2 Days Post Implant Questions

Hello. I am new to the "club" as of Tuesday. I have always had a slow heart rate - was always asked if I am a runner. (I was a runner for about 10 years from 43 years old to 53 yrs old.)  My resting heart rate was typically in the mid to high 40's. Over the past few years, I am now 57, my resting heart rate has dropped to mid to high 30's.  Have been feeling light headed, tired and brain fog for a while and my cardiologist gave the green light to move forward with pacemaker letting me know it may not make a difference.  

Questions:

My pacemaker is currently set to 60 bpm as low.  Pre-implant 60 - 70 bpm was my rate when causally strolling, etc.  I just took a walk last night and this morning and my heart rate was high - 90's and even up to 101 which typically doesn't happen unless I am walking at a fast rate.  Is this typical that my heart rate will increase so much with activity now with the pacemaker?  Will my max heart rate be much higher than the usual 150 bpm during high intensity work outs?  

I have been reading posts and comments and it seems that many times it helps to have the pacemaker adjusted. How do you know if it needs to be adjusted?  

The past two days I have felt like my heart is racing and breathless. Is this typical post surgery? 

Thank you for any clarity and advice.

Momof8


3 Comments

Welcome to the Club

by MinimeJer05 - 2021-10-07 18:25:16

First off, let me say welcome to the club!

Reading over your post has me thinking a few things. I will note that my PM was not for a lower bpm, so I can't say any of my advice is anything beyond just my opinion and from what I've read on other similiar posts.

Yes, it is normal for your heart to jump up 20-30bpm doing basic tasks, especially after surgery. My resting bpm is anywhere from 70-80, but when I am walking around the house or getting up to use the restroom, it can go up to 100-105, especially the first 2 weeks after surgery. It has gone down since then, but it does raise up a little bit when I am active and walking around.

For me, exercise means about 120-140bpm, depending on how hard I am pushing myself, so I would imagine yours will be higher as well, but again, just one person's thoughts.

Reading from other people's posts with lower-than-average bpms have said many times that having your heart kicked up to that 60-70 range will feel odd and like it's racing for a while as your body needs to adjust to that "new normal". I would keep track of these feelings and the associated bpm and report back to your doctors as time progresses or if anything starts to feel worse or uncomfortable.

My guess is that things are going to be very sensative for a few months as you and your body adjust to the PM and with that, the higher bpm on average. To my understanding, these are normal feelings and feelings that should grow to become normal and also settle down in time.

Remember, you just had the surgery and your body might take a few weeks (or even months) to heal and adjust. I would expect things to run a little high as you recover and heal. 

If you start to experience any chest pressure or tightness or shortness of breath, then definitely seek medical attention, otherwise, be aware of the feelings and changes that your body is going through and try to establish what is comfortable to you and what is concerning to you as everyone seems to be different in this department.

I wish you a speedy recovery and a return to normal life soon!

Jer

How do you feel?

by Gotrhythm - 2021-10-08 15:56:35

You didn't mention the complaints that led to getting a PM. Any improvement in dizziness, lightheadedness, brain fog? It's easy to notice problems when they are present and sometimes hard to notice when they have gone away.

It's pretty common for someone who has lived with a slow HR for a long time to feel "speedy" or even jittery once they have a "normal" rate. Some people have trouble fallling asleep. I did myself. As you grow accustomed to your new normal, one day you'll look back and realize the speedy feeling has gone away, and you won't even know when it happened.

As for your heart speeding up with exertion, that's what the pacemaker is supposed to do. The HR you're experiencing is well within normal limits. The pacemaker has upper and lower parameters. Your base rate is 60. Your pacemaker will not let your HR fall below 60. I don't know what the upper number is (your doctor can tell you) but it's probably under 140. Your pacemaker will always allow your heart to beat as fast as it can, but it will not push your heart rate past the preset maximum.

Your question about how do you know when the settings need adjustment. There aren't any "right" settings. There are only the settings that are right for you. And the only way to tell if they are right is "How do you feel?" Do you feel good enough to do what you want to do?

Give yourself a couple of weeks to a couple of months to get used to how you feel now.

Wishing you all the best.

 

Thank you!

by Momof8 - 2021-10-08 21:47:27

Thank you Gotrhythm and MinimeJer05 for your words of encouragement.  I did got get checked out today for feeling short of breath but dr said all looks good. Had a chest xray done as well.  Monday is wound check.  

My dizziness and light headedness seems to be gone, not sure yet on brain fog.  I tried working this morning and it was difficult to concentrate but probably more due to the jittery feelings I was having.  

It is nice to know that this group is available to talk to others with pacemakers!

Momof8

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