Sensitivity setting

A while back I posted that rough roads were causing my PM's rate response to kick in while I was driving (an 18 wheeler). Today I went to the PM clinic and they changed to sensitivity from medium high to medium low.

Also noted was I had went for 4 1/2 months without any bouts of a-fib then had an almost 2 hour episode yesterday morning (I woke up to it) and one that lasted almost an hour this morning. This mornings bout had happened without my knowing it because I was asleep. I wonder what could have caused them?




by J.R. - 2007-10-18 09:10:27

Hi Rick,

I have A-fib sometimes and have actually been carried to the ER a couple of times because I passed out while having an attack. Every time so far the A-fib was followed by a real slow heart beat and my pacemaker would pick it back up to 60 which is the low setting on my pacemaker.

Sometimes the last year I was asking my doctor why was I having these things and he gave me a booklet that had a lot of information about A-fib in it. He said I should keep this so that when it happens again I can refresh my memory. I always figured what the was trying to do was keep me from calling him so often and asking questions. Anyway I scanned some of the booklet so I could send it to some people and I'm going to show that here in case it might help you some.

Good luck


What causes A-fib? Sometimes there is no obvious reason or cause for the AF. Patients, most often younger than 65, who develop A-fib may have no changes in their heart structure or other particular cause for their A-fib. This has been called “Lone Afib .” In other patients, AF occurs because the tissue structure of the atrium has changed and enlarged, called remodeling.

This can be due to:

High blood pressure
Coronary artery disease-a condition in which the normal blood flow to the heart is changed because of blockages in arteries

Heart failure—a condition in which the heart’s main pumping chambers (the ventricles) don’t work well, and this can lead to problems with the atria

Valvular heart disease—damage to a valve can cause the atria to enlarge and lead to Afib

Lung diseases-some people with chronic lung diseases have changes in the structure of the atria that leads to Afib

Thyroid problems—an overactive thyroid gland can lead to Afib

Excessive alcohol intake—People who drink alcohol often, in large quantities, or who have drinking binges may get Afib.

Sometimes people who have had heart bypass or other heart surgery may develop atrial fibrillation soon after the surgery. This may be related to scarring or irritation. This may convert on its own, or require other treatment.

How is Afib diagnosed? Your doctor may suspect you have Afib during a routine examination when he noticed an irregular heart beat. Or your doctor may suspect that you have Afib based on the symptoms that you tell him your having. There are several ways that your Afib can be diagnosed. First, the doctor may do an EKG (a tracing of your heart beat) in the office which might show that you are in Afib. Or if you are having short episodes or spells of Afib, your doctor might ask you to wear a special monitor for 24 hours (Holter monitor) or even as long as a month (Event monitor). These monitors can “catch” the episode of irregular heartbeat and help your doctor to see whether or not it is Afib.

What are the symptoms of Afib? Atrial fibrillation episodes can last minutes to hours to days. People with Afib may have a wide range of symptoms or have no symptoms at all. People with Afib may be bothered by the fast irregular beats, or just by the feeling that it is beating irregularly whether it is fast or slow.

Sometimes after an Afib episode ends, it takes the top chamber (atrium) a short time to kick in again, and there may be a short pause in heartbeats. This may cause an uncomfortable feeling for patients that is more bothersome than the fast heart rate.

Because the way the heart is beating and pumping is changed during an Afib episode, you may feel some other symptoms especially when you are active.

Palpitations—skipped or extra heartbeats
Shortness of breath---especially when climbing stairs, walking long distances
Fatigue and tiredness—especially during an AF episode
Chest discomfort or pain—because the heart is pumping as well as when it is in normal rhythm
Dizziness--sometimes people may feel lightheaded or dizziness, especially when the heart is beating faster than usual
Syncope—Passing out or fainting

Is Afib dangerous? Atrial fibrillation can increase your risk of having a stroke. There is a 5-fold increase for stoke in patients with Afib. Although the rhythm of atrial fibrillation is not life threatening by itself, there is a 2-fold higher rate of death in patients with Afib compared to those without AFib. Also, if your heart rate is fast and is left untreated, it may further change the size and function of the heart.

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Do feel free to contact the manufacturer of your device. I have found them to be quite helpful when I have had questions and concerns.