New pacemaker recipient

Hello everyone, this is my first post. I have been reading this site for several months now and am always impressed with the good advice and support. The questions and answers are always spot on.

My story started 2 years ago, went into respiratory failure in the middle of the night. Stopped breathing and EMT intubated me and I was put on ventilator in ICU. Scared me to death. Cause still unknown. First cardiologist in ICU stated it was from antidepressants, Lexapro and Effexor. The Effexor had been added 9 days before. My MD had been treating me for stress related shortness of breath which I have had for years. Also told I had a slight heart attack at time of failure. My ejection rate 45. Over the course of a yr and a half ejection rate went to 20. Time for pacemaker. Had a Bi/V and defibrillator put in April 2021. 
Left ventricular lead broke August. Not sure of time frame. Caused horrible symptoms..shortness of breath, racing thoughts, shakes and no appetite. Lost 30 lbs. Lead replaced and old one left in October. Leaving old one in worried me but cardiologist said it's done all the time. 
Well to make a long story longer. Had shingles after they turned pacemaker off. And started with severe anxiety and depression. I still cannot function, lay around with blanket over my head. I try and walk everyday and still am feeding my dogs. Put back on antidepressants, Celexa, therapist 2x a week and Valium when needed. In other words I'm a mess. I'm 72 yrs old thank god retired so I can stay home. But I would like to hear from anyone who has had similar experiences. I'm kind of losing hope. 




by Persephone - 2021-11-09 15:10:07

Dear Jeze - I'm so sorry for what you've been going through.  Your traumatic experiences are a lot to deal with and it sounds like you are doing your best in terms of coping and trying to move forward.  One question - what do you mean by "turned pacemaker off" - was that just while the lead issue was being corrected?

Turned off

by Jeze3416 - 2021-11-09 17:25:24

When pacemaker technician found a problem, he said the pacemaker (Abbott) was actually working against my heart. That's why the severe symptoms. (Took my dr. 9 days to decide to test the pacemaker)

so he turned it off. Felt immediately better but still had some symptoms. Lead replaced was scheduled for 4 weeks later. Pacemaker was off and I felt very good during that time.

You know you're wired when...

You have an excuse for gaining an extra ounce or two.

Member Quotes

I've seen many posts about people being concerned about exercise after having a device so thought I would let you know that yesterday I raced my first marathon since having my pacemaker fitted in fall 2004.