Well that escalated quickly

So, I've always been a low energy person, as a child my mother had said i had a small heart murmer,  in my teens and 20's I noticed if i did anything that required alot of energy, like running or cardio i would get very quick dizzy spells,,, in my 30's i went to doctor after doctor telling them i was always tired, they'd run tests for mono, thyroid etc and tell me they couldnt find anything. In my 40's I was told i had "long QT" during a regular physical but not to worry about it. at 52 my BP is not very well controlled, I was put on metoprolol, after my third Hypertensive Crisis in the ER, this time with chest pain I was told to go to the cardiologist. He did a catscan and an echocardiogram, everything was fine he said he would see me in a year, he prescribed a low dose of lisinopril. one week later I passed out...twice in one night, hitting my head both times, my heart rate dropped to 47 and remained lowish for 20 hours ( 50-60) while i was being observed. They said it was probably the medication...called the cardiologist when i got out, they had me do a Zio monitor for 2 weeks just in case...

The nurse called me Friday, said that i had a few "pauses" and that i may need to see the doctor sooner she said she was going to call him and call me back. At 530pm i was told not to drive and that I need a pacemaker, asap and that they wanted to get me in this Tuesday or Weds and to wait until Monday and they would call me to schedule.

It seems like a simple surgery, I'm worried more about the recovery...any tips? kinda short on time, so i'm trying to get as much info as possible.

Also do you think this is all the same thing/related? will this help with my constant fatique?I would love to believe that I'm not lazy LOL

 


8 Comments

Pacemaker

by Indyglo - 2023-03-05 21:26:29

I just had a pacemaker put in on Feb. 17th.   I was worried but this site helped me.  My husband said it took about 30 mintes.  I felt fine...just needing to remember not to use my arm, not to raise it over my head or lift anything over 10 Lbs.  I had the surgery on a Friday (outpatient) and was back to work on Tuesday.   I am wondering is a heart murmer has anything to do with needing a pacemaker.   I too had a heart murmer and they told me it had gotten worse.  I see a lot of folks on theis forum also had murmers.    Hopefully your procedure will go as easy as mine.  I have a Medtronic Sure Scan.  My heart rate was running around 35-40 at rest.  They set me at 60 and so far so good.  My incision is just not fully healed but being careful.  They told me I could not get it wet at all, so remember that.   Just got approval for showers on Feb. 24th but they told me not to let the water hit the incision.  Anyway, good luck and just ask questions on this forum.

Symptomatic pauses

by Rch - 2023-03-05 22:13:57

Hi

I am glad you have a definitive diagnosis of symptomatic pauses for which you do need a pacemaker. The rest of the history is non-contributory to needing the pacemaker! You had a normal echo and the Cardiologist  wasn't too concerned about the murmur or QT prolongation during the 24-48 in-house monitoring. Metoprolol  may have contributed to some of the symptoms but certainly not the Lisinopril. I'm glad you didn't suffer major trauma as a result of your pauses! 

 

 

welcome

by Tracey_E - 2023-03-05 22:15:03

Glad you found us! There are many many posts here covering what to expect. There is a good chance you will get some energy! Some people do just fine with a heart rate in the 50's, but many do not and feel a whole lot better once their rate is higher. I hope you are one of them! . I could feel the difference the minute I woke up in recovery, it was like mainlining coffee. 

If you had an echo and mri, they would have found if you still have a murmur. Murmurs can be fluid. Sometimes they stay the same, sometimes they get worse, and sometimes they simply go away. If it was causing problems, they would have mentioned it but I would ask. I had one as a child by by my mid 20's it wasn't showing up anymore. 

If you are active, ask where they are planning to place it. Many put it just under the skin, just under the collarbone because this is the simplest and heals the fastest but it's also the most prominent. They can also go a little lower and deeper, or put it between the pectorals. 

 

Blood pressure

by AgentX86 - 2023-03-05 23:22:16

I too had serious BP issues in my 50s.  I was admitted to the hospital with a 260/200 BP (and I didn't even pop a cork).  I was also put on lisinopril and Lasix for a while.  Lisinopril worked wonders.  It would bring my BP down from 200 to 140 in a matter of 15 minutes.  Unfortunately it also just about paralyzed me.  My left arm was siezing up, the muscles and joints would scream when I reached for anything.  It got so I couldn't move my left arm.  I don't know how I suspected the lisinopril  because I'd been taking it for about six months at the time.  I stopped the lisinopril and my arms went back to normal in a few days.  ACE inhibitors are on my no-no drug list. It's apparently a very rare side-efect.

I've been taking metoprolol now for 15 years, in different doses.  Many have real trouble with it.  It tends to make one lethargic so you might check that out.  Your doctor can change dosages or use a different beta blocker.

