anxiety post AV ablation and pacemaker insertion 6/20

Hello Folks, I am new to this sight and grateful to have found it. I'm 100% paced and have had an AV ablaton as well. I am 100% dependent on the pacemaker. The pacemaker was put in on the 20th of June. Since then I still feel the palpitations (from persistent afib) but not as bad. An SA node ablation was not possible due to my mitral valve repair in 2003. I understood from my heart surgeon that the afib would still be there, but hopefully my palpitation would be less. My PM is set at 90-120. I have not had my first check yet and my concern is that I don't feel much better re: the annoying palpitations, and I continue to feel like I can't take a deep breath or inspiration which was one of my symptoms prior to the AV ablation and PM insertion. The other question I have is that since my AV node was ablated, IF the pacemaker were to fail there would be no electrical backup in my heart, and I would just go out. Needless to say, I am quite anxious re: this and hope I can get some hope from this group and education to help me cope. Any recommendations as to what I need to ask my doctor when I see him for the first time since the procedures would be gratefully appreciated. thanks in advance. 


5 Comments

Questions

by Theknotguy - 2019-06-23 12:36:42

The heart has a residual beat, so even though you are 100% dependent and if the pacemaker were to fail, you'd should still have enough of a heartbeat to keep alive until you could get to a hospital.  You probably won't feel very good but you'll still be alive.  

There are very few pacemaker failures so the chances of it failing to where you would need to rely on your own natural heartbeat are very slim.  At first it's really hard to accept that, but as you live with your pacemaker you'll become less and less concerned.  And by a small percentage I mean the .0001% failure type.  

I'm still in afib between 15 to 20% of the time.  I used to get an afib flutter once a day and talked with my EP about it.  He suggested I get an over-the-counter food supplement of magnesium.  I was really surprised as most doctors don't suggest over-the-counter treatments.   I used to get afib sessions where I'd have to stop what I was doing and stay in a recliner for up to two days.  It took about a year of taking the supplement but after a year my bad afib sessions had gone from once a month, to once every eight weeks, to once every three months. to never.  Occasionally I'd get a session but they'd last a couple of hours and I'd just keep doing what I was doing.  I still have the afib between the 15 to 20% of the time but the afib sessions last a few seconds to about two minutes at a time.  I don't know if the magnesium supplement will help you or anyone else but you can always ask your EP and see what they say.  

It takes a while for the heart and the pacemaker to settle in and start working with one another.  I had my pacemaker for eight weeks and, for lack of a better term, my heart decided it didn't like being ordered around by the pacemaker and went into a royal temper tantrum.  I had a really bad session of afib with RVR.  Put me in the hospital again.  After that, my heart finally settled down and started working with the pacemaker and everyone has gotten along since.  Sounds funny to anthropomorphize your heart but I don't have a better explanation than that.  You're still new to your pacemaker and it takes a while for everything to settle down.  Hang in there.  

I hope everything else goes well for you.
 

anxious about anxiety

by Violet West - 2019-06-23 13:00:39

We're supposed to avoid stress, LOL!

I get it, and, really, the emotional part of the process is almost harder than the physical.  Understand that you are grieving -- grieving for your old life/old heart-- and give yourself time. 

As for questions to ask - well, you can ask the doctor the question about the PM failing.  The answer should be, as stated above, that there's very little chance it would, but in the event, you would like just pass out.

Second, ask him/her about the palpitations you are feeling.  I don't feel mine anymore, and I'm in afib 100% of the time.

Fear of Palpitaion

by Gotrhythm - 2019-06-23 16:19:59

I have become slightly expert on the subject of palpitations. I know two, okay three, things:

1. Pacemakers can't do anything to stop palpitations.

2. Letting palpitations upset you is like thinking you can put out a kitchen fire by pouring gasoline on it. The more upset you are, the more palpitations you'll have.

3. Palpitations don't mean you're having a heart attack or that your heart is about to stop. I've had them for eight plus years [every third beat--every fourth beat] and they haven't killed me yet.

In your case, there is some good news. Palpitations are a sign your heart can beat on its own.

 

Violet west

by bionic cookie - 2019-06-28 10:26:47

thank u for your comment on palpations..and about grieving your old ways after getting a pacemaker..i am 2 weeks out,feeling mostly better,but although thankful for technology...but feel sad/aniexty (or something)..i couldnt "quite" put finger on it..but u nailed it..thank-u..its hard to explain to family,others..bionic cookie

 

 

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