Lead Punctured My Left Ventricle
Hi, this is my brand new entrance into the Pacemaker Club! I just turned 60 on March 5. I received a Medtronic pacemaker on March 24. Less than 48 hours later I began to have sharp stabbing chest pains. The pains were not related to the suture site or the skin around the pacemaker. I called my cardiologist's office and they said it was related to post-surgery discomfort. For the next week they would come and go. My cardiologist scheduled an appointment & he said all was well. He ordered a chest-ray and that was normal. After 6 days his office called to say that my pacemaker transmissions were "off" & to come in. I did & they determined that one of the leads was bad. They said someone would get in touch with me soon about having an additional surgery. Unfortunately, the next morning I felt like something was pushing down on my chest and then occasionally stabbing me. My daughter took me to the ER. Another normal chest x-ray. The attending ER ordered a CT scan with contrast after that ... turns out the bad lead had punctured a hole in my left ventricle. The sac around my heart was full of blood. And the pacemaker was shocking me rather than doing it's normal "pacemaker" job. They did emergency open-heart surgery to repair everything. Wow! They said it happens rarely, like a once in twenty years event. My daughter saved my life. The attending ER ordered the right test and saved my life. The cardio-thoracic surgeon saved my life. It has been a month now since the open-heart surgery and I am filled with gratitude. The pain that happened with the bad lead from my pacemaker was the worst. Recovering from open-heart surgery was rough but it meant that I was still alive.
You know you're wired when...
You always have something close to your heart.
I have a well tuned pacer. I hardly know I have it. I am 76 year old, hike and camp alone in the desert. I have more energy than I have had in a long time. The only problem is my wife wants to have a knob installed so she can turn the pacer down.