I would like to talk to some of the 'younger' pacemaker people - especially if you have congenital heart problems. I've been having some annoying issues.

Hello!

I am a 38 year old male. I was born with a 3rd degree heart block, discovered when I was 14 - thus I was bradycardic.

My cardiologists waited until I was 28 to implant my pacer. I never had any identifyable symptoms prior to this. It was put in , as an 'insurance policy'.

Three years ago, it was noted on my echo that my ejection fraction was a little low (45-50%). I am not sure if this is new, or old. Until I started a family about 8 years ago, I sadly paid little attention to keeping up with my health.

Recently, during an illness I became a little short of breath, but my vitals looked good - standard oxygen saturation, standard pulse, clear ekg, clear chest xray. I also tested positive for both FLU-A and Strep, so it wasn't out of line.

I recovered from that, but then began getting dizzy spells. Only slightly dizzy, and again, I took vitals at home and things looked fine, 100% of the time. I went in, and they said my eardrums looked swollen, and it appeared I had severe allergies or a sinus infection. The prescribed flonase seemed to help - but not totally.

Since then, I get brief bouts of tiny, tiny bits of what might be shortness of breath, and still very occasional dizzy periods.

I have a cardiology appointment in two weeks, but I wanted to see if I was being insane, as I recently feel like having the pacemaker makes me a huge hypochondriac with any symptom - especially since I've never really had anything like this before.

I am healthy now, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do any illicit drugs - and I'm a recent grad RN. But before I got married at age 31, I didn't take care of myself. I drank fairly heavily from age 24 to age probably 33, and smoked from age 19 to like age 28-29 (and then vaped from age 33 to age 36).

I run on an elliptical 20 min a day, and try and lift moderately 3 times a week.

Today, I did that workout, and during the workout I felt great. But afterwards, I felt a little poor and had an elevated pulse of 110-120 for an hour or so after before it calmed down.

I feel like I nitpick my vitals and freak out about my condition too much, or too little. Even as a new RN, I feel like I don't have any real specialized knowledge, and I don't feel very chill about my condition recently.

 

Anyone have some experiences they want to share? I feel like as the 'young guy' with the pacer, that the cardiologists have often paid me little mind, as they deal with patients who are much worse off. But I am now highly motivated to live at least another 20 years, so I can be there for my kids (ages 2 and 6).

 

Thanks for any input or stories.

 


3 Comments

Don't know if I qualify as young...

by Topdog - 2019-06-12 22:05:18

Like you, I had a congenital heart block.  I received my pacemaker just after my 40th birthday (2 years ago).  I am in the process of switching (upgrading) to a new cardiologist and had an Echo done.  This shows my EF is 25-30.  Not exactly the news I expected.  I have an appointment next Monday and needless to say, my anxiety is through the roof.  I feel okay, but could be better.  Since my PM, I have not felt the way I thought I would, but I can easily walk 2 miles without much stress.  

I think you are correct; many of us probably over-analyze things.  My GP told me the Echo is not super accurate for capturing EF, but I can't help but worry.  Hopefully you and I both get some answers.  

I feel you

by Zackalope - 2019-06-12 22:13:19

Thanks for your comment. I am wondering if I need to find someone else too. I feel like I'm being swept under the rug. But I'm glad I'm not the only one. Thanks.

Update

by Chaz - 2019-11-18 06:20:47

Zackalope I have a new PM and was wondering if you have an update on your situation. I finally broke down and got the PM and have experienced episodes of shortness of breath. Even wheezing. When I went in for an adjustment if mentioned it to the pm tech and she was so informative. She did some adjustments which has a made a huge difference. But she wanted me to get in with cardiologist and come back in 4 weeks to adjust again. I am 47 and was told when I was 23 I would need a PM. I waited as long as I could before I finally did it. I guess I now have a lot of learning. 

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I'm 35 and got my pacemaker a little over a year ago. It definitely is not a burden to me. In fact, I have more energy (which my husband enjoys), can do more things with my kids and have weight because of having the energy.