Looking for the longest running pacemaker, with the strongest living battery!

by Douglas A. Gero
(Moira, N.Y.)

I'am a 57 year old man who has been through a major twenty and one/half years of pure hell. I mean {hell}.

I am a truck driver. Even with all the pain I have been through, I have managed to drive a tractor trailer, and do good job of it.

Now for the rest of the story. When I was thirty-six years old I got to a point that I could not walk stairs, run, or do anything people at my age could, or wanted to do. I was rushed to the emergency room in Mt. St. Mary's hospital in early September 1988. I could not bend over (I would bleed from the nose) or walk up stairs - almost nothing with out bleeding out the nose.

They ordered me in the hospital where I stayed for 3 and a half weeks. At that time the "doctors" told me I would need a pacemaker. Well I was upset, could not believe this was happening to me. I told the doctors that was not going to happen. They "the doctors" told me I would have one put in, or I would lose my drivers license. The pacemaker was put in.

I started with pain as soon as I was in the recovery room. I lived like this for 15 years - bad pain in my chest even when I was driving. I told the "doctors" about it. Not my heart. Had two upper GIs done in eight years. not my stomach or throat.

In 2002, I was sent to a specialist in Burlington,VT. He checked the battery, he said was over 75 percent good. He turned the high side off and the low side down to 48 bpm.

I just had a problem July 13th. Was in the E.R., bad EKG. They kept me for 3 days. It's now 8/7/09, the doctors want to check the strength of the battery and put in a new one if it needs it. " EXCUSE ME" Someone please tell me WHY?

Comments for Looking for the longest running pacemaker, with the strongest living battery!

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longest running pacemaker
by: Anonymous

I've had a pacemaker for 36 years. The first one lasted 20 years with the same battery. The next two, lasted 6 or 7 years.

why your pacemaker may act up.
by: Roboticker80

I just got a pacemaker this year. I WAS a truck driver, but I have to let it go. I read you guys problems, and I think I may have an answer. The reason your pacemakers are acting up MAY NOT be the pacemakers themselves. It may be the Environments your in. You see (for the trucker) Diesel Exhaust Particulate matter has recently been found out to Destroy the Cardiovascular system. Especially The Hart and the part of the Hart called The Sinus Node. This is the part of the Hart that creates the electrical Impulses that keeps the hart beating. However, if your constantly around Diesel Exhaust Particulate Matter, your constantly destroying the parts of the hart that causes it to continue to beat. There fore causing the pacemaker to work harder or more often. This is why you feel the affect when it's working so often, and, why your battery is being put to use so often. So, if you guys are working around lots of exhaust fumes, your more than likely causing you hart MAJOR DAMAGE, and your pacemakers are taking up the slack when the Exhaust fumes/particulate matter in the exhaust fumes damages you hart for those brief seconds causing it to stop or beat to slowly. The bad thing is, in the long run, it will probably completely destroy your hart until the pacemaker can no longer force it to beat, and you need a new hart. Or, you suffer Massive stroke or hart failure. You must understand, The pacemaker IS A Machine, programed to do a very important job. It will work, as long as it has something to work with.

I you need more Information on the subject of Diesel Exhaust Particulate Matter and the hart, just Google it just like I wrote it here. There are Health Organizations all across America and the world who will send you more Information on the subject. I would start with (THE CDC).

Good luck, and keep on TICKING...

