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Question:

What can help my husband get back to normal after new onset atrial fib and a pacemaker?

My husband, age 68, has been running in excess of 30 miles a week for the past thirty years. He was recently diagnosed with arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation. Six weeks ago, he had a pacemaker installed and was given permission to resume running. He says he is unable to run further than 200 yards without stopping to get his breath and he is depressed. He is taking Xarelto and Multaq and no other medications or supplements. His doctor says the medications are not causing the depression. He has had the pacemaker adjusted one time and has sent his readout to be monitored. Perhaps we should just be happy he is alive, but is there a way he can get him back to “normal”, i.e., able to do his 30 miles a week and not feel depressed?

Submitted by Jan from Houston, Texas on 05/02/2014

Answer:
by Mohammad Saeed, MD

It seems like his pacemaker may need some more adjustment. Probably a treadmill stress test in the doctor’s office will help clarify some of these issues.