Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Ron, just use a cheap stethoscope right over the left chest. People with AF have an apical pulse (as heard over the heart) and a peripheral pulse (neck, arm, etc.). The latter is seemingly slower because not all the apical beats make it to the arm in an audible way.
Thanks for the info. Periodically, I make gestures toward purchasing a stethoscope but it never gets past that stage -- this may get me off the pot.
While, I mentioned that I find it hard to find my pulse, I rarely look for it manually. When exercising (or other vigorous activity, like hiking), I use a chest strap and a Polar Watch (I have a MIO also) and that allows me to monitor and keep my heart rate below 150. I also, when away from (the stick) home, wear the strap and notice that my heart rate is generally in the 50-75 BPM range but goes as low as 41-42 and high as ~85 when "at rest."
Other times, I simply rely on the above mentioned BP monitor (every day or so) and my every four week Doctors Office visit for Prothombine Time checks. All three methods are consistent with each other so I don't concern myself with this much anymore. (Not like when I was first diagnosed... then I checked my heart rate something like every fifteen minutes for months.)