There should be no pain
by: Jacob

The only pain associated with having the pacemaker put in, if if the doctor failed to properly secure it with the silk sheeting used to stabilize it so that it doesn't move around all over the place. To begin with, no one can simply "tell" you that you're having a pacemaker put in, without explaining if the problem is associated with an uncommon rhythm. Also, know what the device is set for. At 50, there's no need for it to be set to a 150 threshold, unless you've got serious abnormal rhythms - if so, then this can explain why your battery continues to wear down - from the PM constantly adjusting your rhythms. I'm 50, and I'm set at 40low-200 high. Why? Well, I drove/unloaded trucks most of my life, and that makes me quite active. The only pain associated with the PM is if it was just placed/seated improperly, and the leads are/maybe too short, or you're doing stuff you should not be doing with it. You can't pull an 800 skid with it and fiddle with a palette jack with that much weight. You'll pull the gentle cloth that they used to keep the Pacemaker seated. Like a bungee cords being pulled to it's limits (except that they are tied to your tissues). Shift most of the weight with the arm other than where the device is seated. No snappy "pulling" or snappy pushing either. Gotta go smooth, use strength, not speed or you'll rip the leads right out. No barbells, or any lifting that resembles it. Not good for the leads. Get the facts on your PM, don't just settle for it being in there. Know how it's behaving, ask questions. Know how active it is, and when it's treating you - the history is all there when the technician checks it. They can see "when" or "if" it has been treating you on the low, but on the High you'll know it, cause you'll drop to your knees. But you have to ask questions. I'm a pain in the rear. I need to know everything about it, not just remaining voltages. Heck, nobody delivers a skid without a bill of laden, knowing the weight and measurement of the palette, origin and destination. I never settle for a doctor telling me "Oh .. it's working ok!" Facts, Treatments, How is it correcting my rhythms, .. has it? How many times? When, how often, at what BPS, what brand is it, name and who makes it? I need to know. You should, too. I'm 50. I learned on a Diamond-Reo, and I've got no pain in my chest simply because the pacemaker is in there. Oh yeah - puhleez don't sleep on your belly or to the side where the PM is on, don't cross your legs while you sleep, don't fold your arms while you rest. Keep the flow going.

Same problem
by: Anonymous

I'm Happy to hear your story, not happy about the pain but happy to see there is someone else. I just had a pacemaker put in a few months ago I'm in my late 40's. I feel pain off and on all the time and I can tell you when the pacemaker is working. I told my doctor and they say nothing. He says you are young and can feel everything. I feel pain. I don't feel well. I get light headed. I felt like it was just me. If you find out anything I hope you post it. I will say a prayer for you. I'm afraid to keep calling the doctor he will think I'm crasy. Good Luck.

strongest and longest still going
by: Douglas A Gero

Hi everyone, I am the 57 year old man that wrote a story about my pacemaker a while back. I told everyone that I had a very hard time about going thru the 20.5 years that I have been thru, and that I was going to the doctor on aug. 7. 2009.

Well I have been and I'm still going strong on the same pacemaker and the same battery. The doctor said the pacemaker battery was still 50 percent good so that was not a problem.

I have taken the advice that was mentioned in the follow up letter, after I sent my letter to you. I have made a new appointment to another doctor, WITH THE EXCEPTION, the doctor I'm going to see now is in a different town. The thought that the leads might have some bearing on the story has been something that the other doctors have wanted to stay away from. I don't know why. Maybe that the pacemaker was put in, in a different town.

Well anyways I did get to ask my doctor about why I can feel the pacemaker when it works(pacemaker). The nurse and the doctor whispered about that but they would not comment to me all that much.

I told the doctor back 5 years ago when he shut the pacemaker off on the high side that I have not had all the pain that I had back before.

The doctor said nothing about the pain as if I said nothing to him about it (the pain).

Hope to be around for a long time to come. So I will enter more of my story as my LIFE continues. Believe me when I say anyone can write about anyone's life. But only that person can tell his or her life story. Myself, now that I have shared with you my story, it seems hard for me to believe that I have been there and done that!!

Thank you all very much for letting me share my story with someone that really counts in this world. Thank you. Douglas A. Gero.

Hang in there, Douglas!
by: Sandra

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the original pacemaker you had installed could last a lifetime!

But, you may need a new pacemaker because, although the batteries do last a long time (and you've had yours for many years!), the batteries do wear out eventually. The battery in my mother's second pacemaker lasted over 14 years. Her first battery lasted 8 years.

The replacement is generally uncomplicated and you should feel much better afterward.

I don't know why you've experienced ongoing pain. Generally a pacemaker should not cause pain. You are doing the right thing by following up with your docs - perhaps ask them if there could be a problem with the wires that lead from your pacemaker to your heart? Keep asking your doc questions and let us know how you make out.

Good luck and take care.

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