Heart is so limiting for exercise
I'm new here and I tried to look back through posts to learn more, but I got a little overwhelmed. I'm sorry if this post is repetitive and you are welcome to point me toward other applicable previous posts.
I got my first pacemaker back in August. It is a Medtronic Azure. It was quite a surprise because we have never had any proof of heart issues. My heart was running about 30 beats a minute when it had an eleven second pause before returning to its 30 bpm pace. I had surgery within days. (I'm 37 if that is pertinent.)
Before implantation, I was weight lifting 3-4 days a week and running or biking 1-2 days. Nothing crazy, just two or three miles at a moderate pace. Our family also hikes once or twice a month. Again, nothing strenuous but certainly active.
My doctor didn't want me to do anything except walking for two months after surgery, so I did that consistently in hopes of maintaining fitness as best I could. When the two months had passed it was difficult for me to get back into a good routine. My 5 kids (kindergarten through high school) had 'gone back' to school (at home) and plenty of other excuses, but I didn't get back to regular exercise until December.
For the last two and half months I have been on the struggle bus. It is a huge uphill battle to exercise- I just don't have the energy. I get out of breath so easily and my endurance is none. It has been so discouraging for me- I feel like I am working twice as hard to do the same stuff I have always done.
My EP visits had only focused on if the pm was working and whether my incision healed appropriately. It wasn't until after they released me to one year checkups that I started googling and realized there were a variety of parameters that could be adjusted. I scheduled an appointment. At it I explained my struggles and she told me she could turn on the rate response function. After a good bit of convincing, she agreed to set it at medium low instead of low like she preferred. It has helped. There is notable difference in how my body responds, but it hasn't been enough. I still feel like an elderly person carrying a heavy weight. Especially for walking on stairs or hills. Honestly even though I feel better than before she turned the red on, I feel worse now than I felt before getting the pacemaker
I have a follow up with the EP soon. I don't know what to ask for or whether there is help. It seems clear that they won't offer options and I need to be specific in my requests and push for what I need. But I do not know what I need.