What to expect.


As I posted earlier, I received my PM Apr 30, 2007. This all happened too fast! I don't know what is next. Did I get the right PM? What do I expect for the "interogation?" What questions should I ask? I want to be informed, but not overwhelmed.


PM check

by ela-girl - 2007-05-06 01:05:16

Hi, SuperBionic.

I've been off line for a few days, so I haven't kept up on all the situations going on here--but I did want to post to you. If I ask you some questions here it's because I haven't checked your other posts where you might have already shared some info.

What kind of pacer do you have? Why did you get it? I had my pm put i via emergency surgery in October. Talk about a total shock and things happening so fast. I can really relate to that feeling. You are just going to have to trust that your doctor did right by you and used his experience and knowledge to fit you with the right pm for your situation. Pacing does work and you are going to have to trust it. It gets easier with time. Sure you need to be informed and you know your body best, but with time it all gets better.

As far as your first interrogation, you will probably meet with the pm rep then see the doctor afterwards. They have you sit in a chair and put something that looks just like a computer mouse (just a smidge bigger, though) over your pm spot. This is how they read the info. from your pm and make adjustments. It doesn't hurt at all. However, when they force you to pace to check things/make adjustments, you may be able to feel it. If you do, it will probably feel like a strong heartbeat.

Ask all the questions you want. When I went for my first check, I asked for a printout I could take home and have for my files. I then asked the rep to go over it all with me because I wanted to know about the machine inside me helping to keep me alive! I have a great rep, so that helps. I asked about everything--abbreviations, voltage, everything.

Feel free to message me if you need to. I hope some of this info. helps.

Happy pacing!

PM check - what to expect

by Vai - 2007-05-06 11:05:27

For your first post-PM implant check, just remember to focus on yourself rather than the PM. You're the patient and the priority. Don't worry too much about understanding the PM.
Be very descriptive of what you feel, the differences before and after the PM, any episodes of discomfort, any pain, dizziness, light-headedness, cough etc. Log each episode as clearly as possible.
If you are prescribed medication, ensure you're taking them as prescribed and recording any (side) effects and improvements on your condition, etc
Check your heart rate, blood pressure daily, same time every day if necessary especially if you have any discomfort.
During the interrogation, it is helpful if your record can be used to correlate or match to the PM readings to provide some traceability of how you feel to the performance of the PM.
It will take you a while to learn about the settings and stuff about the PM. Take your time to do this. For now focus on yourself and the fact that the PM is supposed to make you feel better whether you understand how it works or not.
Best of luck.


by SMITTY - 2007-05-06 12:05:56

Hello SB,

I went back and read your first post. I have been visiting friends on another planet for several days and have missed a few things. Anyway I’ll start my comments with a thought about the past message. Before doing that, please understand that I am aware that I don’t know you or know enough about you to draw any conclusions. At best my comments are guesses.

Regarding all that new energy you seem to have acquired with the PM, I have to wonder if that was a euphoric reaction to one of your medications or if it might be just one big adrenalin rush. Either way, I’m glad it happened to you, but I hope it continues forever. Try just considering yourself a clone of the Energizer Bunny

Now, before I comment on your second message with the questions about the first interrogation, I want to point out that what I say will, in some cases disagree, or contradict what Ela-Girl has said. Please understand that is not my intent. Ela-Girl’s comments are apparently based on her experience and may well be absolutely correct. My comments will be based on my experience and it will show that not all of us get the same treatment or that we think it necessary to have the same information about our pacemaker.

On your question “Did I get the right PM?” I don’t think there can be any doubt that you got the right PM. Anyone that feels as good as you do must have gotten the perfect match in every way. As I have said before, I don’t think there are really any right or wrong pacemakers for each of us. All pacemakers achieve the same results and one may do it differently from another, but I think of pacemaker results the same as I do my golf score, it ain’t how it is what. Also, I want a pacemaker with which that my doctor is familiar. Right now we have at least four brands of PMs that I know of and I’m sure there are many others, and few doctors can know the intricacies of them all. A doctor usually settles on one or two brands and one of those is the one I would want.

I see Ela-Girl says she gets her checkups done by a manufacturer’s rep and then sees her doctor. I’ve had my PM for seven years and I have seen the doctor three times. The first time was when he did the implant and twice more when I was having problems and I had to make a request in writing in for an audience. Regular checkups are performed by nurse/technicians (there are five at this clinic) employed by the clinic. I did see a rep once, but it was for his training and he had the nurse with him. According to my records all of my checkup reports are reviewed by an EP. A couple of cliches cover what I’m saying here and that it is different strokes for different folks or what you see is what you get.

As for the questions you should ask, I agree, get a copy of the printout, but get it for future reference. Unless you plan to become a pacemaker technician, I say don’t clutter your mind trying to get an explanation of each entry on that report. I get copies of mine and I just counted, there are about 80 entries on that report divided into 14 categories. Most of the entries I understand, but I’m not interested in them unless they change and since my printout shows which have been changed it makes it easy for me to follow.

To wrap this us, your heart’s electrical system has a manmade helper. A helper that only knows to do what it is programmed to do and will perform that function day in and day out, without fail. Now, go enjoy your new grip on life.


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