The struggle is real...

 OK this may sound really odd but I was curious to know if there’s anyone out there like me. I got my pacemaker December 16, 2016, making it now more than two years ago. I do not have any issues, and completely healthy and for the most part I forget  I even have it    But then there are times when I am very aware of it!   I am a very queasy person who has a very weak stomach.  I have a very difficult time touching it and honestly it creeps me out!   I purposely try to avoid touching it or the area with my own hands.  I struggle with thinking about even having this thing inside me...knowing that it is connected to wires that are embedded inside of my heart...my most vital organ. I find that it makes me sad and anxious every so often.  I try to just stay in my mode where I pretend it’s not there, I purposely don’t think about it and do whatever I have to do to distract myself when it does make itself known, either physically or mentally.

 

Is it just me, anyone else have any experience with this type of thing?


6 Comments

The Struggle is Real

by Gumption - 2019-04-24 05:12:38

Hi Nightskye.

Your uneasiness does not seem at all odd. We do have a "foreign object" implanted and I'd guess that many of us here on this site have had times of feeling sad and anxious.

I am sorry you experience this, but It's not abnormal at all. And think how pleased your ticker is to have a supportive pal!

 With that in mind, at a time when I was feeling as you do, I renamed it my "peace maker." That helped ease my angst. It brings peace.

Each of us differs in how we handle our physical space, but it helped me to have a good friend, who is also unflappable, to lay HER hand gently over the pacemaker, through my shirt. It helped normalize it for me.

To her it felt like no big deal. 

It's great that you have no issues and are healthy. Getting creeped out on occasion is just being human. People all around us are walking about with all sorts of implants. Try giving your PM an occasional gentle pat.

 

 

The struggle is real...

by nightskye65 - 2019-04-24 12:44:46

Hey Gumption:

Love the name, reminds me of lines and characters from one of my favorite movies...The Holiday!  

Thanks for taking the time to respond, appreciate the reassurance and helpful hints.  I think it is awesome that your renamed and reframed yours to “peacemaker”.  Sometimes to try to keep things light or distract myself with humor when people ask about it or want to see...I will respond with “say hello to my title friend”.

i will try your suggestions and see. If I can’t get past my occasional aniexty and queasiness about my PM!

Have a wonderful day!

Acknowledge it!!

by Grateful Heart - 2019-04-24 13:23:15

If you can change your mindset it would be very helpful to you.  Many people did not have the benefit of these devices until it was too late.  Like a hip or knee replacement, it is part of your body now and helping you to function better.  Don't fight it....embrace it.

Try not to overthink or dwell on it.  Over time, most people need some sort of help with their bodies....whether it be eyeglasses, a hearing aid or an internal foreign body.

You can get there....change your mindset.

Grateful Heart

There is a way

by Gotrhythm - 2019-04-24 16:24:49

I always thought the 'Borg, on Star Trek the Next Generation was the scariest monster ever created by science fiction. Remember what the 'Borg would say as it captured people and turned them into part-machines? "Resistence is futile"

I resisted getting a pacemaker with everything I had, and after it was implanted I still was creeped out by the thought of a foreign thing in my body that was running my heart.

After a while, I realized that attitude was never going to make me happy--naver going to make my life easier--never going to make me richer--never going to improve my life in any way. Above all, it would never make the pacemaker go away.

And, if I was honest, I felt so much better I didn't want the pacemaker to go away.

The answer, of course, was to do the thing I did not want to do, namely accept it. Embrace it. Call it my own. But if I felt like I could accept it, I wouldn't have the problem, right?

I compromised with a baby step. I gave my pacemaker a name. I chose Mon Coeur, a French endearment. Loosly translated, "heart of my heart."

With a name it was no longer a soulless machine, a thing. I could begin to think of it as a friend, doing for my heart what it couldn't do for itself.

Others of the Pacemaker Club have used the same strategy and found it helps them over the hump of acceptance.

You might want to give it a try.

Struggle

by Theknotguy - 2019-04-24 17:46:46

nightskye65:
 
Your feelings are normal.  So you shouldn't feel you are out of line.  

The Ohio State University's psychology department started working with people back in the late 60's.  Idea then was to help people overcome their fear of snakes and spiders.  Within a few years they had several procedures they could use to help people overcome their fear.  We were able to talk with one young lady in my class that had a deathly fear of snakes.  It was a big difference.  But this was when the program just got started.  

There are some states that have medical laws on the books to help people when they wish to work with a psychologist or psychiatrist.  So you may be able to go back with your medical insurance and see what they can offer.  I think that some of the EP offices and hospitals offer some help along that line too.  Idea is to help you with your feelings.  Suggestions by other pacemaker people are good too, but sometimes a person who has had psychological training is better.  

I was very fortunate because I had worked with computers for a long time so having a pacemaker didn't really bother me.  But not everyone can be as  fortunate.  I also volunteer in a hospital.  And, if it's any consolation, I still am bothered to watch a nurse take out an IV line.  

I hope you can get some help.  I personally feel that your mental attitude can affect your health too.  So the better you feel about your pacemaker the better it will be for you.  
 

Struggle

by nightskye65 - 2019-04-25 11:49:06

Thank you all for your feedback and insight, will put it to good use.  Having support and sharing with others in similar situations alone helps a great deal!

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Yesterday I moved to a new place in my mind and realized how bad I felt 'before' and the difference my pacemaker has made.