New to the Club!

I just received my pacemaker 4 days ago. Came as a shock. I had no medical issues, until one day I started haveing shortness of breath. Mostly when climbing stairs. After having family tell me it was anxiety, and then the cardiologist convinced I developed asthma, it was discovered I was having heart blocks (a lot). Discovered on a heart monitor that I pushed to get since I was pretty sure I didn't have asthma. This went on for over a month. But we know our bodies. On Friday I received a panic call from the doctors office to go straight to the ER and get a pacemaker put in immediately. It all happened so fast my brain is just catching up. Found this group today and you are all wonderful. I've been reading some of the posts and already my mind is being put at ease. 
I'm just beginning to relax about raising my arm. I'm no longer short of breath, but there still are a few things that don't feel right. I notice that when I nap(I'm a lot more tired), I sometimes wake up with a gasp or slightly dizzy. But then I'm fine. Maybe I'm just adjusting to my device. I use the app, but it doesn't let me see my heart rate. I have a pulse oximeter (sp?), but not sure if it's safe to use with my pacemaker. So sorry for the run on post. 


8 Comments

Watch those puppies

by Lavender - 2022-08-23 20:22:12

Don't let the dogs jump up on you and hit the pacemaker! I have two really big granddogs. One wants to jump up so I always back in the door with an arm over my pacemaker!😜

A lot of us got surprise pacemakers. Mine arrived after I "died" on the living room floor. My guy revived me by accident. I got a quick trip to the emergency room. Came home with a new body part eighteen months ago. Luckily like you, I had pushed for a heart monitor which recorded the 33 second pause. I had previously fainted for six months with all kinds of misdiagnoses. 
 

I didn't want this but I need it so it's here for the duration. Every day, just about, newbies join the club. It's not one of those clubs you just hope you can get in😜but it's nice to be among fellow battery powered folks who know the ropes. 
 

Read and learn. I'm not feeling so weird now that all of you are here-and understand. In my real world, I only know two men with pacemakers who are much older and never had one tiny issue with body image, anxiety or anything! 
 

Here-in this space-you are -taa daa-Normal! 

The pulse ox is battery powered? That's fine.

Be sure to drink lots more water than you used to. You need it now to heal. Your heart is beating faster and needs juiced up.
 

I took a daily nap after getting the pacemaker. If I didn't lie down, I fell asleep sitting up! Listen to your body. Rest and be very good to yourself!

WELCOME TO THE CLUB

by Good Dog - 2022-08-23 21:13:38

Do not feel lonely! As Lavender said, many of us were suprised too. I got my PM 2 weeks after turning 38. That was 35 years ago. I lived in NJ. at the time, but I am in Ohio now. I was perfectly healthy up to the day I suddenly ended-up in the hospital. 

It sounds like you are doing really well. The good news with pacemakers is that we can live a long, normal and healthy life. There may be a few bumps in the road, but the technology is amazing and it just keeps getting better. I have to tell you that other than the need to stay away from strong magnets, my life has been completely normal over the 35 years I've had this thing.

This is a great place to frequent and you have an opportunity to help out others like yourself. You already have more experience with a PM than some of the newbies that post here. 

I wish you the best!

Sincerely,

Dave

But we know our bodies

by AgentX86 - 2022-08-23 22:46:02

Keep that attitude. Yell, scream, and throw a tantrum (stay away from sharp objects though) if people try to tell you how you feel.  Keep on pushing.

I can't really help you much with the surprise thing.  I knew it was a possibility several months before I needed it. It was my choice, though, until it wasn't.

Welcome to the club but I wish you didn't have the need. You'll be fine.

Welcome!

by MinimeJer05 - 2022-08-23 23:39:46

Hello,

 

as others have said, welcome to the club! We're sorry that you're here, but also hoping that being a member will help you put your mind at ease. 
 

Hopefully you're back to normal in no time at all. Most live normal lives and forget all about their devices, while some have minor complications or adjustments. 

