I Want To Know What Your PVCs Feel Like So I Know If Mine Are PVCs

I understand that a PVC is an "Extra Heart Beat" that disrupts your regular heart rhythm and this is what the defininition is. I've talked to a couple of nurses and my "Pacemaker Tune Up Girl" about my heart suddenly stopping and then starting up again and they stated they are probably PVCs. I even mentioned the PVCs to my primary and he said my pacemaker most likely did nothing to stop them. 

My worry is when I have one my "Heart Completely Stops" for several seconds then starts back up. I don't feel any "Extra Heart Beat", My heart just stops then starts again a few seconds later. I have a defibulator and if my heart stops for 10 seconds it will go off. 

I had my heart go into an arrhytmic condition in the past after I ate and it's not funny. Your heart goes crazy and is constantly skipping beats for a couple of hours straight. 

When my heart competely stops for a couple of seconds and all I hear is PVC and don't worry about it, "I Still Worry About It". 

I want to hear from others and what "Your" PVCs feel like before I stop worrying.  


What you feel is not an extra beat, but the pause after the PVC

by Gotrhythm - 2019-06-08 18:30:48

Your problem is you only about half understand what you have been told about PVCs. The only  cure is to learn more and understand more completely. [smile] Personally, I find an explanation in words impossible to understand. Fortunately, we have the Internet.

Type into your browser animation heart conduction system. You will find several youtube and other videos explaning how the heart's electrical system works. You can also find PVC videos.

Vastly oversimplified, the heartbeat starts in the atria causing them to contract. A fraction of a second later the electrical impulse gets to the ventricles and they contract.

A PVC is just what the name implies. It is a Pre-Ventricular Contraction, a contraction in the ventricles that happens before it is supposed to. For most people it's just something that happens sometimes--they might not even feel it. It's so common it's considered normal--that's why your doctor seems so blase. 

I guess you could call it an extra heartbeat, but no, it isn't an extra beat that you feel. If your heart were a clock, it would go tick-tock, tick-tock tick-tock tock .....TICK-tock. What you feel is the pause just after the PVC and then the extra-hard normal beat that follows. YOu don't feel the tock. You feel  the .....TICK-tock.

If I'm reading you correctly you worry that when you feel the pause ( the ..... ) it means your heart has stopped and it might not start up again--and that might cause the defibrillator to fire.

Good news! You have a pacemaker! A PVC only feels like a skipped beat. It isn't really. If your heart even tries to actually skip a beat, the pacemaker will insert a beat exactly where it should.  So no more worry about your heart stopping. Your pacemaker is your insurance that it won't happen. Find a youtube video that shows how the pacemaker works.

I'll freely admit that when I have a bunch of PVCs in a row, it's unpleasant. Sometimes painful. I don't feel good. But, I have had upwards of 40,000 a day. I'm living proof that with a pacemaker on board, PVCs haven't stopped my heart yet. I don't think they'll stop yours.



by AgentX86 - 2019-06-08 21:54:30

When you say that after this "PVC" your heart doesn't beat again for several seconds?  Have you actually measured this with a stopwatch or counted "mississippis"?  ...or is this your estimate of the time.  If your heart is really stopping for several seconds, you need to get it checked out.  That shouldn't be happening.  It's why you have a pacemaker in the first place.

In any case, it's difficult to describe what any of these things feel like and even if we could, we're all different and perceive these things differently (most never feel a PVC).  Since you have a pacemaker, have you tried recording when this happens and done a remote transmission after one of these episodes? 

If it is a PVC, there is no way a pacemaker will get rid of them.  A pacemaker can only add beats.  It can't stop an errant beat once it's been started elsewhere in the heart.



by RedRocksGirl - 2019-06-11 01:58:16

I used to have them before my ICD, also had them for YEARS before I developed heart failure which was the reason for me getting an ICD. Mine always felt like a skipped beat, although I know it wasn’t skipping. I could take my pulse too when having them and there would be a pause in the beat of the pulse. There were a couple of time when they’d be happening every minute or so and that would last  24 hours! The only time I went to have it checked out was when I’d been having them for over 12 hours - and I was about 7 months pregnant. In he ER they told me it was because I was dehydrated so they gave me IV fluids and I believe some potassium (or maybe magnesium) and within probably 15-30 minutes the PVCs stopped. 

I’ve had my ICD since January and haven’t experienced any since then. 

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