Curiosity Question to all

I'm curious about how others "got" their device.  Was it something that was planned in advance as part of an overall tx outline or was it something that was required on an urgent basis secondary to a health crisis?  

I'm in the former category as I've been working towards my CRT-P for about a year now.


12 Comments

good question

by new to pace.... - 2024-03-14 13:33:55

For me  I thought i was going to have my shoulder replaced and a stress test was reguired.  I decided not much pain so canceled the shoulder replacement.  When i went to cancel the stress test,  The cardiolgist said it had been 3 years since the last one.  So had the stress test which said i had a slow heart beat and pauses.  After i was told that would need to see the EP on Friday.  Did an of course said i needed a pacemaker.

i asked if i could have it done at the public hospital, was told not till Sept 21st.  If i could go to the other hospital   could have it done on Wed.  So i had no time to think or find out anything about pacemakers.  Was planning on taking a trip on Sunday to an event i had planned for.  Since was not sure asked my acupucturist , she said now.

new to pace

Yes great question

by Gemita - 2024-03-14 14:07:12

Hello AndieK, what a great question for us all to get to know each other.

My Medtronic dual chamber pacemaker was not an emergency and was implanted in May 2018.  It was most definitely needed because I had bradycardia, pausing heart beats which sometimes led to syncope and arrhythmias, particularly Atrial Fibrillation with a rapid ventricular response rate.   

The pacemaker was originally placed in readiness for an AV Node ablation which would have left me pacemaker dependent.  I was planning to have this procedure done some 6 weeks after my implant.  An AV Node ablation is a treatment for Atrial Fibrillation where they ablate around the AV Node to stop the fast, irregular signals from Atrial Fibrillation in the atria from getting through the AV Node to push the ventricles too fast.  However as soon as I received my pacemaker I felt so much better with a higher heart rate that I decided to put the AV Node ablation on hold.  I am very happy I did this now.  If I need an AV Node ablation in the future I can still go down this route.

My pacemaker was also implanted so that I can “safely” take high doses of rate control medication (like Metoprolol which I see you are taking) and also anti arrhythmic medication, to slow a fast heart rate without lowering the heart rate to dangerously low levels, since the pacemaker would be set to prevent the heart rate from dropping below the set lower rate limit.

I hope you will have a successful CRT implant and that it will give you many years of good service and improve your ejection fraction

A good question !

by Aberdeen - 2024-03-14 15:06:33

I had to have a CRT-p pacemaker as an emergency procedure as I collapsed at home because my dual chamber pacemaker had caused LVSD ( Left ventricular systolic dysfunction) . I had the dual chamber pacemaker for 4 months before this happened.

This occurred nearly 4 years ago and my low ef improved vastly. It was frightening at the time because at first they thought I had a heart attack. One doctor suspected the pacemaker immediately but had to confirm it with tests.

both

by Tracey_E - 2024-03-14 16:26:29

I'm congenital so it was always a given I would eventually need one. One day my rate tanked to 22 and it suddenly went from "sometime" to an emergency. 

Not an emergency..

by USMC-Pacer - 2024-03-14 18:20:01

I developed 1st, 2nd, then 3rd degree heart block over the course of several years. It all started within 5 years of my AVR surgery they say due to scar tissue. That led me to my first device which caused pacing induced cardiomyopathy which led me to my device today.. a CRT

Post Car Accident Checkup Found Bradycardia and AV Block

by IrishToast - 2024-03-14 18:48:36

I drove off the road and totalled my car on the interstate alone on the way to my sister-in-law's wake and funeral on October 26, and was so blessed to be unharmed. I followed up with my PCP after, and he detected something abnormal when he listened to my heart. He pulled in the portable EKG which showed the 40's heartrate. Referred to cardiologist who ordered 30-day monitor (yes, 30 DAYS!)

Then I had to beg and hound for results which never came, and finally was referred by staff to the EP who gave me the news I must have a PM when he' s back from vacation. Didn't find out which one until the day of surgery January 11.  

I had my clinic check today. All is very well. Underlying HR is in the 40's, but pacing always keeps it matching my own signal.  Finally got a lot of information. Mobitz Type II. Thanks to all here I knew to ask about the hysteresis setting because I have a lot of trouble getting and staying asleep. She turned that on at 50 instead of 60 when sleeping. She said it doesn't go by time, but detects sleep. Leads are perfectly attached and working well, she turned down the voltage. Battery forecast is the full 10 years. I am good to get on with the rest of my life, holding off repetitive arm movement until the usual 90 days. I picked up a digital copy of a chest x-ray taked 2 days post implant and I can see how the leads are wound. They are long!

I am getting my muscle tone back and feeling like my original self! 

long wait

by dwelch - 2024-03-16 00:14:50

complete congenital heart block found pre-teen.  Monitored for years, heart kept getting bigger, when it was time it was time.   36 years of pacing, fifth device, four leads using three.

Devices 1 2 and 3

by atiras - 2024-03-16 18:25:21

Device one, simple single lead pacemaker, was part of a planned pace and ablate strategy for longstanding permanent AF.

Device two, a single lead ICD was unplanned, inserted after an SCA.

