First PM and Checkup

Hello, I am 47 and just received my 1st PM on 12/18/08. I needed a 2nd surgery on 12/19 to readjust a lead that I could feel. I have my 1st checkup for the PM on 1/2/09 and am confused about what questions I should be asking? From the posts I guess I should get the initial report with the settings and then one showing whatever the changed them to? This whole thing has happened so fast that I still feel like a deer in the headlights. One day I was fine and the next I couldn't even go up the stairs! No blockage, nothing showing wrong with the heart of lungs and boom - PM time.

I have been reading this site for about a week and it is very helpful. Thank you all and have a Happy New Year.


thanks for reply.

by Rubies61 - 2008-12-31 08:12:09

They told me I have stage 1 heart block. When I say nothing is wrong, I mean that the heart itself is ok (no clogged arteries no other 'syndrome' - and they tested for many). Basically they told me I have a short in my electrical system (my daughter told me she always new I had a few loose wires). I do feel better - I can go up the stairs and not pass out. I know that my heart rate was low, which by itself wasn't bad, but when I did anything like exercise it would drop instead of increase.


by Tracey_E - 2008-12-31 08:12:12

Welcome to our little corner of cyberspace!

When they interrogate your pm, they will print out a report before they start and another when they finish that shows any changes they made. The report will show things like projected battery life and how often you are pacing. If you ask, they will give you a copy of these reports and some of the members here can interpret those numbers and help you understand them.

Other than asking for the report, there aren't any other questions to ask unless there is something you do not understand. Some offices are better than others about volunteering information. I am a very polite nag until they tell me all! I always ask them about my report- if things look the same or there have been changes in my condition. I ask them to explain it to me if they make changes in the programming. I tell them if I've had any symptoms such as feeling too tired or getting dizzy and ask if they've seen any incidents on the report.

If nothing was wrong, why did they decide you needed a pm, did they come up with a diagnosis? Are you feeling better with it?

Happy new year to you!

wiring vs plumbing

by Tracey_E - 2008-12-31 10:12:18

Tell your daughter I'm pretty sure they don't tighten up those loose screws when they put in our pm's so we're all still a bit crazy ;o)

You are fortunate! Wiring problems are a lot easier to fix than plumbing problems and we are much more likely to feel a lot better after we get our pm's. Once you bounce back from your surgeries, you should have a lot more energy and stamina than you did before.

Many of us with av blocks who are young and active find that the max setting they send us home with is not high enough. I don't know how much they explained to you about the blocks but our heart's natural pacemaker (SA, or atrial rate) is perfectly normal most of the time, the signal just isn't getting through to the ventricle to keep up. That's the "block" and the pm steps in and bridges the gap.

If you find you are still getting tired or dizzy/short of breath on exertion, ask if you are bumping your maximum limit, it'll show up on their reports. They usually send us home with high hr of 120 or 130, but your atria may be trying to get up higher than that when you exercise. The ventricle stops pacing the atria at the programmed max limit even if the atria wants to go higher, but it can be programmed to go higher and that's the first thing many of us have changed.

(I promised the kids a trip to the mall and they're pestering me to leave, so I'm going to post without proofreading. If it's clear as mud, I'll explain better later!)

You know you're wired when...

Airport security gives you free massages.

Member Quotes

I have a well tuned pacer. I hardly know I have it. I am 76 year old, hike and camp alone in the desert. I have more energy than I have had in a long time. The only problem is my wife wants to have a knob installed so she can turn the pacer down.