should i get the pacemaker

for the past 5 years i have experienced rapid heart rates when running,walking up ills someimes walking up stairs-sometimes jjust getting out of bed. i have to stop and wait till the sensation passes usually a few seconds. this is more profound in the heart monitor tests show also some heart pauses lasting 3-8 seconds.when i am at rest my rhr is 49 and i feel perfect.if i suddenly get out of bed my hr goes to 70 andi feel a change.

this got very uncomfortable and so now i have a diagnosis of sick sinus syndrome so my natural pacemaker is not able to keep up.

i could not do the procedure and live like this-(i am such a healhty 69 year old doing cross fit golf  and more) or i could do the procedure.

this forum has so many messages abuou complications and setting the heart rate- maybe i should forgo the procedure. i dont know.

i welcome your comments.



should you

by new to pace.... - 2022-09-07 10:53:33

Since you have pauses that is not good.  Get a pacemaker.  Next time you get a pause you may not be still able to ask us questions.

new to pace

Should I or shouldn't I

by AgentX86 - 2022-09-07 12:03:58

Forget your heart monitor.  Clearly it's lying to you.  If you had an eight second pause, you wouldn't be seeing it happen.  You'd be beak down on the floor somewhere. No one is going to say conscious during an 8-second pause.

These monitors alsways lie.  The only reliable measure is manual.  Your arm somewhat less reliable than your neck.  Be careful with your neck and don't let anyone else other than a medical professional, ever, check your pulse in the neck.

If you are diagosed with SSS, yes, you need a pacemaker, without question. If SSS is the only problem, a pacemaker almost without a doubt will completely fix the problem.  You may or may not need rate support.  Probably not right out of the gate but if, rate response will take some work to optimize but given your lifestyle, you'll be almost assured to be back to normal quickly.

You have some Brady-Tachy going on so your EP will have to track that down.  If you don't have an electrophysiologist or EP (heart electrical specialist) get one now. You'll need him. Cardiologists are good at what they do but they're plumbers.  You need an electrician.

Your choice

by ROBO Pop - 2022-09-07 12:06:33

Just FYI, a normal resting heart rate is 60 - 100, not 49. And by all means pauses can be ugly precursors to a more permanent one. When your hearts not pumping right, your organs do not get the oxygen they need and slowly begin dying. The sensation you experience when changing position is postural hypotension meaning your brain isn't getting sufficient oxygen and you could black out. I did a major black out and was hospitaized for 3 days with bleeding in the bran not to mention I rearranged my pretty face permanently. In fact they wanted to bore a hole in my head to releave the pressure but fortunately they realized there was no brain. 

Yeah you hear some complaints here but... they are really few in comparison to the millions with pacemakers. Many of us wouldn't be alive without these devices.

It's your choice but sounds like you need one to m



reading too much

by Tracey_E - 2022-09-07 13:14:25

Keep in mind that sites like this tend to attract people with complications looking for answers. There are thousands of paced people out there who have never looked for online resources. All complications combined are less than 4%, serious ones are well under 1%. You're more likely to have complications from an 8 second pause.

You can continue to do Crossfit, I did it for 10 years. I switched to Orangetheory a few months ago because of my back, not my heart. You'll probably find you have a lot more energy. 

If by "setting the heart rate" you mean adjusting the settings, it's normal for that to take a few tries with active patients. No two of us are alike so settings are not one size fits all. That's usually a one time thing, once they get the settings where they need to be, we are good for years. 

8 seconds is a long pause. The heart can stop and not start up again. A rate that doesn't go up sufficiently on exertion means we are stressing our organs, not getting them the oxygen they need. Most of us find the surgery easier than expected, and after we feel much better than expected. For me it was night and day. I'd been living with a low rate and symptomatic for so long that I forgot what normal felt like. 

Chances are you'll never need the Pacemaker Club

by Gotrhythm - 2022-09-07 15:00:25

Your condition and diagnosis sounds very similar to mine. I was a very healthy 68. I didn't want a pacemaker--couldn't really wrap my head around the need. After all, when I felt okay, I felt FINE!

Then came the day when my heartrate went to 34 and refused to budge. Now I'm in the hospital cardiac unit because I must be monitored lest my heart pause a little too enthusiastically, and getting a pacemaker on an emergency basis.

For the first year or two after the pacemaker, I was only paced 34%, meaning 66% of the time, my heartrate was above 60bpm. Nevertheless, the difference in how much better I felt was night and day.  All those times when my organs and brain weren't getting quite enough oxygen had been costing far more than I thought.

