Check up Monday

I have not written for a while, but I check out the site a few times a week. It feels good to know that others are here.
I have a check-up with the doctor himself this coming Mon. I only see the actual doctor 2x a year. The other times it's nurses and technicians.

I have some questions and I wanted to run them by you - I always get this reaction like " you are so strange/ annoying/ hypochondriac to ask this stuff."

1. I (still) get this "fast/flutter" kind of heart beat occasionally, often when I am resting. It is annoying and lasts from a few minutes to a few hours. Why and what is this, how do I stop it (is there a better way to ask this)?
2.My hands have been swelling at night( for 6 months). I can no longer wear my wedding ring to bed. Why and what is going on?
I have asked this of the nurse 2 times - they have said it was the summer heat and then too much salt- it is winter now and I do not overuse salt-I don't accept this answer from the nurses.
3. When is my pacemaker set to do a self check? Does it do a daily check? I seem to wake every night around the same time - just wondering.
4. I have started weight lifting, swimming and racquetball. I am feeling good with the activity- sometimes a bit sore around pacer site- are there any precautions I need to be aware of?

This is what I have to ask the doctor. I also want to ask the tech how much I am pacing these days (1year post op).
Any suggestions about how to make the most of the visit and get some answers?


fast flutter

by Vai - 2008-01-26 01:01:54

1. Suggest you have a journal to record the exact times, duration and exactly what you feel during those times of flutters. If what you're feeling is real, it would be recorded and show up on your PM when it is interrogated. Giving the doc an exact date/time helps him to correlate how you feel to the PM. It helped many times in my case, and he was able to tell exactly what was happening at that time and decide on treatment.
2. Swelling hands are symptoms of many other problems besides the heart. Best to have the doc check this out. You are right that this should not be simply dismissed by a nurse or tech.
3. Ask your tech about the self-checks. I never felt my PM doing any self checks.
4. Exercise is always good. Since you had your PM for more than 6 months you would be able to do most exercises (check out the many experiences already shared on this site) with some precautions.

Ask for a copy of the interrogation report. The doctor is obliged to point out some of the significant changes since the last report and readings that raise some concern. Common information available are lower setting, high setting, voltage, estimated remaining battery life, percentage paced in atria and ventricular, number/intensity.frequency of fast flutter episodes. These are all available on 1st glance and different summary sheets of the report.

Good luck with your visit.

Doctor Visit

by ela-girl - 2008-01-26 12:01:23

Well, Tom, you definitely have the right to ask any and all of your questions. I mean, it IS your health!!! Besides it's their job to assist you...I mean, you are paying their salaries either directly or by insurance! You and your doctor should be working together as a team...and if they won't play ball, sometimes you have to look for another team--at least for a second opinion.

When I go for my pm checks, I always ask for a print out of the pm report. Then I can compare it to my last one. I think you are right to ask how much you are pacing, if your pm does a self check and when, and to check and make sure the activities you are doing are safe. Some people also like to know how long their battery has left and what the voltage is set for etc. As far as the swollen hands and would think that they could run some tests to help you figure that out or give you a holter to wear or something. Hopefully, someone else will be along who might be able to word those questions betters or give you more insight on what's up.

Best of luck!

Good Advise

by TSA - 2008-01-27 08:01:34

Thanks for the input. Elsa-girl that advise helps put things in perspective. I do not have anyone else going along with me - but I printed out a copy of what I wrote and plan to write down the answers I get. I know how it can be when you leave the office and wonder what just happened. I am really feeling fine overall- this site has helped me realize the fast or strange heart beats are fairly common. I felt the Dr was saying they were not even really occuring. I have kept a journal Vai, I plan to ask if they can read those episodes on my pacemaker. I was not sure how they much they could tell on the data read out> I will ask for a copy to. The biggest issue right now is why the swelling? It is annoying.
Again Thanks Everyone.

Good Advice

by TSA - 2008-01-27 08:01:52

Can you modify a post once it is up?

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