Feeling the correction

Hey team! 

Healthy 44 year old male (considering), 

I was fitted with my pacemaker in June for sinus node pauses of seven seconds plus. The procedure was severely emotionally and physically gassing for me. Post procedure I had PVCs for about a month, I believe it may have been caused by a wound during installation. I was in and out of consciousness and heard "oh, a lead came out, let's try that again". I said "huh?!" And, was injected with something to put me back to sleep. Lol. Good times. 
 

Fast forward to today, I will randomly feel the correction of my pacemaker sending a signal to my heart when a sinus node pause happens. Sometimes I can go two-three weeks without feeling anything, sometimes I seem to feel the annoying correction of symptoms of a pause about to happen (hot neck, weird chest sensation, I know it's coming) then I feel the pauses of a couple seconds, instead of getting dizzy like pre-pacer, I now feel my heart very distinctly sputter and flip and start beating correctly. Very scary, and annoying, the whole ordeal. However, I'm not dizzy anymore. 
 

Some of you, the lucky ones, never have to experience this annomoly. I'm looking for the patients that do. Sometimes I'll get my pauses when I sit, or lay, hardly ever when standing. Familiar to anyone? Also, how do you cope with the "correction" beats that follow the pacer doing its job?

Anyone here get several sinus node pauses a day, and feel the correction beats that follow? I've read people on here state that they feel their pacer working...I think they're describing the post efforts of the pacer (correction beats). 
 

Anyway. I'm in the gym, lifting weights, running, active...did 20 years in the army and was given a green light for "anything" from my progressive cardiologist, even Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! 
 

Any words of encouragement would be nice. I'm worried I'm going to fall over dead when I feel this dance between my heart and pacer. 
 

Thank you! 

Respectfully, 

Michael 


8 Comments

Go with the flow

by cardifflass - 2021-11-16 05:07:05

Hi Micheal, 

you've been through a lot and it will take a lot, mentally, to get through it.

You are probably in a better position than many of us with such a good level of fitness, but all of us find that anything to do with the heart and all that implies, shakes us to the core.

Listen to your cardiologist!  I they are saying go for it, rest assured you will not fall over dead.  It may feel like it, but trust him or her.  It's like panic attacks, unless you've had one, people think they are just feeling worried or a bit scared.  When you get one you think you're dying.  But you're not.

I get 'extras' when I'm sitting in the evening.  The good thing is I don't crash out to sleep and instead of coping I just think 'OK, there you go then' and sit it out.

You're still early days and next June you will be in a very different place.

Well done on the gym - I use a rowing machine in the garage.

x

 

 

No you are not on your way out

by Gemita - 2021-11-16 06:04:43

Actually Michael, I think what you are really talking about is your heart rhythm rather than your pacemaker “correction” rhythm.  You do seem to be hyper focussed on your condition and that will certainly increase your symptoms.  I wonder whether you are still getting ectopics:  PVCs and PACs or other rhythm disturbances?  Ectopics when frequent can feel truly awful and used to make me feel as though I was on my way out, especially when they happened at night, slowing down my heart rate and blood pressure even more.  

I always feel my strange rhythm disturbances, the pausing, the thumping, the skipping, the racing, the slowing, the fast regular, the slow irregular beats.  That is what my heart does best.  It keeps me guessing and on my toes.  Now I say, okay, I’m ignoring you.  You haven’t stopped me in all these years and you cannot do it now;  I have the backing of my pacemaker.  You sound as though you are taking this attitude also Michael since I see you are still enjoying the gym, lifting weights, running.

Go by how you “feel”.  If your symptoms worsen, maybe ask for additional monitoring to capture the dancing between your heart and pacermaker.  They can then give you an accurate diagnosis for your rhythm disturbances.  They might recommend treatment like a beta blocker or make some pacemaker adjustments.  I would also check your electrolytes Michael and get a general health check while you are there.  In the meantime, I would stay active since your cardiologist is clearly not concerned.

