Hello, New to PM

I got my medtronic dual chamber PM on 12/7/18 due to sick sinus syndrome.  I just turned a young 66, and have been a type 1 diabetic for the past 54 years.  Fortunately I am now retired.  I used to exercise regularly by walking 6 miles 4-5 days/wk.  The symptoms came on slowly, and were compounded in getting a diagnosis because of another issue that affected my diaphragm.  But once I got referred to an EP doc the diagnosis was simple. I really need to get back to exercising regularly.

My advocation is photography (digital and 4x5 film), and I haul around my camera gear in a pack weighing 30-40lbs.  I was worried that the backpack straps would rub on the PM, so I had my wife take a picture with my cell phone to show the surgeon.  He confirmed that could be an issue, and he would place the PM more toward the sternum than usual.  However, he was not able to place the ventricle lead due to the sharp angle of insertion.

Has anyone had this issue?  Do you really need the ventricle lead if you have SSS?  If AV block develops he said he would worry about it later.




Brothers under the skin

by Theknotguy - 2018-12-10 22:35:04

Mike:  We are so alike it's almost frightening.  I woke up in the hospital being diabetic.  It had been going on for years and no one caught it.  Also woke up with a  Medtronic pacemaker.  I do a lot of hiking.  That's where I collapsed before I got the pacemaker.  And I do photography.  But why you want to torture yourself  with film I'm not sure.

Ok, so what you have to do is to get back into the walking/hiking.  I started out at 100 feet and worked up from there.  The dogs and I do five miles per day.  Maybe I'm not fast, but I figure if I'm still wearing out the dogs I'm doing OK.  Start out slow at first and start walking more as you get stronger.  

I forget how long it was before I put on a day pack.  First couple of times I had a little soreness around the pacemaker pocket.  As the pocket stretched out and the muscles got used to the exercise I could wear the backpack all day.  Light loads at first, then worked up to heavier loads as everything hardened up.  Had to go to Louisville, Ky.  Spent the whole weekend carrying a backpack with a Nikon D3100 with three lenses.  Plenty heavy but it didn't bother my pacemaker.  The  doctor didn't do anything special about the pacemaker implant and I get along fine with several kinds of day packs for carrying the camera and equipment.   Just saw a new style of camera pack that comes with the backpack strap - and Christmas is coming soon.  

Another thing about starting out with the backpack is to start out with it empty.  Then add water bottles as you get stronger.  If you find you've added too much weight you can just dump the water and get back to a lighter pack.  As you get better you can start to add cameras and equipment.  

I can't address the SSS and the AV block.  But I do know that as you get better you can go back to the hiking and doing photography work.  

I hope things go well for you and you get back to your hiking and photography soon.  

Camera Nerds

by Mike417 - 2018-12-11 14:02:05

Thanks for your input.  I was diagnosed with T1D when I was 12 yrs old, back when you boiled syringes to sterilize them.  Frankly, I find using film one tool in the box.  It is very relaxing photographing with film and working in the darkroom.  I only recently switched to digital, an a7rII with 5 lenses. Checkj out my web site: www.mprosenberg.com

Even with needing a PM for over a year I kept exercising and carrying my photopack.  I just found that I could go less and less distance over time.  I should not have too much trouble getting back into exercise, and a fitbit helps to keep track.With the PM off to the side I am sure I will not have any interference with the straps. I just have to be patient and heal before restarting exercise!



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