Catherine (17catherines) wrote in little_details,

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Life with a pacemaker

Hi all. First post here, so apologies if I'm doing it wrong.

I have a character who is in her thirties and has a pacemaker because she has Long QT syndrome or something very like it (very simple version is that her heart has some electrical irregularities and could randomly stop). Google has kindly explained to me that she can indeed exercise, use microwaves, and even have sex (possibly not all three at the same time though), but what I'd really like to know is what a pacemaker feels like. I googled that, too, but just got kindly medical sites explaining that you'll hardly notice it at all, which doesn't really help or reassure me.

The problem is that I'm not really clear on whether the pacemaker follows the speed the heart is going at and just regularises things, or whether it wants to be in charge. And I think what I really need is the perspective of someone who wears one, not of a Helpful Medical Advice site. I did find a patient support site which answered a few questions I had, but I don't think it's appropriate for me to go asking questions there.

In particular, I'd like to know:

- if she is running or in a fight, is she going to be breathless early on while she waits for her pacemaker to catch on to what she is doing?
- is there anything she is going to notice about it / feel on a day-to-day basis?
- if she has a strong emotional reaction to something - the kind where her heart rate might normally speed up - what will happen and how will it feel?
- if her heart was trying to lose rhythm and the pacemaker was steadying it, would she feel that? And how would it feel?

Terms Googled: pacemaker exercise, pacemaker sex, how does a pacemaker feel, pacemaker emotional reactions

Thanks so much.
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