Hi am a Newbie as only had my PM 1 week. Advised due to SS Sydrome .        
After I 'crashed' on a short training run 1 month ago. Also as well as pausing 3 seconds at 40 bpm they identified  fibrillation at the top end.   Cardiologist strongly recommended I start taking Blood Thinning drugs.  As I am not on any drugs I am hoping there might be other more 'natural methods' which might be an alternative to drugs .  Only found this great site prior to surgery.

I would be please to hear views and advice , Thanks 🙏

I would be pleased to here from anyone about Post Op recovery .

I am due to have stitches removed tomorrow or Friday.
Surprised that those type sutures are still used ?  As a previous runner I am obviously hoping that I can eventually return to some training.

Also it would be good to hear from any PM recipients in UK.                    Many thanks for your comments crustyg & Gemita .

Having run numerous Marothons over the last 40 yrs, many sub 3 hrs I never imagined a problem with my heart. My last 2 being 2014. Training then interrupted in 2015 Kidney donor & 2019 Radical Cancer surgery.   
I was on holiday Autumn 2020 and got locked down due to Covid regs and return flights cancelled.                   I had resumed some training here though just 5k until last month on training run I collapsed.          Following the SSS diagnosis I received PM surgery a week ago. I was routinely put on a course of antibiotics. The Cardiologist also prescribed Apixaban 5 mg. I have purchased an (expensive) 1 months supply but was reluctant to start then until I had more information.                                                              Also medical communication here is difficult and my Greek is not great.       So your feedback is greatly appreciated, thanks crustyg and Gemity.





Lots to learn!

by crustyg - 2021-05-05 11:46:18

You will be able to get back to an athletic lifestyle, but it might take a little time.  Letting your leads bed into the heart and become well anchored is the first step.  Then getting your PM tuned for Rate Response (you have SSS so almost certainly Chronotropic Incompetence - CI - as well).

Oral anti-coagulants: your EP-doc's advice is based on your CHA2-DS2 score for your risk of a stroke with AFib.  The evidence supporting the benefits of modern (i.e. *not* warfarin-type) anticoagulants in reducing stroke whilst avoiding major bleeds (and, of course haemorrhagic stroke) is clear.  For most folk, the issue is 'can I afford them', rather than 'do I want to take them.'  There are no natural 'remedies' that can deliver this benefit ratio.

Skin sutures - it's very much personal preference for the operator.  As long as (s)he didn't use black silk, pretty much anything will do that holds the skin edges, and deeper tissues, together while your body heals itself.  Folk here have had Steri-strips (OK for *some* but poor IMHO), sub-cuticular absorbable, interrupted non-absorbable etc.

Plenty of PM recipients - active or otherwise - in the UK.

Welcome aboard: you'll be over this quite quickly.


by Gemita - 2021-05-05 11:51:50

Hello Andante,

Welcome.  There are lots of us here with Sick Sinus Syndrome (SSS), me included.  Your problems leading up to needing a pacemaker sound very familiar.  

I have had my dual chamber pacemaker since May 2018 after experiencing several episodes of syncope while travelling on the London Underground.  These episodes were later confirmed to have been primarily caused by my arrhythmias, in particular, atrial fibrillation (AF) which caused pausing and slowing of my heart rate to very low levels, particularly when I went back into normal sinus rhythm from an episode of AF.  It also caused a rapid heart rate when I first went into the arrhythmia.  Because of my age and being female, I am at risk of an AF related stroke, so I have been on anticoagulation (Edoxaban 30 mg) once daily. 

I am afraid there is no effective natural substitute for an anticoagulant.  There are many food sources that are often recommended as natural sources (including Turmeric and garlic) but for an arrhythmia like AF, only an anticoagulant can protect us.  One of the best, possibly safest anticoagulants of the newer NOACs (novel oral anticoagulants) currently available is Apixaban.  It has a good safety record particularly with patients who are prone to gastric bleeds.  It is however twice daily dosing.  I was able to switch to Edoxaban low dose 30 mg, once daily dosing which suits me better. 

Depending on your age and risk factors for an AF related stroke, and I see you were born in 1946, I would imagine you would be a candidate for anticoagulation since it only takes a very brief run of AF to put us at considerable risk.  Yes AF can be very variable, bouncing from one extreme heart rate (low) to the other (high) in seconds which is why it can really “floor” us at times.

Your Bio history tells me that you are on antibiotics.  Does this mean you have a wound infection or an infection elsewhere Andante as a result of your implant procedure?  Sometimes an implant procedure can cause difficulties, requiring antibiotics but hopefully the condition being treated will soon be under control?

Post op recovery will be different for each one of us depending on the number of leads implanted, whether the procedure went well, the condition being treated, our age and other health conditions.  Some of us have minimum discomfort, others have considerable discomfort following our implant.  The first six weeks can be difficult as we try to protect the pacemaker wound and leads and to try to keep the pacemaker side arm from reaching up above our shoulder.  However movement of that arm should still gently continue to prevent shoulder problems from becoming chronic from lack of use.  You sound as though you had proper stitches?  Sometimes if the wound is large, or there is risk that the wound could open, they need to put proper stitches in.  Both hubby and I had stitches which needed removing, even though they were supposed to be dissolvable.

You will be able to return to some training soon and you will be able to lead a full, safe, enjoyable life again.  My pacemaker has made such a difference to my quality of life and I hope you will have a similar experience once you are healed.

I live in the UK not far from London.

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