New to the Club

Just received PM this past Monday. Was diagnosed with tachy/brady, with several AFib bouts in the past few months. I’m 58, played soccer most my life, and consider myself to be in good shape. All cardiac test indicated no valve, artery, or structural issues. Only lighter in the wallet.

Hard to get used to 60 bpm rest setting when I was “normally” 48-52 or even less.  I still get arrhythmia several times a day, which never fails to scare the shit out of me, but it only lasts a beat or two or a few seconds. Still somewhat lightheaded, dizzy, and short of breath. Can’t say I’ve seen a marked improvement in this.

New symptom, since implant,  is a throbbing in neck and head when I bend over.   Seem to have increased chest pressure also, particularly when I lie down. Lastly, I really feel my heart beating now. Does this pounding feeling subside?

Any comments from the vets?


A few things ......

by MartyP - 2019-04-27 21:30:54

Watch you diet - try to stay away from caffeine and sugar as I find that makes my heart pound sometimes.

Regarding the resting heart rate, the standard setting is 60, but for some of us, including me, it's too high.  Mine was originally set to set, but I found it uncomfortable and the EP lowered it to 55 and that works for me.

Are you sure it's arrhythmia?  If you are feeling "skipped beats" it my likely be PVS's - Premature Ventricular Contractions (which is actually an early beat).  PVC's are sort of normal but they are scary as they give you a funny feeling.  Do some reading about PVC's and if that's what you are feeling, unless you get a crazy number of them, they are harmless, just really annoying until you know what they are.

If they are PVC's, then again, stay away from caffiene, sugar and alchohol.  I take Magnesium + Taurate every day and for me that "supposedly" keeps them in check.

new normal

by Tracey_E - 2019-04-27 22:05:40

it will take some time to get used to the higher resting rate and to stop noticing every little thing. What you are going through is perfectly normal, and it doesn't last forever. 


by EilishBow - 2019-04-28 09:33:31

Everything you described is normal. You’re getting used to having something control your heart rate, which trust me feels horrible! It will take a while for them to tweak the settings to help you feel more comfortable. I had a new pacemaker put in 2 years ago and I could always feel my heart pounding at night, it really annoyed me. So I have had my rate turned down to 45 bpm so at night my heart rate can go lower. Which is natural for the body in deep sleep. Just make sure you tell your doctors how you’re feeling, get them to explain what changes may help, don’t let them change things without talking to you. I used to go to pacemaker checks and they would be like “we will just change this...” and it’s like no woah, tell me what you want to change. They don’t always understand the smallest change can leave us feeling completely different. I’m sure your body will soon get used to the pacemaker. I also avoid caffeine as I know it will give me palpitations! But don’t forget palpitations are a normal part of our bodies response to stress, adrenaline and anxiety so really you will never always avoid them. I regularly have palpitations, especially when I am tired! 

Thanks for the input!

by John K - 2019-04-28 12:56:44

Many thanks for your feedback. Makes me feel a lot more at ease. As fas as the arrhythmia goes, I got a note from my Dr after I posted originally. From the PM monitoring, it was determined to be NSVT. 


Thanks again

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I'm 43 and have had my pacemaker four weeks today. I'm looking forward to living another 50 years and this marvelous device inside me will help me do that.