How to be less emotional and move on?

Hi, I'm desperate to move on with life. But I cannot stop hating the fact that I have the pacemaker at 20s. I mean I had my heart rate at 30 but I ended up implanting the pacemaker because of some other surgery- got cysts in my ovaries. Life surprised me a lot. Like coping up and being less depressed became harder than ever. I really need your advice on how to move on. Please if there's anyone willing to share positive vibes, would love to hear them. 

Ps- doctors assumed I need a pacemaker because I fainted when small but that's because I didn't have much food on table and I was stressed out because of fighting parents. So I feel like having a pacemaker for those issues, is wrong to do... I even feel like removing this from me.. IM NOT TRYING TO DISAPPOINT ANYONE, SORRY I AM JUST UPSET... no offence..


6 Comments

How to move on ?

by Gemita - 2021-07-13 08:29:37

I am unclear from both your messages why you have a pacemaker and it seems you are too Avishi and I think that is the problem and the reason why you find it difficult to move on.  Have you thought about seeing another doctor for a second opinion on your condition if this is possible where you live?  A one off faint during childhood wouldn’t perhaps be a reason for a pacemaker by itself, but perhaps the reason for your pacemaker has not been fully explained to you and you have more going on than your doctors have told you about.

If you can help us to understand why you have a pacemaker, there are many good folks here who can help you through a difficult period.   Sometimes we don’t always get all the answers but at the time of your implant and with a heart rate of 30 bpm, I am assuming your doctors based your need for a pacemaker on your condition at that time and any other investigations confirming your need for a pacemaker?   

Removing your pacemaker is not the easy answer.  You need to talk through your feelings, to understand why you have a pacemaker, what it can and cannot do for you, how it can protect you from harm, how you can live a normal, happy life with it.

I had my doubts about my pacemaker in 2018 but I can see the benefits of my pacemaker now and the improved quality of life I have.  I can do all the things I did before my pacemaker, but with more energy, knowing that my heart is steadier.  I sleep better, I move better, I get less tired, less breathless, less cold.  I have forgotten I have a pacemaker which is the ultimate test that I have accepted it.  It is a part of me now.  I wish you well Avishi.  What is it that most troubles you about having a pacemaker?

moving on

by Tracey_E - 2021-07-13 10:47:33

Stress and not eating will absolutely not cause your heart rate to drop to 30. It's impossible. If nothing else, trust that you needed the pacer.  It's actually fairly common to diagnose heart problems when getting clearance for surgery, a low heart rate is a danger during anesthesia and something they screen for. When your rate is that low, you can pass out. Your heart can stop and not start up again. It won't fix itself, it won't get better with time. Actually, high probability is it will get worse with time and you'd be in more danger. No meds will fix it. Pacing is the only fix. I know it seems sudden and possibly like a rash decision, but a heart rate of 30 is dangerous. 

I got my first one at 27 so I get where you are coming from. It's hard to accept that our hearts need some help, and will for the rest of our lives. But please believe me when I tell you it will get better. I rarely give mine a thought now. I'm on #5 and have been paced since 1994.  I have two kids, both born after I was paced. I am healthy and active. I went for a run before my Crossfit class this morning. No one looks at me and sees a heart patient. 

A few things helped me get over the mental hurdles. First was learning all I could about my condition and my condition. The unknown is scary. I can accept what I can understand. 

Next was getting active again. Even if it's just taking a small walk, go get outside and move. The more I got back to normal, the more I was active and felt good, the easier it was to trust it, to eventually forget about it and move on. 

That said, there is a difference between a bit of the blues/struggling to accept and depression. Depression is a medical condition that needs help. If this is keeping you from finding joy in life, if daily things are a struggle, if you are tired all the time or cry a lot, then it might be time to talk to someone or maybe even short term consider medication. Even talking to someone once or twice may help. 

It will get better. If you'd ever like to chat with someone who's been around this block a few times, I'm always around. 

How to be less emotional about your pacemaker

by Selwyn - 2021-07-13 11:26:16

Hi Avishi,

What Gemita says is sound advice, namely that knowing why your pacemaker is there to save your life is to see it in a positive light and to offer some reassurance that you are not going to drop down dead at any moment.  You have only to have watched the Danish footballer collapse on the field at the recent European Champanionship match to understand that younger people, however fit, can have life threatening heart problems.

( https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/13/football/christian-eriksen-stable-spt-intl/index.html).