Tracey is right.  The majority of pacemaker recipients have never heard of the Pacemaker Club because they never needed it. They're getting along fine.

We're here if you need us, but chances are, you won't.

Tests and doctors

by Lavender - 2022-09-07 15:53:34

Your tests and doctors have already told you more than anyone here could know about your own situation. 

I had pauses too. When I dropped to the floor, my heart monitor caught a 33 second pause. That led me to the ER. I came home with a CRT-P. 

That pause and those before it could have been a one way ticket. Why roll the dice? I know you feel fine sometimes and that makes you not trust that you need this. You think you will always be fine, but conduction disease is progressive. 

3-8 sec sinus pause

by Rch - 2022-09-07 17:56:02

Documented sinus pauses of this magnitude are a class 1 indication for a pacemaker. As to your heart racing on minimal exertion, did your Cardiologist mention to you whether they were sinus, some sort of arrhythmias or some sort of symptomatic chronotropic incompetence? In any case, with PM in place you have the option of a beta blocker to minimize wide HR fluctuations. 


Straight talk

by Good Dog - 2022-09-07 20:54:57

There has been a pretty good bit of straight talk here for you to learn from. I'll say it more simply; a pacemaker can save your life, but not only that, it can give you and your loved ones peace of mind and the highest quality of life that we all want. I have had a PM for over 35 years and my life has been completely normal in every way! I can do anything anyone else can do. There are a lot of athletes that check-in here from time to time. Few ever hang-around, because they are out there living life!

The answer to; "should I get a pacemaker?" Yes, if you don't want to do it for you, do it for those that love you and depend on you! 



another consideration if you have SSS

by ourswimmer - 2022-09-07 21:47:25

Were these "heart monitor tests" you reference an overnight Holter monitor? Do you monitor your HR overnight with a watch or similar? If your HR at rest in the daytime is 49, it could be a LOT slower when you are asleep. In fact, it could be so slow when you sleep that you actually are experiencing oxygen deprivation as you would from sleep apnea (breathing pauses).

I had a very low resting HR pre-pacemaker that I also thought was not a problem. Turns out that post-pacemaker I sleep much, much better and I experience much less daytime fatigue.

You may feel "perfect" with a daytime resting HR at 49, but one reason you do may be that your heart muscle is strong from activity. If vigorous exercise becomes uncomfortable and unpleasant, or eventually impossible, and if you become more and more fatigued from poor sleep, you will start feeling worse and worse with that slow HR. If activity is important to you, consider whether getting a pacemaker now could keep you enjoying "golf and more" instead of spending your 70s and 80s less actively.

Also: Right now, you can plan your surgery. You can consult thoroughly with your doctors about which device is right for you and whether they will do it before or after your next vacation. One risk of waiting is that you will end up getting your pacemaker as an emergency after you faint in a parking lot and hit your head.

happy people dont ask questions

by dwelch - 2022-09-20 08:54:27

Do not judge a pacer by the complications asked about on this site.  Just like negative reviews on amazon.  Happy people dont post comments, in general.  For every one of the "I have this problem" questions, there are a ton of folks happy with their pacers.  Someone here probably has stats on how many devices are implanted per year in X country and then we can compare that to how many problem questions there are per month/year on this site.  

Now what we probably dont have statistics on, due to patients rights, etc.  Is how many folks were told they should probably get a device and didnt and then had problems.   And then there is the impossible to know stats of would the pacer have helped.  Now with my condition, yes, absolutely.  i would have been dead in my 20s, and it is amazing I did not die in my teens while the doctor "monitored" my condition, not the docs fault, i just lied to him about my activities, i was a teen, I didnt want to sit and not play.

Risk is difficult at best to measure, are you the one in the million that has a bad pacer experience?  Are you the one in a million that has an event because there was no pacer.  Or are you one that has a normal, aint no big deal pacer experience, and the pacer is probably helping at some level from a little to a lot?  Nobody can answer that question.  But as far as this forum and the percentage of complication messages.   That is the drop in the bucket compared to healty, happy, pacer patients with no complaints, so much so they dont even know this site exists.

You know you're wired when...

You play MP3 files on your pacer.

Member Quotes

The pacer systems are really very reliable. The main problem is the incompetent programming of them. If yours is working well for you, get on with life and enjoy it. You probably are more at risk of problems with a valve job than the pacer.