Any syncope should be treated very seriously.  The cause may not be all that dangerous (though usually is) but the repercussions can easily be.  Driving or negotiating stairs can be deadly, and not only for you.  Hopefully, your pacemaker will take care of that issue.

I'm like Tracey.  After my surgery, even before I left the cath lab (no anesthetic), I thought I was mainlining caffiene. That lasted a couple of weeks before it became the new normal. Such an instant change isn't the norm, though. I worked in front of the computer 40hrs a week so was able to go back to work the next day.

I had no real pain and everything went very smoothly.  Again, YMMV. I think a lot of the recovery is attitude. The pacemaker will make your life better.  Think of it as a solution, not a problem.

Paralysis on Lisinopril

by Rch - 2023-03-06 00:43:45

There are some isolated case reports on periodic paralysis on Lisinopril mostly attributed to Potassium levels. So, generally it's combined with a diuretic. 

But one of the most feared and rare side effects of ACE Inhibitors is angioedema which can be life threatening! 

Thank You!

by Deci22 - 2023-03-06 08:44:37

I appreciate ya'll taking the time to answer! They yanked me off of the Metoprolol so quick so now I'm only on Lisinopril and told i cant ever take Metoprolol again! too bad because it did seem to keep the BP in check more than just the Lisinopril.

It may be all related, it may not, but either way I'm glad its being taking care of. I've never passed out like that, scared the hell out of me and my husband, luckily i have a thick head lol, i had matching gooseggs on the left and right, looked like i was going to sprout horns! 

again thanks for the answers! :)

 

Recovery

by Angry Sparrow - 2023-03-06 13:51:12

I am the type that prepares for the worse and hopes for the best.

I had a Stroke a week before I had my implant, a CRT-D.  The CRT implant is a bit more complicated vs Pacemaker. 

Two days of serious pain.  Awoke the third day feeling like a human, used Tylenol to get me moving.  I had the affects from the Stroke to deal with along with a whole load of emotional baggage about the CRT-D.  From PaceMaker Club I learned it is not unusal for implanted to have a strong emotional reaction.  I had my implant back in 2011, CRT-D's were comparatively new to the arsenal of treating cardiac conditions.  In my opinion INFORMED CONSENT was a joke.  Moving forward Informed Consent means you are given information on the Pro & Con of having a implant.

My suggestions for a woman:

1.  Plan on loose clothing.  If you are busty wear a comfortable bra.  In my case I am chesty so I found the breast tissue needed its own time to heal, movement was kind of like ripping a scab off.

2.  Washing hair, be very careful not to get your incision wet.  My hair is (was) long, I went to the Beauty Salon to have my hair washed.  Washing is very inexpensive, in my case I just had the wash, drying would have been way too long and styling no way.

3.  Pitch the sling!  Use your arms, just be thoughtful, no swinging from the gym set etc.  Just be gentle but keep your total range of motion.  Frozen Shoulder is easy to prevent, a dilly to to get BACK to normal.  The key is use not abuse.

4.  If you live alone have a couple of days worth of food prepared in advance.

5.  If you have kids explain to them in age appropriate language.  Little kids art work is good, cut out images from pacemaker advertisements, maybe get some Silvery fabric and make a pacemaker shape and glue or stitch it to a favored toy.  Older kids the idea of a Titanium miniature computer should make your implant easier to understand. 

6.  My EP explained to me that in his experience about 1/3 of his client felt immediate improvement. He also stated the second 1/3 slowly over about 9 months felt improvement.  I am among the 1/3 who found 0 improvement.  So 2/3 showing improvement after a CRT-D implant is good.  You are scheduled for a Pacemaker so I bet the odds are high for you to feel improved fairly quick, maybe instant maybe over 2 to 6 months.  Your entire body will need to regroup to your 💙 working properly.

Attitude of Can Do is all important.

Welcome aboard

by Lavender - 2023-03-06 17:00:28

What a surprise for you, like most of us who suddenly learn we need a lifesaving device when our hearts started flickering. 
 

I felt like I had drank a pot of coffee every day after getting my pacemaker for the first month. I have a CRT-P. I hadn't realized how truly fatigued that I had been feeling. I was not scared to learn that I was unexpectedly getting one, more scared that I wouldn't make it the two days that I had to wait to get on the surgery schedule. I was put in a hospital bed with monitors and a motion detector turned on. They wouldn't even let me get out of bed unattended for fear that I would keel over. 
 

Give yourself time to recover. I had minimal swelling and only took Tylenol a day or so. The arm and muscles in the neck were what bothered me most. Ice packs were my companion. 
 

God bless you on your journey and thanks be to Him for shining a light on this sneaky problem so you can get fixed fast. 🌸💞

You know you're wired when...

You’re officially battery-operated.

Member Quotes

My pacemaker has ultimately saved mine and my unborn child’s life for which I am thankful.