Surgery

I have sick sinus syndrome with bradycardia and infrequent tachycardia. I'm 76 and very active. I filed horses hooves yesterday and wonder if there are magnets in a side grinder. 🧐 I'll get my Biotronik pacemaker next Monday. There are so many things to learn. I've been reading as much as possible from unhappy campers as well as those who have been relatively complication free. I think mental attitude has a huge influence and I'm optimistic because I'm asymptomatic mostly. Four years ago, I was recommended to have a pacemaker but I got a second opinion that said they wouldn't do a pacemaker. (This was a rhythm clinic where my husband was a cardiovascular surgeon). Now I'm ready because I've read somebody with bradycardia 34 bpm is likely to need one eventually. My question is, will I feel anything different after the implant if I'm asymptomatic? My Electrophysiologist does 400 to 500 pacemakers a year. 
 


5 Comments

pacemaker

by new to pace.... - 2023-12-05 12:43:20

Your explantaion above said you decided not to have one implanted before. but your posted remarks back then said you did in fact have one.  

What do your doctors say now that you should have one or do you just want one because of your low heart rate.

new to pace

Feelings post implant

by Julros - 2023-12-05 14:28:48

Hi. 

My experience was with a heart rate of 40, that did not increase with activity. So at rest, I felt okay, but quickly tired with even just walking, and slept alot. After my pacer, I felt more energetic, and this sounds weird, but colors seemed brighter. And no more huffing and puffing walking to bring in the mail. 

I hope all goes smoothly and you heal quickly. 

Julie

You can do this

by Gotrhythm - 2023-12-06 15:07:29

Grinding horses' hooves with a heart rate of 34! Picking up the feet of 1,000 pound animals. I'm going to go out on a limb here--given that I don't know you at all--and guess that you have a really, really good, strong heart, and an excellant cardio-vascular system overall.

When you have a pacemaker, you will still still have a very good strong heart. Your heart is keeping you alive and going now. It will still keep you alive and going after you get a pacemaker. 

So do not think a pacemaker will keep you alive. And do not think if something happens to the pacemaker, you will be in danger. Nope. Your heart works now, and YOUR heart will work even if the pacemaker fails completely.

Banish from your mind all worry about magnets. Most of what you read about them is old, old warnings--no more relevent than warnings about the dangers of mercury from glass thermometers. With today's pacemakers, what will happen if you get around a magnet is precisely nothing. A magnet's presence will make no more difference to you than it did before you got a pacemaker.

You are right in your supposition about mental attitude. Adjustment to a pacemaker is 99% mental. Set you mind that the pacemaker is wonderful and makes a wonderful difference to the overall quality of your life. Know that you are a perfect candidate to benefit from what a pacemaker will do.

Yes, you're in for a bit of discomfort for a few days after the surgery, probably. But even that isn't written in stone. I had almost none, and I'm not the only one. Once you are completely healed up, you will actually forget for long periods that you even have it. Truely. You'll only know it's there and working, if you think about how you felt before. Since you feel fine now, you'll still feel fine.

The difference I noticed was that things became easier. I could do the same things, but hard tasks took less will power, and easy things were so easy, they were almost silly. See what I mean about it being mental? Jokes were funnier--it was easier to see the everyday humor in life. Easier to have fun. Easier to show appropriate sympathy.

I was less afraid that tiredness would catch up with me before I got all my tasks done. I could afford to take a moment out to smell the roses.

The biggest adjustment for me was that I had to re-learn how to go to sleep now that I had a faster (more normal) heartbeat, because I no longer was so tired that I was asleep before my head touched to pillow. Once I realized what the problem was, it was pretty easy to do.

Get clear in your mind that the only, only, only thing the pacemaker can do is make your heart beat faster. Fortunately for you, that's all your heart needs to work more better! Talk about good luck! 

Unfortunately, the pacemaker will not help the tackycardia at all. Why? Because pacemakers only can make hearts beat faster--not slower. If your heat wants to beat faster on its own, the pacemaker will let it.You've already noticed that the tacky episodes have become less frequent. Hopefully, that trend will continue.

After surgery, keep all movement slow and easy, but do not restrict the movement of your left arm. Ask to be given some stretching exercises to do that will keep and restore full range of motion as soon as possible.

A pacemaker is just a little electronic gizmo. It may need some adjustments to make it fit your needs. No biggie, but you might need to be patient with the process, and keep going back until it's working the best it can for you.

Keep a positive can-do attitude. You can grind the hooves of a 1,000lb horse. You can do this.

 

Will receive pacemaker on Tuesday.

by GNU - 2023-12-09 11:18:44

I want specifically to reply to Gotrhythm. Not sure how to do that here so I hope she sees it. Thank you so much for your wonderful message. I will read it again and again. You're so kind to take the time to be specific and encouraging. It means a lot to me.

My heart rate goes up naturally when I file horses hooves, swim, hike in the  mountains or do resistance training. IT only goes to 34 in the night while sleeping. I see this from my Fitbit. I am asymptomatic mostly, no shortness of breath, no pain, no syncope etc. I've always had Bradycardia. My husband was a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon who told me I had it at 20. Recently, I have what I assume are palpitations and my cardiologist said the holter showed a pause of 2 seconds. Four years ago I was told I needed a pacemaker but I declined after a second opinion said I didn't need it. Now, I think it is a wise choice and I'm ready.

I live alone on a remote mountain finca 4 1/2 hours from the hospital by bus. The electrophysiologist will zoom me to see how the scar looks and I will wait until January to take the bus back to see him. He does 400 to 500 pacemakers per year. I'm assuming a lot are medical tourism. This is Costa Rica. 
 

Sleep tip after surgery

by missy - 2023-12-15 22:17:43

Hi GNU, I've had a pacemaker since 2014 (actually two as a lead had to be replaced in 2016). I just wanted to share a tip with you. Unless things have changed, after you get the implant, you will be told not to raise your arm while sleeping, on the side of the implant, for a specific period of time (I forget how long). What I did was take a man's tie and tie it around my waist and the arm that had to stay still. It worked!  I remember that I was comfortable sleeping this way and did not worry about raising my arm while asleep.  I hope this helps you.  It doesn't take long after the surgery to heal and even forget that you have a pacer.  Best of everything good on Tuesday!

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Member Quotes

I have a well tuned pacer. I hardly know I have it. I am 76 year old, hike and camp alone in the desert. I have more energy than I have had in a long time. The only problem is my wife wants to have a knob installed so she can turn the pacer down.