Has anybody got any pacemaker guidanc... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Has anybody got any pacemaker guidance for a newbie?

Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319

Hey guys, I had a pacemaker fitted 12 weeks ago, but never had a post-op check up due to the current circumstances. I am 24 years old and was physically active before my op. I have started running again, and everything is normal apart from struggling running up hills. Is this because my heart can't work at the intensity it used to? Also, I want to start lifting weights again, but anxious when is too soon? I have done tough mudder multiple times and my consultant said i can continue this, but unsure when I can get back to my normal routine and what i can and can't do.

I am just a little lost as i haven't had any guidance and i don't know anybody with a pacemaker. So i don't know what normal is.

Any stories or guidance about any exercise or symptoms people have with a pacemaker would be really appreciated

Thank you x

19 Replies
oldestnewest

I would suggest that you contact your Consultants secretary and ask for a telephone consultation, he is by far the best person to advise you.

Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319 in reply to Gaz_chops

Thank you. I guess I just don't want to be a pointless phone call to them when they're already under enough pressure as it is

Gaz_chops
Gaz_chops in reply to Hizzy2319

You won’t be, totally separate areas for covid. I had a phone consultation last week with mine, only requested it week before, they got me in for an echo & consult no prob.

Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319 in reply to Gaz_chops

I could request a phone call consultation to be fair. I have no symptoms apart from it being a little tender. I just don't fancy doing damage and having to go through it all again. I can't believe how well it's healed.

Thank you for your help, it's appreciated 😊

Gaz_chops
Gaz_chops in reply to Hizzy2319

I called mine as I was feeling faint after running, had spoken to GP who obv is not an expert, but I was not filled with confidence by what he said.

After speaking to consultant, was totally reassured and had some meds halved.

Remember normal services in hospitals are actually much quieter as people are reluctant to visit, they’ll probably be glad to hear from you.

Good luck

Gaz

Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319 in reply to Gaz_chops

Glad you got it sorted. I will give them a call next week. Hoping it's just a simple yes or no.

Thank you 😊

Stay safe x

Hi Hizzy, I’ve got a pacemaker courtesy of complete heart block following heart surgery. I used to get very out of breath just walking up the stairs or a slight incline. At my first check up at six weeks my concerns were dismissed as being the result of my heart surgery, but at my check up at my local pacemaker clinic at six months the technician found that my settings were much too low and he changed them. Walking back to my car I felt so much better straight away.

I can’t help regarding the exercise as I’m a complete couch potato (mainly due to back and hip problems, but also cos I’m a lazy bugger!) but my clinic told me that if I had any concerns at any time to ring them, so might be worthwhile giving your clinic a ring. They’ll probably be able to help you more than your GP. My clinic are really helpful.

Take care.

Wendy

Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319 in reply to Fredders

Hi Wendy. I had complete heart block and a resting heart rate of 30bpm. I went light headed frequently, but everything else seemed fine. They've been keeping an eye on me for about 4 years, but being so active i think has saved my life and kept my heart beating.

I was supposed to go to the pacing clinic to check the battery won't die too soon and have an xray. Obviously this has been postponed.

I'm pretty sure everything is fine. The scar is a little sensitive at times, but other than that, it just gets in the way sometimes 😄

That's amazing how quick you noticed a difference! If it could make me run a full marathon, that would be fabulous!!

Thank you for your response, i really appreciate it. I feel like the advice I get is for the average person with a pacemaker. I have been active all my life, so it's just disheartening seeing people exercise not knowing if I'll ever be able to or not. This little device has saved my life though, so I'm not complaining.

Thank you x

HiddenThis reply has been deleted
Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319 in reply to Hidden

They said they might have to tweak the settings before they get the right one and check if it will drain the battery too soon.

I have no idea what my settings are. I have gone from resting heart rate of 30bpm to 50-55bpm (this is just going off my Garmin).

I'm fine day to day, i just notice i can't exercise at the intensity i used to. So running up a hill exhausts me compared to what it used. I can't get my heart rate above 185bpm compared to 205bpm. Which i don't mind, it just doesn't take a lot to reach it anymore.

I'm thinking of asking for a phone call consultation. It's just difficult as I don't know what's normal.

Hope your Mums got sorted

I've had my pacemaker since mid Feb, had a pacing check following day and should have had another one last month but postponed until July. I sometimes get puffed out when I'm walking and I certainly wouldn't want to be lifting any weights as the pm site still gets a bit ouchy if I overstretch the area. Its not worth pushing yourself and risking damage so take care.

Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319 in reply to bantam12

Mine is postponed until October. It's a little tender around the scar, and get a random sharp pain every now and then, but running is normal-ish. Just a tad more difficult than it used to be, but I'm just happy to be exercising again.

I'm just unsure what exercises I'm allowed to do, they've been a little vague. I guess i won't know until i get it checked properly.

Thank you for your reply x

Good morning

I’m a member of a patients group on Facebook called Pacemaker UK. If you need support then there are many wonderful people on there, people like you and me with a pacemaker, ready & willing to share their experiences for the benefit of others. It’s a constant boost and especially for those who have just been fitted with a device. It’s similar to this forum but dedicated to pacemakers. Go and say hello and you’ll see what I mean 🙂

Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319 in reply to Stanley18

Good morning. Thank you so much for this. I have just requested to join. I haven't actually told anybody I've had one apart from my parents and my partner. So I'm a tad lost, especially with the current circumstances.

Thank you!!

Keep safe x

Stanley18
Stanley18 in reply to Hizzy2319

I’m really pleased about that. You’ll receive a warm welcome from the group and I know that you’ll be overwhelmed by the level of kindness and support. Not lost any more but found, I hope! x

Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319 in reply to Stanley18

Here's hoping 🤞

If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take you to get used to the device?

Stanley18
Stanley18 in reply to Hizzy2319

I don’t mind you asking at all! It was a gradual thing for me, but 10-12 weeks, where you are now, is about the point where I could sleep and shower comfortably and I didn’t feel that it was rattling around in my chest anymore! I’ve just checked my records and I was cycling again in just over four months and it felt fine. I’ve had my PM for 20 months and I hardly think about it now 🙂

Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319 in reply to Stanley18

I think it's in place now. A couple of weeks ago, it was digging into my arm and was quite sore, but i have no issues now. Because I'm only small, there isn't much space for it to go, so it pertrudes quite a bit and gets in the way.

Running at a gentle pace is absolutely fine, but i struggle if i add hills into my run.

I'm just aware of lifting my arms above my head as i don't want the leads to move, but I'm also concerned i haven't used my shoulders in 12 weeks. I'm going mad 😄

I need to stop being so impatient and focus on healing

I think it’s great that you are continuing with your fitness regimen but everyone is different and I would say that you need to check with your clinic if it’s ok to lift weights. I’m two years post op now but still get the odd twinge at my pm site. In normal circumstances I use the gym and do weights but I’m guessing not at the same standard as you (I’m 65) but it took 6 months before I started again because if the soreness. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it and make that call.

Hizzy2319
Hizzy2319 in reply to Kimkat

I think this is why I'm a little lost. I don't know anybody with a pacemaker, never mind my age and fitness level. That's a little more comforting that an odd twinge is normal. I think my scar is still healing as it itches every now and then, but is completely closed up.

I've started exercising and i have no pain at all. I just don't want to exercise the area without getting the all clear.

Thank you for your reply 😊x

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