Still short of breath
I have chronic a-fib/flutter. I have had an A/V node ablation and permanent pacemaker implanted in 1998. Since then, I have had to have it replaced in January 2003. Everything was going fine, until this past summer. I became short of breath, and it was getting worse and worse. I was hospitalized in Jan 2008, with dx of exacerbation of asthma. I was put on massive doses of prednisone, abx, and neb treatments. I did get better (was around cats, which I have a known allergy to.). But after 6 weeks of not being able to breath any better, I have been thru the gammit of testing to try and find out if it is my "heart" or my "lungs" that is causing the shortness of breath on excertion. I have had my pm interrogated 12/24/07, and an echo and adenosine cardiac stress test were done. Results were negative. They didn't change anyting on my pacemaker, but told me that I am in fib all the time. After I was released from the hospital, and my shortness of breath continued, my pulmonologist ordered a pft, which showed a mild change in my asthma from last years study. My peak flows were 370 to 400, and I was still short of breath, which had my pulmonigist scratching her head. She said my lungs were good, and could not understand why I still was so short of breath. So, my cardiologist suggested I have a cardiac cath to see if my heart is the culprit of the shortness of breath (dyspnea). The cardiac cath was done on Valentines Day, 2008, with the results all negaitve. Then I wore a halter monitor for 24 hours, two different times, with nothing showing up. I insisted on having my pacemaker rechecked again, and this time the EP Doc did it. He found that the PMT switch had been turned off. So he turned it back on. (Pacemaker Mod. Tachycardia). But that is all he could find. Within 2 days I felt like I could breath better, but not normal by any means.
Today, I had a pulmonary/cardio stress test, and the pulmologist said it was my pacemaker, because thru all the time I spent riding the bicycle my heart rate stayed a consistant 70 beats, with 1 pvc. I was so short of breath I wondered if I would ever recover.
My point is this- When my first pacemaker's battery began getting really low on battery power, it was programmed to shut off the peripherals--I was short of breath, and the pacemaker was replaced in a matter of days. Now, my pacemaker battery life is good for 2 and 1/2 years, I am terribly short of breath, and I seriously wonder if the pacemaker itself is defective? My heart rate should increase with excercise, and mine stays a steady 70. Anyone go thru something similar? I need some answers as I have not been able to work for nearly 2 months.