Emergency trip to Er via ambulance today.

I just arrived at the Er today. About 7 hours ago. I was diagnosed with bradycardia 3 years ago and got better. Then stress of a divorce this summer brought it all back and worse than before. Cause My hr is stuck in the low 30s. Today i was cooking and started sweating profusely and then chest pain, hr shot up and then I vomited. My boyfriend called 911. They did a quick assessment and took me to the hospital in ambulance. My hr was at 285 . They gave me 6 doses of a med to bring it down with no luck. Wheeled me in to ER And shocked me. Now hr is back to the 30s. Keeping me in over the weekend for observation and pacemaker install on Monday. 


Any quick advice? Things i can prepare for while confined to the hospital? Luckily i took a really nice shower right before everything happened. 


Ask good questions

by crustyg - 2019-11-22 20:00:30

So you have severe brady at rest and significant tachy when upset.

Some sort of atrial tachy-arrhythmia.  You *probably* will need a PM when it's all sorted.

Get a proper primary diagnosis before you consent to anything.

You *may* have atrial flutter, you *may* have WPW with some HB or SSS.  Nearly all of us can survive with a HR of high 30s - not fun but compatible with life - so there's no need to be stampeded into a PM today/tomorrow/early next week.

You do *NOT* need a PM this Monday.  It might be convenient to fit it the day after tomorrow, but you can make another week while you consider your options.  It's *YOUR* life, your heart, your decision.  Make them justify the PM manufacturerer/model that they recommend.  Sadly the decision is rarely based on what's best for you, and usually what's most convenient/familiar to them - but *YOU* have to live with their decision for 7-14years!.

Make them pause, explain what's going on, what your options are, what treatment (PM, ablation, drugs) they would recommend and why, and then discuss.  For them, it's often fit-and-forget.  For you, it's a new lifetime to live with this decision.  *YOU* need to be comfortable with the choices.

Best wishes.

Talk to more than one doctor!

by BOBTHOM - 2019-11-22 22:07:45

Make sure you speak with a regular cardiologist as well as an electrophysiologist and get a clear understanding of what's going on.  If you hear things like afib a pacemaker will not help.  If you hear tachycardia a pacemaker won't really help but a defibrilator  (AICD) can shock you and hope your heart restarts in a normal rythm.  These can also be part of a pacemaker.  Make them take the time to explain it to you!  As far as the procedure, prepare for no lifting heavier than a gallon of milk, no lifting arm above shoulder for the first few weeks.  No driving the first week.  Discomfort, OK, lets be real, the pain varies person to person.  My AICD had no pain at the insertion sight however my shoulder hurt like heck for 2 months.  Best of luck!

Tachy-Brady with a pacemaker?

by AgentX86 - 2019-11-23 00:35:49

A pacemaker can help with Tachy-Brady with the addition of an antiarrhythmic.  Antiarrhythmics tend to slow the heart.  Combined with Bradycardia, this is dangerous (obviously).  The PM can keep the HR up to a more normal level.  There is also a possibility of an AV node ablation + PM, but Wen is no where neart taking this leap. 



by wenmcnally - 2019-11-23 18:12:34

UPDATE: the Doctors said that my condition is something they haven’t seen, or is very unique. It is two separate issues at opposite ends of the spectrum. One is the Bradycardia that is happening in the upper ventricle and Tachycardia that is in a lower ventricle. There is a team of cardiologists deciding on how to treat both issues and in what order. More than likely they will do the pacemaker insertion on Monday for the Bradycardia then treat the Tachycardia separately. I am in the best facility the area has with an great team of cardiologists and electrophysiologists. I'll keep you updated as decisions are made. 

Glad you’re in good hands

by Pacemaker_Sally - 2019-11-23 18:18:18

I also needed a pacemaker for a rare condition (swallow syncope) and found some solace in knowing that while the condition is rare, pacemaker insertion is very common. And they are highly skilled at it. 
Wishing you smoother sailing and a speedy recovery! 

It will be okayYour

by laura1brown23 - 2019-11-24 05:14:41

hello Wenmcnally,

I have read your posts and responses and  wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you. 

I understand that you must feel a bit scared and maybe confused right now as a lot has happened to you in a short amount of time. You’re in a new situation whereas we are all giving you advice based on our own experiences. 

My experience sounds a lot like yours, we had the same upper heart rate with a cardioversion as the medicine didn’t work. It’s a lot to go through isn’t it. And we both had the lower heart rate of 30’s, which makes you feel weird! I was also then kept in hospital to be told I needed a pacemaker, which I now have. I was born with a congenital heart defect which means that I have 1 ventricle so I guess we are different there.

im really glad that you’re being supported by a good team of professionals, it does help. Physically you will get over the pacemaker, takes a while but take it easy and don’t let what people on here be a script that you base how you should be recovering. Everyone is different. I remember looking at this site a few weeks later and people said that they were up and about and back to normal after a few weeks! No way! Not for me.

being able to look back at my experience I would say that stress brought it all on for me and I concentrated on getting well physically and not mentally or emotionally. So my bit of input is take this as your body’s way of asking you to chill out. Please take time for you to enjoy things after the surgery. Don’t get too caught up on when you should be physically right or normal because it’s inevitable that you’ll get there. Just prevent further heart ache so to speak by re focussing and being mindful. I hope this helps and I’m sure others on here will help too.


Laura xxx


Heck of a Weekend!

by wenmcnally - 2019-11-26 08:16:37

Since I last posted I had another Tachycardia episode while in the hospital and they had to shock me, while awake again. Kinda like getting struck by lightning twice in one weekend! This was on Sunday. They then put in an emergency temporary pacer right away. Last night (Monday), after a cardiac MRI, I had surgery for an ICD implantation. I had an excellent team of cardiologists and electrophysiologists make the decision of what was best for me. Depending if they want to run any more tests or observations, I will probably be discharged today. 

Thanks for sharing your experiences, I know we're a all little different with our specific situations, but it does help to have a place to discuss and and idea of what to expect. 


I hope your life is a *little* less exciting from now on

by crustyg - 2019-11-28 19:02:15

Thanks for the update - it sounds as though you've had a very tough introduction to the world of implants.

Being cardioverted whilst awake can't be much fun, especially once you know what's coming, but it might be a great story to tell the offspring once your life calms down.

Best wishes.

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