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Had a pacemaker installed today. Woke up yesterday laying in the driveway after I passed out. Thank God my wife was there and saw it. She called 911 and they took me to the ER. When I got there was in Afib with intermittent symptomatic long pauses. Continued the whole time that I was there. The ER DOC, my *** that happened to be there and the on call Cardiologist consulted and decided to transfer me to a larger hospital. I have been having 2 to 3 second pauses for the last year when trying to convert from Afib to NSR. A lot of these have been symptomatic and one occurred while I was driving. My EP said that we'd continue to watch it and as long as they stayed less than 3seconds that we'd just watch it. Well yesterday the monitors in the ER were clocking them at 4 to 5 seconds and they were extremely symptomatic and were finding shorter pauses that were "chaining" together. They convinced me that I needed a pacemaker and needed it now. EP was not able to be consulted. It was done today. Just pacing on the brachy/pauses. Will still need rate control on the upper end.
I am only 58 and really did not want to get one this early. Would be interested in hearing experiences of those that have pacemakers.
Thumper2, February 2, 2021 8:09am EST
Mark, I've had a pacemaker for several years. No problems -- I barely knew it was there, except for the scars on my upper left chest. How well it works is easily and remotely monitored by a unit which sits on a table next to my bed. More recently, the pacemaker was replaced because the battery was running down. (They cannot just replace the battery but must put in a whole new unit.) It was inserted in the same area -- now I can feel it a tiny bit more, perhaps due to scar tissue. But it is still painless and should last another several years before the battery fades again. My pacemaker is set at 70 bpm, which seems to work well for me (my husband's pacemaker is set at 60 bpm). I hope you will find your pacemaker to be as little trouble to you as ours have been to us. Keep us posted!
dsavoie1953, February 2, 2021 8:40am EST
Wow - God bless your wife! Your guardian angel bro!! Pacemaker technology has much improved over 50 years. Not sure WHY your cardiologist waited this long to put you on a pace maker which simulates NSR?
The concern I would have - were your heart muscles compromised?
I am thinking - have you completed all the baseline test? I hope your cardiologist did a Nuclear ECHO test and CT Score at least or stress test.
Go to StopAFIB.org and research it will add great additional information.
Side Note - In college I worked for Acadian Ambulance Service in Louisiana which is the largest privately held company in US during my college years - they saved my grandfather 7xs - later my grandfather passed immediately when he went from COLD to HOT temperatures without adjusting his body to the sudden change - he had a pacemaker in the early 70's. It was not uncommon for patients to have cardiac issues during the cold winters or hot summers. Today pacemaker technology are much smaller and reliable- but all they are is a electronic pulse generator with the exact nanotechnology current and voltage replacing your main sinus node.
My grandfather had a sinus node issue. Both of his offsprings had cardiac issues - my mother and her brother. Both have passed. My mother at 68 and uncle at 78. My grandfather passed at 78.
If your BMI is not where it should be then become athletic. Honestly it will help - but you want to limit the stress on your heart -
My uncle had a pacemaker but he also had heart arteries that were blocked with guadruple bypasses. My mother had a high fever in her early teen years which effected her heart.
Ballard6449, February 2, 2021 11:01am EST
Thanks that's good to hear. I appreciate you sharing your experience.
Ballard6449, February 2, 2021 11:05am EST
Thanks for the info. I have had recent stress tests and echo. Did well on the stress test and echo shows that my atrium size is large due to years of Afib.
I do need to up my game on fitness.
Patio7, February 2, 2021 1:14pm EST
Hi Mark, Much older than you but I was hesitant about the pacemaker for my bradycardia but had one installed just over a year ago....piece of cake. Followed the recovery advice...and as a "slow healer", worried. A year out, I never think about it. And feel so much better, and more secure. Go to site on pacemakers. Everything you ever wanted to know...and more folks like you...young and facing likely replacements. The technology gets better every year..and you will likely see a very simple solution in your lifetime. Hey! Be happy. It will save your life, and I see nothing but upsides. Good luck. Pat
Ballard6449, February 2, 2021 8:37pm EST
Thanks for discussing your experiences. Much appreciated!
Ballard6449, February 4, 2021 11:14pm EST
is there a pacemaker specific area on this website? I've been looking and cannot find it
Goldietwo, February 5, 2021 12:42am EST
Hello Mark, you asked about your new pacemaker. I am happy to report to you that since I had my pacemaker inserted 1-1/2 years ago, I have been pretty smooth sailing and my AFIB has been reduced to almost nothing. However, I am now facing a different situation since I have been taking Eliquis since that time, am almost 79 next month, and have consistent imbalance issues when walking and my doctor wants me to have a Watchman device implanted to get off the Eliquis blood thinner. I hope you will do well with your pacemaker, since as you said, at your age you should be good to go for quite a long time yet and I am sure you will!
Patio7, February 5, 2021 7:11am EST
Sorry, no. Its another site. Pacemakerclub.com
Ballard6449, February 6, 2021 10:10pm EST
Thanks for the encouraging words. The Watchman is a good solution. I pray that all goes well with the procedure.