This newbie got the shock of her life--(no pun intended)

Hi--after 2 years of telling me nothing was wrong with my heart my cardiologist ordered a 21 day event monitor. I had a 5 minute conversation with him about the results on June 29. He told me I needed a pacemaker and he walked out of the examing room. My implant was scheduled for July 11, then postponed and then finally happened on July 18, 2023. 

I had no clue what I was going to experience and  am hoping some of my fellow members can tell me if they have experienced any of these same symptoms/complications after their implants. 

For 2 days after my implant I hurt all over but especially on the left side of my body especially neck and shoulders. The pain is lesser now but I still hurt. Also--I could not eat. I felt like something was closing in around my throat and neck (like a noose). I choked on food.

Now that it is Aug 9--I can't walk 100 feet without getting winded. I have had episodes where I have gotten sweaty, weak and disoriented. My heart feels like a brick laying on my chest. My heart pounds in my chest and I cannot fall asleep at night. My blood pressure fluctuates as much as 40 points (?) like 177/98 then 20 minutes later it is 137/68.

Of course I need to see my surgeon. I can't get an appointment until next week. 

In the mean time, I'm sleep deprived, short of breath, and feeling dazed. 

Has any one in this group ever had complications like this right after surgery? If so--how long do they last? I've had knee and hip surgeries so I know the drill about recovery from those operations. 

Any comments, suggestions will be geatly appreciated. BTW--if I posted this in the wrong forum--I'm sorry. I just joined this club about 20 minutes ago.

I thought I was going to feel brand new. Instead I am having "buyer's remorse". 

My diagnosis is tachy brady syndrome and my pacemaker is a St.Jude 2272 Assurity MRI. 

I don't even have my home monitoring system set up. So I shooting in the dark here about what is going on with me. 



Thank you for reposting as a new message Rose

by Gemita - 2023-08-10 08:01:24

Your post is where it should be now.  I am glad my private message has helped and hope that you will receive further comments from other members who know all about Tachycardia/Bradycardia syndrome which is extremely common.  Please take care and don't hesitate to seek immediate medical advice if your symptoms continue to worry you.

not normal

by Tracey_E - 2023-08-10 09:13:47

Did they put you on medication for the tachy half of your problem? Wondering if you are reacting to medication. 

Sleep deprived is pretty normal at this point. Dizzy and dazed is not. Trouble swallowing is not. If you can't get in with your doctor for a week, I would go to the ER to be seen sooner. 

Follow Tracey's advice

by crustyg - 2023-08-10 11:36:59

Remote diagnosis is always fraught with difficulties (but that's rarely stopped me before)., so here goes.

I think it's highly likely that you have a left-sided pneumothorax, an uncommon, but recognised complication of the PM lead placement.  I'd stop spending time on this forum and go to the ER where, with luck, they will listen to your chest, order a CXR and, if I'm correct, fix you.

A UK-based patient, of similar age to you, had this happen about a year ago, so it's not that rare.

Best wishes.

Hopefully Rose is in ER now

by Gemita - 2023-08-10 13:53:19

I did in fact suggest in my private message to Rose earlier this morning that because of her symptoms, I felt she should go to ER for some urgent checks.  Hopefully that is where she is now


Update from Shocked Newbie

by rosebud120 - 2023-08-10 22:55:14

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your concerned and informative comments.

I got an appointment with a nurse practioner this morning at my cardiologist's office. My EKG and scan of my device were normal. I had printed out a report of my blood pressure for the last two weeks and the sudden spikes up and down. And the increase in my pulse (99) which is high for me. I was told that is all normal. 

I am not on any new medications since I had my pacemaker implanted. Thanks, Tracey, for mentioning that. 

Thanks to my pharmacist, I have figured out that part of the pounding in my chest and sleeplessness are because I take Doxepin at night for depression and sleep. I did not take it last night and got 7 hours of sleep--a blessing. 

My shortness of breath was atrributed to possible dehydration so I was sent for bloodwork.

I feel better tonight. Still have a lot of pain. Asked the nurse about recommendations for safe OTC pain meds and she said my  choice didn't matter because I'm not on blood thinners.

I don't know anyone else who has a pacemaker so that is why I'm sharing all of this with you.

I'm going to keep trying my normal routine. I see my cardiologist on Aug 18 and will see what he is going to do about my meds. If my symptoms return or get worse--my neighbor will drive me to the ER which is 40 miles away.

Take care all of you. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences. 


Glad you are feeling better

by Gemita - 2023-08-11 05:36:53

Rose thank you for the update. I hope you continue to notice improvements and that your implant pain improves too.  

I see you are on Doxepin, a Tricyclic Antidepressant, also used for insomnia.  Perhaps this med is causing some of your symptoms and I would want to discuss this with your general doctor, in case it is affecting your heart?   Dehydration can be caused by the Doxepin which is also a powerful antihistamine.  Hopefully your blood test will help your doctors to find any abnormalities like electrolyte imbalances which might be causing symptoms as well. 

Personally, I would stick to simple paracetamol (acetaminophen) for pain relief rather than an anti inflammatory like Ibuprofen, but again, speak to your doctors who know you best.  Hope everything goes well on the 18th August, but do seek emergency help earlier if your symptoms tell you that you should.

pain meds

by Tracey_E - 2023-08-11 09:37:35

Technically we can take any of them, but ibuprofen is not particularly good for th heart so it's best to avoid it when we can. I still take it because it's the only thing that works for me that I dont' react to, but I try hard not to do it often.

Are you icing? I found that helps most.

Vent all you want! That's why we are here. 

Increase in pulse is normal, not increasing is why we all got our pacers ;o)

I'm glad you were seen and got some answers. I hope you are feeling better soon, 

Pacemaker adjustment may help

by Grateful Heart - 2023-08-11 21:29:26

They put our pacemakers in...right out of the box.  Sometimes after a few weeks when the pacemaker settles in and some swelling goes down, we need the settings on the pacemaker adjusted for our individual needs since we are all different.

I felt like a brick was on my chest too and I couldn't take a full deep breath after a while.  My cardio sent me back to the EP for an adjustment of my settings.  I felt like my lungs opened up and the brick on my chest was gone! 

Just a thought.  Good luck 

Grateful Heart    

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