The pulse reflects the heartbeat. A slow pulse can give weird

brain symptoms besides great fatigue. The cause is usually a drug

that is being taken to correct a fast pulse! Check with the nurse.

Read the insert included with packaging for all drugs used. The

drugs responsible are usually “beta blockers”,

used for the purpose of smoothing out the heart beat, that is,

making it regular. Often the drug can be changed.

Less than 60 beats per minute will lead to trouble. For a

young person it is a good sign to be as low as 60, provided no

drug is involved. But for the elderly it does not reflect a strong

athletic heart beat.

The heart is made of four separate “chambers” or compartments

each pulsing in turn. They are like four horses pulling a

wagon. Unless they pull evenly, the wagon feels jerky, and irregular.

The wagon will wear out sooner with jerky pulling. To

smooth them out you simply slow them down. Apparently they

sense each other better and can pull evenly now.

A heart that is beating 100 times per minute, not unusual for a

weak old heart, can be so irregular that it misses every fourth

beat. That creates a terrible deficiency of oxygen. Imagine your

four cylinder car or lawnmower missing one out of four engine

strokes! Beta-blockers have some quite undesirable side effects

but heart regularity has a higher priority. So drugs are the immediate

choice. Later, when heart health is improved, the heart

will beat regularly without drug use. In the meantime, watch over

the pulse. When the pulse drops below 60 the new danger is

slowness. Take the pulse daily when a new drug has been added,

or when you are working on heart health, without getting your

loved one anxious about it.

Do you have any questions?

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