(intermittent) Complete Heart Block?!

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

Poyda

Active member
Joined
Oct 27, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Adelaide, Australia
Hi all

Just back from the Cardiologist after having a three day holter monitor. Which found 2 things

1. I occasionally have extra / skipped beats ( that's how he described them) (im not too fussed on this)
2. He said that for 2 short periods i went into heart block.

he asked if i had any dizziness, fainting etc. (i didn't, i just felt that i was having palpitations at the time)

He didn't really give me much info apart from the fact i may need to have a pacemaker in the future (not now) and to see him again in 6 weeks and have another holter

FWIW: I've had a history of SVT and have had 4 different ablations to fix the issue (it appears the latest one has finally got on top of the issue)

so i have a few Q's

  • can it actually be intermittent?
  • why don't i have the "usual" symptoms of heart block
  • seeing as i'm having it intermittently, will i eventuality longer episodes (probs needs a pacemaker then)
  • any other useful stuff that people know about heart block
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
7,087
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Hi

I also can report skipped as well as occasionally doubled up and heavy beats ... not usually together ;-)

My sensitivity to caffine is higher than it was, and for the first couple of years after the latest surgery my HR would climb significantly after even 2 glasses of red wine (or 2 beers). I seem to be past that, which I put down to dilligent training

;-)
 

DanielB

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2010
Messages
253
Location
San Diego, CA, USA
Here'as my heart block story. I came out of my valve surgery out of rhythm, but a cardio inversion got me back online after it did not correct itself. Then, a few months after I had my aortic valve replaced, I noticed a sluggishness at times, most noticeably when walking up a hill. I would describe it better as feeling like I was trying to start from a stop in a car in third gear instead of first. After holter tests showed nothing, a treadmill stress test found that I went into complete heart block at times, most likely from the added stress of uphill walking, making it intermittent. A month or so later, I developed Bradycardia (slow heart rate) which, as I understand it, was my heart making the change to a rate that it could get the pacing done without the heart block -- signals that were blocked were taking the 'long way around' to my lower chamber, so my heart slowed to a pace that could handle the longer path and stay in rhythm. I was asked every time I saw a doctor or nurse if I was light headed. I was not. I was told some people can get enough oxygen to their blood even when stressed like my heart was. Still, with my resting heart rate low (37 at rest) the decision was made to put a pacemaker in. Getting the pacemaker was an easy procedure and since then my resting heart rate is a normal 65. My pacer simply gets the heart generated signal to my lower chamber at the correct speed, so my heart is happy and sets its own, normal pacing. Amazing technology. I forget I have the pacemaker, I just feel good. I suspect your doctors are looking for changes that could lead to you being light headed (and in danger of passing out at a bad time) making the pacer a possibility. Keep up with your doctor's appointments, it sounds like they're in tune with your problem and staying ahead of it.
 

epstns

Premium User
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
5,143
Location
Chicago area
My experience is a lot like DanielB's. After valve surgery I went into complete heart block. Even before surgery, though, I had what they called brady/tachycardia. My resting heart rate would get very low - into the 40's, yet under exercise load (I was then a runner), it would go way up into the mid-160's, which they considered high, given my age (63 at the time). Who knows what all was going on?

After valve surgery, I had severe heart rate and rhythm issues. Trust me, it is NOT fun to be in bed in the hospital CICU and see your own monitor go "flat-line." Mine did, repeatedly, for up to 20-30 seconds at a time. I had a pacemaker implanted about 4 days after valve surgery, and the rest is history. I am now on my second device, having had one of the wires fail after 5 years, so they replaced the wire and the device at that time.

I still go to the gym 5 days a week. Until about a year ago, I worked 50-60 hours a week at an office job (now semi-retired). I do all I did before, and more. As I joked on another thread, the only time I really know I have the pacemaker is when I look in the mirror with my shirt off. Oh, yeah, it can be frustrating going through airport security, so don't rush them. . .
 

carolinemc

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
780
Location
kansas city, mo
Here'as my heart block story. I came out of my valve surgery out of rhythm, but a cardio inversion got me back online after it did not correct itself. Then, a few months after I had my aortic valve replaced, I noticed a sluggishness at times, most noticeably when walking up a hill. I would describe it better as feeling like I was trying to start from a stop in a car in third gear instead of first. After holter tests showed nothing, a treadmill stress test found that I went into complete heart block at times, most likely from the added stress of uphill walking, making it intermittent. A month or so later, I developed Bradycardia (slow heart rate) which, as I understand it, was my heart making the change to a rate that it could get the pacing done without the heart block -- signals that were blocked were taking the 'long way around' to my lower chamber, so my heart slowed to a pace that could handle the longer path and stay in rhythm. I was asked every time I saw a doctor or nurse if I was light headed. I was not. I was told some people can get enough oxygen to their blood even when stressed like my heart was. Still, with my resting heart rate low (37 at rest) the decision was made to put a pacemaker in. Getting the pacemaker was an easy procedure and since then my resting heart rate is a normal 65. My pacer simply gets the heart generated signal to my lower chamber at the correct speed, so my heart is happy and sets its own, normal pacing. Amazing technology. I forget I have the pacemaker, I just feel good. I suspect your doctors are looking for changes that could lead to you being light headed (and in danger of passing out at a bad time) making the pacer a possibility. Keep up with your doctor's appointments, it sounds like they're in tune with your problem and staying ahead of it.
The reason they would ask about blocking out, when some people, with the skipping of the heartbeat, tend to pass out when the heart skips a beat. I had an aunt like that, and several times she bumped her head on a coffee table several times after blacking out. So glad you have a pace maker that is making your life better.
 

Latest posts

Top