My success story

(reposted)

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 over three days 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 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. No one looks at me and sees a heart patient. The double takes I often get when I say I'm paced never stop amusing me. 


6 Comments

success stories

by new to pace.... - 2023-03-27 22:52:32

thanksTracy_E for starting this  new topic in the forum.

new to  pace
 

Feeling Better! Yes!

by FG - 2023-03-28 00:00:03

Actually I do feel better. It's strange, I didn't expect it. 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. 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! Looking forward to getting back to all the sports I love!! So far so good!

In praise of our pacemakers

by Gemita - 2023-03-28 06:28:32

Tracey your posts always lift me.  You are so active, have so much pure fun and are so unafraid to try new things which is what “life” is really all about.  You are certainly not held back by “anything" that life has so far thrown your way.

I tend to be somewhat hypervigilent and to anticipate danger a lot of the time.  I know I sometimes avoid doing things as a result which is not healthy but I am slowly changing my ways.  I could certainly learn a lesson or two from you in how to live life to the full.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I am married to a man who is my opposite, always happy to try out new activities despite clear reservations from his health professionals to find better ways to “pace” himself and to listen more to what his body is trying to tell him.  But I don’t suppose I will ever change him now at 84, so I have stopped trying.  His mind is presently full of exciting thoughts about his future with his great grand children.  He is already preparing for their weddings!  I have to remind him sometimes that he will probably be 105+ by then and he just says, what has age got to do with anything?

I will do separate “success stories” for both myself and my husband who is also a member of this Club on another occasion, so as not to hijack your thread Tracey.  Continue to enjoy your life to the full.   Amazing story

Success stories

by Mrw2350 - 2023-03-28 06:46:28

Love your story Tracey  ,heading to the  hospital shortly for my procedure 😊

Pacemakers

by piglet22 - 2023-03-28 07:22:04

Never forget the decades of research that have gone into understanding the intricacies of the way the heart works.

The pacemaker is a miracle of many technologies that have all come together to make a device like a leadless pacemaker less than the volume of a sugar cube that can be inserted through a vein.

From the invention of the transistor, the silicon chip, the printed circuit board, silicone tubes, the engineering materials, the lithium battery, the fluoroscope etc. etc. The list goes on.

Whole processors capable of millions of instructions per second on chips no bigger than a child’s fingernail.

The medics, the designers, scientists, engineers all playing their part.

One of the electronics pioneers died recently, Gordon Moore of the Fairchild semiconductor Corporation. Walter Schottky a pioneer of transistors.

The early patient trials with external pacemakers that would have needed a backpack to carry around.

We have a lot to be grateful for.

Thanks Tracy, feeling good

by Shiva-Gupta - 2023-05-19 01:23:30

Thanks Tracy for sharing your success story. I am feeling really good. My son is 13 year old and just had a PM implant in March 2023 (congenital issue). I never came across anyone having PM at such a young age. So, I am really happy to read your success story.

You know you're wired when...

You always have something close to your heart.

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It is just over 10 years since a dual lead device was implanted for complete heart block. It has worked perfectly and I have traveled well near two million miles internationally since then.