Over analysis of your condition is injurious to your health
Yeh ! Seriously, I think that i am doing over analysis of my condition. It is only a month after my operation and I am like super depressed about me being dependent on that pacemaker. After my operation, i basically Googled every thing about pacemakers. Like what is the mortality rate of young patients of pacemakers, What might go wrong after pacemaker operation... !!! like every thing! Now , the main problem is ,i can't even think anything positive. I can't see positive in anything. I know that there are so many people suffering from this exact situation of mine.
by Baban - 2023-05-21 14:39:27
Yah !!! That is what i am thinking.
What a great question
by Gemita - 2023-05-21 15:03:19
The trick is to learn all about our condition but to leave behind our fears. That is the hardest bit but we can achieve it. Knowledge helps me to manage an illness (and by the way I do not regard having a pacemaker as an illness Baban).
I used to read research papers after a health diagnosis and always imagined the very worst and over focused on all the potential symptoms and health conditions it could cause. I would make myself ill. I think it is important though that we don’t settle for “now don’t worry yourself about your pacemaker or your settings, leave that to us” type remark from our doctors and health professionals. Most of us here want to understand how our pacemakers work and I will never leave it to my doctors alone since I want to be an equal partner in my care.
You seem to have a problem Baban with your concerns. Is this your first significant health challenge? Having faced cancer in the past and survived it, nothing can ever worry me again, but knowledge and how well we control that knowledge is the key to overcoming our worst fears. Anxiety is terrible. It consumes us. Confront those fears and get them out into the open and they cannot hurt us anymore. Don’t internalise them and you will start to do better.
What a great question Baban. Hope you get lots of interesting responses.
You are great Gemita ! Thank you !
by Baban - 2023-05-21 15:40:29
Thank you for you positive response. I have read many of your posts here and they are seriously informative and positive! Yes this is my first major health challenge. I used to cough up blood because i had bronchitis problems but now I am fine. I don't think that was any serious health issue of mine. My father is suffering from cancer for 3 years. After his diagnosis, i basically became a mental patient and i am suffering from health anxiety from that very day !
by SeenBetterDays - 2023-05-21 16:35:04
Hi Baban, I absolutely relate to what you say. After my op I spent many an anxious hour googling and it really did become the dominant thought in my mind. It knocked my confidence that I was reliant on a machine to keep me alive, especially when I had believed I was fit and healthy before the pacemaker. You are still early in the process and it will take some adjustment mentally. It's not always easy but it's important to face the fear. Talk about it with the people close to you, maybe look at using some relaxation techniques such as meditation or things which you find calming. I always find walking near a river or in woodland really soothing. Spend time in the sunshine, get plenty of rest and be kind to yourself. You've been through a lot with your father's illness as well as your own health problems. You will come to accept the pacemaker, it will just take some time and mental processing. As much as I have, at times, resented my pacemaker, I know deep down that it has given me a gift of living a longer life and allowed me to spend more years with my precious family. I hope you start to feel better soon and always remember you have people in this forum who absolutely understand what you are going through and are here to support and help you.
by Penguin - 2023-05-21 18:36:14
It's quite unusual to recognise health anxiety (which is a psychiatric diagnosis) for yourself. Usually it's a diagnosis provided to you by a mental health professional when the anxiety is out of proportion to the issue you are facing or when you see health issues continuously without any evidence for them. Have you been diagnosed? If so, I assume that you must already be receiving some kind of treatment.
Our mental health varies day to day and on a continuum. At the end of the continuum are extremes. Diagnostic criteria for MH conditions tend to relate to those extremes and a set of criteria which are put together by professionals. Generally poor MH is diagnosed when the symptoms are badly affecting your day to day life / sleep / relationships. Your reactions in these circumstances would be extreme.
As I see it, it is not extreme to be worried when you receive a pacemaker at the age of 26. You've received a 'threat' to your cardiac health and the heart is a vital organ. That threat must feel very real to you right now.
It's also very normal to feel concerned about a device which is keeping you alive; to want to know more about it - it's risks and benefits particularly if you are dependent on it. However, you need to be objective when you read research and online information and recognise it's limitations.
