1st Battery Change Anxiety

Hi Folks!

I'm a new member here. Just came in for a little support.

I'm a 47 year old man who had my first pacemaker implanted in 1999 when I was 39 because of a 3rd degree heart block.

Tomorrow I go into Cedar Sinai Medical Center in LA, Ca. for my first battery replacement. Doc says it's a pretty easy outpatient procedure. But, for some reason I'm having more anxiety over this battery change than I did the original implant.

I'm sure many of you have had replacements over the years. Can anyone advise on expectations? I'm VERY active with golf, softball, whitewater kayaking, cycling, etc. I guess my biggest concern is that I will have to take it easy for a while.

Any advice?




Cedars Sinai Med Ctr

by auntiesamm - 2007-07-11 01:07:43

Hello DJM - I cannot answer your questions since I am on my first PM which is a little over a year old. But, I read with interest the comments of those who can and do respond. Just want to say you are fortunate to be going to such a fine medical center as Cedars! It has long been known for many of it's advances and the quality of care. I am in Orange County and had worked many years in the hospital industry where we have some outstanding centers of excellence as well. Our little Valerie (where are you, child?) goes into Cedars for her PM and related cardiac care. Please keep all of us posted on your procedure and recovery. Take care and God Bless.

I have not had a ...

by queen_beez - 2007-07-11 03:07:35

battery change. Actually it a full implant change even though they call it a battery change it is not. The pm must be replaced as there is no way to change the battery. Anyway though I suspect you are having anxiety because you know what is going to happen. The surgery,how the recovery was for you and the limitations. The first time around you hadnot yet gone through it so your brain had nothing to pull to for recall and evaluation. You were so to speak ,in the dark. Now your brain is saying remeber this remeber that. It is like when a woman gives birth for the first time. She is all gung ho about not having any pain meds and wants to be natural. Then by the 3rd kid she is telling everyone before she is even 6 months along,give me drugs, I don't want ot feel a thing. Ones perception of something can be larger than the actual event. SO calm down and remeber, you made it fine through the first one,thats why you are still here. You will know what to expect of your body and if you did have any problems the first time you can knick them in the bud or at least keep on the lookout for any things that may seem out of place. TAke all the time you need and know that we all stress over stuff out of our control but this isn't completely out of your control. Use this second implant as a time to rest and take control of your recovery. You do know more than anyone what to expect from your body.
Good luck and sorry for the long letter. And one foot note, I know evryone is different and I was just making an analogy in respect to the pregnancy issue so no responses to the contrary please people. I know some do the natural thing through 10 kids. LOL
Hope I gave you even a little insight. Don't be too hard on yourself you are human and though we know in our hearts, no pun intended, it is hard not to stress.
Know you are not alone,

PM changeout

by CathrynB - 2007-07-11 12:07:57

Hey 03DJM30: Welcome to PM Club! This is the right place for support and answers from folks who know what they're talking about from experience!
Having said that (LOL here) I have no experience with your question but will opine anyway (watch your tongue, Valerie, and remember to respect your elders! :-) I haven't had my first PM replacement yet.

But I remember a recent posting from Darlingtondoll who had just gotten her first PM replacement two days before and was getting ready to throw a dinner party for her friends. She said the second time around was a snap compared to the first. Look in the historical messages and I think you'll find other similar messages.

I think the big thing to know is whether your electrical leads are remaining in place or not. If they're staying, and only the PM is being replaced, then this time around should be much easier than the last. You won't have restrictions on raising your arm above your shoulder, it most likely will be outpatient surgery and you will probably be back to all your usual activities much faster than last time.

But don't take my word for it -- keep an eye out for messages from others who have actually gone through it! I hope this forum helps your procedure and coping go smoothly, and let us know how the surgery went after it's over. Take care, Cathryn


by ansbible - 2010-12-20 03:12:51

re: episodes of extreme fatigue?
Been experimenting with things: Doctors have given up or stonewalled my problems - even told me to go to the hospital.

Been eating a lot of small and healthy meals - like soy milk, apple, good nutrition cereal bars, steamed vegetables, turkey, chicken - seems in small meals my stomach pains / pangs lessen, my shakiness declines even goes away, the eratic beat settles down. What exasperates these things is getting chilled, so I dress like an eskimo in San Diego and get funny looks like on sunny days. I seek sunny spots, no longer shady ones, when I play for sev. hours in the local park until my legs get a bit chilled, (under neath two pairs of long pants). I am sure people think I am homeless and desperate as I keep getting pity offers of loose change. I just tell them I am playing music for psychotherapy and it's working, cause I am becoming more psycho every day.

Also joined a indoor health club with a hot therapy pool and a lap pool. It's close by because sometimes I crash on the way home - just cannot predict that will happen, but I take it slow and make it home and quickly eat something light. But the swimming has really had excellent results, I feel much better although immediately exhausted and sleep much better. I think that I must change many details in my life - I have programmed a mid-day rest and will go out a second time, (after playing music in the park), if I feel an improvement in my energy level. But if there is a decline after 4 hours, I take a hot bath, eat something and take a short walk - and keep walking if my energy level improves - it depends. So sometimes you have to challenge your energy level, sometimes that's it for the day. Ambien is the only medication I take which makes me very drowsy and I can being my arduous 9-10 your sleep session. I often take a hot bath in midnight without turning on the lights - carefully correographed?? for safety including bathtub shoes. It works! I am back to sleep - I put on and take off extra shirts, sweat pants, wear sleep sneakers to keep my toes warm and constantly adust a small safety heart to coincide with my crazy body's demands including hot flashes and cool downs. I move from mattress to lazy boy with a heating pad. With this routine down pat, I manage an effective sleep session, mostly on the right side. I cannot sleep on the pace maker side nor ride on a rough bus without double pillows on the seat - that just sets off the arrythmia?? and pains in my chest. There is a lot the doctors haven't told me. My main chest specialist doesn't like talking at all.

I am really tired of being extremely tired, but no medical person seems interested in finding out why. Got a heart specialist to give me a second opinion on Jan 6, but I am trying not to raise my hopes about this. So far I've been given numerous blood tests until my primary doctor concluded I had aids and when I passed yet another test, he shook his head and gave me up to the hospital. He did not choose to pursue a second opinion heart spcialist, thank God my medicare person went to bat for me and told an out of town doctor they had to see me, because some petualant medical staff person refused to see me - "We don't do second opionions" Any way, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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I just want to share about the quality of life after my pacemaker, and hopefully increase awareness that lifestyles do not have to be drastically modified just because we are pacemaker recipients.