After effects of transcutaneous pacing

Hello all, almost nine months on from the installation of my flux capacitor and the mental road has been rocky of late. Working through the feelings and emotions with my psyche at the moment and looking to move forward. Recently saw my cardiologist and he has assured me everything is working as it should and 'normal' life shouldn't be a goal, rather a given. Easier said than done it seems.

Now, my 'recovery' question is regarding 'transcutaneous/external pacing' which I experienced after my first SCA in January. I do remember it hurt like hell and was constant for an amount of time. That amount of time, I'm unclear of, as I was in survival mode and had no point of reference. Since then I have experienced brief, but daily minor discomfort in my chest which I've begun to ignore as it resolves quickly but I suspect a shift in my digestive system has occured. The discomfort is random but I have noticed it can come after eating or drinking, not always however. Have also noticed it after physical activity, such as performing my daily work duties or after a session on the drums. I've tried to look up after effects of external pacing but most literature seems to suggest nothing long term. I wonder if anyone has had a similar experience, if indeed anyone has been externally paced. All I remember, it wasn't pleasant, but obviously it did it's job well for me to be typing this. Just curious?          


Hi there

by Lavender - 2023-10-05 08:14:59

I'm sorry to read that you're going through that. I've read that pain resulting from muscle contraction is the most common side effect of transcutaneous pacing. I would not think there's long term after effects. 

While it's reassuring that your cardiologist says all is well, apparently something is amiss that could be noncardiac related. 

I think I would consult a gastroenterologist. It might be acid reflux. That can start in the belly and feel like it's the heart. The whole digestive system is so close to the heart area. 

Being anxious about it can exacerbate it. When I get that occasional sensation, I take TUMS. That's what my gastroenterologist told me to do. There is a strong connection between the brain and the gut. 

Since your heart stuff seems fine, pursue other body parts. I would start with your pcp, and preferably a GI person. 

Glad you're drumming again! Getting out there can take your mind off things. I know it's a gradual process given the nature of what happened to you. Hugs❤️‍🩹


by Lavender - 2023-10-05 09:19:38

Loved your comment:

"All I remember, it wasn't pleasant, but obviously it did it's job well for me to be typing this." 

You're appreciative of the fact that your life has been extended beyond it's initial expiration date. I'm certain it was awful, not just unpleasant, and still you exude hope and acceptance. 

When I resent what happened to me, and my need for this device, I remind myself that without it, without discovering the need for a pacemaker, I would not be here enjoying my family and friends. 

It took quite a bit of time for my brain to settle down and turn off the danger signals. 😉

Thank you

by 73Rawk - 2023-10-05 21:36:43

Thank you Lavender for your kind words. I have been referred to undergo both a colonoscopy & gastroscopy to determine if anything is a miss. I can sense there is so my GP is on board with finding out if there is a root cause. Hopefully it's nothing more than paranoia, which again I'm working on...  

Just a thought about

by Gotrhythm - 2023-10-06 15:19:37

I may be totally out of line here, and if so, I'm asking for forgiveness in advance, but here's what I got when I read your post.

Although I love Flux Capacitor as a name for your pacemaker (so witty!) perhaps you should change it to a pet name with more cuddly, sweet connotations. Something like Teddy or Pooh-bear. Something that encourages feelings of being comforted, cared for, or maybe watched over, protected by super powers.

I'm so out of touch I can't think of who today's superheros are, but maybe you can think of one you could pin on your pacemaker.

What I'm getting at is that you clearly are in touch with your feelings and you have a great imagination--that can get out of control, hence the paranoia. So just like you set a thief to catch a thief, give your pacemaker a name that will set your imagination to work to bring you the feelings you would like to experience.

As you are already aware, feelings in the chest can arise from many causes other than heart issues. Glad you are checking it out.

Being and feeling "fine" (as in How are you? Fine, thank you) really is a reasonable expectation for pacemaker users.

You know you're wired when...

You have an excuse for being a couch potato.

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