Good stories

I would love to hear some good stories of how your new pacemaker has enriched your life ๐Ÿ˜Š


29 Comments

Timely

by FG - 2023-03-23 15:23:51

Hope to have one for you soon

Timely

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-23 16:11:18

You getting yours in soon?

enriched my life

by new to pace.... - 2023-03-23 17:26:02

Once i got my pacemaker implanted in 2019 the falling stopped.  No pauses or slow heart beats.

new to pace

being paced

by Tracey_E - 2023-03-23 17:46:10

I'm congenital and was diagnosed in 1970, so before they routinely paced kids. That meant I grew up not allowed to do any sports and in gym class I was mostly stuck on the sidelines keeping score. 

When I got my first pacer and was cleared for exercise, I stopped on the way home and bought a tennis racket and roller blades, and joined a gym. Suddenly I wasn't tired and dizzy all the time. Instead, I was full of energy. 

Before the pacer I was told not to get pregnant. With it, it was safe and I had two children. 

I worked out regularly those first years but was always afraid to push it. Too many years of restrictions so there was a loud voice in my head saying I can't do that. 12 years ago, a friend convinced me to try Crossfit with her. I went into it expecting to do the 4 week intro with her and quit because it would be too much. For the first time in my life I had coaches that encouraged me to push my limits instead of saying maybe you shouldn't do that. I fell in love with barbells. I switched to Orangetheory last year after a couple of orthopedic issues. Oh how I miss the barbells, but my shoulders don't hate me anymore.

In 2019 I'd had my pacer 20 years and wanted to do something new and hard to celebrate and decided on a 5k. In hindsight it's silly that I had been doing CF for several years at that point but didn't think I could run 3 miles. I made my daughter go with me so I wasn't doing it alone. She placed in her age group and fell in love. On the way home she asked how soon we could do another 5k. Then she wanted to try a 10k. Then she thought a half marathon was a great idea. THEN she convinced me to do a challenge weekend at Disney- 5k, 10k, and half in one weekend. We've done two of those and completed our 8th half marathon last weekend. 

My other kid is a park ranger in summer, lift foreman in winter, so most visits with her are either skiing or checking out the latest hike she picked out. We're doing a little roadtrip in June to hit some two NP we haven't visited yet. 

Something changed in my head after that first race. Instead of being afraid to push it, pushing it became my mission. I also tried ziplining that year. I only went because the kids wanted to go and I am afraid of heights so expected to hate it. Turns out it's a blast. So then something else changed in my head, how many other things I thought might be scary were actually fun?? I tried bigger and faster zips. I learned treetop obstacle courses and roller coasters are fun. I did a few mud runs. I have a collection of pictures of myself in front of cardiac warning signs. My ep fully supports me, btw, he loves that I'm so active. 

If I'd been born the same year as my mom, before pacing was common, I would not have seen my 30th birthday. As a kid, I was told I would not have children because my heart wasn't strong enough. They were wrong. I feel blessed to live in an age where technology gives me a full, healthy life. 

What an Uplifting Story, Tracey-E!,

by benedeni - 2023-03-23 18:43:41

Thank you for such a wonderful story, Tracey-E!   You are a true inspiration to all of us, whether young or old.  Plus we (I'm sure all members join me) want to thank both you and the also inspiring and dedicated Gemita, for being our two moderators.  What a wonderful job you both are doing.  We appreciate you!!  

Being paced

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-23 18:57:31

Wow Tracey what a cool story. I have been really anxious since this happened to me . It is a lot to hit at one time . Weird thing is I went in emergency room in January and everything checked out fine . I was having palpitations and my EKG was normal . When I went in last Thursday the EKG was normal again but my heart pulse was dropping to around 30 . The next EKG showed pauses and abnormal . I'm still trying to wrap my head around it . I eat well ,excersize etc . Thanks for all your help and encouragement ๐Ÿ˜Š

taking care of yourself

by Tracey_E - 2023-03-23 19:21:19

Eating well keeps the arteries clear. 

Exercising keeps the muscle strong.

Electrical problems just happen, often at random and in an otherwise healthy heart. Nothing we did caused it, nothing we could have done differently would have prevented it. 

If you are getting down to 30, that's half of normal so don't question that you need it. It's the right choice. If the heart gets too low, it can simply stop and not start up again. Most of us find the surgery easier than expected (esp if you've been reading too many horror stories!), and after we feel better than expected. Sometimes we deteriorate so gradually that we don't realize how bad it got until we have a normal heart rate again. It's hard when it's sudden and you don't know why. 

