Getting Ready For Life With A Pacemaker

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Yvonne Smith, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
    Staff Member Senior Staff Greeter Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    8,310
    Likes Received:
    14,270
    I am scheduled to get the pacemaker implanted on January 20th, and I am hopeful that it will help my heart to work better again.
    On the 15th, I will have a stress test, or something similar, called a PET scan. They put a radioactive dye in your veins, and then put you in a tube thing and take pictures of the heart.
    Then they give you another IV that activates stress , and they take more pictures to see which parts of your heart are working and which are not.

    Before, (a long time back) I had the chemical stress test where they just put a chemical in to induce stress and measure it with a machine; but this should show them a whole lot more information about my heart than just the plain stress test would do.

    After that, they will do an echocardiogram of my heart , which is an ultrasound , and they can determine whether I am in heart failure by measuring my EF %(ejection fraction). Under 50 is considered to be in heart failure.
    If my EF%is low, then the cardiologist will also add a special extra wire that helps stimulate the bottom part of my heart.

    I probably won’t see my doctor between now and the procedure, but they might call me with some of the test results, or if there is something they find where my doctor would need to talk with me again.

    After the procedure, I have to keep my left arm down for about the first month, so Mr. Bobby is going to be the designated driver, and I have to learn how to get into the tall 4x4 pickup without using my left arm.
    We have a small step stool, so I will practice getting in and out of the truck for the next couple of weeks, and then I should have it down pat by the time I need to actually get in and out that way.

     
    #1
  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
    Staff Member Senior Staff Greeter Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    14,577
    Likes Received:
    22,791
    I have known several people who have done very well with a pacemaker, and I'm sure I know many more who I don't even know have a pacemaker. When I was still known as a paramedic, people would feel the need to tell me these things, but that's been a couple of decades now. No doubt, pacemaker technology has even improved considerably.
     
    #2
  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    8,164
    Likes Received:
    8,584
    @Yvonne Smith

    What is your Ejection Fraction % number? If all other heart functions acceptable, low EF is often due to "thickening" of the Left Ventricle wall. Can't comment on pacemaker.

    I was found to have A-Fib and they are leaving it alone. Frank
     
    #3
  4. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    Messages:
    4,523
    Likes Received:
    8,606
    Good luck with the tests and pacemaker procedure, Yvonne. I hope it will help you.
     
    #4
  5. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    51,958
    Likes Received:
    17,787
    Oooh you are so stoical Yvonne, bless you..! I know you';ve been through so many trials and tribs with your heart problems, but how are you feeling about this pacemaker and the procedure?.. ..how long will you be in hospital?...

    BTW taking about getting in the pick-up one handed, just be thankful you don't own this one...:D

    [​IMG]
     
    #5
  6. Al Amoling

    Al Amoling Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,362
    Likes Received:
    2,900
    When my pacemaker was installed, I drove to the hospital early in the am and 1 of my sons came to take me home around 11:30am.
     
    #6
  7. Lulu Moppet

    Lulu Moppet Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2018
    Messages:
    937
    Likes Received:
    1,306
    I KNOW you will be okay, (((Yvonne))), because you MUST. Too many people love and adore you for it to be otherwise. Truthfully, I have not heard of any problems with pacemakers, and it WILL be the same for you!

    Much love.
     
    #7
  8. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
    Staff Member Senior Staff Greeter Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    8,310
    Likes Received:
    14,270
    Thank you for all of the prayers and well-wishes ! I have heard a lot of good things about pacemakers, too, and I have a lot of faith in this doctor. He is an electrophysiologist, so this is the part of heart function that he specializes in, and he did the convergent procedure and my ablation also.
    Dr. Tabereaux looks like a teenager, but he isn’t, and he is both thorough and caring. He did the first Convergent procedures here in Huntsville, and mine was one of the first ones they did here.
    https://www.al.com/breaking/2013/12/huntsville_hospital_first_in_s.html

    When my heart was at its worst, my EF was at about 23%, @Frank Sanoica ; but with healthy diet and exercise after the ablation, it gradually came up to about 47%. I don’t know where it is now, but will know after the new echo on the 15th of this month.
    When they do the procedure, they will also be removing the heart monitor implant that I have had for the last couple of years.
    The battery should be about dead by now anyway, and the pacemaker will transmit all of the information to my doctor that they need.

    I should only be in the hospital overnight, according to my doctor, @Holly Saunders . This is a much less invasive procedure than the ablations were, and I am really glad of that part !

    I found a pacemaker forum , and registered, so I should be able to learn a lot from other people who have had this procedure already.
    Since several other people here also have pacemakers, I will post a link to the website , in case anyone else is interested in sharing experiences about pacemakers.
    The website is https://www.pacemakerclub.com , and they have other things besides just the forum; but I have not totally explored the website yet.

    Here is a picture of my doctor, who will be doing the pacemaker installation.
    EABB2364-4A27-449E-8163-629A1ACC15C7.jpeg
     
    #8
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  9. Al Amoling

    Al Amoling Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,362
    Likes Received:
    2,900
    The parting gift after installation is a device they send home with you that you uses on a schedule they devise. The device checks the information stored on your pacemaker. When I had my open heart in June the pacemaker detected A-fib. Had not had it before but then a month later pacemaker found it again.
     
    #9
  10. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
    Staff Member Senior Staff Greeter Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    8,310
    Likes Received:
    14,270
    Are you able to see what it shows, @Al Amoling , or is the information just sent to your doctor ? I might be wrong, but my understanding was that my pacemaker can send information to my doctor anytime i am home and near the device.
    The little monitor implant that I have been wearing has a box transmitter with its own WiFi, and it sends information once a day to the company that makes the device, and they can alert my doctor when they see something that needs attention.
    There is also a little hand-held device that i can put up to my heart and it will send the information right away, and that is for when I feel that my heart is doing something different than it should be doing.

    I have been seeing a different cardiologist for the last 1-2 years because he was at the same office as our regular family doctor, but we have changed providers this year , and I am going to go back to Dr. Tabereaux again.
     
    #10
  11. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    3,213
    Likes Received:
    4,942
    Best of luck Yvonne!
     
    #11
  12. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
    Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    7,397
    @Yvonne Smith & @Beth Gallagher
    Good thing you two aren't neighbors or you may short each other out. :D

    (It's easier for me to joke than to say how I feel when my friends have to go through medical worries. )
     
    #12
  13. Al Amoling

    Al Amoling Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,362
    Likes Received:
    2,900
    No I don't see anything on the machine. I get an email from the doctor's office later in the day. I run the test after I have breakfast. My procedure is determined by the doctor's office. I suppose that if something started showing up they'd change my test schedule.
     
    #13
    Micki Pembroke and Yvonne Smith like this.
  14. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
    Staff Member Senior Staff Greeter Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    8,310
    Likes Received:
    14,270
    I was reading through the information from my last doctor visit because I wanted to see what he had found from the ekg from wearing the heart monitor for those several days last month, that helped him to determine that I needed the pacemaker.
    I have an online portal that I can use to access the information from my visits and any tests that they do, so that is where I was looking.
    It turns out that I have had a sinus node problem for some time (besides the things that I knew about) and it has been getting gradually worse as time goes by and I get older.
    I have been diagnosed with what is called “sick sinus syndrome:, and according to what I read online about that problem, the normal treatment is installing a permanent pacemaker.
    243C3EBA-455D-45CE-B076-964094937E8A.jpeg
     
    #14
  15. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
    Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    7,397
    Sick Sinus Syndrome sounds like an odd choice of name for a heart condition.....doesn't it?
    Some of the medical terminology they use is confusing.
     
    #15

Share This Page