I have had a pacemaker since December 2021. Four times within four days of a remote or in-office transmission, I have had an "episode" which may affect me for about 24 hours. The symptoms have included confusion, memory lapse, extreme tiredness and a desire to sleep, an "icky" feeling. Tests in urgent care or ER have revealed nothing. Can anyone comment on similar experiences?


Potential answer?

by Gemita - 2023-08-14 04:01:49

Dewey, I live with symptoms like that, but I am on a beta blocker and have arrhythmias that can come and go rapidly and these frequently cause symptoms like brain fog, memory lapses, sudden overwhelming tiredness and desire to sleep.  Perhaps your symptoms are being caused by heart rhythm changes too during and following pacemaker checks?  Some of us can be extremely sensitive to our checks.

It is difficult to know though why you are noticing these lingering symptoms only after in-clinic checks or following any transmissions.  I usually notice them at the time my pacemaker function checks are actually being carried out.  There is good reason for us to feel these function checks since the heart is responding to those checks.  Most of us feel these checks if they are reprogramming, checking lead function for example.  Our symptoms may include noticing sudden heart rate changes resulting in low and high heart rates or feeling changes in heart rhythm resulting in skipped beats.

Perhaps in-clinic checks and transmissions are causing your occasional symptoms because your heart is very sensitive to any electrical changes/stimulation that is being caused by these pacing checks.  In your case your heart may still be reacting for up to 4 days following these checks, unless you have started getting new or additional intermittent arrhythmias?  Intermittent arrhythmias can certainly be a cause for your sudden symptoms.  Perhaps long term holter monitoring or device interrogation will pick up evidence of rhythm disturbances that are occurring at the exact same time as your symptoms?   It is worth investigating further if your symptoms are so severe.

It would help if you filled in your Bio and told us something about your heart condition?


by piglet22 - 2023-08-14 07:07:29

All I would add is that remote (bedside monitor) transmissions are downloads of device readings and memory content.

For Medtronic, the remote transmission is Near Field Communication (NFC) for PM to chest reader and Bluetooth for chest reader to base unit.

It's unlikely that these would cause your symptoms as you would notice the same on other things with NFC or BLE.

The in clinic tests are different in that the technicians can and do make changes to the way your device works.

A particularly unpleasant test is where they drop the heart rate. It's only seconds, but I don't like it and it's in my notes.

You know you're wired when...

Your old device becomes a paper weight for your desk.

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