How can I be sure my pacemaker is working?

I’m 72, female. I have afib and have had a bypass 15 yrs ago. I also have bad asthma. Two years ago I had a pacemaker installed after a few years of weakness and lymphedema. I felt better for ten days! Now I’m drowning in fluids from head to toe and around my heart. Doc finally says heart is not pumping well. I think the pacemaker was unsuccessful, faulty or I got a recalled one. They say it works but only saw improvement for 10 days. It’s like it wasn’t connected!! How can I be assured it works?

Submitted by Jeanne from Arkansas on 07/16/2014

This is a complex situation. It is important to know if the pacemaker is actually pacing the heart or not. In patients with weak heart muscles, pacing the heart continuously can actually lead to heart failure in some patients over time if there is just a single right ventricular lead. This should be evaluated further.