Never the same

Hi,

I had my pacemaker implanted 9 years ago at the age of 24 for a complete AV block. It happened in a traumatic way and I developed anxiety / panic attacks for maybe two years after. It since has been going well, I have good and bad days but never like before were I used to have panic attacks frequently... very frequently.

About one month ago, I went to the ER because my heartbeat went up to 170. They kept me for the night and let me go saying there was no danger to that arythmia and had no explanation really because it went away on it's own. My cardiologist didn't want to see me because I got sick the week after and she said that it was probably a symptom due to the virus that was coming up.

However, I haven't been the same since. A week before I had a dizzy spell for about 5-10 seconds while rocking my son. Two weeks ago I had another dizzy spell for about 5-10 seconds at work while I was sitting doing a heart ultrasound for a patient. A week ago, another one while doing the dishes and today. Before the dizziness, it's always the same, I feel a little something in my chest, I feel my self becoming pale and then the dizziness occurs.

I called my cardiologist last week, left a message to the nurse and she will contact me to let me know if my cardiologist will prescrib exams.

What is going on?

My husband seems to think it's anxiety, and I know anxiety symptoms can be dizziness, and all I described, but the ones I had recently aren't the same as I used to have after my pacemaker a couple of years ago. Can anxiety symptoms change over the years? Am I just very sensitive to the changes of my heartbeat and I feel everything too much? Am I just so exhausted? My blood pressure too low? My heart?

I'm scared and lost.


5 Comments

HR 170 and dizzy

by AgentX86 - 2023-08-14 17:43:40

If this (either) happens again, go back to the ER.  It's been a month and you're still having symptoms. It's time to camp on your cardiologist's doorstep.

I'm sure your pacemaker is going to check out fine but that only means that you're not.  Insist on answers, or at least some effort to find one.  A heart monitor (Holter or event) would probable show this, if they don't know what it is now.

Please fill out the requested infomation, at least as much as you feel comfortable giving, on your profile page.  It gives us more information so there is a starting place for an answer.

Dizziness

by piglet22 - 2023-08-15 08:32:40

Check your heart rate.

I've had a PM for 18-years, but suddenly this year developed dizziness and falls etc.

Pretty quickly traced to heart rate falling to 40 BPM or less, especially from getting up from sitting or laying down.

Underlying problem seems to be PVCs averaging 100 per hour, unknown to me.

Currently awaiting EP intervention.

Forgot

by piglet22 - 2023-08-15 08:37:59

I had a single episode of tachycardia a couple of months ago and ended up in A&E after waking up with 200+ BPM.

Consulant said something about atrial breakthrough. Treated at the time with Bisoprolol.

Never been followed up so just one of those things.

Doesn't sound like anxiety

by Penguin - 2023-08-15 14:53:32

Hi, 

The problem with getting dx'd with something like anxiety or panic attacks, particularly if its linked to something like a cardiac disorder, is that forever afterwards everyone attributes symptoms to anxiety almost as a default setting and without considering the alternatives.  It's very annoying as it can overshadow symptoms which are new and very real. 

From what I know anxiety symptoms are often 'learned' and repeat - like your panic attacks.  E.g. when you begin to feel a symptom or feeling that your brain has linked to something which previously happened to your heart, your brain remembers the feeling and throws out the old (learned) reactions - in your case panic attacks / fear. As I understand it, that's how anxiety reactions can become entrenched. I imagine symptoms can change with new triggers but that doesn't mean that the trigger is innocuous and shouldn't be checked out. 

You clearly work in a medical field. That may make you even less keen to come forward for help - particualarly if you may be rebuffed but it's important that you have this looked into if it keeps on happening and you feel that it isn't right. You may have to be firm with if the conversation steers towards 'anxiety' as the cause.

I'm really sorry that you're going through this. Keep strong. You know your body and mind best and deserve to be evaluated fairly. 

Pacemaker check

by PacedNRunning - 2023-08-21 21:37:33

Hopefully youve gotten in to your cardiologist and had a PM interrogation.  Symptoms sounds like it can be a lead issue or new arrythmia.  

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