Weird Rate Drop Feeling?

So I had my device implanted in 2018, and up until about 2 months ago my only complication has been super ventricular tachycardia and periods of rate drop that I didn't feel.

About 2 months ago I started feeling weird, kind of like on a roller coaster, and I used a pulse oximeter to keep an eye on my pulse. I would find that while sitting in bed doing absolutely nothing my heart rate would drop to 50bpm and then suddenly Spike to 90 BPM and hold for about 2 minutes. This cycle would go on every 5 to 10 minutes. It panicked me enough to go to the ER, where surprise surprise they weren't much help, and I followed up with my cardiologist on the next day open. (ER trip was Friday, office was closed on Monday, followed up with them on Tuesday). They made some minor adjustments to my rate drop detection thresholds, but I still feel this sudden "roller coaster" sensation. 

I wanted to ask you all if you have had similar experiences, especially sudden onset of sensitivity and if there are any coping mechanisms you found that help. My cardiologist has assured me that this is safe, and that it may be something that I just need to get used to.

My concern is that something changed since it is just happening now after 4 years.


What is your normal rate?

by USMC-Pacer - 2023-10-12 20:59:23

I wouldn't call going from 50 to 90 extreme. 90 is normal for some folks. 50 is low for most other than athletes. What is your normal resting HR?

I have had those feelings you speak of. For me, it was mini panic attacks. For a month after I got my 2nd device back in March, I got hospital induced pneumonia from their breathing tube (had to have both leads removed).. I had two separate bouts of pnuemonia that month before they finally got rid of it. Being unable to breath for the 1st bout and thinking it was something wrong with my heart, put me into panic mode. I had the same drop feelings, shortness of breath, HR drop, and panic (which felt cardiac to me). It took me two ER trips before they figured it out. Nothing was wrong with my heart, it was me freaking out, lol..<--not funny :) They offered medication, but once I knew it wasn't my heart, they disappeared over the next month or so.

In addition to HR, do you take your BP during the drops?

It would be strange for you to be having panic attacks after all this time, but who knows what triggers them. 

Others will be along soon to give you other ideas.. hope all improves! 

I’ve had that feeling

by JaneJ - 2023-10-14 03:21:51

I've had that exact feeling your describing.  The time I had it was when I had a lead failing and my ventricular lead was failing, which was causing me significant pauses and at times no heartbeat at all.  But it felt very similar to the roller coaster type of feeling.  It's quite a strange feeling.  I hope they are able to resolve this issue for you soon!  Take care!

Happening to Me

by heartu - 2023-10-15 23:09:13

Similar experience off and on for past 2 1/2 months. Long story short, complained and doctors office could not detect a problem until I sent a transmission while it was happening and office also starting monitoring nightly. It was aFib and since last Monday I have had persistent aFib. Currently on Eliquis 5mg 2xs a day. Discussing further treatment with EP doctor later this week.


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