Pacemaker/defib Question

I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this sort of thing. I plan on asking my mom’s cardiologist many questions when she goes for her post-insertion checkup next Tuesday…but, I was just curious if anyone has any stories about pacemakers that they’d care to share, maybe what I should look out for with my mom, etc.

Here’s the deal:
My mother just got a pacemaker/defib thing put in this past Friday. She came home from the hospital on Saturday.
My question is, how long will it take for it to start ‘making her feel better’, as her cardiologist told me it would? She almost passed out at the hospital the night of the surgery, and they made her stay in bed till she was released on Saturday. They also had someone come in and ‘adjust’ the pacemaker/defib thing on Saturday morning. She is home and not feeling too spry. I don’t know how long this is supposed to go on.

Or, maybe I’m expecting too much, too soon.

I don’t want to scare you or anything, but I have a story. My brother had a pacemaker. In order to make his heart react they had to set the charge all the way (let’s call it to “ten”). The doctor said that would require more frequent battery replacement, which is minor, but not desireable to do more than necessary.

About 2 weeks after his pacemaker insertion he went in for a checkup and they said they could turn it down to level four, which would make the battery last longer and is generally closer to what the pacemaker is intended to do.

My brother died the next day. It was never proven, but I think that they turned the power down to a level that his heart just did not respond to adequately.

Now that was 20 years ago and I am sure things are MUCH improved. It is just something worth mentioning to the cardiodoc. The trade off between output by the pacemaker and battery life.

I wish your mom the best. I know of many more people who have recovered from the pacemaker implant to have active lives. I am sure she will be one of them.

Thank you, newcrasher. Any sort of information is welcome to me, since I know next to nothing about this stuff!
I’m sorry about your brother. I’m sure nowadays, things are different regarding the pacemakers and all.

I work in a cardiology office and see patients with pacemakers and new pacemakers all the time. Sometimes the patient feels better immediately after implantation, for example a patient who had chronic slow heartrate(bradycardia) or atrial fibrillation, where the heart is just not pumping efficiently. Some other patients may take a while to get the pacemaker adjusted correctly. Depending on what other conditions she has, what medications she’s on and also if they need to make further adjustments to the pacemaker it may take a while to get her sorted out. The most important thing is for her to keep her physician aware of how she’s feeling and not to accept feeling poorly as just part of her condition. Today’s pacemakers are really amazing things and they can usually “capture” abnormal heart events in their memory so that the physician can review them later.

Thank you, Demo. I guess the best thing to do is just wait and see what her Cardio. says about it all. Her appointment to see him is this coming Friday.
So, maybe he’ll do some adjusting then.

It’s going to take a while my FIL had one, it took about 6-8 weeks before he was actually feeling better than when he went in. I was a guinea pig for an external pacing unit once, it went kinda like this. :slight_smile: :eek: :frowning: :eek: :frowning: :eek: :frowning: :eek: …

Is it a combination Defib Pacemaker? :cool:
Do you know who the manufacturer is?

Yes, it is a combination Defib/PM, but I have NO idea who the manufacturer of the device is. I can find out on Friday, though!

I figured that it’s going to take awhile, and that I was just expecting results too soon. Hopefully, they’ll get it all straightened out before too long and she’ll be feeling better.

Thanks, VenusProbe. It’s good to know that not everyone feels better as fast as we think they should!