Whats it feel like when a PM is pacing?

I don't have a PM yet, I've seeen 2 EPs both suggested I should get one but neither would say it would actually make me feel better!   I'm tired all the time.   I'm wondering if people would be willing to share thier experience as far as what does it feel like when the device works?  I've searched this forum so I'm well informed about the issues re affected arm.  My resting HR has dropped from 60 to 40 in the past 6 months,and when sleeping its 30s, but I can still get a max of 152 (I'm 70).  If they pace my low to 60 will I feel better immediately?  Will I feel the shocks?


Do you feel your pacemaker working.

by Selwyn - 2019-06-28 13:00:15

No. You cannot feel when you are being paced. Almost all the time you can forget even having it present.

Tiredness may or may not improve with pacing. It depends on the cause of the tiredness. If due to a substandard resting heart rate, then it is likely to improve. Often folk do feel better immediately.  

Can't say I felt any difference, but then I am around to relate that experience when otherwise I could have been at my own funeral. 

What do you feel?

by Gotrhythm - 2019-06-28 15:07:44

I'm reading between the lines, but I think you maybe need to separate out two differentissues.

!. Bradycardia which is a heartrate less than 60 bpm.

2. Chronotropic incompetence--that's when your heart rate doesn't increase with exercise.

Many people who need pacemakers have both problems, but as you have discoverd, not everyone does. The fact that your heartrate does increase with exercise, doesn't take away the problem of your heartrate going into the 30's overnight.

Will you feel better immediately? I know I did. In my case, the only thing making me feel bad, the only thing "wrong" with me was a slow heartrate, so "fixing" that fixed everything. It was particularly delightful to wake up feeling rested, ready for the day--I had almost forgotten what that felt like. Some people don't notice any difference in how they feel.

You asked if you would feel the "shocks." If you just have a pacemaker, not a pacemaker plus defibrillator, there will be no shocks at all. A defibrillator administers shocks. A pacemaker doesn't.

Some people say they feel the pacemaker pacing, but this is very, very rare. I've never felt it and the vast majority notice no difference at all between a paced beat and a natural one. 

Thanks for the resposes

by dogtired - 2019-06-28 15:46:29

Actually quite helpful!

Gotrhythem how long did it take for you to start feeling good again?  Was it while you were still in the hospital, or more gradual like weeks or months later?  I just want to make sure my expectations are realistic.

Thanks again


It's hard to tell

by Theknotguy - 2019-06-28 16:28:28

For most people and most of the time, they feel nothing while their pacemaker works.  It's a reasonable question to ask, but most people feel nothing.  They just go on with their lives and most of the time aren't even aware they have a pacemaker.  The only reason I think about my pacemaker often is because I'm on this forum trying to help people.  Otherwise I'd go months at a time without thinking about it.

There's no way a doctor or anyone else can tell you what you'll feel until you get the pacemaker.  I'm one of those rare individuals who can feel their afib, but you don't hear of many people who can do that.  So if you have had afib sessions and were able to feel them, you might be able to feel some things caused by the pacemaker.  Of the ten other people I know with pacemakers, I'm the only one who can feel anything.  Most of the time I feel nothing and usually am not aware I have it.  So in your case, I don't feel it's a cause for worry.  

There are some rare instances I can feel things but mostly it's a change in my heart rhythm instead of feeling the pacemaker work.  I have two programs running for afib - APP and Minerva.  Both constantly monitor my heart and look for afib sessions.  Atrial Preference Pacing (APP) will raise my heart rate.  It works about 10% of the time.  When it kicks in I'll get a warm feeling because my heart rate went up.  When Minerva kicks in I'll get a stutter step feeling because it changes my heart rate and paces me out of afib.  In both cases I don't feel the pacemaker work, but I do feel the effects.  

Like I said before, you shouldn't feel anything, it shouldn't be a cause for worry, and it shouldn't be a reason for you not to get a pacemaker.  

Oh, and some people get a euphoric feeling after they get their pacemaker and feel better immediately.  I did.  Others don't feel any differently.  And in some rare cases people don't feel better.  How soon you adjust depends upon your heart problems, and in my opinion, your attitude towards having a pacemaker.  If you have a positive attitude towards getting a unit you'll probably do better.  

Don't expect to hit the ground running

by Gotrhythm - 2019-06-28 16:56:30

Feeling better isn't the same thing as back to one's old self.

I knew I was better from the moment I opened my eyes. And just in case it was relief, or good drugs, or something else, that I was feeling, a glance in the mirror told the story. My cheeks and lips were pink with healthy color like they hadn't been for a couple of years.

That said, I found out in a hurry that I wasn't back to full strength. It was several weeks before I could go more than a few hours without needing to stop for rest periods. Being so tired all the time, I had gotten badly out of condition. It took several months and going to a cardiac rehab program to return me to feeling strong and healthy, able to walk several miles with ease.

Knowing what I know now, I would have insisted on changing my settings, since neither heartrate nor rate response settings were optimal for me. I didn't feel fully like myself until my base heartrate was changed to 70.

I feel mine a lot

by MathTeacher - 2019-08-22 21:24:35

I've felt my pacemaker from almost the very first day.  My surgeon said I wouldn't feel it.  Most of the time, I don't, but at least once a day I do.  I can be sitting in class teaching, and I'll feel it working.  It only last a few seconds, but it's not a shock.  It's more like a tiny, little twitch or hickup.  I'll feel six or seven of them.  When I first got the pacemaker, it was very strong, and it would always happen when I'd get up to go to the bathroom at night.  When I'd lay back down, it would start up. That went on for quite a while.  Now I just feel it at random times.  

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But I think it will make me feel a lot better. My stamina to walk is already better, even right after surgery. They had me walk all around the floor before they would release me. I did so without being exhausted and winded the way I had been.