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Do I really need a pacemaker?
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Do I really need a pacemaker?

Hi, I am 36 years old male. I had a really bad year since my wife got a breast cancer.

I started to read a lot about medical symptoms. One day I thought I had cancer, the other day thought I had diabetes.  I started to have panic attacks night time. Since then I went through a range of weird symptoms. I would wake up, feel daisy and my heart start to race. I never suffered from panic attacks in my whole life. I had only an anxiety disorder.

They did a 24 hours Otter Monitor on me. They discovered that my heart pause 4-7 seconds a few time while sleeping. It does not happen when I am awake. Since they discover that I am constantly anxious. They put me on medication and that helps a bit. They echo of my heart an the stress test returned normal.

The cardiologist told me it could be better for me to have a pacemaker for prevention.He said  I might never have problem but if it happens day time, I could injure myself or somebody else while driving. He mentions that a pacemaker may also solve my panic disorder problem.

It is hard for me to accept it because I am young.  I don't seem to stop breathing night time but my family doctor will order a sleep apnea test to rule this out.

Anything else should I get tested for?
Should I really have a pacemaker?
Related Discussions
230125_tn?1193369457
The first thing I would do is get tested for sleep apnea.  That is a common cause of pauses like that during sleep.

In general, I am quite conservative about placing pacemakers in people as young as you are.  Before having the pacemaker placed, I would consider a second opinion.  I am not saying your doctor is wrong or that i disagree that a pacemaker may be indicated, but I would want to see the Holter strips before I agreed to place a pacemaker in a 36  year old.  There is not an absolute indication for  a pacemaker.
14 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks. I appreciate your answer.

I am going to get tested for sleep apnea and get a second opinion.

Regards,

Andrew

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84483_tn?1289941537
I doubt a pacemaker will cure panic attacks or anxiety disorder, I sure wouldn't like that line tossed at me, just my personal opinion only . If I were you I'd take Dr. McWilliams suggestions seriously, in my personal opinion he's a fair and no  nonsense Doctor.
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Avatar_n_tn
When I think of it, the cardiologist I have seen did not even explain anything about the pacemaker. I have no idea what to expect. He isn't very talkative.He says that whenever I am ready, I have to go and sign papers.

When I asked him what could cause it to happen only at night, he told me" that could be many things and we could look for a long time to find the cause". How about the main ones...Sleep Apnea, thyroid disorder? He avoids to talk about it.

We are in Canada here and doctors tends to back themselves up before thinking about the patient. I would prefer to go USA, pay and get what I am supposed to get as a service.

Cause of his background, I am trusting doctor Dc McWilliams and will follow his recommendations : Sleep apnea test and second opinion.
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230125_tn?1193369457
How easy is it to get a second opinion with the Canadian health care system?
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Avatar_f_tn
I live in Canada as well, and it is NOT easy to get a second opinion, or a first sometimes for that matter.  We do not pay for out healthcare (which is good), but that means we can only see a specialist if our family doctor deems it neccesary, we have to be referred.  If your doctor doesn't think you need a cardiologist, you don't get one, period.  I have had arrythmias for years, and the doctors have been great, but I just got out of the hospital after a 2 days of SVT, LBBB and a couple of other things I didn't even know about, and for the first time in the 7 years I have been dealing with this, I was referred to an electrophysiologist, just last week.   Anyway, I am grateful for what we have, but if they don't catch you with something, your not going to get a referral.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I had been waking up once a month in a cold sweat, sometimes disoriented and extreme nausea. Was told for 2 years it was Meniers Disease....
I passed out after waking up and walking to kitchen then blacked out the next morning I passed out and hit my head, went to ER. Fell asleep at hospital and they recorded a eight second pause! (the overwhelming feeling of dizziness, nasuea etc all were due to this. One hour later I had a 15 second pause then a 20 second pause. I had a dual chamber pm put in the next day. I also have had SVT for 15 yrs which now they want to due the EB study. I had SVT while he was attaching the leads during surgery. Are these pauses normal right before the menstrual cycle? They have only occured two days before cycle starts. Were they dangerous other than passing out obviously... I'm 40 and a little stressed I have a pm at my age. Thanks!
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88793_tn?1290230777
I have the symptoms that what you described.  This is my fourth pacemaker that I currently carried.  Occasionally, the holter (not the pacemaker) recorded my pause which was longer than 2.5sec.  My EP said it is normal but he can't explain it why the pacer didn't pace during that time.  He has come across many cases like that.  

