Weird feelings explained


I'm two weeks into my second PM and lead replacement. Since the replacement, I've had some strange feelings that concerned me. One was a sudden warmness that came all over my body when I was on the phone. I didn't get tingly like I was about to pass out, but it was similar in the way that the feeling spread. The other was a slowing of my HR while I was watching TV on the couch. It felt similar to an office PM check where they slow your pacing to test the threshold of the leads.

Like I said, i was concerned because I'd never felt either of these feelings in the years I've been pacing. It turns out the the warmness was related to what they call a retrograde. When the pacing of the ventricle gets ahead of the atrium and starts pacing it instead of the other way around (forgive me if i didn't explain it quite right, but it should be close). The PM rep made a programming change which he says should take care of it.

The other problem felt like my heart was slowing to a stop and then started again. This scared me plenty. It turned out to be a software diagnostic program that I'm told ran 3 times a day. It's function was to preserve the battery life by testing the threshold of the leads. It felt like an office PM check because that's exactly what it was doing. They turned it off and I'm going to live with this a while and decide later if it's worth the feeling to save a bit on battery life. Now that I know what it was, it might be something that I'd be OK living with if it buys me more time between surgeries.

I hope this helps somebody as I had no idea what was going on and feel a lot better now.

Happy Valentines day!


Great idea!

by heckboy - 2008-02-15 11:02:44

Thanks for the suggestion of changing the self check time on my PM to the wee hours of the morning. After I got home from the doc, I began to wonder about the decision to turn off that function. The only reason I didn't like it on was because I didn't know what it was and thought something was wrong with me. Now that I know what was causing that feeling, i think I'd prefer having it on.


Threshold check

by ElectricFrank - 2008-02-15 12:02:24

After things settle down you might ask to have the threshold check performed during the night. Mine was originally set to 3 times a day, then we went to once a day at 3:00AM, and finally once a week at 3:00AM. That worked great for several years until recently I had some sort of a virus that made pacing erratic. We turned up the pacing voltage and turned off the self test. Now that I am over it and my threshold is almost back to normal I'm going to ask to have it turned on again, maybe daily.
It can make quite a difference in battery life and I feel like it is less irritating to the heart if the voltage isn't higher than needed.


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