New pacemaker/AICD feeling hard strange beats

My husband (37y hx PTSD- fmr Military, RBBB, new HF disgnosis NICM of unknown origin- still having tests done) had a StJude PM/dual chamber ICD placed Monday for periods of low HR(low 30’s) and heart failure (36%RV 49%LV). He’s been having what feels like small shocks that he can feel that matches his HR and occasionally “hard beats that make me feel like I am going to pass out”. Has anyone experienced either of these and if so, what was it? Was there a fix for it? I’ve worked Surgical CVICU as a RN but I don’t have a lot of experience with new devices in otherwise healthy people. We appreciate any input. 


Early days

by Gotrhythm - 2019-02-10 16:37:31

The "shocks and hard beats" are definitely something to discuss with his doctor, but do be aware that it can take awhile for the heart to get used to being paced. In a couple of weeks, the voltage will be turned down and that can make a difference in what a person feels.

Also, you need to remember that every heart is different. Right now the pacemaker is working on the "out of the box" settings--kind of a one size fits all to get things started. But a pacemaker's settings that can be tuned to your husband's needs. It isn't uncommon for the pacemaker to need ajustments and it can take several tries to find the optimal settings. It's worthwhile to go back and keep going back until it's right.

Hearth rhythm problems are different from what we think of as "heart disease." It can be shocking when they occur in otherwise healthy people. Ususally the 'cause' is unknown. But with the help of a pacemaker, a healthy, normal, long life is completely possible.

You know you're wired when...

You have a $50,000 chest.

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My eight year old son had a pacemaker since he was 6 months old. He does very well, plays soccer, baseball, and rides his bike. I am so glad he is not ashamed of his pacemaker. He will proudly show his "battery" to anyone.