new member

I want to thank whoever put this website together. I received a PM three days ago and am slowly feeling better. My story begins 15 years ago when I had radiation therapy for Hodgkins disease. The reaction to the radiation came 4 months ago when I developed pericarditis. That lead to atrial fibrillation which I was put on meds for. A week ago the pericarditis returned and in the hospital my heart was monitored as pausing for 6 seconds once and 4 seconds 2 other times in the night. A PM was put in last Friday ( April 25 ). The last two days I have noticed a shortness of breath when climbing a short flight of stairs. As I had never experienced this even with the pericarditis I am beginning to suspect it is due to some setting on the PM. I have read several messages to that effect on this website and for that I am very grateful. I am a newborn to this PM technology and would appreciate any more info on this matter. I have an appointment with the cardiologist tomorrow and would like to have an idea of how hard to press him on this issue. Thank all of you very much and know that you have a caring new brother in your midst concerned with the well-being of all of us in this condition.


Welcome New Member

by Wingart - 2008-04-28 04:04:31

Good evening jimbogeowiz

I can not help with your question (thankfully for me the shortness of breath was cured by my pm) but just wanted to say Hi & welcome to the pm club.

I am sure someone who has experience of these complications will post an answer soon. You may also like to use the search box in the top right to search for other threads on this subject.

Good luck with your appointment tomorrow. Let us know how you get on.



by Tessy - 2008-04-28 05:04:54

Hi jimbogeowiz

Welcome to the site, you will get lots of good advice here.

I had my pacemaker fitted on 29 January this year.

You have to take it easy for the first couple of weeks. Don't lift your arm above your head on the side the pacemaker was fitted, that is important. My first appointment at the pacing clinic to adjust my setting made a big difference to how I was feeling in the first few weeks.

I can't answer your question about your shortness of breath, but in my case I get slight shortness of breath when I walk up a slope, but after awhile of walking it goes. The more walking I do, the better I feel. I think things get better after about 6 months, so I'm told, and after a few more appointments at the pacing clinic.

Your cardiologist will no doubt give you some good advice tomorrow. But remember it is early days, give yourself time. I know I worried about odd little things in the few few weeks.

I am off on holiday for three weeks tomorrow, so may not be able to log in to see how you get on, but good luck and I am sure everything will be fine.


Welcome and your Shortness of Breath...

by maryanne - 2008-04-28 05:04:59

Welcome to the club!!! Like the others have said you will find this site to be a wealth of information and support...great bunch of people here.....

Shortness of breath(SOB) can be caused by a variety of things...but seeing as you did not experienced SOB prior to your PM being implanted chances are it is PM related. PM's have many settings to them....some of the settings have to do with our excercise could be that yours is set to low....your rate response might need the early stages there often are settings that need to be "tweaked" for your lifestyle. Good luck with your follow up and please keep us could teach us all a thing or two....cheers!


by susanspurs - 2008-04-28 06:04:02

Hi jimbogeowiz

Welcome. My PM was implanted on 4th Feb and for the first six or so weeks until my first interrogation I was so breathless that sometimes speaking was a problem. Climbing stairs was terrible and I was walking so slowly, it was like slow motion! I should mention that I wasn't SOB prior to the PM. Also my pulse raced with any exertion.

Through this great forum I found out about the rate response setting and on my Medtronic Dual Chamber PM it had been switched on. So at my first interrogation I got them (reluctantly) to switch it off. I felt better almost immediately and within a couple of days I was no longer SOB and my heart had stopped racing at the slightest hint of exertion.

You may need this feature switched on (but I think it has low, medium and high settings) because we are all different but it is certainly worth asking about.

Good luck with your appointment - please let us know how you get on.

Susan from London

rate response

by Pookie - 2008-04-28 08:04:16

I think the rate response feature could be the key. On mine it has 3 settings:

low (for slugs like me)
medium (which I finally changed mine to)
high (for people who LOVE to work out)

In saying the above, however, some people opt NOT to have their rate response ON.

Something to discuss with your cardioloist for sure.

Just keep asking!

good luck and welcome to the club.


thank you

by jimbogeowiz - 2008-04-28 09:04:07

I want to thank all of you who posted comments to my question regarding SOB. It gives me great confidence in the human spirit to know that there are so many caring souls out there. Thank you all again.

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