Cardiogenic Shock & Pericardial Effusion
(Partially a cautionary tale. I'm 43yo F in decent health.)
Anyone have the above? It's NOT common. Nor did they think it was necessarily caused by PM, although they said the leads could have caused some of the inflammation. I didn't have a heart attack; I was hypoxic & started going into sepsis!
PM inserted 21mo ago, but I just faced death. Discharged from hospital after 3 days, says "Cardiogenic Shock; Cardiac Tamponade; Hemorrhagic pericardial effusion, hypotension." No idea what caused this. Heart sac inflamed, I'm now on colchicine for 3mo. This is the biggest thing I've dealt with in my life. This was INTENSE!!!
I had terrible pain breathing in, specifically on my right side, my right shoulder, down my right arm. Even hurt my teeth. It was a sharp nerve pain. Something told me I should call 911, but I didn't (thought it was reflux or pulled diaphragm muscle, or I was being hypochondriac.) I dealt with it for about 36 hours. It was positional & not getting better.
Tuesday morning, my heart rate spiked to the point I couldn't even measure it, profusely sweating, clammy, dizzy. Kept saying "I need help. This isn't normal."
I had to call 911 on myself. Fortunately, I'm 10 blocks from great hospitals, but the paramedics had to get me down four flights of spiral steps & my blood pressure was 50/20. dry heaving, passing out. It was AWFUL. No visitors because of covid. (Tested negative, also negative antibodies.) I 100% understand & respect it, still, not having visitors because of Covid is a very painful thing.
Was in shock, echo showed fluid, had a drainage catheter put in heart sac, about 50 cc'd drained over 24hrs, they removed it & pulled another 100+cc's. Bloody. Started to go back into shock- the pain was intense. Wasn't aware until later that was a moment of "maybe not make it." At that moment, the pain shifted from my sternum to the muscles in the back of my neck. Now it is mostly under my clavicle area. I knew I had Pericardial Effusion, but I didn't know my proper diagnosis until the end, so I REALLY didn't know how bad it was! (when the paramedics first arrived, I said "I really hope I called you guys here for no reason! I really hope this is a panic attack!")
I'd probably be dead had I not called. They told me I almost didn't make it twice at the hospital.
I want to warn people… Most have heard to call 911 for chest pain, even if atypical. But we don't always. Please learn from my mistake even if it's something else! (& if anyone has experienced this, please PM me or comment! I searched in forum, but only saw two posts in the past 10 years.) Good rule of thumb – if you feel like you should ask anybody if you need to go to the hospital, GO!
You know you're wired when...
You know the difference between hardware and software.
My eight year old son had a pacemaker since he was 6 months old. He does very well, plays soccer, baseball, and rides his bike. I am so glad he is not ashamed of his pacemaker. He will proudly show his "battery" to anyone.