I have had a pacemaker for about 9 years due to sick sinus syndrome caused by radiation treatments for Hodgkins Disease in 1976. It is set to kick in when my heart rate drops below 60 since the sick sinus syndrome was causing critically low heart rate. Over the past few years, also developed AF and atrial flutter. Had serious health problems about 15 months ago that resulted in 4 hospital stays in a 5 month period totaling 23 days for pleural and pericardial effusions. Had a pericardial window done, 3 tubes in chest and heart cavity to drain fluid and an additional procedure done (can’t remember the name of it!) to drain more fluid from my left lung because the tube got clogged or twisted. Have had a cardioversion done, followed by 2 ablation, the most recent about a month ago. So far, so good. Am on Xarelto as a blood thinner, but no other heart rhythm meds. (Was on Amiodarone about a year ago for about 5 months but am doing everything I can now to avoid it.)
Also have totally screwed up thyroid (thanks, Amiodarone!) that the endocrinologist is working to get resolved.
Have retired from my job as principal at an elementary school to reduce my stress as much as possible. Am now trying to work out at a gym about 5 days a week/an hour each day to strengthen my heart and lungs - 3 days cardio and 2 days strength/conditioning.
The problem I’m having is getting an accurate heart rate measurement to insure I’m getting into the appropriate heart rate zones. (I did an Active Metabolic Assessment to “customize” those zones.). As others have said, my FitBit doesn’t really accurately measure my heart rate. I’ve worn a chest strap monitor but that doesn’t seem to be accurate either - no matter how hard I feel like I’m working, it’s measurements never indicate the higher heart rates that I would expect in Zone 4, which is where I’m supposed to be about 20% of the time. Right now, I’ve given up on looking at the numbers and am going with “perceived exertion”. Also don’t know if my pacemaker interferes with accurate measurements or not. My cardiologist and EP don’t think so, but I wonder.
Does anyone have advice on a monitor that would accurately measure my heart rate? Any ideas would me most appreciated as I continue my quest to avoid AF and another ablation in the future!
Sorry for the long post - and thanks to all for everything I’ve learned through your sharing!