Saw that you were on and you are to me the 'fountain of knowledge' I feel quite at ease after reading a message.

I am still not coping. What is wrong with me. The medication now propanolol only quarter of a tablet once a day is still making me feel totally sh.....

I keep thinking that there is something wrong with my heart through the op to put the pacemaker in. Why can I not be more positive.

Have an appointment in two weeks time for a check but we do only see the cardiologist over here. What is an EP and would it be worth me making an appointment to see one in England on my return.

What do you think



by ela-girl - 2008-02-06 01:02:16

Hi, Jules.

Another member asked about EP's the other...if you click on recent messages and scroll down, you'll see the post. To reiterate what I said in that post: EP's specialize in the electrical system of the heart and are more trained in device implantations since pacemakers and ICD's deal with the heart's electrical system. EP's are trained two years or longer than regular cardios. I have an EP and am very happy. Not everyone has an EP, though, and still receive great care. It is also important that you are comfortable with your provider. I also like what bowlrbob said in his post about EP's...why call the dr. when you need an electrician!

Best of luck to you!

PS: It is common for some folks to go through a bout of depression or anxiety after their pm is placed. Have you checked into this at all?


by heckboy - 2008-02-06 02:02:01

I'm hardly deserving, but thanks for the compliment.

As someone else pointed out here, an EP is a specialist dealing with the electrical system of the heart. If you're not completely satisfied with your DR., I don't see the harm in talking with one. First and foremost, you should be comfortable with the care you're getting. That might alleviate
a lot of the stress that you're feeling.

I don't take medication and can't speak to side effects of anything that you're taking. When it comes to coping, I like to quote Yogi Bera, "90% of baseball is mental, the other 1/2 is physical."

I heard of a study recently that concluded that people who accept a certain amount of discomfort and inconvenience in their life are happier than people who don't. I am a week and a half out from my second PM implantation and a lead extraction. I don't feel great all of the time... my shoulder aches and sometimes I feel a little "funny." But do I feel "funny" because I kind of have a cold and have been sedentary since my OP, or is it an adverse side effect of my operation? I choose to believe the the former until time proves me wrong. To do the latter would drive me crazy and I wouldn't be able to function.

Like you, I check my HR too much just to make sure my PM is working. I'm as neurotic with it as I am about checking email on my iphone. My condition is that i wouldn't know if it's working unless I push myself physically and since I've already dislodged one lead, I'm mental about it. But I just think, "oh good, it's working." and put it out of mind. I don't think, "is it beating too fast, is 110 BPM normal for a fast walk?"

One thing I did right after my OP that kept me from worrying too much about every little ache and pain is to keep a log of little things like finger numbness, etc... and I went over them with my DR. at my next appointment. Most of the notes I skipped over because seeing them in writing made me realize that they were things I could written down sounded normal or they had subsided.

Remember, it's a traumatic thing to get a machine stuck inside your body. It's not supposed to be a simple and invisible as taking a pill.

Do you get out of the house much? The more normal your routine becomes, the better you'll cope. I am out everyday taking meetings and trying to line up my next project. I feel great when I'm out doing that and it takes my mind off of my itchy scar and recovery in general.

I don't know if any of this helps. I just took a shotgun approach as to what has worked for me. To some it might seem like rambling, but hopefully there is a grain of something here for you to latch onto. Should you see and EP, sure, what's to lose? Do you still have some accepting to do, probably.

Take care.


by axg9504 - 2008-02-07 10:02:47

I have previously taken Toprol, Rythmol and Flecainide and I know they have side effects. To be fair at that time I did not have a PM and when my heart rate slowed down these drugs made it worse. With my PM I am now taking Inderal-LA (Propranalol-LA) 80 mg per day. I don't have any side effects, no real weariness that I can tell. The 'LA' formulation is a timed release capsule and is more expensive. For example here in the US, I can go to Walmart and get a 60 day supply for $4.00, but for the LA version Walmart said it would be $103 for a 90 day supply!

BB's affect different people in different ways. I am taking mine for atrial arrythmia and BP. Some people who have side effects just tolerate it because they are being helped in other ways that compensate. That could be my case to some extent though I can honestly say I don't feel any ill effects. Also my doc told me before I got my PM that he would work with me to find a BB that I could tolerate, that there were some 24+ BB's to choose from. Looks like he may have a home run with his first choice. So go talk to another doc, use an EP, the regular cardiologists, at least the ones I went to did not seem very comfortable discussing the electrical aspects of my problems.

You know you're wired when...

Your ICD has a better memory than you.

Member Quotes

I had a pacemaker when I was 11. I never once thought I wasn't a 'normal kid' nor was I ever treated differently because of it. I could do everything all my friends were doing; I just happened to have a battery attached to my heart to help it work.