Question re palpitations and energy

Hi all. Have had pacemaker since End of June. Quick question have had palpitations since having it fitted . Doc not concerned. Just wondered if anyone else has these? Also I have less energy than before for some reason. Used to run 5 k daily. Can't anymore. When's this energy coming back? 
thanks all 


Hi Heather🌸

by Lavender - 2022-09-08 11:38:28

I have had a pacemaker since February 2021. Mine is a Boston Scientific Valitude X4, which is also MR conditional. At first I had a lot of PVCs. Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are extra heartbeats that begin in one of the heart's two lower pumping chambers (ventricles). These extra beats disrupt the regular heart rhythm, sometimes causing a sensation of a fluttering or a skipped beat in the chest.

My cardiologist isn't concerned either.  At first our hearts are healing from the surgery. They're protesting. In time, I notice that days go by with none. 

I also was so tired at first. I think our bodies are telling us we need rest while we recuperate. I would fall asleep a lot. That passed too. 

I don't know if your feature in your pacemaker is turned on that's called rate response. 

Rate-Responsive Pacemakers

An activity sensor detects body movement. The more active you are, the faster the pacemaker will pace your heart within the range of heart rates that your provider sets.

A breathing sensor measures your breathing (respiratory rate).

My rate response is not turned on. They said I don't need it. 

How you feel now is not forever-it's just for now.😉

Rate response

by AgentX86 - 2022-09-08 12:07:22

To add to what Lavender said above, RR is often not turned on for the first month or perhaps a couple months.  It can take quite a bit of tuning to get RR set properly and it's different for everyone and different depending on  you lifestyle. It's impossible to do this when your heart is settling it to its new, paced, reality (see PVCs). Your heart, and body really, will change because it's getting the blood it needs. 

Particularly om the case of a Boston Scientific pacemaker there is a lot of work that may have to go into it to get it optimized for you and your lifestyle.  It can be more work for a Boston Sci pacemaker because it's RR method can  be better than other manufacturers but it can be tough to get balanced for you. Work with your EP and pacemaker tech to get it set up right.  If they're not willing to work with you, find another who will. It's your life but you should be able to get back to where you were, or better because your heart will be more normal.

Lavender posted a pretty good description of PVCs.  They are uncomfortable (to really uncomfortable) but they almost always are benign.  Unless 30%ish of the heartbeats are PVCs (that's going to be much more than unpleasant), no one is going to get worried about them.  I had bigeminy (.i.e pair, for the Gemini twins) at times after my implant.  It was horrible but my EP shrugged it off.  "Sometimes you'll have that."  And a little magnesium it (and my leg cramps) went away.

In short, you'll get better but you may have to push (i.e. squeaky wheel) to get your PM optimized.  It will be a work in progress but if you're willing to push some, you'll be fine.  I've been working on mine for four years and I've finally convinced my device tech to max out my rate response (I have a Medtronic, unfortunately).



by Rch - 2022-09-08 23:14:31

Hi, I would log in the exact dates and times of the palpitations and discuss with the pacemaker tech at your next visit or via a secure message. Most of these pms are programmed to have scheduled maintenance daily and some of your palpitations could just be a part of it! 


by Rch - 2022-09-08 23:19:42

Hi, in the above comment I omitted to mention about Pacemaker mediated tachycardia also, if you have a dual chamber pacemaker.

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