Slow irregular pulse: I have had a very... - AF Association

AF Association
19,513 members23,830 posts

Slow irregular pulse


I have had a very stressful week with a possible attempt by burglars to break into my house (reported to the police). Not good for AF of course, but I have developed a *slow* irregular pulse over the last couple of days. I have not heard of this before- any ideas what it could be given a diagnosis of PAF? Pulse rate is in about 54-58.

16 Replies

Could be slow AF-- it does exist but more likely ectopics. See your GP and get an ECG if you are worried.

in reply to BobD

I just saw a GP. He noted that my pulse was irregular but said I was not in AF. Annoyingly the ECG showed that everything was fine- in sinus rhythm. That’s not the case however. I have had bouts of strong ectopics all day and have been expecting to tip into AF. But that has not happened yet. This is definitely something new for me.

It might be worthwhile checking your BP, that is probably first on the list from your medic - can you?

in reply to john6

I have an Omron. The first reading was a bit elevated, but subsequent reading were entirely normal.

Oh Sam, I'm so sorry to hear you that may have had an attempted burglary. I had a real one once, so know how upsetting that can be. They forced open a locked window with a spade from the greenhouse, now all my garden tools are kept in the garage - warning to everyone! People always think it won't happen to them and that's exactly what I used to think too.

It could well be the stress of what has happened that has triggered this AF episode. Are you holding tension in your chest? If so, try tensing that area a few times and then let that tension go and your body go floppy. If that doesn't work, lay down and stretch your arms way above your head as far as you can, hold that position for as long as you can, then let the tension go.

I'm afraid I've never experienced the slow irregular pulse you have now, but just want to wish you well again.


Thanks. The incident I was referring to is rather a bizarre one. Around a year ago I heard quite loud knocking on my front window at about 2330. All the lights were out. Very creepy. This was repeated about 5 or 6 times so I went downstairs to investigate. Someone then knocked at the door ; it turned out to be a woman, possibly Romanian, in her mid-forties who said she was looking for her ex-husband and thought he lived at my house. This was a bit credible so I explained that she had the wrong address and she left. About 3-4 weeks later she appeared again. I repeated that she had the wrong address and said that I was annoyed that I had been disturbed again so late. She apologised, but seemed amused, then left. I thought this was suspicious , but forgot about it as there were no further developments. Last Tuesday (which must be around a year later) I heard the knocking on the window again and went downstairs to investigate. I knew immediately it was the same person. This time I didn’t open the door, but spoke through the door and, after establishing it was the woman, said that I was going to call the police, which I then did. She simply said “sorry” then left. The police said that several explanations were possible eg it could be someone with dementia, but this isn’t imo credible since she was not old enough and seemed composed and fairly articulate. The police conceded that the behaviour was suspicious but said there was nothing they could do as no crime had been committed and the woman had left. They advised not opening the door in future. My theory, which various others, including neighbours, agree with is that they woman was trying to see if the house was occupied or I was asleep. If I had not responded she would have informed her partners (possibly parked nearby) and they would have entered the house. My obvious concern is that his could happen again- possibly not for some time- and that the situation might be dangerous. There isn’t a lot that I can do about it either. As you can imagine, none of this makes for a good nights sleep and certainly doesn’t help the AF. I’ve had a slow irregular pulse for most of the day which is unusual for me. The doctor thinks this could be caused by the anxiety but isn’t sure. Sorry for such a long post which hasn’t got that much to do with AF!

I can understand just how you felt and it's not nice. I would have been too scared to have answered the door to that woman. If she knocks again call the police immediately, surely it's a crime to fill people with fear! I once feared for my life and now have locks on all my internal doors, which I lock every night. People say what if there's a fire, but they just don't understand fear and what it does to you.

Has this woman knocked on anyone else's door in your road?


She hasn’t gone to other houses nearby so far as I know- I have asked several neighbours. This makes it even more worrying as it’s not clear why my house has been visited repeatedly.

How unpleasant. I don't ever open our door at night if I am on my own and when we are out I always leave a light on. We have a dog who barks loudly at strangers (but unfortunately also at the foxes frollicking outside all night).

Hope you get some answers about your heart's behaviour; the stress can't be helping at all.

have you thought about getting one of those gadget which would set off the sound of a big dog barking fiercely? I think this might frighten away one such as you've described. They might think, oh, he's got a dog now. Better move on. Sorry not at all AF related!


I have ordered some devices. Amazon do one of these but it was badly reviewed which put me off a bit. I’m guessing it would be difficult to make the device sound like a real dog moving around. At the moment I’ve opted for alarm as which go off when there is vibration on the window and when the door is opened.

let's hope this either is never tested, or works! Horrid to have to go through.


I had a couple if dreadfull stress weeks due to traveling to U.K., funeral and a chest infection....and you.....I got these long sessions of beats slow, normal and a quick one.....lasted ten hours the first one....Kardia saud poss afib but my pulse was late 60’s, so now think it was evtopics......very disconcerting isn’t it......

in reply to Morzine

I had a full ECG yesterday and it showed normal sinus rhythm. But 15 mins earlier when the doctor felt my pulse he said it was irregular but didn’t think it was AF. Kardia is repeatedly showing possible atrial fibrillation with bpm at around 70 since late last night. Yesterday all the Kardia reports came back as Unclassified. It’s a confusing picture. I’m going to speak to the Cardio Nurses at St Barts initially for some advice. I haven’t had breakfast yet-usually eating speeds up any AF so it will be interesting (perhaps interesting is not the right word) to see what happens!

Get a few quotes to get some security cameras fitted. Criminals don't like having their pictures taken?

Mine is slow irregular 44, I asked the consultant and he seemed to think it was nothing to worry about

Best to contact your consultant if you're not sure

You may also like...