Felt a strong pace

Hello, 

i was drinking water and i felt a stronger pace in my heart than usual. I got my first pacemaker 10 days ago, my after surgery appointment with my EP is on December 23rd (very mad about it, I wanted to see my EP sooner than that after my implantation). Anyways, has anyone felt that before? A stronger pace from the pacemaker? 
I  got anxious/scared


7 Comments

Strong Pace

by AgentX86 - 2021-11-09 20:06:55

What you may have felt is a PVC. Your pacemaker can only be the metronome in the orchestra.  It can't be the bass drum.  Even if it did provide a stronger "pulse" the heart muscle still pumps the blood.

PVCs (Premature Ventricular Contractions) are, as the name suggests, when the ventricle contracts before it's given the signal (from the PM or your natural rhythm) to beat.  These are very common in people with perfectly healthy hearts.  People generally ignore them because it happens once, you may think "what was that", "probably a burp", then go on with life.  We, pariculaly those new  to pacemakers, pare allert to any bump in the night.  A sense of panic is a very normal reaction. 

Occaisionally, PVCs will come in strings or every other beat (or every third).  This will get anyone's attention (it feels awful). BTDT.  PVCs are completely benign unless they represent a high percentage of beats (you'll know it).

Seeing your EP after six weeks is normal, too.  These are very busy people and these bumps in the night are exceedingly common after implant as the heart is getting used to being band member rather than the conductor.  One of the doctor's nurses should be on call if there is anything serious.  If there is something serious (infection is extremely serious), an ER is the pace to go.

Welcome to the club but we wish you didn't have to know we existed.

 

normal

by athena123 - 2021-11-09 20:54:57

Hi, and welcome to the club. Agent hit it right on the head with PVCS. I felt them as well when i had my pacemaker implanted. completly normal and you might feel them here and there but there completely benign and you have nothing to worry about. stay well

Great Analogy, Agent!

by Marybird - 2021-11-10 09:44:38

My bet's on the PVCs too. 

And I think my first visit with the EP after the pacer implant came after about 5-6 weeks. 

I think the post-pacemaker anxiety is natural, some of us are more, or less prone to it. I remember those days, or better yet, I'm thinking how over time I got feeling like the pacemaker was just a part of me and improved things immensely. I blamed any perceived flutters, flops or whatever on the pacemaker doing its thing, and figured with the remote monitoring I needn't worry as if something was really amiss I'd hear about it.  And I was, several times. Issues addressed, and life goes on. It's all good, at this time in my relatively oldie but moldie pacemaker experience. 

Give your pacemaker a little pat and tell it "Good job!"

by Gotrhythm - 2021-11-10 14:40:12

 I go along with what everyone above has said re:PVCs. They are so common even if people without pacemakers that they are considered "normal." Some people seem to have more, or maybe just notice them more, immediately after they get a pacemaker.

Because you're fairly new at this pacemaker game you need to know that although most people can feel their heart beat sometimes, very few people can actually feel their pacemaker pacing. (It does happen but it's really rare.)  

Can't the pacemaker stop PVCs? Well, no. The pacemaker will not and cannot stop your heart from beating too fast or too early. That's what a Pre Venticular Contraction is--a heartbeat that happens a little before it should. The pacemaker only paces when your heart waits too long between beats. It times every single beat, and only paces whenever the next interval between beats is too long.

So give your pacemaker a little pat, and thank it for looking out for you. A pacemaker is like a good friend, always there for you, never interferring, but always ready to give you a little help when you need it.

Feeling the Pacing??

by Marybird - 2021-11-10 17:52:10

Ok, got a question here. I've seen some of the posters here say they can feel their pacemakers pacing. I'm thinking what they actually feel at those times is their heartbeats- which can be felt sometimes if their hearts are pounding a bit under some circumstances, or perhaps some people are sensitive enough to what's going on inside that they can sense their heartbeats more often than others.

But pacemakers work by delivering a few millivolts into the atria and/or ventricles as needed according to the programming, and the heart "beats" in response to the zaps. So if someone could really feel their pacemaker doing its thing, wouldn't it be more like a zap, ( mini-shock sort of thing, you might say)?

Reply

by Lorina - 2021-11-10 20:08:34

I want to thank everyone for their comments and for explaining to me things that I had no idea about. 
 

to @Marybird, the feeling I get from the pacemaker is like you are "kicking" your chest/heart lightly with your finger, weird....

Feeling pacer impulses

by Julros - 2021-11-12 00:11:44

Intial settings are slightly higher to compensate for swelling (edema) around the insertion sites. After a few weeks of healing, the settings may be adjusted down. My pectoral muscle twitched until the settings were adjusted down. My abdomen used to twitch when I was in atrial flutter, and the pacer rep was able to adjust the settings of my LV lead to stop the twitching and accompanying nausea and reflux. 

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Member Quotes

It may be the first time we've felt a normal heart rhythm in a long time, so of course it seems too fast and too strong.