Newbie - What to Expect

Hello to my new PM community! 54yo female, no family history of heart issues. Went for a treadmill test last Thursday to investigate shortness of breath and fatigue. Within a half hour I was wheeled to the ER, then admitted due to bradys down in the 30s; full AV block. A week later and I've just been released with a new Boston Scientfc PM. 24 hours later I'm home. I feel tired and lightheaded at times; all sorts of flip flop feelings in my chest. Hardly got any sleep the last two nights, and my body has been through a lot this week, so it's hard to sort out what symptoms might be related to my heart/PM vs other sources. I imagine there is a thread here somewhere that covers what to expect the first month or two, but I couldn't find it. I know it will be different for everyone, but it would really help to hear your experiences. 


7 Comments

Newbie

by AgentX86 - 2022-07-26 21:41:34

First, Snow, let me welcome you as another, unfortunate, member of the club. You've come to the right place.

You have every right to be confused and anxious but all of this is a pretty normal reaction. Sure, you've been through a lot and without warning. Give yourself a chance to settle into your new life.  You'll eventually like being back, better than ever.

Your heart probably is jittery.  It's just been poked and proded and is a little PO'd.  This is normal.  You've also been sensitized to every bump in the night.  Something that you might not have even noticed before, alarms you now.  It's much like stubbing your little toe.  You never think about it much until you whack it.  Then it's brought front and center to your consiousness. It'll stay there for a while, then fade back into the background and you won't think about it anymore.  Your heart will be much the same.  You will soon forget that you have a PM and get on with a perfectly normal life.

I was wheeled to the ER

by Persephone - 2022-07-26 22:28:27

Welcome, Newbie! Please try sleeping and just generally resting when you can. Can't emphasize keeping up the fluids enough. And give yourself time and space to heal. Your body has been through a lot, as you say. Supportive pillows can help for sleep.

I had another year of life under my belt when I got to join this life-saving adventure ride - I had the great distinction of being carried out of the cardiology practice on a stretcher and traveling less than 1/4 of a mile (I could literally measure it in feet) in an ambulance to the ER, even though I had driven myself to this appointment. And so it went. Keep up the communication with your medical team. Your EP/cardiologist is clearly the key contact, but you're more than likely to have most communication with the PM clinic part of the medical practice - this opinion is based on my experience alone.

Newbie

by skigrl3 - 2022-07-26 22:32:57

Hi Newbie

I feel like an old pro at approx 11 weeks with a PM due to sinus bradycardia. I thought the procedure was pretty easy in itself. However the first week in was a minor disaster with shortness of breath, fainting - which was the reason I got the pacemaker and more. I thought that I made a horrible mistake as overall I am pretty athletic and healthy. Then things started getting better, quickly. Allow your body time to get back to "normal" but keep things moving forward a little. I had to force myself to keep power walking. I feel like I am back to normal, or my new normal, which now includes not feeling faint, ever! Good Luck!

Welcome aboard!

by Lavender - 2022-07-26 22:43:58

Hi there! Sorry to hear of your adventure! Sounds like you've found your way to understanding what happened! Those surprises like that sure can make you lose your bearings. 

 

The flip flop feeling will calm down in time! With brady, you're not used to your heart going at a normal speed.  You'll adjust!
 

We recently had a discussion about this and you can copy and paste this link to read more about post-op experiences:

 

https://www.pacemakerclub.com/message/42150/post-op-pain

Thank you so much

by Snowlover - 2022-07-27 01:18:15

Your support means a lot. It's been quite an emotional rollercoaster. I will rest up, drink water, try not to be hypervigilant about every little beat, and give it some time. And I'll take a look at that thread. Thanks again. 

❄️ snow

by Lavender - 2022-07-27 11:13:12

I see you are a Californian. Snow lovers don't see a lot of snow there unless you go to the mountains.  I'm a snow lover too. Lol but I live in a four season state. I trudge through summer. The heat gets to me. Looking forward to autumn and the winter months! I keep saying I am moving to Alaska! But then again, I love the spring and clement weather. 

SnowHater

by AgentX86 - 2022-07-27 21:55:44

I moved from Vermont to Georgia so I'd never have to see snow again!  I'm still not far enough south.  We get 1-2" every couple of years.  It can completely shut the city down for days but at least I don't have to shovel it.

You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker interferes with your electronic scale.

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A pacemaker completely solved my problem. In fact, it was implanted just 7 weeks ago and I ran a race today, placed first in my age group.