What does it feel like?

Really, really new user here: just implanted on Monday July 18....didn't get to ask a lot of questions before my implant procedure (Dual Lead PM: Medtronic) for alternating bundle branch blocks.

My most pressing question for other wired folks: what doe the "jolt" feel like? I'm told some can feel being zinged (what word do you use?) I'm having odd heart pain (not chest pain, but deep in my chest pain occasionally all day. Didn't have chest pain before procedure and all other issues have been ruled out. Strictl electrical problem they said. So is what I'm feeling the pacer poking me back into lub-dubbind?
Any of your experiences will be appreciated!




by AgentX86 - 2022-07-24 00:49:12

What jolt?  Unless you have an ICD and are in a dangerous rhythm, you shouldn't feel any jolt.  Sometimes the leads get routed or implanted near the diaphragm and may stimuate it.  From all reports, this doesn't feel great but I wouldn't think "zing" would capture it.  More like a hiccup.

A "zing" from the area of the pacemaker could be just nerves regrowing.  There is a lot of damage caused by any surgery and in this case, going to the arm and hand.  It's not unusual to feel all sorts of sensations while the wound is healing and perhaps six months to a year after.


by Marybird - 2022-07-24 08:41:49

As Agent said so well, you may have some strange sensations during the healing process, and I'd add maybe a heightened awareness of your heart and surrounding area fresh out from surgery in that area, but it should get better. 

You don't get jolts from a pacemaker. What you get are applications of minute amounts of current from the pacemaker ( through the leads implanted in your atrium and ventricle), as needed to ensure a normal, healthy heartbeat that meets your physiological needs. How often the current is applied, the strength of that current, and other variables are programmed by your pacemaker team/EP for your needs, your heart's own ability to function, to ensure that your heart can carry out its own natural function as much as possible. These settings may be adjusted as needed as you heal and get used to the pacemaker.

My own experience? I'm a bit over 3 years out from my pacemaker implant ( St. Jude dual chamber, June 2019), and atrially paced at around 95%. Which means that there's a small current sent from my pacemaker to the atrium to initiate a heartbeat there about 95 beats out of 100. All I feel is a nice, strong, regular heartbeat, no zaps, no pain or even discomfort. It's a good feeling.

Well since you asked...

by ROBO Pop - 2022-07-24 15:26:39

They're right, unless you have a defibrillator you won't enjoy the jolt from above. 

As a frequent flier, (though I had my defibrillator function turned off,) I can help. It's called a Jesus Jolt. Why you ask? Well when it hits it's a sudden jolt that surprises you (I was gonna say shocks but thought it was too obvious), you react automatically and shout 'JESUS' then it's all over and you go about whatever you were doing wrong that God just punished you for. It's not the big deal people make it out to be in my opinion. Well unless you're thick headed like me and continue irritating the man.

Hope this clears it up for you. Oh and I expect to answer that other related question soon...does a Jesus Jolt beat dead.

Hi Maisy!

by Persephone - 2022-07-24 17:28:24

If you're in the US, you picked a good time to have an excuse (PM implant) to stay inside because it's hot as heck. Wishing you a successful recovery - keep up the fluids, keep up contact with your medical team, and persist in asking for an appointment in person if you feel you need it - only you know. Best wishes

Thank you!

by Maisy - 2022-07-27 01:37:03

Thank you all for setting me straight....while I mostly understood the difference between a PM and a defibrillator, I assumed I was feeling the current that is keeping my heart pacing.

I saw my cardio today (one week post op) and will see the EP next week. Cardio assures me I won't feel anything from my PM....but seems like others on this site may? Cardio agreed that my heart might have be adjusting to the activity it's been through....or I may have been having spasms. Not sure why, but these pangs I'd been feeling have subsided....so may in fact be due to healing. We'll follow up with a cardiac cath if they continue....she's not overly concerned though, because nuclear stress and echo were clean.

Thanks again for helping as I navigate my way through this all...


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