New PM Strange Case

Hi, New to club. I received my boston scientific multi lead PM on 6/4/21. Still Unbelievable it all happened. I'm a recent 60 yr who had no prior history of any heart problems as well as no family history of problems. my last annual physical in march was clean and numbers were fine (HR/BP), and all EKG's up to that point were good. OK, so my story starts 2 weeks ago when I had my every 5 year colonoscopy and when they were prepping me my HR was 35! and my EKG abnormal. They did the procedure and that was clean, but they contacted my Dr who in tern contactaced a new cardiologist appt for me. well they 15 min consult turned into 6 hours of ekg's, blood tests, CT-Scan, Echo, etc. His fellow cadiologist/surgeoun scheduled me the next morning for surgury for the PM. At the Hospital, 5 mins before surgury, the surgeoun (who is one of the best) halted and had me do more tests, xrays, MRI, etc. After the tests, he preceded with surgury. I just had my post op surgury check and the two cardiologists are dumbfounded what had happened.(electro problem in heart- reason for PM , no blockage). Alll my tests pre-op came back clean and really good (CA score 0!). The only thing thta transpired between my March annual physical and my Late May colonoscopy was my 2 Phizer covid vacinnes.? Because my dr's are baffled as I'm a very healthy, very active person with no health conditions, we submitted a report to Phizer in regards to what had happen. Coud the vaccines cause the problem? no one knows. But I'm the type of person who needs to know the cause as I'm 60 and will have this PM in me the rest of my life, Still trying to wrap my head around that. Being very active pre-op, Its going to be tough keeping me down for 4-6 weeks while the wires meld in. My dr knows that and he could not stress that enough. So sometimes there is no explanation, no reason, NO symptoms, etc and then one day you wake up with a PM. Life goes on, I just hope I can resume the life I had pre-op after my healing time is done and restrictions lifted. Thanks for letting me join this group and tell my story




It's possible

by crustyg - 2021-06-10 11:39:30

Have a look at this:  Yes I know it says young people...

We've known for some time that the Covid-19 infection itself can cause myocarditis (and myocarditis can produce conduction problems, hence why Lyme Disease is so keenly sought by switched-on EP-docs for the right sort of patient from a Lyme disease area).  Some conduction defects caused by myocarditis resolve without needing a PM (e.g. Lyme disease), but others don't.

It's cold comfort to you, and I'm just as keen as you are to know and understand the connections that sometimes cause us to have diseases, but it can be a mistake to let this search for the Truth dominate your life.  Try hard to focus on getting back to the life that you enjoy - because a properly set up PM (in an otherwise healthy heart) will allow you to live as you used to.  The caveat is that *IF* you developed myocarditis (there will be blood test markers and they may even want to do a catheter biopsy), it may have other consequences and you need to talk to your EP-doc and/or cardiologist about this.

You are not alone !

by IAN MC - 2021-06-10 12:32:41

Jeffrey  .... if I sent you a dollar for every newcomer to the PM club who has said things along the lines of " I have had no prior history of heart problems and suddenly I have a pacemaker "  then you would be much richer than you are now !

My smart phone suddenly packed up yesterday , after years of trouble-free service .......and I guess electrical problems of the heart are no different ,,, they often happen without any warning. 

Knowing the reason  " WHY ? " won't help you ( or me with my smart phone ! ) but having a pacemaker really is no big deal and spells of bradycardia will now be a thing of the past.

Most importantly ,it probably won't have any adverse effects on your lifestyle.

Best of luck and welcome to the club


Sometimes there are no answers

by Gemita - 2021-06-10 13:13:55

Jeffrey, I am truly sorry to read your message and to learn what has happened to you.   I too feel that when all the tests come back negative and after an extensive search for answers draws blanks, it may be time to move on.  I felt the same way when I started getting electrical problems.  I could not understand why this was happening to me when I had no evidence of heart disease, was reasonably active and no cause for my symptoms could be found.  Initially I couldn’t accept my fate - a pacemaker and lifelong anticoagulation (the latter scared me more somehow) - and for months I was in total denial and refused to take anticoagulants even though I knew that I was at risk of a stroke.

I just wanted someone to tell me why, then I could at least try to cure the problem.  But to be told there was no cure was pretty hard to accept and I fought it with all my might and made my condition worse.  But I slowly learnt there are so many causes for electrical disturbances and pinpointing the exact cause or causes with any degree of certainty may sometimes prove impossible, especially when test upon test comes back negative.  It can be a waste of time, money and precious energy which could be better spent trying to fix the problem and a fix in the form of a pacemaker is an excellent one and I can thoroughly recommend it.

On the matter of the Pfizer vaccine, I think we all know now that protection from Covid-19 is essential.  There is a lot we still have to learn about the virus and how it will affect us in the future, especially if we have been unlucky enough to catch it.  I am still suffering from long COVID-19 symptoms since April 2020 and the chills just don’t want to go away.

I wish you well Jeffrey.

