What to expect

Some days I feel I can climb Mt Everest. Other days I can barely climb the stairs. After four years of a fib which never went to normal on its own, I had a pace maker implanted in July. The main reason for it was to improve my life style so I could dance and be active. I am 67 and active, but I still get winded at times. Other times I can exercise and feel terrific. Is this normal? Can I expect any improvement? Have others experienced this?



by SMITTY - 2008-09-05 01:09:56

Hello Elle,

I think you should talk to your doctor and tell him exactly what you have told us. With that said, I have to admit I am never been able to climb Mt Everest. One reason for that is I'm 12 years older than you, but probably the main reason is I'm basically opposed to strenuous physical activity. I have been told the word describes me is "lazy."

I'm am puzzled how your pacemaker was going to help all that much with the A-Fib. I think I have seen where some of the new ones can interrupt an A-Fib episode and bring the atrial contraction rate back to normal. It does this much like a defibrillator can interrupt ventricular fibrillation, except the pacemaker shocks the stop A-Fib are less powerful. I have looked for the article but I can't find it today. Of course. maybe you have one of the new units that can do this. I hope so.

I have a two lead PM and mine helped with the few A-Fib episode I have had but it does not stop them. It seems that when the heart brings itself out of severe A-Fib attack it slows down too much and in rare cases will even stop. However a PM stops the heart rate from going below the low setting on the PM. At least that is the theory, as I understand it.

But to answer your questions "Is this normal? Can I expect any improvement? Have others experienced this?"

Feeling good some times and not so good sometimes is normal, with or without a pacemaker. At least that is my experience. I doubt that you will see improvement because you have a pacemaker, but that really is one for your doctor to answer. Yes, many of us have experienced this and most of us are just as puzzled as you.

If you can get answers, please share them with us.

I wish you the best.



by Tracey_E - 2008-09-05 10:09:55

I didn't think a pm could help afib, but I don't have that so I really don't know much about it! After you have an episode of getting especially tired, ask them to interrogate before it can get overwritten to see if the memory shows anything. If that doesn't help figure out what's going on, ask for a stress test and try to duplicate getting tired when they're monitoring you. I've had secondary problems that were masked by my main problem and they showed up in a similar fashion. Between interrogating the pm and stress tests, they were able to figure out what else was going on and program around it so I can exercise consistently.

maybe try to permanently get rid of your afib through an abalation procwedure

by allanrogers - 2008-09-06 09:09:28


I am 42 and like you recently -well 10 months a go fitted with a pacemaker dual lead with the supposed afib suppressor built in .It dosnt work allof the time so on medication to keep heart rate down.I hate medication either makes you feel like a zombie and tired or dont have it and feel exausted all the time from afib attacks throughout the night.I am told that the best place to get an abalation operation (pulmonary) is either in bourdeux france or austin texas with a famous heart spoecialist doctor Natale.It can cost up to 20 thousand pounds but it has an 85% success rate at curing you from afib.I am currentl trying to arrrange to get some tests done.I will keep you posted



by Susan - 2008-09-06 09:09:54

Hi Elle,
Are you now going in and out of afib? I know that my endurance changes dramatically from the times I am in afib and when I'm not. Have you had any pacemaker interrogations and if so, what did they show? I don't know what kind of pacemaker you have but my new one records the date and time I went into afib and I can compare that information with what I was doing at the time. As mentioned, a pacemaker is not a cure for afib but it does help control afib for some people by over-riding the afib. If you remain in afib a large percentage of time as indicated from an interogation of your pacemaker, then seeking a procedure to get rid of the afib may interest you.

A Fib

by Suze - 2008-09-07 02:09:37

I had A fib, so I know how frustrating it can be.
I take Flecainide and Toprol XL for my A fib. Since I had borderline bradycardia to begin with, the meds slowed my heart too much. So...I have a pacemaker. The good news for me is I've been A Fib free for well over two years now. It's wonderfful.

You know you're wired when...

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