I have a pacesetter, St Judes, implanted in 1999, 

According to my cardio, I very seldom use the pacemaker.

My last check up was in May 2019.  According to my cardiologist, all working fine.

My concern is that a few nights now, my heart rate drops to 40bpm, my pacemaker is set at 45 bpm.  I cannot feel it when it kicks in..should I feel it.   At times when it does kick in I cough and I can feel it, but this usually happens during the day, for a second or two at any given time.

Can some adise, what should I do.  


Not a lot of information to go on here

by AgentX86 - 2019-10-14 09:15:28

Why did they implant the pacemaker?  Bradycardia?  Pauses?  Heart block?  How did you measure your (40) pulse?  How do you know when it "kicks in"? Twenty years is a long time to have a PM but why do you think that you need to "do" anything? Have you shared your concerns with your cardiologist? What did he say?


Yes and no

by Theknotguy - 2019-10-14 11:14:52

Most people don't feel their pacemaker when it kicks in.  Ones that do are usually reporting the results of the pacemaker kicking in and not the shock to the heart.  A very few - me being one of them- can feel the shock that kicks off the heartbeat.  

My problem was from the higher voltage they used at first.  When they lowered the voltage I no longer felt the initial shock.  

Most of the time when I do feel my pacemaker kicking in it's not the initial shock but the results from the pacemaker working.  There were a few times my pacemaker kicked in the ventricle side and I really felt the results.  But everything quickly returned to normal and I felt OK.  

So you can ask your EP if it's possible for them to reduce the voltage.  May help, my not.  Otherwise, you may just have to get used to feeling the effects of your pacemaker.  

I volunteer at a hospital.  My pacemaker runs two programs for afib.  Sometimes one program will kick in, run for a while, then the other program kicks in. The nurses are amused to see me walking down the hallway muttering, "Would you just make up your mind!!!"

Hope everything else is going well for you.  


Twenty is a long, long time in "pacemaker years"

by Gotrhythm - 2019-10-14 14:23:45

How do you know your heartrate drops to 40, if you are sleeping when it happens?

Some people do feel their pacemaker working but that's really uncommon. Most people cannot feel their pacemaker working, so it isn't unsusual that you can't feel it.

Just because you feel a "funny feeling" and then you have to cough, that doesn't mean that what you felt was the pacemaker kicking in. Some very common arrhythmias--caused by the heart, not the pacemaker--will produce that symptom.

Twenty years is a long, long time to go without getting a new pacemaker. Heart conditions, including the electrical system problems that necessitated a pacemaker in the first place, can change over time, and as a result of that change your pacemaker settings might need to be changed.

"Your pacemaker is working fine" does not tell you whether your pacemaker is working in a way that actually meets your needs today. 

You really can't trust sensations in the chest to tell you exactly what is going on with your heart. As AgentA86 said, What you need is more information. Have you had a Holter monitor test lately? It might be time for another one.

You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker interferes with your electronic scale.

Member Quotes

The experience of having a couple of lengths of wire fed into your heart muscle and an electronic 'box' tucked under the skin is not an insignificant event, but you will survive.