Pacemaker lost track (Part 1)

(Revised/Updated on Aug. 22, 2020)

Pacemaker lost track.

Already for almost a month, it looked like there was something not right with my pacemaker.

In the first week of December 2018, I had my first check after they had replaced the pacemaker for a CRT-D.
On that day I already noticed that suddenly my heartbeat was slow.
The days before that I had a heartbeat of 60-70.
That should be ok.

But on that day of the check, I did a blood pressure test at home and the heartbeat was below 50.
At the hospital during the check, they did not see anything wrong.
Just to make sure, for the following days, I keep on checking my heartbeat, but it never went above the 50.

In January 2019 I was called for an intake for Physiotherapy.
I told her the same thing and she said that they will check it during the therapy.

So on the first day of the therapy, I had a bike exercise.
During this, they also will check your heartbeat, to see if things are ok or if you need to slow down.
When they checked, again my heartbeat stayed around the 45.
And this while I was exercising.
This was not good.

Last week, I had my 2 months check.
I told them that my heartbeat was too low.
After many checks and tests, they had changed some settings in the pacemaker.
Already I could feel a difference.

Like you had more energy.
She told me that the pacemaker was a bit confused and was seeing things wrong.
And so acting on these things, he did not do his work properly.

They tried to explain it a bit but it was all a bit too technical.
But in the ECG (picture at the top of the post) you can see the spike.
This is normal and the pacemaker acted correctly on it.
That small spike after that, the pacemaker thought it was my own heartbeat and amplified it as it should do.

But the thing is, that this not my normal heartbeat.
It is some kind of relax or restore beat and the pacemaker should not do anything with it.
Then the next spike is the regular beat, but the pacemaker was thinking that it was too soon for this, so it did not do anything.
That’s also the reason why my heartbeat was so irregular.
And after they had changed the settings, the heartbeat was much regular.

When walking back home, I already could feel the difference also.
Once home I did my blood pressure and heartbeat check and to my surprise, my heartbeat was above the 60.
So happy again that things are working the way it should be.
Also during the therapy, they did the regular checks and saw it was ok.

But this therapy also has something double to me.
I did almost the same thing after my first and second heart operation.
But at those times, they want to push you to your limit.
Just push the heart and the body to get it fit.

Now, I have almost the same exercises, but now they are trying to slow you down.
So you will not push your heart to the limit.
Now it is more on getting you fit and more strength in your arms and legs.

For the pacemaker, I need to come back after 3 months just to check if the pacemaker is ok with his new settings.
Then 3 months after that, come back again for my double appointment.
The pacemaker check and the results from the cardiologist.
Just before that also a new ECHO to see how the heart is doing and if there are any improvements.

I don’t put up my hopes too high yet.
Any improvement is ok.
So, for now, I will just do my exercises, take my medications, and pray for some improvement.


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