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I am an active 63 year old female and was in shock to discover I have heart block. Symptoms came on so suddenly; like turning on a light switch. I am only 3 days post op from receiving a pacemaker and on an emotional roller coaster. I know I have so much to learn. Discovering this site yesterday has given me a great sense of relief to learn I am not alone in my feelings. I don't have much more to say at this point except thanks for all being here. I look forward moving forward.


5 Comments

Welcome

by Farmer - 2022-02-25 15:54:37

Hi Kbob,

 

Welcome to our family,

I'm sure if I say most of us went through the same or similiar feelings everybody agrees.

I was lost when I found out I needed a PM at my age ( 52y) and I needed some time to adjust and recover, mostly emotional I think.

The best thing that ever happened was finding this comunity which understands you as not Doc can.

My EP does not get that I have insomnia or feel some strange things sometimes. They have no practical experience, but we all here do.

So feel free to ask if you have questions.

It only gets better.

Newby

by Dixie Chick 65 - 2022-02-25 16:08:46

To echo what Farmer said, most of us here have had the feeling you're now experiencing. It takes some time to wrap your head around it.
I too have heart block. I had 2 episodes of pre syncope, or almost fainting, months apart. About 6 weeks later when I went to my primary care doc I told him about my fainting " spells." I had also had fatigue and breathlessness. He ordered an EKG, called my cardiologist and I had a new dual chamber pacemaker by midnight of the next day. 
This forum is a wonderful place to come to an understanding about all things pacemaker ! There are some very experienced and knowledgeable people here that are great at explaining things. I think it helps to learn all you can about your condition, be as positive as possible and go on with your life. Be ready to ask questions on visits with your doctor and possibly the pacemaker tech should be ready and willing to answer your questions.

Best of luck to you,

DixieChick

Heart Block

by AgentX86 - 2022-02-25 16:59:28

Hi KBOB, wish you didn't have to find us but welcome anyway..

If had a choice of any cardiac electrical problem, a heart block is the obvious choice.  It's one of the simplest to treat and after the pacemaker implant it has the least impact on your lifestyle.

Heart block simply means that the conduction path between the atria and the ventricals has been cut, or blocked.  The ventricals no longer know when or how often to pump so the lazily drift off on their own.  This "escape rhythm" is generally not fast enough, perhaps to remain conscious.  The fix is a two-lead pacemaker.  One lead simply senses the beat in the atrium and transmits it to the ventricle, essentially bypassing the block.  Everything else in the electrical system works so you can move on to a perfectly normal life.

Sure, this came out of the blue so some anxiety it to be expected.  This will pass soon enough.  In a few short weeks or a couple of months you'll forget you have it.  I'll be like your little toe.  You know it's there but you don't think about it.  Once in a while you'll bump it and it'll remind you it's there but you'll soon forget it again. 

Live life!  Your pacemaker is your friend.

Hi KBOB!

by Persephone - 2022-02-25 17:05:22

I hope you're feeling well so far with your new PM companion.  Your message sounds like you're feeling fairly invigorated, so maybe consider a bit of walking or similar light exercise if you've not gotten back to that yet.

Your light switch analogy is a good one. I know I could tell you the date, day of the week, approximate time, and place that my switch was flipped. Receiving the PM 2 months later was so wonderful, notwithstanding the terrifying part of it.  I agree about limited practical experience among the docs - it's a 2-way communication channel where they learn from us as well as vice versa, so I don't hesitate to describe my experiences to them.

Funny, you'd also mentioned roller coasters as an analogy - riding actual rollercoasters is a common discussion item here.  I haven't been on one since my PM implant (and I always liked the smaller kiddie ones better than the intense ones)  - but maybe one day soon I'll be jumping on one and enjoying the heck out of it!

Best wishes to you in your recovery and moving forward.

 

Thank you.

by Kbob - 2022-03-06 20:50:13

Thank you for all the words if encouragement as I began my recovery.  It helped me so much.  My PM procedure was on 2/22/2022. (lucky me.) This site is a tremendous support.  I am so happy to have found it.  I return to work tomorrow after 2 weeks and have some anxiety about stepping back into the real world. I certainly have bouts of anxiety. I imagine this is normal. It seems like I feel my pacemaker during these times and become ultra aware of my heart beating.  That doesn't help the anxiety.  In others experience, do you get more used to this over time?

 

 

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So, my advice is to go about your daily routine and forget that you have a pacemaker implanted in your body.