Taking care

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-23 19:42:36

I guess I need to accept and make the best of it , And yes the horror stories have scared me some , Thanks for all your help and wisdom .I get it done I will continue the way I have been living. No alcohol , smoking ,eating well and try to excercise daily 

Making the best of it.

by AgentX86 - 2023-03-23 22:10:54

You're setting your sights way too low.  It's not a sentence to purgatory.  Very few have occupations or avocations where the pacemaker matters at all. The chances are that the biggest encroachment into your life will be a couple of more doctor's (or pacemaker clinic) appointments each year.

More than extending life, pacemakers are all about improving the quality of life.  There is no reason that you can't live an absolutely normal life. A broken wrist has interfered with my life far more than my pacemaker.

Just get back on your horse and live life.

Making the best

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-23 22:18:32

Thanks Agentx86  I needed that . ๐Ÿ˜Š

Better Already!

by FG - 2023-03-23 22:39:58

Well this is FG here, the two-year procrastinator. They just finished me two hours ago so now I am less woozy and moving around more. They put the rate at 50 since I have been used to 32–35 for about two years. I can already tell the difference. Less mental dullness! I never really had physical limitations but the mental dullness was the reason I went ahead with it. Now let's see how well I can sleep with this bulky dressing and arm sling in place…!

Better already

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-23 22:44:31

That's awesome ,glad you did it , Let us know how you sleep . I think I am going to sleep in recliner for a few nights 

sleep

by Tracey_E - 2023-03-24 10:32:14

The sling should only be for the first 24-48 hours. After that you'll want to move the arm so you don't get frozen shoulder. 

I found it helpful to sleep hugging a small pillow. This kept me from rolling onto my sore side. 

Fg

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-24 11:43:27

How you feeling this morning my friend , out jogging yet๐Ÿ˜Š

Not yet!

by FG - 2023-03-24 12:09:38

Actually I do feel better. It's strange, I didn't expect it. Thanks for the warning about frozen shoulder. Who wants that?! As far as jogging they told me not for 4 to 6 weeks, Is it always that long?? But I can go on walks with the dog. Not quite sure I understand except maybe the pounding or movements up and down is what they don't want. My implant is not sub muscular. They removed the bulky pressure dressing this morning and placed a clear plastic adhesive sheet over the incision so I can shower immediately as long as I deflect the showerhead water off the palm of my hand. And they don't want me to lean over and touch my toes for too long. So we shall see. They left me at ventricular low end protection, so that I do not go below 50. But if my heart decides to go faster than that on its own such as during exercise pacing will be inhibited. They did not set up rate response at all, because my natural AV node during exercise gets me to 120–140. So they said wait on that and see if you need it later.  Follow up appointment in two weeks! Unless needed more quickly than that. Hope not!

jogging

by Tracey_E - 2023-03-24 12:58:25

After my last replacement, I was told not to work up a sweat or go in the water (pool, ocean) for 4 weeks due to infection risk. It was more about the incision healing than the pacer. 

FG

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-24 13:04:04

Glad you feel better , Did you spend the night?They told me mine would be outpatient.How was the surgery itself?Doctor told me I could walk the dog with opposite hand,I'm anxious about the whole thing but four days from now it will be done . I was walking the dogs two miles a day for last seven months including the day I went to emergency room .Glad when it is over but I know I need it . I haven't really felt up to par when I think back. Got out of breath a little bit and sleepy on the couch in the afternoon watching tv. You will good as new in a few weeks๐Ÿ˜Š

My Happy Story

by Gotrhythm - 2023-03-24 13:13:16

I know I was better as soon as I waked up. My cheeks were pink! I had accepted the loss of cheek color in my fifties as a consequence of aging. Who knew the problem was a heart that sometimes didn't beat fast enough? I didn't.

I think believing we need and will benefit from a pacemaker is harder for those of us whose heart is doing okay--well, part of the time. And the problem comes on so gradually, we accept feeling-- and looking--not as well as due to aging, becoming more sedentary etc. We never guess the gradual diminishment of energy is being caused by not getting enough oxygen to the body cells--sometimes.

Once I had a pacemaker, with 20/20 hindsight, I could see that I could have benefited from a pacemaker ten years or more before I got one. The times I was too tired to finish a project. Missed deadlines. The times it seemed there wasn't enough coffee in the world to get my brain going. The stupid mistakes I made because I just couldn't seem to keep my mind on what I was doing. The parties I did't go to or left early because I was too tired to have fun.

