Pacemaker for sick sinus syndrome, now exercise tachycardia
I had a Pacemaker inserted Jan 2018 for sick sinus syndrome. For some reason the sinoatrial node was working 50% of the time and I was getting very dizzy (RHR in the 30’s).
I also have ‘exercise intolerance’ so Oct 2018 the Dr increased the settings so that my heart would rise to the level of exercise. I run a lot and even completed an ultra marathon Sept 2018.
Since the setting change I’ve had tachycardia whenever I exercise. I had the settings adjusted again 2 weeks ago after complaining my HR was in the 170’s and sometimes 180’s when doing a slow jog. I’m 45 yo woman. I also have had severe pain in the centre of my chest while running a couple of weeks ago, but it stopped after a few minutes when I stopped running. I went to the GP and the cardiologist and they said probably nothing to worry about. The cardiologist did adjust the exercise settings in the PM down a notch to prevent more tachycardia. Both drs put the pain down to exercise induced angina. Then last week I had chest discomfort and slight pain where my heart was after running. It didn’t go away after a couple of hours so I went to the ER. They checked for heart attack, did some X-rays and other than high CK levels (in the 250’s), there was nothing they could find. I had a follow up CT scan as I’ve had this ‘discomfort’ on and off for over a year, but never for 2 hours. The CT showed nothing. I thought that the adjustment to the PM would have sorted the exercise tachycardia by now. But my HR is still in the 170’s and peaks in the 180’s even if I go really slow. The nurse at the ER also said that I’m completely reliant on the PM as it was always pacing when I was in hospital.
I feel like I’m just complaining. That they might think it’s all in my head. Especially when the cardiologist checked my exercise HR on the PM monitor and said it was in the 140’s. I pointed out that was because I was stopping or walking to get the HR down (e.g. 30 sec jog: 30 sec walk) Now I’m not walking at all so I can show what the actual exercise rates are. And I haven’t collapsed. Which is the first question the dr’s ask. When I say no it’s like, well it’s not really a problem. Do I have to faint before I get taken seriously? Once I got dizzy and then disoriented and I had to ring my husband to find me in the park as I couldn’t recognise anymore where I was. Even though I run the route regularly.
I’m worried I will one day faint or worse.