Tired all of the time

Hello all, 

I am 35, female and have a Medtronic pacemaker for complete heart block that was implanted in 2018. I just received a call from a tech from my doctors office that they need to see me in 2 days to check everything out. They said one of the leads that is supposed to be pacing 100% of the time was "offline" for about 3 seconds. I did not have any symptoms associated with this but they just want to double check. 

the reason I am here posting is because I don't think I have ever really felt "great" and like I have energy. I am always feeling quite drained and pretty lethargic. I am a mom of two young kids so I'm sure that has a lot to do with but I am now thinking that I should be feeling better overall. Should I ask them about looking into certain settings or is just the norm for people with pacemakers? Just wanting some feedback so I can advocate for myself to dig deeper if needed. Thank you!


Feeling good yet?

by Gotrhythm - 2023-11-06 18:02:43

I don't have complete heart block, but I understand from reading posts here, that getting the settings right can be trickier than for a relatively simpler condition like SSS.

I do think it's always reasonable for a person to want to feel the best she can. Remember, you are the kind of patient that pacemakers were originally developed for: relatively young, healthy people who could be doing well, living productive lives, if their heart arrythmia were dealt with.

So, I say yes. Get in there and advocate for yourself. You and your children deserve the best quality of life your pacemaker can deliver.

Push for answers

by Lavender - 2023-11-06 19:30:02

People with pacemakers don't normally feel drained of energy. Be sure to ask if things can be adjusted to make you feel more peppy. 

Having two young kids is certainly exhausting but your quality of life can be better than what you describe. 

Have you had your metabolism checked, bloodwork? Are you depressed ?  Good you're being checked in two days. Start with that and describe to them exactly how you feel. 

May God fill your life with renewed energy and better health. May you enjoy being so young. Kids get harder when they're teens. 🙃

Cast the net much wider...

by crustyg - 2023-11-07 05:08:19

...yes, your TATT might be PM related, but it's just as likely that how you feel has nothing to do with your implanted device.

I can't agree with Gotrhythm (sorry!) that SSS is easy to fix and CHB is more challenging.  IMHO it's exactly the other way around. CHB with a working SA-node and a working dual-chamber leaded PM should be completely fixed.  By contrast, tuning a PM to try and replicate the activity-related changes in normal HR that a working SA-node would deliver is much more difficult for SSS.

At your stage in life I would be requesting (yes, I know, Docs in the the Americas *order* their investigations!) a set of bloods looking for all the normal issues that crop up in patients of your age.

The thought of a lead failure isn't reassuring, so checking this is definitely the most urgent issue.

Best wishes.

Being a Mum!

by Penguin - 2023-11-07 05:51:50


You’ve been paced since 2018 (so roughly 5 years) and you're 35 yrs of age.  If you’ve been pregnant (twice?) and had two children during those five years perhaps this is a factor?  Being pregnant whilst having another young child to care for, teething, establishing sleep routines and getting children dry at night can all mess with your sleep, as can worrying about them and the responsibilities that being a Mum brings. A pacemaker can’t compensate for lack of sleep or any of that.  

Hormones, periods and PMT post pregnancy and into your late thirties - forties can cause quite a bit of havoc too, and being tired with the demands that young children bring can make symptoms feel a lot more difficult to handle.  Some women sail through it all - but many don’t.  If you work as well and have a heart condition to consider you may need to find some respite from your caring role and re-discover some ‘me’ time regularly. It can be re-vitalising - if temporary! 

I’d see what your clinic say about your lead and ask them how this might affect you if there’s something going on with it.  I’d also take the opportunity to discuss your lifestyle and lethargy with a doctor. Female doctors and other Mums with similar heart conditions can be a good option if you need someone to talk to about how you feel. 

Best Wishes

You guys are wonderful

by jessheartbeat325 - 2023-11-07 22:06:17

Thank for everyone who responded. This is great info and I will definitely try to get settings looked at and also get all of my levels checked  screening for other culprits. If I find out anything interesting I will post again. 

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