But, my dizziness, nausea and sweaty haven't been diagnosed yet.  They said my pacemaker is anti-faint so I can live like that for the rest of my life.  Also was suspected a Meniers Disease.  This massive spinning, vomiting (unable to sit up) only happens once a year.  This happened 4 days before my cycle.  I'm 51 and now my cycle is regular and spot on the date.
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Avatar_n_tn
I did what you said and went for s second opinion.

The second cardiologist had me another 24hrs otter monitor. The result was worst this time. The longest pause he recorded was 11 seconds.

They got me to the hospital the same day. I stayed overnight because I was schedule for the next morning. They woke me up 5 times and I had no symptoms. They told me I had a 15 seconds pauses once. I became skeptical. How come I had no symptoms?

They have no answer of what is causing this.
They put in me a 2 leads pacemaker. Why a 2 leads? They say it is better. ???
I have no sleep apnea apparently because I was plug on the usual oxygen sensor and they have seen no problems,

Should I investigate more or everything is nornal?
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783404_tn?1236261007
Hi, I am a 35 year old women who is 300lbs.  I had a sleep study last night for Sleep Apnea.  The lady told me that I didn't stop breathing or anything but that my heart rate drop really low and it was rather scary.  She said to make sure that I ask the doctor to order a EKG.  I have had EKG's in the past but they were always while I was awake.  The dropping of my heart rate is while I am sleeping.  Why would my heart rate drop.  Could this be a form of sleep apnea or something else heart related.  I am rather worried, I know that my weight had allot to do with my health problems.  I am also on blood pressure meds could this effect the heart rate? I was told it would take about three weeks before the doctor would get the sleep test.  What should I do in the mean time?
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Avatar_n_tn
      I am a 64 year old woman who has  had problems with heart palpitations on and off for many years. As of late, I've been experiencing heartbeats throughout my body(back, feet, legs, hands, neck) and the palpitations sometimes last an entire day. I'm really worried now because of my age. Doctors have put me on anti-anxiety and/or anti-depression meds over the years with success. But in recent years, the palpitations are intensified for a while when I take these medications. Later they subside( after about an hour), but I become fearful and stop taking the meds.
      Three months ago I began experiencing severe fatigue for no apparent reason. I went from being a fairly active person who walked eight to nine miles a week to someone who gets tired just talking. Now a ten minute walk makes me extremely tired. My cardiologist and physician have done numerous test (stress, 24 hr monitor, echo) with normal results.Dr. did say I have a leaky valve but that it wasn't serious. Five years ago I had a heart cath. (no blockage) so they tell me now it's anxiety.  Problem is these medications intensify the palpitations and I'm afraid I'll have a heart attack when I take them. In fact seemingly any chemicals (vitamins, any meds) make my palpitations worse. Isn't pounding heartbeats daily very serious for a person of my age? Should I have some sort of device implanted to prevent  heart failure or heart attack?
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Avatar_f_tn
To: dr mcwilliams
I am not sure if i am doing this right . I am 41  i have had a fast heart beat and chest pain, my neck looked as though it was going to to burst .This happened 3 weeks ago .But two weeks ago the same thing happened .I went to emerg my heart was 138 beats at rest .They gave me a 2 second heart test took blood and took me off the atacand i was on and gave me 25mg atenolol . the emerg doc said my thyroid was a bit low and my potassium was low .She wanted me to get adrenal test thyroid recheck ekg stress and holter tests .My doc said she was wrong.. thyroid is normal will not send me for adrenal scan and gave me potassium chloride 8 meq 2x aday .he told me to stop atenolol 1 week prior to stress test ..i want answers and do not know how to find them he told me he thinks its anxiety. I feel he is wrong . I have severe headaches ,not as much since atenolol.i get the shakes weakness extreme cold with shivers then etreme hot with sweats.i have no appetite  usually but still lose no weight .i either cant sleep or sleep too much .off balance blurry vision at times .this is not normal my sister has mitro valve prolapse and heart problems in grandparents .any suggestions ??? thanks  P.s Could Mold in our basement cause this .Our kids are always ill colds ,sinus ears ect. No one smokes but we do have a lot of mold our home is over 100 yr old brick and mortor .  just a thought !thanks again

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Avatar_f_tn
My 10 year old daughter is going in for her third abalation for AVNRT.  She has rates from 170-185-215-260 with chest pains, shortness of breath, fatigue and some very slow rates at night down to 36 bpm.  She gets 5-10 episodes a day on a really bad day.  Lasting 1-2 minutes.   Should there be a time when further abalations should not be considered and a pacemaker is more of an option?  She started meds a month ago to help her deal with the extreme fatigue.  Her doctor doesn't want her on them for too long.   Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

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I must be a doofus, how do you post a new topic on this board????
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