Nervous

66. Nervous! Implant this morning and then a elec cardiovert. Been in perm afib and many other issues. Now going into HF. Two ablations RF and Alcohol. So now this is the Hail Mary last hope. I know i need this but im nervous and feel it is so unnatural. Do you really feel better? I just want to live a normal active life, no more ER's or Hospitals. Any tips or thoughts


8 Comments

Have trust

by Tulp - 2021-05-14 07:46:28

I had mine implanted in feb.

Same fears, but it turned out just fine.

I do feel better, but it all dépends on why you have your PM.

Less then à week after my surgery, I already felt better.

I wish you the very best recovery. The worse part is the surgery.

Hang in there!!

 

 

Hang in there

by Theknotguy - 2021-05-14 07:50:35

The only thing I can tell you is to hang in there.  I don't know that much about WPW syndrome, treatment, etc.  

I was tachy/brady.  Tachy was way up there and I went into afib with RVR so it was pretty bad.  Brady side my heart stopped which wasn't fun either.  

What they did for me was to give me medications that would slow my heart down to below being able to live levels then put in a pacemaker to bring my heart up to "normal" speed.  My pacemaker also has two programs running on it to control afib but I don't think it's being done that way currently.  Research said the programs didn't really address the issue so I don't think Medtronics does it that way anymore.  Slowing my heart slowed down the afib to levels with which I can live.  I lead a "normal" life and get along fine.  

What I do know is there is a lot of medical research for heart issues going on and changes happen daily.  Unless you're in the medical profession and in the loop you don't know the latest treatment.  So I feel there is something out there that will help but I can't tell you what. 

My treatment has gone on for over six years now.  It took them about two years to finally zero into what were my problems.  Treatment changed continuously along the way so what I would tell you about my treatment this week wasn't the same the week after.  It was really a moving target.  And I expect to see more changes in the future. Main point being as I said before, I lead a "normal" life and get along fine.  

Like I tell people, there isn't too much I can do about the fact my grandparents swam in the wrong gene pool.  But I can do things to mitigate the situation in the meantime.  Plus, medical research is on my side.  

I wish you the best and hope they can find something quickly that will help.  
 

Nervous

by AgentX86 - 2021-05-14 15:02:28

Many of us have been where you are now.  Your reactions are perfectly normal.  I've had many electrocardioversions, including one where they forgot to make sure that I was under.  I had a Maze procedure (where they cut the heart on the outside to form the scars) for Afib, which left me with Aflutter.  I then had three failed ablations for that, followed by my pacemaker.  ...with much other stuff between.  

Not to bog you down with all my details but I went through several years of hell, then got my pacemaker and everything's good again.  Better.  Not all of us will be as fortunate as I, but it's not a dark road.  It's possible that you'll look back on this day and think it was the best spent day of your life.

 

Atrial Fibrillation

by Gemita - 2021-05-14 15:26:52

Tess,

I wish you lots of luck and hope your implant has gone well.  I hope too the cardioversion works for you since I note you are in permanent Atrial Fibrillation despite several ablations including an Alcohol Septal Ablation.  This is new to me.  For those interested, I attach a link on this.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/alcohol-septal-ablation

I do not know what type of device you have (or how many leads?) but I think you have probably been told that the pacemaker will not stop your tachycardia or Afib but it will certainly prevent your heart rate from falling below the set minimum, allowing your doctors to control the speed of your heart rate with medication, without the meds causing it to fall to dangerously low levels, so you should feel a lot better.  

Perhaps your doctors may have mentioned an AV node ablation at some time in the future now that you have gone down the pacemaker route.  This is where they take out the AV Node to prevent your fast, irregular Afib rhythms being conducted from the atria to your ventricles. It is a last resort but it can help to get us off meds and can work very well for some who have failed other treatments for Afib and who are very symptomatic.  You would become totally pacemaker dependent, but at least your pacemaker could be set at a steady rate and this should help with any heart failure symptoms due to fast AFib.  Your AFib would continue in the atria but you shouldn’t feel it anymore and with the AV node ablated, it would certainly be prevented from getting through to affect your ventricles, the main pumping chambers of your heart.  

