No Energy

I was implanted with a Medtronic pacemaker in February of 2007 for third degree heart block.I had no symptoms prior to my surgery.I only found out about my condition because of working out at the gym.When I would get on the treadmill I noticed my heart rate was not going up.Came to find out,my BPM were 38 to 40.So I was sent to a cardiologist and the rest is history.Here is my problem....I was told that I would have alot more energy but I don't! In fact I find that I have less energy and I also have trouble sleeping.I have PM check ups every 6 months.The last time I went, I told them about my sleeping problems and they turned it down at night.The reps say everything is working fine but I am becoming more and more tired as time goes on.Has anyone else experienced anything like this?Any suggestions??? I felt better before I got the darn thing!



by musemech - 2008-05-07 08:05:58

I have/had the same initial symtoms and played hell on initial ajustments. Couldn't sleep, always seemed hot/flush and sweat easily. I also had headaches and this metalic taste in my mouth. That went on until I ended up at 50 for idle speed and 170 upper end with maximum rate response. I got a lot of push back from the techs, but it's mine and I know how I feel. That was my approach and it worked, but you need to take it a step at a time.
Now I work out six days a week, ride quads, act like an idiot (My choice and I understand it) and don't get nearly as tired as i used too. However, I've never returned to the cardio capacity I had prior. During PT test I used to run 10-12 min 1.5mi, heart block got me to 18min +. Now I'm at 14 and in pretty decent shape. More running dosen't seem to help and I've maxed out my rate a couple time which I would not suggest. Works like your car rev limiter. Anyways, hope that help. Best,

A thought

by ElectricFrank - 2008-05-08 02:05:32

Have you requested a copy of your pre and post checkups? If you have them some of us may be able to spot something that is causing your low energy.
A couple of things:
1. This may or may not be affecting you, but get rid of the term "heart block". It has an ominous sound and gives the idea that somehow your heart is blocked. Every time you see on of those ads about blocked arteries it reminds you of something terrible. The correct term is A/V block which means the connection between your atrium and ventricles is not functioning. So your atrial rate is paced naturally and follows exercise, but your ventricles do their own thing at 38-40BPM. The pacemakers job is to sense the atrial beat and use it to pace the ventricles, which if properly programmed will restore normal heart output.
2. The first thing to check on is that the Rate Response is turned off. Otherwise the pacer is conflicting with your own natural pacer.
3. The second thing to check on is that your upper and lower limits are set wide enough for you. The cardiologists tend to be very conservative with these which are not what a person who works out needs. I have mine set at 55 lower and 150 upper. I am 78 and in good shape so these are great for me.

I have A/V block the same as you. I had quite a battle with the cardiologist over increasing my upper limit that much. Actually at my age I rarely exercise to that level, but 140 isn't unusual when I hike at high altitudes. I just want some head room. The last thing I need when I push it a bit hard is to have the pacer cause me to skip beats to keep the rate down.

The fact that you were running the treadmill at a HR of 40BPM is an indicator that you are in excellent shape. Many folks get light headed at that rate. My HR got down to 26 the night before the implant and I still could stand without passing out. The medical types just don't see very many of us.

One last thought. Ask for an appointment with the Medtronics rep. They are much more knowledgeable than the cardiologists when it comes to pacers. Feel free to take my post with you. They are open to trying things.


me too

by janaz - 2008-05-10 12:05:06

I haven't been here in a while. I too am listless, no energy and tire at the least bit of work then don't sleep well at night. my doctor is never involved when the tech does his thing, so i never get feedback because rep says talk to dr. i only see him once a year. is all this normal? my heart rate is running in the low 80's, much higher than it was prepacer, before in the 60's. Are they setting the rate? I have COPD and use oxygen so I expect that to slow me down but I am totally sedentary now and it's no life. Ideas?

You know you're wired when...

You trust technology more than your heart.

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My pacemaker was installed in 1998 and I have not felt better. The mental part is the toughest.