beginning symptoms

I was just told I need a pacemaker. I have known I have complete heart block for 10 years but have never been symptomatic. My heart rate is usually about 46 but i have seen it anywhere from 37-55 while awake. I had some episodes where it sped up and things became distant 2 times. The medical doc thougt it was panic attack though I've never had one. My cardiologist says, I'll have to get a pacemaker eventually anyway and it's possible I felt my heart pause. I was very scared that day and thought I was going to die. I'm going for a second opinion. I don't feel tired like alot of these people describe. Does anyone have a similar story?


Get your pacemaker soon

by MSPACER - 2007-08-08 09:08:22

I would not mess around with complete heart block. I don't want to scare you, but complete heartblock is very serious. You have no electrical impulses getting through. You should speak to your doctor about getting a pacemaker implanted soon.

me too

by Shell - 2007-08-09 02:08:15

I was born with a complete heart block and was always followed by cardiologists.I had no symtoms (beside a slower than average heart beat) and they didn't think I'd need a pacemaker until I was around 50. I had a stroke when I was 22 and they found a hole in my heart. They closed it my going up thru a vein and stiil think I'd need a pm for a while. (I got married, had kids still no problem) Last year when I was 34 during an exam they decided that I should get a pm because even though I still had no symptoms my heart rate was really slowing down. (it was around 36-40 and never went higher even during any physical activities) So I've my pm since May '06. I would get a second opinion but it's better to be safe than sorry.

No big deal

by bobbecker76 - 2007-08-09 02:08:47

Hey. I had asymptomatic a-fib. It was discovered by chance and after investigation it was determined I had a large hole between my two atriae. This led to openheart surgery. After the surgery, once the surgeon had seen the heart with his own two eyes, he told us that I could have continued asymptomatic until I either had a heart attack at a young age or I would need a transplant in about 10 years. We were lucky to have found it.
I also now have a pacemaker. It's a safety mechanism that only kicks in when my heartbeat goes too low. It's there to prevent me from fainting while driving, on a ladder, or to prevent my heart stopping when I'm too far away from help. You know you have a heart problem and you know there is something that would (essentially) cure it. Why wouldn't you choose the pacemaker? Get it done!


by Gellia2 - 2007-08-09 12:08:51

I, too, had asymptomatic third degree heart block and felt completely normal for 26 years. My electrical activity gave out suddenly (Surprise to me!!) and I went into complete cardiac arrest. If it wasn't for fantastic emergency personnel, I wouldn't be around to have received my first pacemaker. That was in 1975 and it is not the way I would want to do it again.
I second MsPacer. Do get your second opinion, but with a complete heart block, you would be so much safer with a pacemaker, than without.
Good luck and the best to you.

on beginning symptoms

by Lori - 2007-08-10 11:08:45

Thanks for all the comments posted. It's scary being told you need a pacemaker. I am still going for the second opinion next week but my surgery is scheduled for August 21. It will be my first surgery. I am a single 36 year old mother of two precious little boys. I have terrible white coat syndrome. My blood pressure climbs whenever I even go to the cardiologist. I'ts been very hard since I've got this news and having been asymptomatic, wondering if it's even necessary. The comments make me lean lots more towards doing it. My oldest child will have a birthday August 26 as well as my moms. It's been so helpful knowing other people have shared the same fears. Thanks for the encouragement.


by juliek - 2007-08-10 12:08:47

Hi Lori,
I'm 34 with a complete congenital heart block, asymptomatic (heart rate 40). It was first diagnosed by accident when I was 8. My cardiologist, and I quote said "is nothing more than a curiosity", and he didnt need to see me again unless "unexpected wobbles should occur".
By todays guidelines this seems bizar, but until more recently pacemakers were not automatically indicated for this unusual group of patients.
Unfortunately the first symptoms in asymptomatic patients can be very severe.. even fatal, so now pacemakers are indicated for all 3rd degree and some 2nd degree blocks.
One of the aspects I find hard to come to terms with the seeming crazymess of giving a pacemaker to an asymptomatic patient. Anyhow, after considering the alternative I'm gettin paced in Feburary. I think of it as my own personal insurance policy. Now that I am aware of the risks associated with heart block, I worry alot more, every time I feel a beat, do exercise etc. Its always on my mind. The reason for waiting till Feburary is that I am currently pregnant with my 3rd child and they use radiation when putting in the leads. Oh ans my heart rate has gone up to a whopping 58!

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