Device three, a dual lead PM was a 'routine emergency' (that's the actual term used) when I developed intermittent high grade heart block with ventricular standstills. The kind of routine emergency when they ring you a couple of days after you've posted a 48 hour monitor back and say 'Find somebody to drive you 75 miles now. You're booked into the cath lab for a pacemaker thisafternoon.

 

 

Symptom leading to need for ICD

by Old male - 2024-03-17 00:48:21

Was driving home from Gym 10 years ago talking on cellphone.  It was as if I closed my eyes for a second....but didn't.  About a week later same happened sitting in office chair.  Wore a heart monitor for 24 hrs that indicatied Ventricular Tachycardia.  1st device implanted 5 or 6 days later.  Battery lasted 7 years and had new device implanted 3 years ago.

Thanks to all who responded...

by Andiek11 - 2024-03-17 21:28:56

As a newbie I'm going through the process of putting my experience in perspective compared to the thousands (millions?) of others who've already traveled this road.  I appreciate both the similarities and uniqueness of all of our stories.  

Bradycardia

by Caitrin - 2024-03-23 12:53:32

Hello, I an new to the forum.  Three months ago I was reading when suddenly I felt like I was going to faint.  My husband and I immediately checked my BP and pulse.  My pulse readings were in 20's and 30's.  We headed to the ER where I was admitted and treated with a dopamine drip.  After consultations with my cardiologists I consented to an emergency pacemaker implant surgery next day.  Three months post op I continue to have shoulder and neck pain.  I have had lumbar and cervical stenosis for several years so now I have a double whammy with pain.  I have read several articles and studies about the prevalence of neck and especially shoulder pain post pacemaker implant.  I ask if anyone has experienced these pains.  I can attribute the depression to worry and fears associated with the implant.  I am 78 years old, active and never had cardiac issues.  I would appreciate any input from anyone who has experienced my symptoms.

Thank you,

Caitrin 

Sudden episodes of syncope at age 33

by Baloney Stark - 2024-03-31 21:57:31

This is my first post on the site and first time sharing my experience online. Thanks for having me, I can definitely see this community being a valuable resource moving forward.

 

A little background on me: 

I'm a 33 year old man. I've never had any kind of serious health issues, I live an active lifestyle, I'm not overweight, and never considered my health to be of any concern.

 

About a month and a half ago, in the early hours of 2/13, I was laying down to go to sleep. Suddenly, I felt the "head rush" sensation that I would get from time to time when standing up too fast, but I was laying motionless in bed. I tried to brush it off, but a strange feeling came over me and I became short of breath. Apparently around this time I had my first fainting episode, and regained composure feeling disoriented. 

I could feel the episodes coming on, starting with kind of a chest-flutter, and a shortness of breath. I remember that my hands were in strange positions when I would snap out of it, and recall the confusion I felt when I regained consciousness.

I tried to just forget about it and laid back down, but it happened again, and again. I started typing my symptoms in on Google, and it kept happening. Every time I regained composure, I’d wake up with my phone in my hand and continue typing the symptoms to try to figure out what was going on. This happened 20-30 times while I contemplated what I should do next. I tried getting up and walking around which helped for a bit, I went outside and got fresh air which also seemed to help.

I laid down on the couch and the sensation came back. I ended up waking up my roommate, and told him that something was going on and that I might need a ride to the hospital. I changed my clothes while I tried to make absolutely sure the trip was necessary - I thought I was uninsured, I'm beyond broke, and I didn't want to put him through the trouble if I didn't have to. He came to the doorway of my bedroom and saw me have one of the episodes and told me it was time to go. We hopped in his car and headed to the ER, which was under a mile or so away.

In the ER lobby, I had an episode while filling out paperwork, and they got me checked in right away. In the exam room, I was being questioned about all the normal things, and let the nurse know that I was about to have an episode. When I regained composure, there were 2-3 additional nurses and techs around me. This happened a few more times until there were probably about 15 medical professionals surrounding me. They told me I had third degree AV block and that my heart was not receiving electrical signals telling it when to pump, and that the resulting lack of oxygen was causing me to lose consciousness. 

Around this time, I stop remembering much, other than them explaining the procedure that they thought would be necessary - outfitting me with a temporary pacemaker, whose leads went through an artery in my neck and into my heart. I'm told they hit me with the defibrillator paddles as well (does this mean I died?)

The next time I regained consciousness, I was being put into an ambulance to be transferred to a different hospital that had better resources for cardiac care. 

The next few days I spent being poked and prodded, having tons of blood work done, ultrasound scans from different areas, X rays, etc… the doctors never found a cause for my heart to stop working. They told me that it looks completely healthy,  and was working like a healthy heart once the temporary pacemaker was in place sending those “pump now” signals. They assured me that it was not the result of any “mistreatment” that I could have caused it, and none of the blood cultures grew any bacteria that could have caused this to happen. 

I never got an answer for why/how I ended up with a full AV block, but since I was stable with the pacemaler, they decided that the best route would be to implant a permanent pacer and send me on my way. 

You know you're wired when...

You have an excuse for being a couch potato.

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