Pacemaker Trauma

I just turned 60 got  a full heart av block last week and got a pacemaker. My life change unexpected in couple of hours.  I am now worry all the time if the pacemaker is working , how long will this trauma lasted in most of you?


7 Comments

it gets better

by athena123 - 2022-09-29 18:02:33

Hi, ive had my since 2019 and after 5 months i forgot it was even in me. keep things simple at first, no lifting over your head for at least 3 weeks and keep yourself occupied. remember, your pace maker is working most cannot feel it, but its there looking out for you. good luck

Complete heart block

by Lavender - 2022-09-29 20:56:14

My heart has a complete AV block and left bundle branch block. A pacemaker saved my life. Yours has now been saved as well. An unhappy surprise but in time you will trust the pacemaker to keep you going. I'm sure you're still in shock and disbelief at this turn of events. 
 

You don't have to worry about the pacemaker-it's on autopilot. It will just keep doing its thing on its own. Recovery from the surgery is different for everyone. Most get through just fine. It took me longer to mentally adjust to it than physically. I noticed after seven months with it, that I was no longer thinking about it all the time. I'm aware it's there but it's not so important to me to pay attention to it. 
 

We are the club no one wants to join but here we are! Our hearts have gotten a new lease on life. We are blessed. 

I agree

by TLee - 2022-09-29 22:19:58

Any serious physical crisis makes for anxiety and even depression. After all, we have to face the fact that we are not indestructible! I also went through a lot all at once: Had a near-fatal asthma attack, diagnosed with COPD, and then while still in the hospital my heart monitor detected a-fib. I started seeing a lot of different doctors, tried a lot of medications and procedures over the next couple of years. Getting the pacemaker probably hit me the hardest as it seemed the most invasive and life-changing. I remember that while I was still in pain from the surgery (and overly-worried about complications) I thought I'd probably end up an invalid. The pain didn't last long, and the reassurances I got here about all the other worries helped me learn that I was really going to be OK. Now, my doctors only want to see me once a year, and things are going well. Do I still think about having a pacemaker? Yes. Does it bother me that I do? Not at all.

Give yourself some room to grieve your loss

by Persephone - 2022-09-30 00:02:47

This might sound really sappy to some readers, but what the heck, I'm going to say it anyway - pretend that you are your best friend and comfort yourself, give yourself space to recover. I would say around 9 months recovery time ..unless you've got a trip or other event planned that you've been looking forward to - maybe that would indicate less time :) I hope you're feeling OK.

Anxiety

by AgentX86 - 2022-09-30 02:20:01

I'm sorta a strange duck but my anxiety lasted from three days before my PM implant until fifteen minutes after.  I had a longish pause so was called to the ER.  I had an appointment with my EP that morning anyway, so went to see him.  He told me that I needed a PM but Monday was as soon as they could do it (it was a Friday).  He offered to hospitalize me for the few days but, like an idiot, I didn't go for it.  By the time I hit the recovery room, I felt 100% better.  i was ready to roll. Amazing!

I've been through many things over the last few years, from heart surgery, to the PM with AV ablation, a seizure (caused by micro-strokes), and a host of other issues.  I never look back. I am where I am, what's next?

As I said, I'm a strange duck but you'll get back to your old self, if not a new and improved version of you.

 

life after

by Tracey_E - 2022-09-30 12:12:56

Fear, anxiety, and grieving are all normal after a sudden implant. Most of us quickly get to the point where we forget it's there.

I've been paced every beat since 1994. It has never once kept me from doing something I want to do, so get the idea out of your head that your life is about to change drastically. It is not. I have a monitor that I keep shoved under my bed that does its thing once a month and I have a check up once a  year. The rest of the time, I live my life - with considerably more energy than if I was not paced. 

Failure is virtually non-existant. If for some reason it were to stop working, your heart would go back to what it was doing before you were paced so there would be plenty of time to get to a hospital. When I got my first one, I worried when I traveled and I thought about it a lot. Now, it's just a part of me. I'm  healthy and active, no one looks at me and sees a heart patient. 

Shock

by _Claire_ - 2022-09-30 17:49:03

Hi there

I just wanted to say that I have struggled a lot since getting my pacemaker (PM) and I totally understand your worries. I would also describe my experience as traumatic for multiple reasons. I have had real ups and downs regarding my heart condition and PM over the past 3 years.  

Many of the members on here are very experienced and have helped me a lot over the past 3 years, answering my questions and providing much needed reassurance. I think you will probably have lots of questions in the future too. Cardiology is complicated and there's a lot to learn. 

Some advice that I was given at the beginning, on here, was to read up as much as you can about your condition and the type of pacemaker you have etc. For me this helped a lot, as I like to know everything and for me knowledge feels like power. I realise for some, they prefer not to know all the ins and outs of everything.

I do think that if you have worrries such as "is the PM working" these type of worries can be alleviated by speaking to people that know about PMs, whether on this forum or from your medical team. The hospital should have given you phone numbers that you can call. I have often called the pacemaker cardiac physiologists to ask questions about PM settings etc. I have a leadless pacemaker that was quite new in 2019 when I got it and they brought the Medtronic rep in to talk about pacemaker settings, answer my questions and reassure me. Only this week after an arrhythmia event I called them to check that it hadn't malfunctioned (which of course it hadn't). Don't be afraid to ask for help from your doctors. I do remember being discharged from the hospital with absolutely no information about my PM or settings and felt so lost at the beginning.

This forum is a great place to be in also. Ups and downs are normal. I had done really well for at least the past year, then this week had a real set back and found myself back here worried sick about various issues. This time I’m going to keep regular contact with the forum as it really helps to be around other people in the same situation. 

I wish you all the best with your recovery and remember that this PM is a lifesaver for you (I know that can add worry) but you will be well monitored and your PM will do its job. 

 

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