shocking experience

hello, i'm new to this site. never knew it existed. i had my first pacer check. wow! kinda weird, the rest of the day i kept feeling a small jolt from time to time. i'm 10 days out of surgery. didn't know if maybe someone else has experienced this. please let me know if you have any answers. all i hear from the doctors is "it can't be shocking you, you don't have a defibrillator." please help!



by Gellia2 - 2007-10-15 10:10:24

Try timing your shocks. If they are coming at the same time, every three hours for mine, then what you are feeling is the "impedance" check going off. This is a feature the newer PM have to check to see it the ventricle needs pacing. I am headed to my EP tomorrow to see if I can have this corrected. In the meantime know that I have been having these for about three weeks now and the pacemaker is working fine. What you feel is the circuit checking itself and the voltage occasionally will stimulate the pacemaker pocket.
If it bothers you alot, see your doctor. I'll check in when I see mine tomorrow with a report of what mine says.
Best to you,

Shocking PM

by SMITTY - 2007-10-16 12:10:28


Welcome to the PM Club site.

I see you have been introduced to one of the big lies we are often told about our pacemakers. Believe me, I went through absolute hell for almost three years – until I insisted that it be turned off – experiencing those mysterious shocks and being told it is not your pacemaker. When it was turned back on about two years later, I had another doctor and it turned out that one of the leads was in such position that it was allowing the PM impulse to “stimulate” a nerve. That nerve stimulation felt just like a shock in that it was instantaneous very sharp and the pain level was about the same as that you get with a bee sting.

Over the 7 years I’ve had this PM I’ve learned a few things. One is that unless a person is 100% PM dependant, their PM does not work all time. So I’m going to guess that you are getting shocked just periodically because your PM is working just part time, or in other words when your heart’s natural pacemaker does not send a good enough signal to cause a contraction to one of the heart chambers the PM steps in and sends the required impulse. It is at this time you are feeling those shocks.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you may have a doctor that knows how to implant one, but doesn’t know sheep dip from wild honey about all the things that one can or cannot do. Pacemakers can also give shocks, albeit not as strong as a defib unit, but they are shocks just the same. Call that doctor every time you get shocked, even if it is midnight (if you can’t sleep because of shocks, he may as well be awake too) and let him know. Also, you might suggest, or demand if necessary, that he get a manufacturers rep in to check out your PM.

While my problem was the position of a nerve, there are many other things that cause a shock. A common one is the impulse voltage is set higher than necessary. But, I’ll not muddy the water anymore than I have already except to say if it keeps hurting you should keep calling that doctor. Just remember the old adage “it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.”

Good luck and I hope you can let us know what is causing your problem.


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