When I got a pacemaker, and got the settings just right, it felt like I got ME back.

I don't want to oversell pacemakers. No machine is ever going to do a job as well as the biological function it's trying to copy.  Getting the best life you can have with a pacemaker requires gettings the pacemaker settings just right for you, and that can take several months. But, if you can't live well without the machine, and you can live better with it, why wouldn't you?

.

 

Got rhythm

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-24 13:15:54

Thanks for the encouraging post . ๐Ÿ˜Š

Got rhythm

by FG - 2023-03-24 14:29:25

Thank you so much for your detailed encouraging post. You have no idea how much I appreciate it when those of you with experience and knowledge decide to put down your words and stories. Thank all of you.

Good stories

by Aberdeen - 2023-03-24 16:20:38

Before I had my first pacemaker for about a year I couldn't understand why I wasn't coping with my usual activities and was getting breathless walking up gradients etc.

After a holiday abroad I was shocked that I couldn't walk upstairs in my house without stopping halfway. There are only 16 steps!

I went to the doctor one afternoon and was told to go to hospital asap.

After my pacemaker I could run upstairs and go up gradients without a problem. That was 3 years ago. I have had a couple of setbacks but I can do my gym classes and recently was at a ceilidh and did an Orcadian Strip the willow with 15 people each side! Btw I am 67 now.

Aberdeen

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-24 16:29:20

Thanks for your remarks, Sounds like the pm has been successful for you.I had to look up the Orcadian Srip the Willow as I was not familiar with it . That is really cool. I love Scotland ,spent a couple weeks there a few years ago 

MRW2350

by BGA - 2023-03-24 16:33:41

When I read your story, it sounded like my own. Started in January - first thing they told me in the ER after I had passed out was that I would probably need a pacemaker, THAT DAY. It was too unbelievable - I had never had any heart issues, but that day, the heart rate in the 30s, the pauses, all of it. Of course, in retrospect, I can remember the times when I had trouble hiking, or wondered why I was just sooo tired, and more - all the things I chalked up to age.... 

I didn't have it put in that day, however the next couple of weeks were quite the roller coaster ride. It's been 6 weeks today since my implantation. No problems at all (after the feeling that someone had punched me in the chest subsided less than 24 hrs after the procedure - have to be honest). No sling, no trouble sleeping, healed quickly - I really didn't know what to expect, but the recovery was, truthfully, easy.

I was pretty ermotional - at 66, I am on the younger side of having this done and had trouble with the feeling old thing, something I had never felt before. That has passed - I keep thinking how lucky I am (we all are) that we live in an age where we have the technology available to us. I've had it tweaked a little, like others have said (tell your doctor if you think something isn't right), and truly I feel so much more energetic now and not having to worry about my heart rate tanking is such a relief.  When I found out earlier this week how much my pacer is being used, at first it upset me, but then I realized how glad I was to have it - clearly I need it. Next week I start playing tennis and pickleball again and get back to my strength training class - can't wait to feel like the me I knew 2 months ago - but better!

BGA

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-24 16:50:10

Thanks for your fantastic story . I went to ER in January with skipped heart beats but everything checked out fine . Had the same problem on March 16  and first EKG was fine . My pulse started dropping to around 30 then it was evident that something was wrong . Five years ago they told me I had bradycardia but it was not symptomatic until now , I hopeI have your success . Thanks for your encouragement ๐Ÿ˜Š

happy endings

by Tracey_E - 2023-03-26 17:20:46

Inspired by this post, we have added a new category to the forum, SUCCESS STORIES. Please go post yours there! 

Happy endings

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-26 17:26:11

I don't see it there yet๐Ÿ˜Š

hmmmm

by Tracey_E - 2023-03-26 17:57:20

I can see it when I'm logged in as admin. Blake is working on it. It wasn't working the way we wanted it to. But we'll get it!!

it's there now!

by Tracey_E - 2023-03-27 22:08:41

Go post your success stories in the new category! I'm gonna be lazy and repost my comment from here :) 

Itโ€™s there

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-27 22:13:40

I will wait until my procedure is complete tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜Šthat's cool that we have a new category 

You know you're wired when...

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Member Quotes

A properly implanted and adjusted pacemaker will not even be noticeable after you get over the surgery.