Hello to All, 

I received my pacemaker in July 2019 due to sick sinus syndrome, however  I have had 2  heart attacks and has 20, 30,  40 percent blockages. I also have leaking mitral and tricuspid valves. 

I am 56 years and lives alone. Since the past week I noticed I have been getting nervous and anxious especially at night regarding my mortality.  I do take medication for anxiety which only happens when I am driving (been taking it for years, not related to this situation).

Is there anyone here that has this issue?  I am a Christian and do know God is in control.

I do not have many friends or support system. I am a nurse at a Correctional facility and since the Pandemic it has been just work and home.

Thanks for your response,




by AgentX86 - 2021-06-08 19:03:05

Hi Denise,  Welcome to the Pacemaker Club, where no one knows you name and wishes that you didn't have to be here.

Youmhad to heart attacks?  20, 30, an 40% blockages aren't all tha bad, really.  I had something like 80, 90, 100, 100% but no heart attacks.  Of course I had bypass surgery to fix three of them (one of the 100% wasn't worth the time). 

Leaking valves can be repaired, too.  Depending on how badly they're leaking, it may be dangerous but more likely something that your doctors are going to want to watch for more deterrioration.

Now we get to the crux of the matter, I think.  At 56, thinking about your mortality is perfectly normal.  Most start before that and many just "get over it" at some point, fairy soon after, acknowledging that none of us gets out of this mess alive.  Apparently, you're not one of those "lucky" ones who just "gets over it" on their own.

In my opinion, drugs aren't the way out, at least long term.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may be the best solution for your problems.  Some of us need help, particularly after brushes with death.  It is nothing to be ashamed of.  You needed help from a doctor with your SSS.  There is nothing different, really, about getting help from a psychologist for anxiety.



by Dixie Chick 65 - 2021-06-08 22:01:52

Hi Denise - AgentX86 has some good advice. I’d like to add that having anxiety and worrying about your own mortality is pretty normal. You also mentioned that since the pandemic you had pretty much just been at work or at home. May I suggest you make an effort to get out and start living your life again, if at all possible ?  It will help you tremendously to interact and get involved with others. You mentioned you are a Christian so that’s a good place to start. Maybe you could volunteer for some activity through your church. 

All the best to you !



by Julros - 2021-06-08 23:13:23

Hi Denise, 

I am sorry you are going through this. This bloody COVID business has certainly affected us all, and I think to a greater degree, health care workers. And you have serious, although treatable, health concerns on top of that. I have had some counseling around depression and anxiety, and a key intervention that I found helpful is mindfulness/breathing exercises. I use an app on my phone, or there are many youtube videos to get you started. This helps to decrease cortisol levels over time, and can also help with panic attacks and sleep. 

Do somethings enjoyable away from work, from home or family obligations. Just you. Perhaps that is something to do with your faith, or having a nice dinner, or going to a movie, or a spa day. You need something to look forward to. And do this on a regular basis. 

Do what you can to optimize your health such as improving diet and exercising. And drink more water. 

And yes, seek counseling. A good counselor can help you explore what has caused this anxiety and coach you with coping strategies. 

I think all of us have looked our mortality when we realized we depend on a piece of hardware to keep us going. But that hardware is also a gift that allows to continue to live and enjoy our lives. 


by Srvivor - 2021-06-10 00:22:43

Thanks to all of you for your advise.  I do eat a strict cardiac diet, exercise daily and drink at least 7 bottles of water daily. I am 5'7 130 lbs.

I will definitely  seek  counseling.  Have tried  mindfulness/breathing exercises but have not been consistent. Will try to improve on it.

Will also make an effort to get out and do something fun on a regular basis.

I appreciate all your insights so very much. It is comforting to relate to others who really do understand....Yes I am grateful for the piece I f hardware that keep us going.

Wish you all the best....Thank you.

You know you're wired when...

You have a shocking personality.

Member Quotes

I have had my pacer since 2005. At first it ruled my life. It took some time to calm down and make the mental adjustment. I had trouble sleeping and I worried a lot about pulling wires. Now I just live my life as I wish.