New pacemaker patient feeling very anxious
I'm 28, and I am 2 1/2 months out from getting my dual chamber pacemaker. It was a very traumatic experience- I discovered I have sick sinus syndrome by flatlining in my home in front of my husband (poor man, he still checks that I'm breathing at night). I was gone for 29 seconds. I received my pacemaker five days later. The five days in between what happened and my surgery were the most paralyzing days of my life. I was convinced it was going to happen again at any moment, even though my cardiologist said he didn't think it would. I felt such relief after my surgery. I could breathe! A huge sigh of relief. I am not 100% dependent, but I do notice it pacing multiple times per week (they turned it down so the pace isn't so intense).
I am having a hard time coping with my newfound anxieties surrounding my heart condition. I was a chronic illness patient before this, I have MS, but having a cardiac issue is a whole new type of scary that I haven't before experienced. I had never seen a cardiologist before this happened- ever. How do you manage the fear that your leads will come out, or the battery will die before your replacement? Does anyone else feel anxious if you don't "feel" it pacing now and then? When I don't feel it for a few days I can almost convince myself it's stopped working- even though I know that's not really possible. I know I'm only a couple months in and that it will get easier, but I have been more anxious the past few months than any other time. It all happened so quickly and I feel like I haven't had any time to process it- especially since I had almost no time to prepare for this life change. It's also hard to accept that I have to have this device in me for the rest of my life- it still feels like an invasion, even though it's also offered me extreme comfort. The conflicting emotions are hard to reconcile.
Anyways, my wonderful husband found this site and suggested I give it a go. I've been reading your posts for a day or two, and finally gathered the nerve to post myself. Any suggestions or advice are so greatly appreciated. I'm grateful to know I'm not alone.