I would encourage you not to define his as 'mental illness'. Change your focus if you can and tell yourself that it is wise to learn as much as you can about a treatment which will figure in your life for the foreseeable future. However, it helps to acclimatise to having a PM first and to then learn more gradually. Get yourself back on track first. An informed patient has a good idea of when there may be a significant problem but also feels well enough informed and trusting of the care provided to them and the treatment in place to get on with their life. Aim to get to that state.
What may help is to recognise for yourself or with a counsellor just how much of a threat to your health / life your heart condition has caused and ask yourself how that feels. Is there significant trauma / fear and how difficult are you finding it to rationalise and extinguish the level of fear? Moving past fear to a place of trust and acceptance is a process. You will get there.
Communicating with members on here who have had a pacemaker at a young age and who have not suffered negative effects may be reassuring. It is very likely that they will have encountered similar emotions to you at some stage.
by AgentX86 - 2023-05-21 19:56:50
First, it doesn't make any difference what can go wrong with pacemaker surgery. It didn't. What can go wrong after? Well, you will probably live. You will probably live a much better life that you would have without it. It doesn't matter what would have happened if you didn't need a pacemaker. First, you did. That boat sailed, with you on it.
Second, you may have avoided getting hit by a bus because you were going to the hospital instead of the grocery store.
Third, You're living. Pacemakers are a miracle of the ages.
Numbers like "mortality rate" are meaningless. They include people who were were not only at death's door if they didn't get a pacemaker but the door was already swinging open. You're not in that group and if you were, the pacemaker would still be the best bet.
It's rather like the reasons that infant mortality is so "bad" in the US (and likely other first-world nations, don't know the methods). The US counts all live births in the statistics where many other countries only count the births after five or thirty days. This eliminates a lot of really sick babies from their statistics. The second reason is that we throw a lot more resources into saving premies at earlier and earlier stages of pregnancy. These weigh down the statistics since they are also counted as "live births". Unfortunately, many don't make it. Some do, who would never have been given a chance in a thrid-world country, or fifty years ago. Think about this WRT your pacemaker.
The bottom line is that there are three sorts of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.
BTW, there are many, many, of us here who are pacemaker dependent. It's really not that much of a stretch from "just" needing a pacemaker. I made that leap voluntarily.
Wishing you all the best.
by Kmtd - 2023-05-21 21:37:48
I've felt the way you describe twice now. The first time I was 28 and nearly died giving birth. Two weeks in intensive care and very nearly missed having a liver transplant. The second time was this past February when I received my surprise pacemaker. And every time I've had a bump in my recovery since February the anxiety hits hard again. Dealing with serious health issues is very traumatic. I completely recovered from my first illness years ago, but it took me a long time to get past the trauma of that experience. I've been told I can recover and live a normal life after my pacemaker implant as well. But it was also a traumatic experience and I've been dealing with a lot of subsequent anxiety and depression too. As I feel better physically, I start feeling better mentally it seems. It took a while, and it wasn't easy, but things got much better in time after I recovered the first time, and I have hope that will happen for me again. I have had help from a therapist both times. Knowledge makes me feel better and I think the more I have, the better I feel. This group has been helpful. Best of luck to you in your recovery and know you are not alone in your feelings. Best wishes for feeling better soon!
In life, some suffering is inevitable.. Misery, however is optional.
by Gotrhythm - 2023-05-22 13:38:17
"Now , the main problem is ,i can't even think anything positive. I can't see positive in anything. I know that there are so many people suffering from this exact situation of mine."
My first thought was, I'm not suffering. I've had a pacemaker for 13 years now. Yes, in those 13 years I have experienced occasional suffering, but nothing that was caused by the pacemaker or even my heart condition. I don't believe that most of our members would say that their pacemaker has caused long term suffering.
Here is a TRUTH. In life, some pain, some sorrow is inevitable. Some suffering is inevitable. MISERY, though is optional.
MIsery happens when you tell yourself over and over how much pain, grief you are suffering, and how awful it is, and how nothing is good, and how it will never get better.
Here is another TRUTH. Your life will conform, in your experience, to however you tell it that it is.
