect him from an AFib related stroke (of which he has already had several unfortunately).

A pacemaker with a defibrillator is an extra level of protection from a pacemaker on its own.  A pacemaker/defibrillator will provide not only pacing function but if it detects an event, like a dangerous heart rhythm like Ventricular Tachycardia/Ventricular Fibrillation or if your heart stops, it can shock the heart internally and return it to a normal sinus rhythm.  In other words, it senses when you are in trouble and will step in and automatically regulate the heart beat to save your life.  Hopefully your defibrillator will not often be needed but it is a "safeguard" in case you get into trouble.

Hopefully other members with a pacemaker/defibrillator will explain how it is to live with one of these devices.  As a pacemaker patient though, I can tell you that once I got over the initial discomfort of the pacemaker implant and healing period of 6 weeks, I had no difficulties with my pacemaker which is keeping my heart rate nice and steady and higher most of the time, which certainly helps me to feel better.  I also have paroxysmal AFib, but with a very rapid ventricular response rate (unlike hubby), so I need to take rate control medication (Bisoprolol - a beta blocker) to control this, otherwise my heart rates go dangerously high and I become breathless, faint, weak and develop chest pain from my AFib alone, even though I do not have any heart disease.  

Despite AFib, I can honestly say that my pacemaker has improved my quality of life and with the heart rate set at a minimum of 70 bpm, many of my arrhythmias are being "outpaced" and better controlled.  Arrhythmia frequency is noticeably lower and arrhythmia duration noticeably shorter.  So a win win situation for me.  Now I need to find a cure for that pest AFib which is not so easy to achieve!! 

I hope that you find help here, so that you can manage your condition better and speak to your doctors effectively.  Good luck 

Living with these units

by AgentX86 - 2020-10-26 14:20:03

The first word (above) says a lot and is pretty important for me.  I don't have a defibrillator and I'm kinda curious why they think you need one.  Nothing in your list tells me that you need a defibrillator.  Pacemaker, yes.  Defibrillator?  But listen to your doctors, not me.  Do question everything though.  It is your body and you have a right to know everything about it and what they're trying to do to you.  It's called "informed consent".  This isn't possible with information.


Living with a pacemaker

by Selwyn - 2020-10-26 14:38:17

Hello, and welcome to the club. The only Chuck I have known was one with a Nigerian surname ( ? Chuckuhana) and we shortened it to 'Chucks', a term of endearment here in the UK. He was really happy to be called "Chucks".

Your health is likely to be improved with a pacemaker.

There are over a million people in the world at present living their lives with a pacemaker ( me, my mother-in-law, and previously, my Mother, to just count our family). Safety in numbers!

Apart from having to go for regular check ups for its functioning ( and I have been promised my new PM will have home monitoring. This one is 12 years old)  at the hospital, like most people, that is all that is needed. My grandchildren think it is quite funny that Grandpa needs a battery to help him  work. Having just cycled 14 miles into a 26mph wind, today, I can say the PM has hardly stopped me doing anything ( apart from SCUBA diving). 

You should understand WHY you need a pacemaker and WHY you need a defibrillator if you want to know. A lot of people aren't interested in knowing their chances of dying, as invariably these devices are life- saving. If you want to ask, you have to live with the answers. 





by ROBO Pop - 2020-10-26 17:37:51

Living with a defibrillator is a piece of cake. They don't eat, don't need to be fertilized, or groomed, and most importantly you never have to pick up their poo when you go for a walk. Oh and if you get loaded at a party, you never have to worry about where you left it the next morning.

My first sentence says everything you need to know. It's not a big deal unless you make it one. 

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