what the heck?

Hello, well here it goes. I am a cardiac nurse and also a new pm patient. I am not used to being on this side of the bed. I have always tried to listen to my pt. feelings and concerns and now I am facing my own confusion, frustration not mention pain and anxiety. Believe it or not I have tried for the past four years to get my own doctors that I work with to listen to me about feeling like my heart was going to pound out of my chest, not to mention the chest pain that radiated back between my shoulder blades(which is still happening) and down my left arm. All the nausea and near fainting episodes,shortness of breath,fatigue,HOT FLASHES which makes the palpiations worse etc. The episodes were transient so it was difficult to catch. This past dec. I finally passed out behind the wheel tring to get home,spent 4 days in the hospital for the doctor to tell me it was nothing but sinus tach. to make a long story short i passed out again and this time i had a heart rate of 280. I finally go the attention of a doctor at another hosp. i work with and he did a ep study. i went into sustained afib,flutter and svt at the same time without inducing it. When he did induce it i was concious enough to feel what i had been feeling and can remember praying that some one was seeing this . He told me that in 18 years of practice he had never seen anyone have all three arrth. at the same time. I had a av ablation and a bivent. pm put in on the 7 of feb. I feel like crap!
I still have palp. which I will always have due to the afib. My bp goes sky high when my heart rate hits around 112 to 120. it shot up to 177/130 {and that is with bp med} , i got faint, nauseated and felt the pressure and pain between my shoulder blades again. If i take a deep breath it feels like the palp. and
the heart rate increases, It almost feels like an anxiety attack or something. Is this normal? I usually take care of pt post op from having a pm placed and never have gotten real feed back from anyone several weeks out. Most people i have talked to have said they have never had a problem. So what is wrong with me? What the heck am i being a wimp? i would love some feedback
thanks sistermary7 Ps excuse mispellings


8 Comments

My experience

by Holly - 2008-02-22 09:02:05

Hello,
Nice to meet you. I know what it is like to be on the other side of the bed. I have figured out that too much knowledge can be bad. I make a horrible patient. I am an emergency room RN and my pacemaker was placed in my stomach during open heart 2 1/2 yrs ago.I remember feeling it palpate in my stomach it was new to my body. I went back for several check-ups and changes in the settings. They could never get it right. 6 weeks ago I had emergency surg. cause my last holter that I wore showed long pauses and the docs can't believe that I didn't pass out or drop dead. They took the pacer out of my abdomen and placed a new one in my chest. They believe that I fractured a wire. They don't know for sure because they left the leads in. If they took them out I would have had my chest cracked again and I really didn't want to do that.
My personal opinon is that it was never a good lead but they are not going to tell me that.
I am telling you this because I don't know how well your doc is following you but now that I got my new pacer I feel way better because it is actually working. Before I was having dizziness and nausea and that is because it was not doing its job. I still feel very tired and I hope in time it will be better. If your doc is not helping please get another opinion. I'm only 30yrs old and it almost cost me my life.

Please let me know your out come.

Holly

My message got cut off...

by Carol - 2008-02-22 10:02:11

Carol here again. The end of my message somehow got eliminated. What I wanted to say was how sad that you had to have an accident in order to get someone to listen to you-and you are a cardiac nurse! My specialty lies in wound and ostomy, so I have had a lot of brushing up to do when it comes to the heart. Hope you're feeling better soon, don't give up and feel free to private message me anytime! Best Wishes,
Carol

Another Nurse here!

by Carol - 2008-02-22 10:02:57

Hi Sistermary7
I had my PM placed 4 1/2 months ago, and I'm STILL not at 100%..but I am better. Have you had your PM interrogated yet and have you had any adjustments? I was experiencing some of the same symptoms post PM that you are. I kept after my doctor because I KNEW I shouldn't be feeling this way. Yeah, I was anxious and very sensitive to my heart beating, but I too had hot flashes, sob, weakness, etc. I had Holter, Event Monitor, Stress Test done and I know the Doc was leaning toward "its all in her head". Came to find out I was out of sync between the ventricle and atrium, causing a kind of pacemaker syndrome. My AV delay was adjusted and I'm MUCH better, but still have some troubling symptoms that I hope to get to the bottom of.. I don't like being on this side of the bed either, but it sure gave me an appreciation for Pacer pt.'s especially those that have a few problems.

