Pacemaker received and afib

My pacemaker installation was five weeks ago. First three weeks went fine..I basically did nothing much. Week four I began to drive to walk again, not too much, gradually working up, and out to dinner for anniversary. Bam! Afib every other day...four episodes with Tachycardia...scary...bed rest and deep breathing and meds...stopped each episodes, but scared me. Backed off exercise etc...so past week has been quiet. Is it possible this was just a healing glitch...? Anyone relate?   

 

 

 

 

 


6 Comments

Afib Tachycardia

by AgentX86 - 2020-02-07 16:59:28

Did you have these arrhythmias before you had the pacemaker implant? If so, it's not surprising that you have them now. A pacemaker will do nothing for arrhythmias. If not, it's certainly worth investigating.

That said, neither Afib or SVTs are dangerous, as long as you're taking anticoagulants and keep your long-term heart rate below 100bpm. They may feel awful but there is no reason to hide under a blanket.

Relate? Yeah, probably about half of us here. My flutter is permanent but is now papered over by an AV ablation. Before that, it was miserable so I can certainly relate.

Post pacemaker

by Theknotguy - 2020-02-08 00:26:12

I had afib prior to getting the pacemaker.  Got along fine for about six weeks.  Then, for lack of a better term, my heart decided to throw a temper tantrum. It didn't like being ordered around by the pacemaker and decided to go into a really bad session of afib with RVR.  Not a fun day.  So it can happen that your heart doesn't like the new situation and is reacting that way.  

If you had afib before, I'd get with your cardiologist/EP and see what you can do if you go into a really bad afib session before the EMT's get there.  If you haven't had afib before, I'd still get with your cardiologist/EP and see what you can do.  Not saying this will happen to you and I certainly hope you don't have what I did.  But having an idea of what to do may reduce your stress and it will never happen. 

Sometimes the problem that caused you to get the pacemaker evolves and things like afib show up.  So it may be a normal progression.  As AgentX86 said,  (and also my cardiologist) people live with afib all the time and as long as it's kept below the 100 beats per minute you can get along fine.  Since I had a history of afib, I'm in afib between 20 to 40 per cent of the time and live a "normal" life.  

I hope your adjustment to your pacemaker goes well and this is just a temporary hiccup.
 

Yes its an old problem

by Lexitoo - 2020-02-08 10:08:03

Yes I have had afib and Aflutter for a few years now. It has been well controlled with Tikosyn for past year or so, but started being a problem the past few months. After a week long event recorder showed some nasty events including a heart stop and a vtac event, we agreed to a pacemaker. Doc hoped with my bradycardia solved by the pacemaker perhaps the Tikosyn would be more effective.  Looks like that may not be the case.  
And I appreciate the advice to just carry on, however that just doesn't work for me...have never had an event without tachycardia..and heart rates off the chart.  The one time I tried to "carry on" was when I went into vtach. Any exercise or stress...like walking or talking pushes rate to extremes. Doc says "do not try to carry on!"  Now taking rate meds as well to keep from going too high. So far they aren't perfect.  I know how to avoid an event. However it means living like a hot house plant. Depressing! Had hoped pacemaker would do the trick.

VTach

by AgentX86 - 2020-02-08 12:12:29

If it's really VTach, you should have an ICD, not a pacemaker, IMO.  Afib/Afutter/Aanything is pretty much benign as long as you're on anticoagulation and rate control meds.  The pacemaker will allow a higher dose of rate control meds because Bradycardia has been fixed.

OTOH, VTach and Vfib are deadly.  Yeah, you can't carry on with those.  It's not time to back off, it's time for 9-1-1.  Afib "shouldn't" degenerate into Vtach, though (it is possible).  There is something serously wrong with your AV node, if so.  One of its purposes is to keep what happens in the atria in the atria.  If there is that worry, why on Earth didn't they implant an ICD?

Yes its an old problem

by Lexitoo - 2020-02-08 15:49:45

Yes I have had afib and Aflutter for a few years now. It has been well controlled with Tikosyn for past year or so, but started being a problem the past few months. After a week long event recorder showed some nasty events including a heart stop and a vtac event, we agreed to a pacemaker. Doc hoped with my bradycardia solved by the pacemaker perhaps the Tikosyn would be more effective.  Looks like that may not be the case.  
And I appreciate the advice to just carry on, however that just doesn't work for me...have never had an event without tachycardia..and heart rates off the chart.  The one time I tried to "carry on" was when I went into vtach. Any exercise or stress...like walking or talking pushes rate to extremes. Doc says "do not try to carry on!"  Now taking rate meds as well to keep from going too high. So far they aren't perfect.  I know how to avoid an event. However it means living like a hot house plant. Depressing! Had hoped pacemaker would do the trick.

Good question

by Lexitoo - 2020-02-08 15:55:43

My pcp asked the same question this week. I am thinking because I only had the single vtach event....but not sure. But I do believe the belief is with the rate control I should no longer go so high and risk vtach. But you are right..I need some answers. Meanwhile staying out of afib by maintaining " potted plant" mode.🙄. Thanks.

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I, too, am feeling tons better since my implant.