Vaccine-caused or not, you're not alone.

by Gotrhythm - 2021-06-10 18:26:45

Like IAN MC, I've been around Pacemaker Club a while, and I've got to tell you, your story isn't unique---and wasn't unique long before Covid 19. Check out the archives. You'll see that sometimes the need for a pacemaker seems to come out of the blue. Many pacemaker recipients have no detectable heart disease.

I was one. Strange to say, every diagnostic test on me showed exactly zero heart disease and excellant health by any measure. In fact, although I had seen several cardiologists, it was a pulmonologist to whom I had been hot-potatoed because the cardiologists saw nothing to explain my symptoms, who had a stethoscope on my chest at the exact moment my heart did a  2-second pause.

As Crustig points out, we've known for some time that Covid 19 infection sometimes affects the heart. In fact, many viruses do. For myself, I'll always wonder if a mystery virus I had when I was 20--something that looked like mono, but bloood tests showed it wasn't--damaged one tiny little circuit, and like the dislodged pebble that causes a landslide, set the stage for my heart's electrical system to start going bad in my 60's. 

I'm curious. Did you have a noticeable reaction to the shot? Also, did your heart rate remain at 35BPM? Are you an athlete in a remarkable degree of training?



Going forward

by AgentX86 - 2021-06-10 18:50:54

As others have said, there often aren't answers.  In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter why.  We're here. The only thing we can change is where we go next and returning to the past isn't one of the options.  Cruel, maybe.  Life often throws us this sort of curve.

No comfort

by quikjraw - 2021-06-11 06:58:25

Hi JeffreyT

Welcome and I am sorry you have had to go through this in what must be a total shock to you.

I would have bet a large amount of money against the thing that ended up causing me the most problems was my heart and I suspect you were the same.

I am very healthy (from a lifestyle perpective) and very fit for a 45 year old. 

My personal opinion on my heart block cause is that my immune system overreacted to the me catching the COVID virus and damaged my heart. I will never be able to find out if that is true and as everyone above explains it does not matter any more. It is likely it was inevitable.

It is possible the vaccine elicited an immune response in you that caused your need for a pacemaker but if that was the case I suspect catching the virus itself may have been even worse.

Was your heart rate 35bpm due to some missed contractions of the ventricles or did they not explain the nature of your heart conduction issue?

Nest wishes for you.



by prettylady - 2021-06-11 10:13:07

thank you all for the wonderful advise. I will stop wondering and move  forward. it was 2 weeks after my first injection that I get systems  and suddenly  there i was getting a pm. with no prior  systems. and now they found  I had heart problems


by AgentX86 - 2021-06-12 00:10:37

I wrote a post this afternoon but it didn't make it to the site.  Before your post and a little research I would have relegated any blame on the vaccines to anti-vaxer nutters but apparently it's not all that simple.  This is "new" information.



...and a ton more by searching "covid vaccine heart" (no quotation marks).


Causes of sudden onset cardiac electrical issues

by ar_vin - 2021-06-13 11:55:13

For decades EPs (and other physicians) have tried to understand causes with little success.

The great news is that with PM technology being as good as it has become, these issues have at least a partial, if imperfect "fix".

I struggled with this issue myself when I first experienced sudden symptoms of bradycardia and I wanted to know a "root cause": unfortunately after a lot of research, consulting multiple EPs etc I came to realize medicine does not *yet* have a definitive answer.

It is clear that many viral (and perhaps bacterial) infections and some autoimmune conditions can lead to permanent cardiac electrical problems in some people.

The common cold virus is a coronavirus. Could a common cold infection in some people cause cardiac conduction problems? Good question.

Then there is a whole host of other viruses: dengue, zika, and on and on. Being infectred by those viruses is known, in some cases, to eventually lead to cardiac electrical issues.

It is also speculated among the medical community that it is our bodies' immune response to infections that might potentially lead to cardiac conduction problems.

Of course "the media" and other scare mongers love a good story that might generate revenues. Vaccine stories are perfect click bait.

Facts are one thing, beliefs a whole another.

Have a great day!



New PM Strange Case

by JeffreyT - 2021-06-14 11:35:11

Thanks for the understanding. Whatever the case, time to move on. I'm looking forward to the 4-6 week limit where I can get cleared to resume some of my normal activities and throw around my grand daughters in the pool again! lol

Sometimes I don't know if the incision site is just pulling on my chest or if there is slight discomfort. I'm curious on how long most of you took to have your incision completely heal?


Tree of life!

by KF - 2021-06-14 12:48:25

I dug up a seven foot tree and replanted it 50 yards away on my property. That night I took my pulse, several times, it was only 45. Three days later at age 69 in went the Medtronic. Three weeks earlier my BP monitor, which stored the last 50 readings showed a normal HR. Sudden heart block is a mystery. All the previous, very informative and interesting accounts, are so important to share. Thanks for sharing and welcome. I look at that tree, a Rose of Sharon, and say, " thank Rose, and my heart thanks you".

You know you're wired when...

You make store alarms beep.

Member Quotes

Hi, I am 47 and have had a pacemaker for 7 months and I’m doing great with it.