Skipping beats

I’m in a hotel at the airport and noticed my heart skipping the odd beat. I’ve only had my PM for about 6 days and my anxiety is going through the roof. Please tell me this happens to other people. I’m on the verge of not getting on the plane. My heart is still regular but skips. I’ve suffered with AF and Flutter for years and had multiple ablations. This was meant to be my new beginning. Help 



by Tracey_E - 2019-08-19 21:55:28

There is nothing about being near the airport, going through airport security, or being on a plane that will affect your pacer. Anxiety can wreak havoc. We tend to be hyper aware when the device is new and when we are in a new situation. Are you at a higher altitude or dehydrated?  If in doubt you could go to the ER for an interrogation to put your mind at ease. 

Skipped beats happen

by Gotrhythm - 2019-08-19 22:07:07

Dont hit the panic button yet. "Skipped" beats are something your heart does on its own. The pacemaker doesn't cause them...and the pacemaker can't prevent them. That's the bad news.

The good news is that the occasional skipped beat isn't a sign anything serious is going on. It's hard to know if people really have more skipped beats after they get a pacemaker, or because they have a pacemaker they are paying more attention to their heartbeat.

The worst thing about skipped beats is the more they upset you, the more of them you are likely to have. So, the first thing to do is calm down. Relax and focus on what is going on around you, and outside you. It's really safe to do so.

Now, here's something you might not know. Your heart isn't really skipping or missing beats. Maybe someone else can explain why it feels like a beat was missed. But you can trust that I do know what I'm talking about. I've had lots and lots of what you're feeling. And eight years post pacemaker, I'm still here.

Relax. You have a pacemaker. The pacemaker is not going to let your heart go for too long without beating. Your heart isn't going to stop.

By the way, six days after surgery is early to be in an airport, presumably waiting for a plane. Getting a pacemaker is not nothing. You're not even halfway through the usual recovery period. Cut yourself and your pacemaker some slack.

Welcome to the club!

by AgentX86 - 2019-08-19 22:13:46

Yeah it sucks but it's not unusual.  I thought I was all done with that crap too.  I had AF for years and had a Cox Maze procedure to stop that and all it did is change AF to atypical AFL and had three failed ablations trying to stop the AFL.  After all that I ended up having asystoles, so needed a PM. From there it wasn't a long stretch to agree to an AV node ablation.  My decided that any sort of normal rhythm was too borring, so started up right away with bigeminal PVCs.  I don't know that yours are PVCs but it's not uncommon and it fits your description "skipping the odd beat".  If that's what's going on, you're not skipping a beat, rather you're getting a normal beat, followed by a PVC which coming early doesn't cause a complete contraction so it feels like you're missing every other beat.  You're not but knowing that doesn't make it feel better. 

The bottom line is that, unless they're constant, PVCs are benign.  If you're permanently in bigeminy, they'll want to figure out how to stop them. For me, they cranked my PM up to 80bpm which makes the next normal beat come before the PVC would have, so the PVC gets burried in normal beats.  I don't like a resting heart rate of 80bpm but it sure beats the bigeminy.  They've set my PM for 50bpm at night so I can sleep.  Once in a while I wake up to the bigeminy.  Sucks but as my EP suggested that I just suck it up and pretend it's like a headache for others. 

Bottom line:  Try to capture them on your remote monitor.  Your PM tech will be able to figure out what's going on immediately.  If things get a lot worse, there are things they can do for PVCs.  It's not as easy as AF but there are ablations for PVCs, as well.

Good luck!

skipped beats

by Webby - 2019-08-25 13:51:30

I had my PM 22nd July and I have been getting the missed beats too or at least Agentx86 said they feel like missed beats sometimes these can be there most of the day and troublesome, mine have their off days.  I also have had 3 ablations the first one worked the second left with a thumping heart constant and fast so back on meds again the third was aborted as the caught my throat doing a transosophegael.   I noticed when I got my card for my PM it says reason SSS. My PM had since twisted .  But from what I can see it seems people with Af tent to get these feelings of missed beats , sorry I am not up on all the technical terms 

You know you're wired when...

You have rhythm.

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