You can't see the positive in anything? Do you have enough to eat? Do you have a place to live? Do you have people, a family who love you? Care for you?
I know you have been given an education, since you're an engineer. That means you're smart and you have a good mind, and you have the ability to persevere until you achieve goals. Those are all good things.
It's time for you to start using that good mind to think objectively--something engineers are good at. See everything that is good, and working well, or is at least okay. To keep yourself honest and keep your mind focused, make a list.
Now look at your health. Examine it piece by piece. Hair, skin, eyes, teeth, bones, arms, legs, digestion. There must be something good there, or at least okay--after all, you have survived since yesterday. Your body is functioning at least well enough to enable you to post to Pacemaker Club, so something is working okay. Make a list.
Now your pacemaker. Evaluate it's performance. What is its job? Is it doing it's job? Could it be doing better?
Now finally we get to your heart. The pacemaker hasn't affected your heart's ability to love at all. To be kind. To care. To take care of. To appeciate. To experience joy in the presence of what you love. To make life worth living. Who, what do you love? Make a list.
Okay, you have your lists. Hopefully, you can see some things that are good. Give thanks for them. If they are things you achieved for yourself, be proud of yourself.
You probably have seen some things that aren't so good. All right. Make a list of what you want to change and some notes on how to go about changing them.
One thing to note. If you are having difficulty experiencing the joy, or enjoyment of, the people or things your love, that is called depression. Long lasting depression is a real, physical problem. It isn't just in your mind. The chemicals in your brain may be out of balance. Anxiety and depression frequently go together. Seek medical help. But be clear. The pacemaker is not causing the depression. As you have already discovered, focusing on it will not help.
Please forgive me if my post seems overly blunt or unfeeling. I am sorry you are suffering. I wish to help you. But I know that having a pacemaker is not the reason you, or I, or anyone else suffers.
You have a pacemaker and that's not going to change. Your job now is to marshall your resources and begin to live the best, longest life you can aided by a pacemaker. Because really, that's what a pacemaker is for.
I know you can do it. You have a long life ahead of you that will be as wonderful and fulfilling as you make it.
Very much thank you !!
by Baban - 2023-05-22 13:55:18
I have read all the comments and i am feeling positive. Gotrhythm, You basically have opened my eyes. I really started forgetting what I have and how lucky i am ! I have to stop thinking about my pacemaker all the time. I have started working out. I have basically started appreciating my life again. This group is wonderful! Thank you again
You're going to be fine.
by Gotrhythm - 2023-05-22 14:48:08
Whew! Relieved you didn't think I was too hard on you. Glad you are able to see how lucky you are indeed. If you had to have a heart condition--and seriously, who wants one?-- but it's really wonderful to have the kind that a pacemaker will help, help you and live well!
To stop thinking about anything is very hard. Instead, from now on, when you find yourself thinking about your pacemaker, give it a litle affectionate pat, and tell it thank you. Many of our members have found that it helps to give it a pet name.
Use the search function and you'll find many posts on naming pacemakers.
Good luck my dear. And live well.
by Penguin - 2023-05-22 16:58:18
Just a note. The theory that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and a lack of serotonin is widely acknowledged as incorrect although it has been used extensively as a marketing construct to suggest that a lack of serotonin may cause depression. It continues to be cited by many websites and even some doctors and many members of the public have bought into the marketing.
by piglet22 - 2023-05-24 06:44:00
Here we are in 2023. Anxious.
Turn the clock back to 1923 or 1823 or more, and wonder how people got on then.
Presumably, all the ailments we have now, existed then, but the treatments didn't.
Quite how you got on with heart block is hard to imagine. I suspect it would be something like a line from a Jane Austen novel "she was confined to bed" or some remedy containing foxgloves.
You know you're wired when...
Your electric tooth brush interferes with your device.
I am no expert, but I believe that without the defibrillator that I have, I would be dead.
just forget all that you have learned from MR. Google
by new to pace.... - 2023-05-21 14:35:43
Realize you have been given a chance to have a better life than you had before your pacemaker. Just go out an enjoy yourself no need to worry about what can go wrong.
new to pace