Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New Developments in Biological Pacemaker Research

The results of research at Johns Hoplins in Baltimore were released today and show great promise in creating a biological alternative to implanted pacemakers. Scientists used fibroblasts, which are common connective tissues found throughout the body and combined them with regular heart muscle cells to create cells that generate electrical current. When implanted in guinea pigs with artificially slow hearts, their heart rate was quadrupled.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

2005 Heart Walk

On October 23 my daughter Victoria and I will be walking in the annual American Heart Association's Heart Walk. My employer is sponsoring several teams this year and we all have personal goals of raising $200 for the AHA.

As most of you know, I received a pacemaker implant back in January of 2004. Even though I'm no longer dependent on the pacemaker, I still have a keen interest in keeping up with research in heart disease, which the American Heart Association is a great supporter of. I'm also in the beginning stages of a long term plan to change my life style from fat couch potato to healthy outdoors stud. I started on September 13, and in the last 23 days I've dropped 20 pounds and I'm walking almost 2 miles a day.

I'm asking all my friends, family, and strangers who happen to stumble over this blog to consider making a donation to the American Heart Association by clicking on this link.

Thanks in advance from Alan, Marissa, and Victoria.

Please feel free to post the link to my AHA website on your blog or website. Every donation helps. Here's the full link:

Monday, July 18, 2005

Guidant Pacemaker Woes

More problems have been reported with Guidant pacemakers and ICDs. They're making recommendations that devices be replaced for patients that are completely dependent on them.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Lyme Disease

Here's an interesting article about Lyme Disease that mentions the link to heart block. I have a high degree of suspicion that Lyme Disease is what caused my heart block, and the high doses of antibiotics I received after the pacemaker implant cleared it up and the heart block then disappeared.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Dual vs. Single Chamber Pacemakers

Here's an article discussing some research done on Dual vs. Single Chamber Pacemakers. I have a dual chambered, but the upper lead is believed to be misplaced so the pacemaker is set to operate in ventricular mode only. It might be a bigger deal if I was dependent on the pacemaker, but the cardiologist didn't seem too concerned about it.

Fifty Years of Pacemakers

Here's an article from that discusses pacemakers in general and some of the results regarding life expectancy.

Monday, April 04, 2005

14 Months

It's been 14 months since I had the pacemaker implanted. There's still no signs of the Heart Block returning, so I basically have a rather expensive heart monitor installed. I haven't been back to the cardiologist lately, but will probably schedule a visit at the 18 or 24 month mark.

I have to admit I'm still a little bitter about having a pacemaker for a condition that quickly disappeared. I still harbor some feelings that maybe there was a rush to get it implanted without completely diagnosing the causes. Everyone keeps telling me to be grateful that I have the pacemaker, but they don't have to feel a hard metallic lump every morning in the shower when they're soaping up their chest like I do. I still don't think I've gone an entire day without noticing it or thinking about it, but I have come to accept it for the most part.