Welcome!

by tcrabtree85 - 2008-02-22 11:02:12

Welcome to the club. I have had a very similar background as you did. It took me moving to another state to finally get an ablation I went in with a heart rate of 180 and once everything was in he didn't have to induce me either it went sky rocket high. I have a rare problem where mine rested completely in my SA Node. I had three ablations all together and like you I was awake and able to say each time thats what I am feeling.
I have almost had my pm a year now and still have had problems with things. I am a believer that ablations are hard on the body. That it is going to take longer for some of us to heal than others.
The only thing I can tell you is don't give up rest is good. This site is amazing. We are all here to support you.

Many thoughts! Blessings,
Tammy

In the bed!

by ElectricFrank - 2008-02-23 12:02:18

Maybe it isn't which side of the bed we are on. What hits us is being in the bed. I have talked with several MD's who have had "in the bed" experiences and they feel the same way. Very few of us take well to being out of control especially when we feel lousy and scared. This is particularly true of doctors and nurses who are used to being in control. Being part of the medical culture they are reluctant to cross anyone, particularly doctors.

The problem with us engineers is we don't have such ethics.

frank

Exact Duplicate of MY Experience!

by truenorth - 2008-02-24 03:02:28

Wow, sister mary, when you described the whole process leading up to the final diagnosis, it was like reading about my own experience to a 't'!

I had those same weird and VERY scary attacks, that would strike at any time and without warning. By the time I got to an emergency, everything was back to normal again, and all the cardiac diagnostics showed a perfectly healthy heart.

After almost 2 years of this, the doctors tried to get me on an anti-depressant and/or an anti-anxiety pill. One even suggested Zantac because he thought the problem might be gastrointestinal!!

It was a VERY frustrating time for me.

Finally, a Holter monitor revealed that my pulse rate dropped to about 40 bpm during sleep, and that's how they pinned it down finally.

There's GOT to be a better way!!

pacemaker problems

by Mary Thompson - 2008-03-07 05:03:14

I had to learn to listen to my body and keep asking for adjustments to my pm. At one point a Medtronic technician came into the office and spent 2 hours with me and I felt much better after her adjustments. First, I think that it took me a long time to feel better because no md took my complaints seriously about how bad I felt because I looked ok. It took me a couple of years to get my energy back after the first pm and then I was still asking for adjustments to keep up with my increased activity level.

Three years ago I wasn't feeling right and no md would listen even tho I changed mds. I finally ended up at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix last Jan 2007 and they found a fractured wire in 15 sec and I had surgery 2 weeks later and because my old pm wouldn't work correctly I ended up with a newpm. Again it took a few months to get my energy back and for my body to adjust.

I think originally most pm patients were elderly with limited exercise and now we are demanding that our pm allow us to lead normal lives. I fould that I had to be very persistent before I got listened to and both times the new person who listened was a woman. Go figure. Guess I should have tried a female doc to begin with. Prayers and good luck. Mary

Feeling Bad

by redfearn337 - 2008-03-28 03:03:28

Hello I'm a new member and had some concerns maybe someone could help me with. I am a L&D nurse, have been for 6yrs, a little over a yr ago discovered finally that I had a complete hrt. block and a pm was placed in my armpit.My question is, when I get worn out, stressed etc., and I go into the block, the pacer kicks in. My normal hr has always been a little tachy form 90-120, the pacer is set on sudden brady response which cuts my hrt rate in half. Is it normal to feel so week, dizzy, ill tempered. Its hard to even get out of bed. I feels like I'm slamming on the brakes. Is this something I'll have to get used to. I hate feeling the thump in my chest when the pm does ts thing. Oh well I guess I can be glad I caught the it and am still alive with my too daughters and husband.
After the first surgery in May, they placed the pm in the armpit due to my age and cosmetic reasons, well the nurses lifted the head of the bed too soon and the leads came out of place. I kept looking at the monitors because I new this could not be right. I did't realize until then that these things can kill you or throw you into all kinds of interesting arrythmias. The doctors just said yeah well most people don't find that out. I guess I was lucky. It was frightening and back in I went for a second surgery. I guess I'm just nervous over that experience, I don't really trust it.
Any opinions will be appreciated, Thank you

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