My recovery took longer than I expected. I'd double up on what others said, stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet and rest when needed, but also try to get yourself up and walking (if that's what you previously did) -- give the body its rest, but don't go getting lazy haha. 
 

Take care

Jer

Way to advocate for yourself

by Mad Hatter - 2022-08-24 10:14:39

Welcome to the club--I'm only a few days ahead of you. I had a similar misdiagnosis  after passing out multiple times on a plane which was attributed to dehydration.  Like you If I had accepted the initial diagnosis I would still be walking around with a malfunctioning heart.  Of course, I wasn't expecting the panic phone call either and had a hard time adjusting to the new diagnosis, especially since I was asymptomatic other than the passing out episode.  All of it has reinforced for me the need to ask lots of questions and advocate for your health.  This site has been super helpful in that regard.  Blessings on your recovery.  

Welcome

by mirandahesed - 2022-08-24 11:39:56

It takes a bit of time to adjust the settings. Keeping a journal may help when you see the technician for your check ups you can tell them what you felt and when. They can go back and see the readings of the PM, if something really happened that day or is just your body adjusting it will show up.  I did have a bit of anxiety first few days and felt all kind of things, but I did also request some adjustments to match my level of activity. 
It worked, and the more you know about your body the better your can guide your doctor and others to find the right settings for you. 

Good luck and trust everyone here, you are going to be wonderful and not even remember you have it in no time!!

 

Thank you!

by Kellygirl - 2022-08-24 12:31:47

I don't know how to respond individually to each of you, but thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my post. I immediately feel I am amongst friends. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences with me as well as tips. I don't feel as frightened as I first did. Every day gets a little better. I'm confident that I will get back to my active life soon. Medtronics texted me today to get me set up on home monitoring which will also give me more peace of mind.  Will be dancing with my son at his wedding in 2 months! 
I feel very grateful to this group. You are all a very special group of people ❤️
 

Good advocating for self!

by Gotrhythm - 2022-08-24 19:29:32

Your journey to pacemaker reads a lot like mine, including the "asthma" and "anxiety" false diagnoses.

Good for you for continuing to advocate for yourself. It's a skill that will stand you in good stead over and over.

Here are a few nuggets I've learned.

Your pacemaker is practically indestructible, and incredibly dependable. It is not vulnerable to anything that is safe for general use by all people. Don't waste a single minute worrying about it failing or malfunctioning.

Your pacemaker is basically a tiny computer. Like all computers it will only do what it is programmed to do. So how well you function will depend on how well your pacemaker settings are tuned to your individual needs. With the right settings you can expect to function as well as your overall level of health and fitness allows.

This is where advocating for yourself is crucial. Do not be fobbed off with "Your pacemaker is working fine." Learn all you can about your pacemaker and your arrythmia condition. The more you understand, the better questions you will ask, the better input you give to your pacemaker support team. Do not be surprised if you are a better communicator than they are. No blame. That just means you are on a team now and fascillitating communication is your job.

The only way to know if your settings are right is how you feel. Only you know how you feel. Dnot settle for "okay" or "getting by." If you think you could/should feel better, advocate for yourself.

The medical system runs on data. Supply as much clear data as you can. Get a good quality pulse/ox gadget. Check it's accuracy against the doctor's equipment. I like Innovo $35-40. The wirst BP cuff from Omron Intellisense is quick, no coat or sweater to take off, convenient, easy to make sure you're getting accurate readings.

Not everything is caused by the pacemake. In fact, once you're healed and your settings are right-for-you, almost nothing is! It is safe to forget you even have it. And someday you'll be surprised to realize that you haven't even thought about it for days, or months.

Use the resources here a Pacemaker Club. Goood people here who will answer any question and lots who have actual techinical expertise.

Welcome to the club.

[excuse typos]

You know you're wired when...

You have a $50,000 chest.

Member Quotes

I had a pacemaker since 2002 and ever since then my life has been a total blessing.