4 Week Check Up Questions?

Thanks to everyone who responded to me re trying to come to terms with it. The help is much appreciated. The swelling and bruising is going down but the pacemaker is quite raised in my chest - particularly one side. I can feel the corner sticking out - I really don't like it.

I have my first proper check up on Monday with my cardiologist. I have been seen briefly a couple of times because of the severe swelling and the fact that I am short of breath. I had another exercise ECG which was fine although I wasn't. I couldn't complete it because I was very short of breath. Completed it easily in the test just prior to the pacemaker. Sometimes after doing the stairs I am too breathless to speak. I am also much more aware of my heart all though the day than I was before. My heart problems are my heart missing beats all through the night so I did not have any symptoms other than palpitations which I still get from time to time although not as bad. Chest XRay was also fine.

I really want to know what questions I should ask the cardiologist at this first check up? Also what tests do you think I should have to try and find the cause of my breathlessness? I am due to see the technician in two weeks time. Do you think this should be brought forward? Could the breathlessness be related to the pacemaker setttings? So many questions - sorry!

Susan


3 Comments

Questions

by NH - 2008-03-01 02:03:01

I also have the breathlessness and I go to the PM Dr this next Friday. I am going to ask about it, but I don't know what tests or anything.

I just wanted to post for support and to tell you that the shortness of breath is a pretty common thing with heart patients.

Just ask any questions you are concerned about. That is what I am going to do.

Take care,

NH

Breathless

by afibber - 2008-03-01 02:03:03

Susan,
I am by far no expert, but I have had a pacemaker for 10 year, due to chronic a-fib. I have had a replacement generater placed in 2003.

At the present time I am going thru simular problems of not being able to breathe with minuminal exertion. After many tests, and a unneccessary cardiac cath, it has been found that my pacemaker settings are not right. No matter what I do, my heart rate is 70. Walking, riding a bike, going upstairs, 70. There are many settings that can be fine tuned on pacemakers, Perhaps yours needs to be tweaked as to what is best for you.

When I go to see my cardiologist and when I get my pacemaker interrogated, I always bring a small notebook with all my questions that I have written down, and I go right down the list. I always ask for a copy of the readout from my interrogation. They don't like to give it to me, but I keep asking in a nice way.

I have a history of slight asthma and had a PFT to determine my shortness of breath, that was negative. My pulmologist is completely puzzled, as she cannot explain why I am so short of breath. My daily peak flow rates are really good, but I am still short of breath.
I have had a complete cardiac workup, including a cardiac cath, and everything was negative. So what does that leave?? My pacemaker!

I have been telling my caridologist all along that my pacemaker needs to be tweaked. My cardiologist kept telling me that my pacemaker was fine. After a pulmonary-cardio stress test, as I was riding a stationary bike, it was found that my heart rate did not increase with any exercise. It stayed at a constant 70 bpm. Alas!! Documentation and facts to support what I have been asking them to change all along. FINALLY!!
Sad part is I have been out of work for 6 weeks now.
So, he will be tweaking it this week.

I am no physician, but I have had that experience twice, and I dont feel that your pacemaker should not be poking out of your chest, and the site should not be that swollen unless they had other problems placing the pacemaker. I can feel mine just under my skin, you can feel that there is something there, but it definately is not poking out of my chest. A little "bump" if you will.

Bring every question with you, write down the answers, get a copy of your pacemaker read out, even if you don't undertstand it now, you will, as time goes on.

Ask questions, make them explain it to you. And remember that there is no such thing as a stupid question.

You will get great info from this site, and do lots of research on your own. Knowlege is power. Power to understand your body.

A-fibber

My Check Up

by susanspurs - 2008-03-04 06:03:24

Thanks for the very helpful advice and especially to A-fibber. I got all my thoughts together and made a long list of questions. Got to my appointment and found it had been cancelled because I saw the cardiologist briefly last week because I was so breathless!. Anyway it is rescheduled for next Tuesday and he organised another chest XRay and a lung function test which were done yesterday. So it wasn't a total waste of time. Not surprisingly my lung function test was fine - I have never smoked and I don't have asthma. He has also referred me to a physiotherapist who specialises in breathing but who in on holiday for a couple of weeks. Perhaps I am being negative but I don't think that will help either.

I do feel that although my cardiologist is taking my breathing problems seriously - even if we have only spoken briefly about them, he is looking for other reasons - not the pacemaker. I had no problems with my breathing before the pacemaker and was breathless from day one post pacemaker! To me it is no coincidence!

Will keep you posted. Thanks
Susan

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