I have tachycardia/bradycardia syndrome and many intermittent tachyarrhythmias so I do understand what you are going through.  My pacemaker was implanted in 2018 and at a steady set heart rate of 70 bpm I am in a much better position now.  My arrhythmias seem better controlled because a slower, pausing, falling heart rate prior to my pacemaker, was allowing ectopic beats (atrial and ventricular) to occur and these were triggering my numerous atrial and ventricular tachyarrhythmias.  I tried Flecainide and Digoxin without success. I used to get breathless all the time (and still experience this during a prolonged Afib episode, especially at high heart rates) but these episodes are fewer and better controlled now.  The pacemaker for me has made such a difference.  It doesn’t work for everyone, but it is clearly what I needed.  If my arrhythmias worsen, I may look at a regular ablation or an AV Node ablation.

Please do not expect an immediate fix since you do have a complex history and your AFib still needs to be controlled, but you have taken a very important first step towards a better, safer, more active future and I hope for the very best for you.  

AV Node Ablation

by AgentX86 - 2021-05-14 20:29:40

I was going to edit my previous post but decided to write a new one to comment on Gemita's, above.  Everything she says above is right, I just have some personal experience and wanted to expand on my previous post.  What "cured" me wasn't so much the pacemaker, rather the AV ablation.  Needing the PM, in any case, was what pushed me over the edge to getting the AV ablation.  In for a penny...

I did have the AV ablation because I was so symptomatic with the flutter (a very unusual flutter).  As she says, you must try everything else first.  If you still can't live with the results, and only then, consider an AV node ablation.  It really is the last step.  It's almost always successful but it's a big step. 

My EP had been talking to me about it as one of the alternatives for some time. Once the pacemaker was a given, in my mind it wasn't much more of a choice anymore.  But that's me.  Make sure you get all of the information and search your soul before making that leap.  It's one way.  It was the best choice I'd made in a long time but it's one you have to make for yourself.

Done and done

by Tessbisou54 - 2021-05-16 11:35:52

Ahhh, done and home. It went well, I appreciate all this input, thank you! Time will tell. But the pain...took Norco in Hospital but did not thimk I needed it anymore. Tried Tylenol but that does nothing. Icing now, a little relief. Is there anything else and how long will the pain last. Beginning to get the healing intch too. I feel a large lump, is that always going to be like that or maybe it is just post op swelling?

In the end the diagnosis was permanent BradyTacy and Afib. But the beginning stages of Cardiomyopothy is what he felt i was headed to. All meds failed. I know this was the only choice and I am happy that it is done and feel hopeful to just be active again. 
 

I love my EP. He did speak of the AV ablation after he sees me in a month he will have mor data to decide,but is hopeing I will not need it.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, my now super charged heart!

Glad you are on the mend and thanks for the update. Welcome home with your super charged heart

by Gemita - 2021-05-16 12:43:23

Tess, as each day passes, you will feel your discomfort less and less.  My pain was acute for about 5-7 days and then it slowly subsided.  I found "warmth" more helpful than ice. A warm water bottle (not directly placed on the wound/device, but close to it) helped relax me prior to trying to sleep.

The large lump is perfectly normal because we can be quite swollen to begin with, but as healing progresses, you should notice this less and less too.  Just keep the area clean and dry, or as per your hospital discharge instructions for wound care and keep an eye open for any signs of an infection (oozing from wound, increased swelling (although some swelling will be normal) and any signs of increased redness/inflammation (although again, some redness around the wound will be perfectly normal).

No doubt you will have a date to return to the clinic for a check up at around 6 weeks (or before to check your wound?) and then again at 3 months (at least this is what I had here in the UK).  At that time you can discuss any difficulties you have with your doctors.  

Well you have taken the first step, so now try to relax and start planning all your future activities.

Thank you

by Tessbisou54 - 2021-05-17 05:06:36

So this has been a godsend. I was worried about that lump, though the swelling was a bad sign, but it is going to be swollen from surgery trauma. There is a lot of bruising too. I will unwrap it on Tuesday. I dont even want to look at it. Lol. I am a small person, the lump looks big! But I am still happy to be breathing normal. Getting dressed and normal actuvities without feeling like I ran a marathon. Xo

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