I don't quite understand AF, normal heart r... - AF Association

AF Association

21,578 members26,358 posts

I don't quite understand AF, normal heart rate, and pacemakers


If someone could kindly point me in the right direction for reading more, or answer my questions, I'd appreciate it!

AF to me is like having squirrels playing in my chest, or maybe a fish flopping around. I don't seem to have a normal heart rate (pulse) when I'm in AF.

So does a pacemaker give you a regular heart rate (pulse), but you still have AF??

How is that possible that you're heart is a-quivering but you get a regular pulse? I'm not even sure if I'm using the correct terminology or if I'm confusing myself. Thank you in advance!!!

3 Replies

Much of what you are looking for will be found here....


Hi, love the squirrels! But of course you wish they’d go back up their tree.....A pacemaker is often used when a patient has problems with sinus rhythm, particularly a tendency to beat too slowly or pause. The pacemaker will kick in if the heart beats too slowly or pauses for too long. This will have no effect on AF other than to allow medication for AF/fast heart rate to be taken or increased, though if your AF tends to override your sinus node during pauses between beats it may reduce episodes.

A pacemaker plus ablation of the sinus node (pace and ablate) however means your pacemaker regulates your heart beat at a steady even pace so your atria can’t affect the ventricles and the squirrels can play but you should hardly be aware of them. The downside is that your heart is not so responsive to circumstances. This procedure is generally considered a last resort but people who have struggled for years with no relief through meds/ablation often say they wish they’d had it sooner.

I’ve been very interested in this subject as I shall probably have a pacemaker fitted next year 💗

Thank you so much, for the link and also the helpful comments! Darn squirrels!!

You may also like...