PM/ICD distorts left ventricle

I've finally gotten the answers regarding my pacemaker disaster. During several trips to Mayo Climic for near fainting and difficulty breathing, they determined I needed a mitral valve replacement and even broached the subject of a heart transplant. Their tests showed an extremely distorted left ventricle including the mitral valve. 

my wife and I drove home figuring out the logistics of an open heart surgery which would require a months stay in Scottsdale. Me, I was pissed because I knew  my PM was a mistake almost from the time I got it. But none of the Mayo tests brought the pacemaker into question. 

Also one thing a nurse said as she was preparing me for a tranesophgeal echo. She noticed my ventricle was being paced 100 percent. That was rediculous, I told her. I'm never pacing in my ventricle. 

That evening I went to bed deflated over an open heart surgery. Then at 2am I spring up; turned on my light and ran to my office and my notebook of notes and research on my PM. Sure enough. In a peer reviewed article it said tight there: Apical pacing in the right ventricle could cause extreme distortions in the left ventricle. 

I called the surgeon the next day and told him that I had been ventricle pacing during the echo and that it may have caused the severe distortions. He said I was right and ordered another with the PM turned off. Sure enough, the new test showed my heart functioning more normally that it ever had. I was NoRMAL. That took valve replacement off the table. But just as important, it provided clear evidence that my PM was causing extreme harm. My EP agreed.  He changed my pace settings so I never paced in my ventricle and only if needed in my upper chamber.

CAME THE DAWN. All of my symptoms went away. I was nearly completely normal. Nearly. 

 What I had now was a slight difficulty breathing. It would come for days at a time and then go away for days at a time. The EP said I had a new onset afib. What! I have never had such a thing. And that it would last for days made it even more outrageous. More research and I found one peer reviewed piece that says in some  cases PM/ICD patients can acquire new onset afib, but not because of pacing. But rather it was because of the IcD's constant low voltage monitoring. that made sense for me because I essentially was not pacing in either chamber. But the ICD was still activated. 

Because it has been my belief that my ICD was wrongly implanted because the root cause of my one VT was an electrolyte imbalance that I have fixed. It's been four years since that VT. Ive decided that it is time to turn the whole unit off. Maybe then my breathing will normalize and the Afib will go away. We will see. 



by AgentX86 - 2022-01-23 16:48:50

Afib is caused by fibrosis of the heart which is normally caused my stretching of the muscle. Enlarging the heart and increasing muscle mass is a natural occurance in endurance athletes and, sure enough, there is a high incidence of AF in endurance athletes.  My guess is that the same happened to you.  Your distortions of the left ventricle may have done the same to your RA.

Anyway, it seems you got to, or at least near, the bottom of your problems.  That's great news!

You know you're wired when...

You participate in the Pacer Olympics.

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