Re-Gemita

by Hyperfocussed - 2021-11-16 11:35:12

Gem, 

The correction I'm talking about is indeed the rythem of the heart post interaction with my pacer. I feel the pause of my heart, then the pacer sends the signal and I feel my heart "rythem" get corrected. It's really uncomfortable. However, it sounds like from the comments...it's just somthing im going to need to get used to. This feeling is completely alien to PVCs, PACs, bradycardia, trachacardia...as I've had those symptoms for 35+ years. Only noticing these new sensations of the heart rythem correction post install fitting. 
 

thank you guys for your responses. Definitely nice to know we're not alone. Yes, anything "heart" feels like pending doom and caused panic, but I always seem to be fine at the end of the day. 
 

best, 

michael 

Feeling correction

by AgentX86 - 2021-11-16 11:44:53

You're not feeling a "correction" that's not the way PMs work. As Gemita said, you're likely feeling PACs or more likely PVCs. They're  nothing to worry about. Everyone gets them but you're hyper-aware of everything about your heart. That's to be expected.

Pacemakers work by timing each heartbeat. If one is taking too long, the PM simply starts one before the natural pacemaker (the heart's sinus node"). For example, if your heart rate if 60bpm, your pacemaker is set to wait one second before initiating a heartbeat. If a natural beat occurs before the one second timeout the PM resets it's timer and starts over. It doesn't wait until it misses beats then somehow makes them up.

AgentX86

by Hyperfocussed - 2021-11-16 13:10:29

Did you not read my post? Lol. I know what I'm feeling. It's the correction of rythem once the pacer stimulates the node. It's exactly what the pacer does. Lol

Sometimes pacemaker settings can be tweaked

by Gotrhythm - 2021-11-16 15:42:28

When somebody says they feel something, I believe them. Nobody but you can feel what you feel. So. You're feeling something and it's unpleasant. I get it.

But people don't always correctly interpret the cause of what they are feeling.

Your pacemaker is timing your heart beats to the 1/1000 of a second, and then using fancy algorhythms to decide whether it should pace you or not. All within thousandths of a second. The pacemaker simply would never allow a pause long enough for you to feel it, unless the pause is the RESULT of a PVC.

But you're feeling something, right? You're feeling a pause. Okay, now we have to talk a little about PVCs and PACS. Your pacemaker will not allow you to go too long between heartbeats. But a PVC is a heartbeat that happens too soon. PREventricular contraction. Get it? Pacemaker can't do anything about beats that happen too fast, so it lets the PVC happen and it counts it as a beat.

Still the pacemaker "knows" it was a PVC and has more of those fancy algorhythms to deal with it, allow the pause, and get your heart back in to a good rhythm as quickly as possible. Too complex for me to explain it.

There's a very good video on YouTube.  Dr. Joshua Cooper: PVCS in Plain English that will help you understand all you are feeling happen --the little too-soon beat you possibly don't feel, then the pause and the very strong beat that follows. There are also YouTube videos showing how pacemakers function. For me watching a video is much easier to understand than a long-winded explanation of "this happens, then that happens, and that makes this happen," etc.

About your pacemaker. Although it isn't causing what you feel, sometimes the settings can be tweaked to make PVCs less bothersome. After you've watched the video a few times, I suggest a talk with your cardiologist. You'll understand better how to talk to him/her about what is happening. The better you explain things to the doctor, the better they know how to treat you.

Hope this helps.

BTW Your pacemaker is not going to let you keel over dead. It will deliver the next electrical impulse exactly when it should. Trust it.

Very normal.

by PacedNRunning - 2021-11-17 01:13:54

When i first got my PM, I felt pacing a lot. I could feel it start and stop. I never passed out or really had symptoms prior to getting my PM so this was all new to me. It will become less noticeable as time goes on. Just know it's working and it's doing what it should. 

One more thing

by Gotrhythm - 2021-11-17 13:11:32

That "hot feeling in your neck and weird chest sensation" can also be symtoms of PVCs. And, you might not be having just one PVC. It's possible to have several in a row. If you watch Dr. Cooper's video PVCs in Plain English, you'll see exactly what is happening within your heart that is causing those feelings.

Knowledge is power, my friend.

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