New member

Hi all.   New member here.   Last few years I've been having tests done as I've been taking propranolol for 20 years (put on it for anxiety) and my heart rate is very low.  Late 30's, 40's etc but it can go higher then.  Had few ultrasounds, mri etc.  Told me I've got cardiomyopathy, heart block etc.  So, I'm coming off of propranolol now (nearly off them completely now), then got to go back for another holder monitor then maybe a pacemaker i suppose.  The question im asking is what is the procedure like?  Coz I'm an extremely anxious person.  Does it hurt?   What does it feel like having it done etc.   No horror stories please.  Just an honest assessment of what happens for the vast majority of people.   Thanking you in advance.


getting a pacemaker

by Tracey_E - 2023-01-30 08:46:50

It's possible the propranol is what is holding your rate down. However, if you have heart block you may still need the pacer. With heart block the atria are beating normally but the ventricles aren't getting the signal. The pacer steps in and makes sure the ventricles stay in sync with the atria. As problems go, this is the easiest to fix with a pacer because the pacer is simply playing follow the leader.

It's a surgery, but a very minor one. I slept through the surgery. After, I got by on tylenol. The only time I took something stronger was tthe first couple of nights. I found ice helped more than the tylenol. I was moving gingerly and napping for about a week. I was aware of it for the next few weeks. By 6-8 weeks, I was back to the gym and barely noticing it. I'm on my 5th one now, so been paced many years. It's truly not as big a deal as we expect it to be. Most of us rarely give it a thought once we heal. 

It will likely be swollen at first. Know that it will not always look like that! The swelling will go down and the pacer will settle in over the next few months. 

Be careful reading too much online because that's where the horror stories are. No one talks about the easy ones, which is most of our experiences. 

You are probably going to find that you have considerably more energy after. A rate that low makes us tired. My rate was in the 40's most of my life, I could feel the difference the minute I woke up in recovery. It was a bit like mainlining coffee. Not everyone has such a drastic difference, but many do if your rate is very low. 

You may find that your rate feels fast and you're aware of your heart beating for a while after. This is normal. We get used to the low rate, so a normal rate feels fast. This feeling will go away. 

New member

by Bhoy67 - 2023-01-30 10:10:21

Thank you so much for replying Tracey.  I really appreciate it.  Thank you for your views too.  Again, much appreciated.  Its all sooooo new to me, all this heart talk!    Hope you are doing ok and all is well.   Take care 

What's it feel like

by AgentX86 - 2023-01-30 10:59:10

I'm like Tracey, though my pacemaker was out in with only a local anesthetic.  Even with just the local, the only time I felt pain was when they were making the pocket.  That hurt but with even twighlight sedation that wouldn't have even been an issue.  My recovery was even easier.  I was sent home with a prescription for Tylenol/codeine 300/30mg but didn't need it. 

It was swollen for a couple of weeks and sensitive to the touch for several months.  I used one of those faux-sheep shoulder belt covers to keep the belt off the PM but otherwise I had no concessions to a normal routine after the initial four-week proscription of extending the shoulder. I was at work the day after I was released from the hospital. I was kept overnight becuase I was dependent on it and they wanted to make sure everything was right.

From almost the minute after the surgery, I felt 100% better and was almost on a high for the next couple of weeks, until my body got used to it.  Like an adict, my body needed more of that. 😁

Not everyone is as fortunate as I but most have an unremarkable recovery.  As Tracey said, the problems come here.  Those who got their pacers without issue just went on with their lives.  After the initial problems or anxiety are resolved, the others move on, too.  After a couple of months you'll forget you have it. like your little toe, you'll know it if you whack it but otherwise you give it little attention.

I'm new to a pacemaker also

by docklock - 2023-01-30 11:27:16

My Metronic PM was 'installed' Jan. 20, so I've had mine for 10 days. While I certainly can't speak 'for the vast majority of people' I can certainly share my experience.  I have Sick Sinus Syndrome and in May last year had a Metronic Implantable Loop Recorder implanted over my heart.  It showed a heart stop of 6 seconds three separate times.  The last time it stopped, my Cardio guy encouraged me to absolutly consider a PM. All the arrangements were made and it was implanted. The actual implant took place at around 2 pm and I was out the door around 6.  I ony took a couple of Tylenol once for pain.  Yeah, for sure it was tender,a little painful, but certainly not debilitating in any way.  During the course of the week I took a couple of Tylenol occasionaly.  The superglue that was smeared all over both the PM incision and the removal of the Loop Recorder incision is starting to peel off.  I had a lot of anxiety, as you, no doubt are going thru now.  I can only tell you of my experience. I do have an increase in my energy level and I don't feel so tired as I once did.  Biggest problem I have is remembering NOT to lift my elbow above my shoulder -- I'm 78 and have been doing that all my life -- LOL.  

As I 'finger' the implant site, there is just the slighest amount of tenderness, but each day that is diminished. 


Thanks everyone!

by Bhoy67 - 2023-01-30 13:48:26

Thank you all so much for your words of wisdom.   I really appreciate you all taking the time to reply to my post.  Down to final 10mg of propranolol now, so once I'm off them, I will contact my cardiologist about the appropriate next step for myself.   Thanks again all

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I had a pacemaker since 2002 and ever since then my life has been a total blessing.