First PM Check Up

Hi Everyone

I have my first PM check up this Thursday - 6 weeks post op. As I am still really breathless - I really would like to have a bit of understanding about the settings and what might help me. I have a Medtronic Dual Chamber PM and the rate response switch is on. I found that out when I saw my cadiologist last week. He is taking this problem seriously and is doing all sorts of tests - so far everything is normal and I am awaiting the results of the CT scan of my lungs - he wants to rule out any small blood clots. But when I brought up the subject of the PM settings, he did dismiss it rather quickly but said he would like the technician to give him a call at my appointment on Thursday.

I have second degree heart block. Not sure if there is anythings else I need to tell you other than the breathlessness started on day one of the PM. I didn't have this problem before the pacemaker. People are beginning to notice it when I am only speaking! I am also now much more aware of my heart than I was before - beating in the base of my neck and fluttering quite a lot. Also get tired so quickly! I just don't feel like me any more. Any advice would be much appreciated.



1st PM check & breathless

by Vai - 2008-03-18 01:03:45

Hi.. I suggest you checked with the cardio why you need to have the rate response switched on so early since your PM. I too have a Medtronic dual lead PM (20 months ago) and I remember clearly that my tech & PM did NOT deem it necessary to switch on the rate response. They prefer to observe how the PM is helping you. The rate response is often necessary for people who engage in an active life style. Even though I have regain a normal active lifestyle I have never had the need to turn the rate response on.
This is just sharing an experience and I am not a doctor.
I wish you a find a speedy solution and a quick recovery.


by harley63 - 2008-03-18 02:03:01

Afternoon... Just found this group lastnight while searching the internet on pacemakers. I'm thrilled to see I'm not alone with what my life has become. I also have the Medtronic dual PM and the same symptoms. Breathless, fatigued and not the same as before the PM insertion. Mine was done 12/2006. When I see the cardiologist and tell them my "story", they just tell me that it takes time to adjust and that "it will be fine". Funny that I don't feel "fine" and I want my old self back. Just being able to do the simple daily task with no discomfort would make me happy.

And since we are sharing... I've been living in denial since mine was implanted. It's time for me to get on board with this program. I look forward to learning more from this group. Thanks for taking time from your busy schedules to post comments and share your experiences.


by heckboy - 2008-03-18 03:03:03


Ask your EP to have a PM reap at your appointment. Ask what is adjustable about your PM and how it is set now. Then you have a better idea about what to try.

New Beginning

by Wannabe - 2008-03-18 03:03:58

Hello Harley63 - Welcome to the Pacemaker Club. Let this be a new beginning for you. Plenty of people on this site have felt the way you do now. These are the people who ae now shouting encouragement to those of us who still find adjustment difficult. They did it - they know you can do it - so why not think along the lines of a little improvement each day - just do one brave thing and the rest will follow and we'll all be here cheering you on. I send heaps of good wishes and comforting prayers. Wannabe


by kaka - 2008-03-18 12:03:05

I've had my PM since 8/14/07(wow almost 7 months) and was also v e r y breathless and exhausted(which I never was before the surgery).I couldn't walk up 4 steps without being out of breath. Three weeks after surgery they reset my helped somewhat.....I have been reset 3 times since then and I still am only a little breathless,but not as bad as I was originally.I am still waiting for the day I feel great(or as good as I did before the PM).
Good luck to you it does take time to adjust. Don't be afraid to complain....after all it is your heart and life.


by kaka - 2008-03-19 01:03:48

Give the "young lady" in the hair salon a kiss from me....I have always been of the mindset that my Dr works for me...after all I pay him. It's a shame that so many people are afraid of doctors....If you don't ask or nudge they won't tell or help you.
I admire you spunk.

PM Rep

by harley63 - 2008-03-19 08:03:53

thanks for the suggestions.. I have had the PM rep at most of my EP appointments and they just download the info and say..hhmmm... and ok everything looks good. I'm now to the point of grabbing that little monitor and saying ok, show me what it's doing, what it can do and why we have not done such and such!! Sorta afraid that they my fire me from their practice for being a pain in the rear.. sad that I'm to the point of not caring how THEY feel, as I'm more concerned how I feel and what it's gonna take to get me to a quality of life that I feel I deserve! One old woman, at the beauty salon told me.. honey, there is more than one doctor in this town.. if you don't like one, go get another! I laughed, but she is right.. I need a MD that is one board with MY goals for quality of life. I'm not asking to run to the top of a mountain.. just give me some normal functioning to make it though a work week, a moderate lengthly motorcycle ride, working around the house, gardening, throwing the ball for my rotten scottie dog, living life to the fullest.... my PM was placed 12/2006 and I had NO options as I had acute onset of 3rd degree heart block! No prior history of heart problems. Was told your either leaving the hospital with a PM or in a pine box. Well that was a NO BRAINER!! I was newly married 6 months prior to that moment and had life by the tail, or so I thought! I've allowed the MD's and this "little internal blng bling" to be in charge since it became part of my life... there are two things one can do... let it rule... or live around it. I'm living around it and if that is what it takes for me to ride my Harley, cook for a football team, dig around in the dirt, play ball with my dog, laugh until I cry over the simple things in life then so be it. Man I'm thrilled to have found ya'll!! I don't know a sole where I live that has a PM.. I've experienced many of the same sensations you all have written about.. the warmth sensation in the left side of my chest, like warm water being poured over my heart, numbness from the left ear lobe extending over into the left side of my lower lip, extra heart beats, slowing heart rate, rapid heart rate, arm pain, back pain, mid chest heaviness, fatigue, upper body generalized discomfort following any repetative upper body movement. I've learned more about my mental capibilities and limits since PM became part of my life. Discovering just how stubborn, determined and how I use humor to diffuse pain has been interesting to say the least. I'm in the mode of move out of my way cause I'm coming through and have much more life to live before I go sliding though any gates. My family has always said that I was like a weeble wobble.. go, go and go more until I just fall over.. well that certainly hasn't changed. Got to get ready for work.. ya'll have a nice day and we'll check in later. zoom...zoom..

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