I'm set to receive my pacemaker in a couple weeks.  I just underwent a six-hour ablation procedure that was just unsuccessful.  They told me my heart has so much cardiomyopathy there just isn't anything else to do.

im scared. I'm 51 and have been dealing with heart disease since my early 20's.  I feel really close to death.  Is this normal?  I don't know how I'm supposed to feel.  What happens if pacemaker doesn't work for me either? What's next-- transplant? Death? I'm not afraid to die; I'm afraid to leave my family behind. 

any information about your own experiences and emotions would really help.  My family doesn't quite know how to support me in this. 


Hi Mrs Troy

by VickJ - 2023-03-16 06:57:18

I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time, and I think it's only natural that you are anxious. 

I can only speak of my own experiences and hope in some way they help to make you less anxious, over the last 5 1/2 years I've have 2 ablutions that were unsuccessful and 1 cardioversion, last week I had a pacemaker fitted, I'm still sore and tender but I do feel my heart issues have improved. 

The medics are not giving up on you, it sounds like the are doing this as quickly as possible to make you well as soon as possible. If they felt there was very little chance of this giving you a positive outcome or they felt you were not strong enough yo have the surgery they simply would not do it.

Have faith in them in the same way they have faith in you to recover well. Try not to think.... what if it doesn't work. ..... but have a wish list of all the things and places you'd like to see and do when it does work. 




by piglet22 - 2023-03-16 07:29:34

Of course you will feel anxious given what you have been through.

If you break a leg, it's painful and heals but problems with the heart are different and you feel vulnerable.

I would look at getting your pacemaker as a lifeline. It's a routine procedure and it will help your heart in the long run.

Good luck and good health.

Anxiety is normal

by Penguin - 2023-03-16 07:46:28

I agree that feeling anxious is totally normal in your situation. When facing a failed procedure doubts and fears are inevitable.  The pacemaker is a lifeline. Try to think of it in that way. Another failure is inot inevitable by any means and a pacemaker may well be incredibly helpful.  Your doctors can provide you with the best advice and reassurances.

 Family will react to this in their own individual way and may feed from your own anxiety or their own. They may want to tell you that 'everythingthing will be fine'.  This may not feel to you like an informed opinion, but it's one of the ways that people deal with what feels like a 'threat'.

Sometimes it helps to tell people what you need from them.  Many don't know that listening helps more than advice and that you may need a sounding board for your fears that absorbs them rather than bounces them back to you with a comment like ' that might never happen' or 'don't be dramatic'.   It's often difficult to 'train' family to respond in a way that helps and sometimes we don't know what we need ourselves!  If you find yourself without support speak to your GP about your fears and see if you can find some professional support to see you through this anxious period.  Friends who are supportive, charities and the church - if you are a church goer - might also help you.  We're here too. 

Whatever you decide, try keep an open mind. Explore every avenue before you give up hope. The pacemaker is one such avenue to explore.  Get your facts straight about risks vs benefits and how the device might help by speaking to your doctors. Facts tend to be easier to deal with than uncertainty. 

Please treat yourself gently and take good care. 

Very good advice from Penguin!

by Lavender - 2023-03-16 08:52:00

I'm sure having had failed ablations, you just want to be left alone and have lost trust in medical interventions. But many here have been where you are and now live good lives because of their pacemakers. You're not scheduled to have this for a couple of weeks. Many of us got pacemakers as an immediate emergency, so keep in mind that your heart is not done yet.

May our loving father God comfort you. May He let you feel the peace that surpasses all human understanding. May you remember that HE will care for your family that He has lent to you. May you remember how precious you are to Him and find new trust that there are good solutions out there for you to have a better life. Fear not. Be courageous and bold. Be of strong mind. 


by new to pace.... - 2023-03-16 09:36:05

It would help if you filled in your profile with where you live etc.  will help in our answering your concerns.  As sometime the different locations have deffering answers.

new to pace 


by Julros - 2023-03-16 12:16:29

I am sorry you are feeling scared. I think this is perfectly normal. You have been through a lot and I wonder if you have sought counseling?

I too, have cardiomyopathy. Mine wasn't discovered until after I had an ablation and pacemaker. I have since upgraded to a pacer/defibrillator. I am having a second ablation in 2 weeks.  My pacer is a biventricular that is improving my heart function, and hopefully slowing the progression of my cardiomyopathy. 

Only your doctor can predict the progression of your condition, based on the cause, and even then, it is still a guess. There are many emerging therapies and medications that give me hope that I will not need a transplant. And depending the cause, there are various support groups that you can turn to. I personnaly follow the LMNA cardiac group. If you care to share the cause of your myopathy, perhaps we can steer towards more support. 

Failed ablation

by AgentX86 - 2023-03-16 17:27:48

I had three failed ablations and at least four cardioversions (lost cound when I was in the hospital for my CABG) before my EP gave up and said that a fourth would be a total waste of time.  Just after the third, long asystoles were detected so I needed a pacemaker right then.  At the same time I had an AV ablation to eliminate flutter symptoms (the reason for the ablations).

Having several failed ablations isn't all that unusual.  I know one person who had eight and who knows how many cardioversion an ablation worked. And who knows how long it will last.

I get it that you're quite anxious but a pacemaker isn't a reason for anxiety.  It's the solution to a problem.  There is next to zero chance that anything serious will go wrong during the surgery and it will protect you from exactly that. 

If anxiety continues to get the better of you, professional help is a good idea.  A behavioral psychologist can help a lot.  I'd stay away from psychoactive drugs.  Side-effects can be worse than the disease and may just push the problems down, to resurface later. You can't stay on them forever.  But that's just me and I am not a doctor or psychologist.


by Persephone - 2023-03-16 21:29:10

Hear me out here ... I know it sounds simplistic, but practicing about 5 min of deep breathing slowly in through the nose and slowly out through the mouth in a "sigh" can perhaps make a difference in reducing anxiety. Remember this surgery is outside of your control and your anxiety in and of itself would do nothing to change the outcome. Knowledge is power so try to keep yourself informed about your health issue and the other concerns you expressed in your message. Take care.

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