New first time PM and overwhelmed
Greetings all. I had my pacemaker put in on March 7 2022. I am one of the ones who was going along thinking my heart was healthy and fine, fell and struck my head, had a complete heart block (still getting used to all these terms) and woke up with a PM the next day.
My recovery has thankfully been uneventful. But my emotions are all over the place: fear, feeling overwhelmed with adjusting to my new health concerns with my heart, and today a little bit of anger about the whole thing. Which I know is normal with any big life event. I feel mad that I can't go on as usual, and now have a lot more considerations to think about with my health.
I live in a rural area in the mountains, which I love, but after the ambulance took me to my small local hospital they soon decided to take me to a much larger hospital, 1 1/2 hours away and that ride was traumatic, not knowing what was going to happen, if I was going to die, etc. The hospital in Portland Maine was fantastic, and I'm glad they made that call, but wow, there is just so much to learn, to accept, the financial, etc.
Thanks for reading my wordy message and I'm glad this forum exists!
by Good Dog - 2022-04-02 15:18:17
I want to welcome you and let you know that other than your PM checks and a battery (generator) change that is off in the distant future, other than those two things, and perhaps an occasional doctor visit, your life should remain pretty much the same as it did before the PM. Obviously, I am assuming that you have no other problems beyond the heart block.
I woke-up one morning at age 38 in complete heart block just like you. The next day I had a PM. My doc released me and all he told me was don't do anything, especially don't raise your left arm above your head, and come back and see him in 3 weeks. Well, I had zero health problems before then and I immediately went into a pretty deep depression. My neighbors were all out shovelling snow and I looked out at them thinking I could never do that again. Oh, how my life changed. I thought it would never be the same again. After a week of that I called the hospital and spoke to a cardiac nurse. I told her how I felt and asked if she knew what my prognosis might be? She asked if she could give my phone number to some other PM patients around the same age as me. This was before the internet! So the next day I started getting phone calls from other guys. They all told me pretty much the same thing. That their live's had not changed at all. I remember one was a roofer which is brutal work. Another guy told me he throws a towel over his shoulder to hide the scar when at the beach, but the point is; they all advised me that I will have a full life ahead of me. And guess what? 35+ years later, I have. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that my life has not changed at all. In fact, when in my 50's I was in better shape than at anytime when I was much younger. I have lived it exactly the way I would have if I didn't have a PM. Life has been good!! After the PM nothing changed other than getting it checked and seeing the doc occasionally. So that is my point to you. Not to worry, you will be fine. Just go out and live your life. This site is a great resource as there are a lot of people here from around the world that have a lot more knowledge than I. They have a lot to offer if you ever have any questions or concerns.
BTW: I see you are from N Conway. We had a pet supply business before retiring and we bought all of our leashes and collars from Lupine there. Our favorite place in the whole world is the White Mountains. We go there frequently on vacation! There is no more beautiful place than that! I envy you and wish I could live up there!
Anyway, I wish you the very best!
Oh, I just meant..
by Ponymom2 - 2022-04-02 15:21:23
I meant "can't just go skipping along through life like I was," thinking my heart had no issues. It was completely checked out 2 years ago with every test known to man, and at the end they found nothing, and the cardiologist I saw said she felt my heart was in great shape and should not give me any problems for many years to come. I am soon to be 73. Was tested because I felt a few flutters at the time. So this was a wakeup call.
I need to lose about 40lbs, eat better, etc. and need to take mynhealth more seriously.
by Ponymom2 - 2022-04-02 15:28:47
For the kind messages. Means a lot.
Welcome to the club
by Loretta - 2022-04-07 13:18:24
I received an unexpected Pm implant on 1/21. (SSS) I was on an emotional rollercoaster for a few months as well.
It took me at least 6 months to get used to the metal in my chest. Now I hardly notice it.
This site helped me to adjust and answered questions that my doctor never explained to me, all for free lol. Use it as much as you need. It really helped me adjust.
I am back to normal with my life as far as outdoor activities, etc. At times, I do wish it was not there, like last week when I wanted to ride a 130-year-old roller coaster but wasn't sure it would rip out my leads from jerking me around. (question next week for my Dr.)
Hang in there you are in the right spot for emotional healing, you got this! It's a normal response to a not-to-normal life change.
Thank you, Loretta
by PMCPHI - 2022-04-07 16:54:32
I am now two weeks out of the hospital with a pacemaker post-TAVR due to a heart block. Feel a little sucker punched.....but more depressed. Could it be the back to back anesthesia?
I am breathless and lethargic as well.
Hoping this is something that just takes time! Otherwise, very glad to be alive.
Great club here...glad I found you.
You know you're wired when...
You make store alarms beep.
A lot of people are and live normal lives with no problems whatsoever.
by AgentX86 - 2022-04-02 14:36:26
Welcome to the club. Sorry that we had to meet like this...
First, I'm glad you're alright. Your emotions are pretty typical, at least for those who have had pacemaker surgery out of the blue. Some have litterally woken up with a pacemaker, not knowing how they got there. I had six months to get used to the idea as a QoL thing before it became an immediate life-threatening matter.
Why do you think that you "can't go on as usual"? Other than a small handfull (countable on one hand) of activities, like welding or deep sea diving, your pacemaker won't change your life significantly. Yeah, you'll have to have pacemaker checks and likely some tuning to get the best performance possible but other than that, you'll soon forget that you have it. Once you get over the shock you'll find that it's no big deal.