Phone Check?

I know probably a lot of you have had phone checks before. I am scheduled for my first one Oct.30 and everyday it makes me more nervous. Does it feel any different that when you go into the office? My wonderful husband of 31 yrs. says he will take off work and be here when they do it if that will make me feel better. But I don't know why it is bothering me so much. I just somehow feel it is not the thing to do. Is this a normal reaction? Has anyone felt like me or I just being paranoid? Thanks for any help.



No need to be anxious

by Vai - 2007-10-15 01:10:18

I fully agree with Boatman & Gellia's comment. They described it very well. Don't let your anxiety ruin your next 15 days due to the appointment! Its really nothing. Don't even be afraid you will get it wrong! If you do get it wrong, just repeat it.


by SMITTY - 2007-10-15 01:10:44

Hey Cottontop,

I agree with the others as you will see. Except they don't have me use the wrist straps and I don't know why, Could be becasue I'm too fat, I guess. Anyway, since I have spent all this time writing mine, I'll post it anyway, although I doubt that you need it now.

Let me start at the bottom of your message and answer the last question first. No, you are not being paranoid! You explained why you feel this way when you said "I am scheduled for my first one Oct.30." Think about it, you have a piece of manmade hardware connected to your heart and some person you will not be able to see is going to start messing with that piece of hardware. Your reaction sounds very normal to me.

Now, let me say your reaction is not necessary. A telephone checkup is strictly a one way conversation between your pacemaker and the computer and the person on the other end. Assuming yours is to be done the same as mine are done, you will have put on those little electrode pads, then you will snap the leads to those pads, Those leads will already be connected to the telephone modem. I take care of those steps while I'm waiting for the call and then it goes something like this,

“We are ready to do your telephone checkup so when you are ready place the telephone in the cradle on the modem.” I do that and the operator actually gets a mini-EKG reading from my heart. After 30 seconds to a minute or so, I will get a beep on the modem and I'll pick up the phone where I will be instructed to place the magnet over my pacemaker, wait a few seconds and put the phone back in the cradle. More times that not, I will not get the magnet in the exact spot and I'll get a beep and go through the steps of putting the magnet over the pacemaker again. When I finally get the magnet in place I lie there trying to be still as it always feels as if I move the dang magnet will slide off. After another one to three minutes, during which time they are downloading the information stored by the PM since my last checkup, I'll get another beep and it is always "Mr. Smith, everything looks fine" and I'm given the date of my next appointment. When I first started these some seven years ago, I would ask questions, but I no longer do that. It is pointless. I have asked for a change in a setting a time or two, but each time I was told the "law" does not allow them to make PM changes over the phone. From the time I get their call to start the process until I'm taking off those little sticky pads usually takes five to seven minutes.

So please believe me when I say, there is nothing to a phone checkup. In reality, I think the main thing a phone checkup does is tell them if you need to come in for adjustments on the current settings. Other than them telling me how much battery life I have remaining I get nothing from the phone checkups.

So please relax as it will be over in a few minutes.

Oh, one other thing, you ask does it feel different from when you go into the office. The answer is yes and no. It feels different in that at home you will have to put on the pads and place the magnet over your pacemaker. In the office they will do that. However since they will not be making any changes, any discomfort you have ever felt while a checkup was done in the office will not happen with the phone checkup.

By the way, if your wonderful hubby would like to play hooky from work and you two have a free day, this first one would be a perfect time

Good luck and let us know how it goes.


Thank you!

by cottontop - 2007-10-15 05:10:09

I just want to thank you all for your responses. They have helped more than you know. I was really leary about it anyway then I read someones post about a bad situation doing a phone check and have not been able to put my anxiety to rest. You all have helped. Special thanks to Smitty our wonderful,witty,wise man. You always seem to know just what to say. God bless you!

Have a great day!

Hi Cottontop

by Gellia2 - 2007-10-15 12:10:38

I agree with boatman. It's a piece of cake. I've been doing it for YEARS and it hasn't bothered me once. Similar to boatman in that you have wrist bracelets, put the phone in the cradle for one minute, then the magnet for 30 seconds, then no magnet again for 30 seconds more. That's it. I feel nothing and it's not much more than a few minutes out of the day.
Don't worry. You'll do fine and feel much better when the first one is behind you.
Best to you,

No worries!

by boatman50 - 2007-10-15 12:10:46

Its really nothing. Put a strap like a watchband on each wrist, put the phone on the cradle for 30 seconds and then pick up. Then place the magnet over your device for 30 seconds with the phone in the cradle and then pick up. It does not feel like in the office to me, I don't think the magnet raises the rate as much. You will be more relaxed after you have done it and know what to expect.

Hi Everyone!

by sdjones - 2007-11-14 10:11:54

I got my PM back in June of 2007 and my cardio wanted me to join a club for telephone checks. I said no because I didn't like the idea of a computer having control of my pulse.

I need to have someone around who is experienced with these things, you know?

But, after reading all of your posts it doesn't sound as bad as I thought. I have a check coming on the 30th of this month and I might go ahead and let them sign me up for the 'club'.

I do have a question though. I absolutely hate checkups. I hate having to wear this pm, but, I am slowly getting used to it. I don't think I will ever get used to the checkups though. I wanted to ask ya'll if when you're doing the telephone check, do they raise and lower your heart rate at all? That is the thing that I hate about checkups, I always feel terrible after they play with my pulse.

Thank You,

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