Emotion Gene is Missing

I have an Abbott dual chamber heart pacer implanted that beats my heart 100% of the time due to my 3rd-degree heart block.  My pacer beats my heart exactly at 60 bpm 24/7 except when I exercise it will automatically sense and speed the rhythm up.

Now that I am paced my heart does not react to adrenalin rushes like a normal heart in flight mode.  Today I was in a situation that would scare anyone and cause a sudden rush of adrenalin but since I am bionic I don’t get the adrenalin rush and cannot react as fast as others.

Must have seemed strange to those watching me be calm in a stressful situation and not panic.  Not sure if this is a benefit or a detriment.  Today I am sure it was a benefit I think being able to think level-headed and not panic like everyone else was an asset.

Not having adrenalin rushes is something I am learning to deal with just like drinking coffee in the morning to supercharge the body it does not work on me anymore.  The only way I can speed my heart rate is to exercise and my pacer realizes my muscles are working and automatically speeds my heart rate.  The rest of the day I am in a stupor so to speak.

I never realized until today I do not have adrenalin rushes anymore.  It’s like my emotions have been turned off and I act like Data on Star Teck the android.  My bride says I have changed since my cardiac arrest and I know my emotions have changed, it’s very noticeable.  It’s the new me and I don’t know how to fix it.


Fight or flight

by AgentX86 - 2022-10-24 22:00:18

Adrenalin is still a thing.  Your adrenal glands still release adrenalin and your body certainly responds to it.  Your heart rate doesn't increase but all other functions of your sympathetic nervous system still works as it should. The fight or flight reactions are still activated until the parasympathic nervous system takes over to settle things down.

Fight or flight

by Julros - 2022-10-25 02:23:53

My heart only speeds up with activity, but I certainly feel adrenaline rushes. After some bad experiences  with healthcare post implant, I feel rage or panic attacks during health care visits, and sometime during phone calls. I remember panicing when a provider office called me and feeling like I couldn't breathe, and could barely speak. I am using meditation and mindfulness to try to calm myself just so I can get through routine visits. 

Are you on beta blockers and other blood pressure/rate calming meds?

by Gemita - 2022-10-25 03:11:46


I understand what you are saying.  My heart rate and emotional response is fairly sluggish too these days, unless I get a tachy arrhythmia event.  Of course medication can be to blame sometimes. I know you are on a few meds.

Are you by chance taking a medication that slows down your heart and prevents it from pumping faster or harder, or prevents you from over reacting to danger or to excitement?  Beta-blockers can certainly do this for me since they decrease the activity of the heart, blocking the action of hormones like adrenaline.  I would look at some of your meds as well.  

Perhaps though what you are experiencing is natural following your heart attack, even nature's way of telling you to slow down, to change your ways to protect you from strong emotions and potentially causing any further damage to your heart?  Whatever it is, I wouldn't try to fight it. 

This wouldn't be unwelcome to me

by Persephone - 2022-10-25 09:04:23

I feel oddly envious of your situation, Stache and think I would see it as a benefit, myself. I'm glad you got through your scary situation OK.

While you're investigating if this is all alright with your docs, I'm reminded of Rudyard Kiplings' famous opening line from If : If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs...

Anyway, I understand your concern about this change in yourself, but I see some possible upsides. Best wishes to you.

I’m with AgentX86

by Lavender - 2022-10-26 09:28:31

Adrenaline is definitely still a thing for me. I take no meds but have a history of nightmares. Since the pacemaker, the nightmares can still happen with a rush of adrenaline where it wakes me. My heart pounds, my legs twitch, I feel it in the area of my vagus nerve and it takes about 30-45 minutes to calm enough to get back to sleep. The pacemaker hasn't changed that at all. 

Rate response question: my PMs use temperature sensing

by brady - 2022-11-03 15:04:15

Hello stache, hope you are still reading this thread.

"I have an Abbott dual chamber heart pacer ...when I exercise it will automatically sense and speed the rhythm up."

I also have a dual chamber pms from Abbott, but they are leadless. The pair uses temperature sensing for rate response. It doesn't seem to be working well. Do you have any information on rate response for your PMs?



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