Palpitations/dizziness/blacking out

I found this site last October 2018 after getting an emergency PM for sick sinus syndrome bradycardia, but this is the first time I’ve posted. I’m so frustrated and worried because I’m having severe palpitations that feel like my heart is literally moving sideways. This is followed by dizziness, near fainting, choking feeling, and/or pins and needles. Sometimes it happens over and over for hours. My greatest fear is that I may black out while driving. I had and echo today and they checked my PM, and the cardiologist said there is nothing. Nothing in echo and nothing recorded on PM. How can this be? It has to be SOMETHING! I told her that I’m having the same symptoms that I had just before getting the PM. She said it is stress and anxiety related (which I agree with) but the symptoms are REAL. I don’t know what to do at this point. Thank you in advance for any advice. 


digging deeper

by Tracey_E - 2019-08-21 21:30:38

If you feel like you are going to pass out, maybe it's best to not drive?

The pacer is not like an ekg that records everything. It only records when it paces or episodes of something like afib that it's programmed to catch. Anything extra your heart does on its own is not going to show up. Echo shows heart function, condition of the valves- basically how the heart is doing structurally. It's possible something is going on that was easily missed by those two tests. You could push the ep to dig deeper, but if you both think it's anxiety, maybe it's time to see your gp about that. 

Get yourself a 14 day Zio patch

by ar_vin - 2019-08-22 01:59:02

RIGHT NOW get your EP to get you a 14 day Zio patch (AKA Holter monitor) which will record all episodes that it senses and those that you initiate when you feel symptoms and DON'T DRIVE until you get to the bottom of this.

Once you have the Zio patch results and they are reviewed by your EP and you, you can then decide if there's a cardiac origin to your symptoms and then go from there.

You'd be wasting your time with a primary care physician until you get this figured out first.



Holter monitor

by Gotrhythm - 2019-08-24 18:16:24

Do you know what brings on the dizzy/ palptiation episodes? i. e. can you make it happen? Or is it only when you are driving?

I ask because if you can, you need to arrange to have one in the presence of your doctor.

Also, as ar_vin says,  a Holter monitor will allow the doctor to see what your heart is doing when you feel these feelings.

Probably, there's nothing wrong with your pacemaker. But your heart might not be reacting well to being paced. Oddly enough the pacemaker can't tell you that. The Holter monitor test can help sort that out.

Just for your own peace of mind, you need to know the "name" of those palpitations you're having. Medically, it might not make that much difference, but it will help you to feel like whatever is going on is knowable. Again, it will take a Holter monitor to tell exactly what is occuring when you feel these feelings.

Finally, if my heart were beating so strangely, it felt like it was moving sideways and I became so dizzy I feared passing out at the wheel. I would feel plenty anxious! It seems to me that some degree of anxiety is not neurotice but perfectly rational given your circumstances.

Accpet the anxiety diagnosis only when you know for sure the problem isn't something else.

Oh, and is your cardiologist an EP? This soundls like some kind of rhythm issue, the kind of thing an EP would be more likely to know how to treat.

Thank You

by Meg - 2019-08-25 13:04:12

i appreciate the advice but also the comfort of knowing that what I’m experiencing is real. My cardiologist made me feel like there was nothing she could do. I suggested a Holter Monitor, but she claimed the pacemaker would show the same things as an HM, but even I thought that didn’t sound right. 


by Heartthrob - 2019-08-26 12:43:47

Such beautiful replies here to your concerns.

I'll reinforce two: If you feel you may pass out while driving, do you think you should be doing so? Before I received an emergency pacemaker, I experienced a brief blackout at a stop light. Had I been on a highway I might not be writing this or someone else might have been harmed.

Until your doc or a second opinion can get to the bottom of this, you might consider getting a friend or relative to drive you, use Uber or Lyft, hire the teenager down the street. Whatever.

2. As stated above, a Holter monitor can track this. Second opinions are useful when the one we get from one provider does not satisfy our needs to know or issues with our conditions.


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