I just got a pacemaker a week ago...

I am 48,and was having fainting episodes several times a month...once in a patient's room!When my pacemaker was inserted,I felt better almost immediately.Now,a week later,I have returned to work,and feel exhausted.I am freaking out that maybe my pacemaker isn't working,or maybe a lead slipped.I check my pulse,and it is always over 60.Is this normal..did you find yourself "hypersensitive" for a while?


9 Comments

Hi :)

by pacergirl - 2008-04-23 11:04:07

Hello, welcome. Wow, back to work already. I went back after 3 days and for me it was way too early. I too felt better and then I was exhausted! After all we go through we must remember we have just had surgery! It will take some time to adjust to having a pacemaker.
All I can tell you is.... Allow yourself time to get used to it. Allow your body to heal. Be kind to yourself and remember you are going though many changes.... be kind to yourself. Also, talk to other people who have pacers. We are everywhere.... :-) and doing just fine.
In answer to your question, yes, I was very hypersensitive for a while. I feel quite well now though.
Good luck,
blessings...
Pacergirl

absolutely!

by CathrynB - 2008-04-23 11:04:55

You bet w8lifting lady, almost all of us were "hypersensitive" for a while! I got my PM 15 months ago at age 50, and for the first few weeks I checked my pulse several times a day, worried that I'd pulled an electrical lead when I woke up in the middle of the night one night with arm over my head -- all kinds of things. If you do lots of reading on this site you'll find that many folks suffer from serious anxiety and sometimes even depression after getting a PM. Everyone is different, but we all face some "issues" at first. Now, I never check my pulse, never worry about pulling an electrical lead, and recently had my first day in which I went an entire day without even remembering I have a PM -- it was great!
I don't know what you do in the way of work, but my guess is you went back to work too soon or your job is too demanding to go at it full-time so quickly. I took 10 days off work, then went back half-time for another week, and it was several months before I quit taking routine short naps in the afternoon. And I'm a very active person, so it's not like naps were previously part of my normal regimen.
If your lead had slipped, you'd become symptomatic again -- fainting, or dizzy spells, or something.
My advice would be to slow down and give yourself more time to heal, know that you WILL get back to normal at some point, but your body and heart have been through something more major than your doctors led you to believe, and you need to take time to rest and heal. Relax if you can, drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, and give yourself permission to take it easy for awhile. You'll be back to your old self (only probably better) soon!
Keep us posted on your progress,
CathrynB

Some thoughts

by janetinak - 2008-04-24 02:04:24

Hi,

I went back to work after taking the week-end off & was really tired & I sat at a desk. I am assuming that you are a nurse from what you said you were doing. First, do you have any limitations on what you can do at work from your doc. Second, have you talked to your EP about the problem. I was SOB & told my EP staff & they checked my resp. response to activity ( I had increased it a lot as I was feeling so much better after a slow start) & the response rate to my activity was set too low. So they increased it & am OK now. So alomg with the above great suggestions there are my thoughts. Give yourself some time. Take care.

Janet

Changes for the Best

by fermina52 - 2008-04-24 03:04:02

Wow you guys went back to work so soon!
I stayed home for 6 weeks, you see I was an energized women at 52 dedicated to my community and 1 morning I woke up with extreme fatigue and shortness of breath and thought it was due to my High Blood Pressure medication anyhow after a doctor visit, EMS ride and an official sick sinus syndrome I woke up with a Dual Chamber PM /defr
its been 8 weeks and I still have not felt energized..
shortness of breath is common, and my experience seems to last for a few minutes...
I ocassionally feel a slight bzzzzz in my chest and all I can do is look up to heaven and Thank God, cause there still a lot more to conquer and enjoy!
so in case you feel over anxious, or scared, its normal but dont ponder, as humans, we can resist changes even if its for the best... how do we adopt? positive thoughts! example: precious life, amazing family, fantastic friends, a loving earth that provides our needs
make every BREATH count! and live...
my friends called me "Bionic Women" - my priviledge

Have a great day! :)

Welcome

by Wingart - 2008-04-24 04:04:05

Welcome to the pm club.

I am sure that you have gathered that most of us suffer some sort of anxiety after receiving out electric friend. I too would constantly check my pulse, I was also sensitive to the way it paced me, having always had a very low pulse and then suddenly to have a pulse that increased was disconcerting and at the same time comforting.

I took 10 days off work, just because I could, although I didn’t feel at the time that I needed it. I am glad I did because it gave me time to come to terms with it mentally as well as physically. I am now 5 months post implant and really do thank the day I got “my friend” as life is soooo much better with than without it.

Give yourself time; we all have different physical mending power as well as different mental states of mind. Feel free to ask all your questions but don’t necessarily compare yourself to others here. Take your own time, YOU WILL FEEL BETTER.

Once again welcome.
Chrissie

oh yes

by jessie - 2008-04-24 12:04:14

perfectly normal we all did it . it is quite a shock to receive one of these gadgets and usually they are an e.r. basis. first of all get lots of rest. lots of fruit and vegetables heart smart meals and lots of water. for 3 months i was exhausted after. i felt better i had oxygen but i was thoroughly beaten down i was already retired so didn't need to worry about that. for 6 weeks my husband vacummed and then i began to do that again. i also began to walk which is very good for you. all in good time. let us know how you are. oh yes i was continually checking to see if i had a pulse. lol jess

New Pacemaker

by BOB 1 - 2008-04-24 12:04:31

I'll add my suggestions to the ones you have already received. There are many settings on a pacemaker and it sometimes takes a while to get everything lined out. Although anxiety can play a major roll in how we react to a pacemaker implant, but I don't think all of what you are describing can be blamed on anxiety. My experience has been that after a week about all you should be having is some soreness in the implant area and your symptoms say to me you need to see your doctor.

I'll add a couple more things, don't worry about the pacemaker stopping, or not working. The chance of that is so remote it can hardly be considered as a possiblity. The leads being fractured or having moved can happen and the only way to determine if that has happened is have a pacemaker checkup by your doctor or nurse/technician. So as to not cause you undue concern, while lead problems do happen, they too are not very common.

Now, my very un educated guess is that your pacemaker simply needs some fine tuning, which is nothing uncommon for new pacemaker implants.

Good luck,

Bob 1

pt's room

by jessie - 2008-04-25 01:04:07

you mentioned almost fainting in a pts's room. you must be a nurse. we are the worst pt. lol we went to make our final arrangements and guess what i fainted in the funeral home and then denied it ever happened. i argued with my husband told him no it didn't happen.lol he watched me faint. so now i don't argue with him. we are doing well and helping one another cope with old age coming on.so you have nothing but good to look forward to . second chance at life. very good. take care your pacemaker friend jess the spam filter is mk my first initials when i was single many years agoo lol just celebrated our 44th going on a cruise in aug.

Post pacemaker issues.

by ElectricFrank - 2008-04-25 01:04:56

It is only me feeliing, not backed up by any sort of evidence. My take is that a lot of the fatigue etc after a new implant has to do with the pacemakers adjustments. It is common practice for the cardiologist to leave the pacer in the settings that are programmed at the factory. These are rarely anywhere near optimum for an individual. The other cause is medications.
I can only say that after my implant I insisted on a follow up appt in only a week or so and several more in fast succession after that. I was very aggressive about having unnecessary settings such as upper/lower limits too conservative, and rate response turned off. With all that I really never went through any "down time". I felt great and was only limited by taking care of my surgical site and not lifting my arm above my head.
This isn't to say that many on the forum have long standing cardiac issues that can really be limiting, but expect the best and accept what happens.

frank

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