Any cure/fix for CHB other than pacemaker?

I'm waiting for my PM implantation any day now. I can't help but wonder if there's any other solution / cure for CHB other than a PM? Medication? Acupuncture? Alternative medicine? Exercise? It would be a shame to get a PM and then later on finding out that it could've been fixed without inserting a permanent device.


10 Comments

Not a chance

by AgentX86 - 2020-11-02 22:17:06

Acupuncure can't replace a broken wire in your house. Why would it do anything for a broken wire in your heart?  That's essentially what the PM will do for you - bypasses your faulty AV node.

Don’t chance it

by Sisterwash65 - 2020-11-02 22:31:37

I have to echo AgentX86 on this one.
I'm sure you have googled Complete Heart Block...Every entry says " sudden cardiac arrest " is a possibility. The night before I had my PM placed I had a heart rate of 41bpm. Not sure how I ever slept that night !

I also have heart block, diagnosed as 2nd, 3rd degree and complete heart block at different times !

Now I'm told it's intermittent heart block. Any heart block means the signal is not getting through every time. 

Don't delay on this. You'll adjust and adapt to the pacemaker sooner than you think. You'll have peace of mind and that is priceless ! 
 

 

Pacemaker necessary or not?

by Lizzie - 2020-11-02 23:34:05

Well said, .changed my life for the better.

PM will be life changing!

by ar_vin - 2020-11-03 03:14:33

Like you I was unsure I needed a PM (my diagnosis was sick sinus syndrome); I spent several months researching options and sought a second opinion. Over the next few months my symptoms got worse and I found myself struggling to hike and run up hills I would do with relative ease prior to my diagnosis. I decided to not risk potential issues (passing out especially while driving or worse) and had the PM implanted.

It literally changed my life! I'm back to almost 95% of my pre diagnosis self as far as being able to hike, run, climb, cycle and whatever I choose to do. Consult with your EP and get a PM that suits your lifestyle. Post implant it could take 3-6 months to have the settings on the PM adjusted to your activities. One thing I requested was a sub-pectoral implant and my EP did an excellent job with the procedure; I was sore for a few more days post surgery due to the placement but the PM is out of the way while I hike, backpack, climb rocks etc

There are a lot of very helpful people on here who will support you in your journey - seek out help! And in due couse you'll be in a position to do the same for others.

I don't think there's any one on here who went in seeking a PM but we're all glad we got one despite our reservations.

Take the time to educate yourself about your condition, the PM, and it's settings and please do share your experience with us post procedure.

The procedure itself is usually quite uneventful.

 

 

 

Magical thinking.

by crustyg - 2020-11-03 04:42:29

Man's capacity for self-deception is limitless, and your post elegantly demonstrates why lies are so effective, because some people want to believe in things that aren't so.

But there is a real point here that's important.  *YOU* need to be comfortable with the thought of a PM *before* it's implanted.  Otherwise there will be a small part of you forever resentful that this thing was imposed on you.  And that resentment may cause you serious problems - depression, an ulcer, high BP etc.  The list is long.

If you aren't comfortable about signing that consent form, then DON'T SIGN IT YET.  I was one of the contributors urging you to have the PM, but a few weeks waiting won't matter for your heart (and the risk of SCD over this time is negligible), and may make a huge difference to your mental health.

Having a PM inserted has an emotional impact on anyone, and it could be a real problem for you.

Patience and understanding

by Gemita - 2020-11-03 05:36:48

Koala,

I have to agree with crustyg, you have to be really happy with your decision for it to be the right one for you.  I have been following your earlier threads and have even contributed to them.  Yet despite all our explanations, reassurance from contributors, some of whom have vast experience living with your condition, you are still asking the same questions.  There is still considerable doubt in your mind and I am not sure that anyone can really help you or indeed whether you will ever be able to accept a pacemaker.

With this in mind maybe it is not the best time to get one?  Maybe you need a period free from the burden of thinking about such a device?  Maybe you need to go back to your doctors to tell them frankly you are uncertain and have your doubts about it being right for you, at least for now.  Perhaps they can refer you for therapy where you can speak at length with a counsellor to help you to come to the right decision.  I am not being unkind by suggesting this.  We all need help sometimes to get past a block, to move forward.  I was just the same about starting anticoagulation to protect me from an AF related stroke.  I feared it more than anything thinking that it would cause bleeding everywhere but with the help of my doctors who found me the right anticoagulant, I am symptom free and protected now.

I do understand your fears and your questions and your doubts.  Consider therapy Koala or at least find a doctor with patience and understanding who can help you come to a decision.  Alternatively have a complete break from this turmoil, no googling, no questioning.  Do normal things without thinking about a pacemaker for a set period of say a month and then reassess how you are feeling.  You may need a complete break to help you recharge your batteries which may be draining fast.  You will feel so much better when this veil of doubt is lifted.  You will have more energy and peace of mind.  I know, I have been there and so have so many others.  Good luck

Koala

by IAN MC - 2020-11-03 06:00:03

I thought about you this morning.  There was an article in the UK press on koalas....it said that " Koalas are critically endangered and are likely to become extinct "  .

I would hate that to happen to you , so do get a pacemaker ; it really is no big deal ( unless you decide to make it one ! )

Best of luck

Ian

Thanks

by koala - 2020-11-04 02:21:52

Thanks for all your messages, patience, information and words of affirmations. I know I have asked this question in my previous post but my siblings kept telling me to look for alternatives. I told them there isn't one but they persisted. 

At the moment I am actually looking forward to having a PM and I'm waiting anxiously to hear from the hospital to schedule my op.

Siblings

by AgentX86 - 2020-11-05 15:10:38

I'd tell my brothers to mind their business because I'm selfish. *I* want to feel better.

It sounds like your head is in the right place. Good luck and don't let anyone tell you what you need to do. Get information and decide for yourself. I'm always banging the "informed consent" drum but information is power.

It will only get worse.

by PacedNRunning - 2020-11-08 05:44:12

Heart block will only get worse. Not better. Only a PM can help. Think of it has helping your heart and hopefully will only need to pace intermittently. Hopefully they will still allow your own heart to work when it can since it sounds like your block is intermittent and not persistent. I started as intermittent with exercise only to now 24/7. :(. Took about 3 years to get worse. Get it now. 

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I had a pacemaker since 2002 and ever since then my life has been a total blessing.