The are good medical reasons for taking the serious step of fitting a pacemaker FIND OUT what they were in your case. You will then see your pacemaker as YOUR GUARDIAN. 

Be REASSURED that most people with pacemakers live normal lives and have a normal expectancy. There are very few restrictions in life due to having a pacemaker.  Have you found anything significant that it stops you from doing? It won't stop you from parachuting, surfing, jogging etc.  What a lovely country you live in. We completed some great walks in Sri Lanka, not to mention the swimming. 

As a person, there is more to you, is there not, than a modern guardian device? A little gadget.  What YOU give to other people and society is the most important thing. What you put into life is what you get out.  There are no perfect people in reality ( even the ones that are photoshot or have plastic surgery and collagen fillers).  We accept each other for what we are, for the good that comes. 

I have talked to many people that have had colostomies/ileostomies ( where the bowel is brought out surgically to empty at the abdomen, rather your back-side). Most of these people give their ostomy a 'nick name', and treat it as a friend. Maybe, giving your pacemaker a friendly name would help? You can then say to it whatever is on your mind and how you feel.

 Certainly, having someone to talk to ( whether it be at this club site) or around you, is helpful. Talking helps to get feelings from bouncing round inside your head and once you hear what you say, you can then take a step back and evaluate what is said. Really?

There is nothing like EXERCISE  for dealing with nervous tension and improving depressed thoughts. Exercise releases endorphins, the chemicals we all love as they make us feel better.

Lastly,  look towards the future and PLAN  for what you know will be a great time.  To have something to look forward to is important. Involve other people to help you out. For example, I can plan to go cycling with friends this weekend and if I am not feeling like it, tough, my friends will come round anyway on their bikes to drag me out! A deal is a deal.

Anyway, just some ideas about how to move on. Thoughts and words have to translate into actions, by YOU.

Getting on with your life

by Gotrhythm - 2021-07-13 15:59:49

I know some of how you feel. I resisted getting a pacemaker for a month, and even after I gave in I still hated it. Hated the whole idea of having a machine in my chest. It gave me the creeps. Yes, even though I felt better.

Finally, I realized as you have, that I had to come to terms with it and move on. It sounds silly but I gave the pacemaker a name. I called it "mon coeur." French words. The literal translation is "my heart" but the looser meaning is "heart of my heart." An endearment.

A number of us here at Pacemaker Club have named our devices. One member included her family in the naming and offered a prize for the best name. Oddly enough, a name helps.

Do find out what your diagnosis is, so that you can know exactly why you have a pacemaker. The more you understand your condition, the better decisions you will make and the less you will feel like your heart condition and the pacemaker were something that was done to you, against your will. You will feel more powerful and more hopeful of a bright future.

Emotional

by AgentX86 - 2021-07-13 18:31:25

Being upset is natural (five stages and all that).  Your job is to wrap your head around the idea that your pacemaker is your best friend.  Even if you wouldn't die without it, a normal life would be impossible.  That little box has given you your life back, probably both longer and far more fulfilling.

If you need help through the stages of grief, please get professional help.  Psychologists are very good at grief management these days.  It takes more work for some than others but remember, your new buddy really is your best friend in this world.

Not a bad thing

by TLee - 2021-07-13 22:55:27

I had a lot of emotion around getting my pacemaker 6 mos ago. The first week I was angry because I was in pain--I felt I had been mis-led when the procedure had been described as minor (it didn't feel minor to me!). Then I wrestled with the concept of having this thing in my body, doing I wasn't sure what. I questioned why it had been necessary--I was certain that a procedure done previously caused some damage (even if that is the case, does it really matter now?). I was also very disappointed that I didn't feel better immediately--in fact I felt worse for a time, which was pretty hard to take.

Overall, I just did not have a lot of patience, which is one of the most important things to have in this situation. I am healing, and feeling better as time goes on. There are still things that could improve and hopefully they will. I have renewed trust in my care team & now see that each step they took was meant to help me, even though some things worked better than others. At the end of last year I was barely functioning. I spent Christmas morning fighting to stay conscious instead of enjoying a visit with my family. It amazes me what I can accomplish now. I hear many people say that eventually you forget you even have a pacemaker & just get on with life. I'm not there yet, but I can say that I'm not sorry I have it. 

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Member Quotes

A properly implanted and adjusted pacemaker will not even be noticeable after you get over the surgery.