Pilot, Parent & Pacemaker Recipient

I am a 44 year old otherwise fit and healthy 44 year old pilot, parent and recent pacemaker recipient. On our first day of holiday in Sweden I woke up at 4 in the morning feeling something was wrong. Felt very weak and my heart was beating very slow and heavy in my chest.

Paramedics arrived very swiftly and found my pulse to very slow and rushed me off to hospital, on arrival I had about 30 BPM and then while the nurse was checking me out it dropped to below 20 and I felt myself slipping away. After and EKG and an echo cardiogram the cardiologist informed me that I had third degree heart block and that the only treatment available was a pacemaker. A third degree what I said, this was complete news to me as I was water skiing only 3 days before and otherwise fit and healthy.

At first I went through the why me phase and more recently have been rejoicing the miracle that is a pacemaker and started a support a blog (http://pacemakersupportgroup.ning.com/) to both help me through sharing my experiences and hopefully help other in a similar situation.

Stay Strong
Electric Mark
electricmark electricmark
41-45, M
2 Responses May 31, 2012

this is so close to my story...also 44....biking 16 miles and 5k run just weekends before "my episode". I woke up feeling nausious and just kept passing out and falling to the ground as I tried to get to the bathroom that ominous night.....on fall #3, my husband witnessed it, and scared him so much he insisted we were going to the hospital....Thank God. He saved my life I think. When we got there, they hooked up the heart monitor, and immediately for the 4th time in 5 hours, it happened again....on the monitor.....COMPLETE 3RD DEGREE HEART BLOCK. But wait I said, unbelievable, I am here for the flu...what are you talking about......Then they told my husband I needed a pacemaker very casually....again the doctor heard, "what, we are here because she has the flu, what are you talking about?????" but here I am less than 6 months later with a pacemaker......alive....starting to look back and see how very lucky I am

Oh my gosh! your story is exactly like mine. I was 33, healthy, and from one moment to the next I was diagnosed with 3rd degree heart block. I went through the woe is me phase and now am grateful for the existence of pacemakers. I have even given birth to my youngest child since then. Nice to know there are other young people with a similar story to mine.