New Pacemaker

Hello everyone.  I am new to both this site and having a pacemaker implanted back on October 5, 2022. Let me first introduce myself.  I am from Kentucky, retired military and retired from the Federal Prison system.  I am new to the pacemaker world and to be honest with you I am scared to death.  I know many of you are saying that heck I have been involved in several wars and this pacemaker scares you.  Well the answer to that statement hell yes I am.  War is about the enemy which you train years for so that others may live.  But the pacemaker is a friendly device that helps you enjoy life so that you can see the benefits of your soldiering.

I have had this device for one month and I am dizzy, fainty, weak, tired, and heart seems to race all the time.  The cardiologist just says he will adjust the pacemaker and it may take several days to adjust and maybe this adjustment will help.

Please everyone help me to understand what happening to me and how can I overcome this my sickness.  By all means, help me to understand the pacemaker and how to adjust to it.

I welcome you responses.

 


6 Comments

new pacemaker

by new to pace.... - 2022-11-19 15:56:24

welcome to the club you did not want to belong to.

It does get easier, takes some time to get the pacemaker adjusted.  and you adjusted to it.  After awhile you will not even be aware of it.

You do need to make sure you drink plenty of water, do not want to get dehyrdated.  Make sure you eat right, keep walking.

new to pace

Not to worry

by Good Dog - 2022-11-19 16:13:08

I know that telling you not to worry is easier said than done. You first need to understand that you are not alone. All of us that have pacemakers felt just like you do in the beginning. I was working for the miliary (USAF) when I suddenly needed my PM at the age of 38. I was so scared and depressed that I was just miserable! It was winter and my neighbors were all out shovelling snow and I thought; OMG, I can never do that again! Little did I know that less than 6 months later I would be regualarly playing competitive basketball with the much younger G.I.'s.  That was 36 years ago. So I am here to tell you that I have lived the last 36 years exactly the same way I would have lived them without a pacemaker. Completely normal. The only difference was that I needed to get it checked periodically.

So yes, listen to your Doc, but know that you can live a full and long life with the same quality as someone without a PM. Not in spite of, but because of the PM. In time, you will forget it is there. Your PM does need to be adjusted and settle in, but in time, there is no reason you should feel you have to worry about it. These PM's are very bullet-proof. The technology is amazing! Just understand that the posts you see here are a very, very, very small minority of the people with pacemakers. 99%+ of the people that have them have little or no reason to even visit this website. Don't take just my word for it. I am sure you will hear from others!

Just be patient and then go out and live your life! I wish you the very best!

 

BTW: This website is a great place to get answers to questions you may have. There are a lot of very intelligent and knowledgeable people here that are also very generous with their time.

Sincerely,

Dave

 

It’ll get better

by Lavender - 2022-11-19 18:49:45

Right now you're in basic training for your pacemaker. This is not how it will always be. Your assignment is to allow yourself time to heal. Be patient with yourself. You're early into this. 
 

When I got my CRT-P pacemaker device February 2021, I was traumatized and thought I would never get used to it. It felt like I had drank a pot of coffee-because I was not used to my heart beating so strongly and so fast. I had bradycardia with pauses before it. For the first month they turn it up to help the leads get the juice while your heart muscle fibers wrap around the leads. After five weeks in my case, they turned it down which felt like a relief at 60 beats a minute. 
 

Your final adjustment isn't made yet. You're still healing.  Part of dizziness may very well be that you're not drinking enough water. You need more now than before.  Part of how you feel can be anxiety or post traumatic stress. I had both of those as well. Not anymore. 
 

Being tired is your body suggesting you rest up. When I got my device, I took a nap every day even if I wasn't planning on it. I fell asleep if I held still. Lol. Not anymore!

You are a very intelligent person for seeking support and insight! 

Good dog is such a good guy who gave great advice. You're gonna make it. Keep the faith, baby. Thanks for your service! Much appreciated! You'll be out camping with your granddaughters sooner than you think!

HI!

by Julros - 2022-11-19 18:52:37

How you are feeling, physically, depends a lot on why you have a pacemaker. Also, if you are on new medications, the take a while to adjust to. But the bottom line is you will feel better. Your doc will get you dialed in, the incision will heal, and your energy and confidence will return! 

These devices are amazingly complex and durable and reliable. They sense our underlying heart activity, they stimulate the heart muscle if it doesn't contract, and they speed up and slow down when needed. This is the part that can be tricky to find. We don't want it speeding up unnecessarily, but we do want that turbo when its needed. A good clinician and or technician is well versed on the varous settings and it sounds like your doc is will to get the settings just right. 

For me, it took about 4 changes over six months to get it right. And now I jog and cycle and lost 40 pounds in 9 months.  

As I said, it gets better. 

At war

by AgentX86 - 2022-11-20 12:04:26

I've never been in the military but a pacemaker can't be anything like war, more like peeling potatoes.  It's something you don't want to do but someone has to do it.  It's a PITA but over a lifetime, a trivial speed bump.

You don't say why you needed a pacemaker so it's difficult to even guess why you're not back at least to where you were. It could be just tuning the settings but I'd need to know more before stating it as probabe. 

You say you're feeling dizzy.  I assume you mean "light-headed".  Did your doctor change any meds?  Your symptoms are very common with some drugs (beta blockers and others) that are commonly prescribed for heart problems. All of these symptoms can be attributed to some drugs.  Some just can't take them but there are alternatives.  Some tuning of the meds can relieve these symptoms.

Dizzy, as in the world is turning out of control (vertigo), is another thing completely. This can be serious matter, outside of a pacemaker, and should be evaluated by a professoinal.

Don't dispair.  This is only a slightly bigger speed bump than others have had.  Your doctor will find a solution and you'll be back to your normal self, if not way better.  In a few months this, including your pacemaker, will be but a dim memory.  Very few of us even think of our pacamakers for weeks at a time.  Kindal like your toes.  I say toes because I dropped something on my foot a couple of days ago and my #4 is paying for it. I wouldn't think of my pacemaker if I weren't hanging around here.

 

Knowledge is power

by Gotrhythm - 2022-11-21 12:38:20

For some luck pacemaker recipients, everything works fine with the out-of-the-box pacemaker settings, they feel better, and they just get on with their lives and never look back.

For others, there's a learning curve. Stuff they need to know in order to be able to talk with their pacemaker team and get the best results possible with their pacemaker. The best is very, very good, but it sounds like you're not there yet.

Let's start the learning curve with your symptoms, dizzy, fainty, weak, tired. Those are not caused by your pacemaker. They are caused by something your heart and/or medication is doing. Getting your pacemaker settings dialed in just right can help a lot. Also check any meds you're on for side effects and discuss them with your doctor. The heart-racing? Well, if your pacemaker's base rate is a lot faster than the low heartrate that was the reason you got a pacemaker, until you get used to it, it can feel like your heart is going way too fast. It's not really. It's more that you've forgotten what "normal" is.

You're really on the right track asking for help in understanding the pacemaker. The scariest thing in the world is the unknown. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to grasp the fundamentals of how it works, and once you have that you will be far more comfortable.

It's hard for me to be more specific because I don't know what you don't know. Come back to Pacemaker Club as often as you need to and get your questions answered. There's ususally someone here who can help even with the very techinical questions.

In the meantime, read every post---even if it doesn't seem to apply to you. Just knowing others feel like you do will help. And you never know. Someone might say the very thing you wondered but didn't know how to ask.

Hang in there. It will get better.

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I, too, am feeling tons better since my implant.