Turning off PM?
Last week, my EP decided to "effectively turn off " my PM because the pacing percentages were so low -- between 1 and 2 % in both chambers. I was given the PM originally for what was thought to be Sick Sinus Syndrome but later proven to be untrue.
What "effectively turn off" meant was moving my low rate from 45 bpm to 30 bpm. And because I was having so few ventricular paces, he just left the AV delay the same. I was excited about the percentages. They dropped to such low levels after we had completely turned off the rate response, which was throwing me into ventricular tachycardia (I'm proteced with and ICD) and giving me 30 percent pacing in my upper chamber.
On my pacemaker, there IS an "off" switch that would just turn the PM off completely. Does anyone know if there is any functional difference between what my EP did and just turning off the PM? Is there any engagement between the device and my heart that can happen if I'm NOT reaching the low resting rate. Is it really "OFF?"
The reason I ask is that before we made the adjustment, I was feeling pretty good (not perfect). After the adjustment, I feel labored breathing. When I take my pulse, I notice skipped beats, that I didn't notice before the change.
My guess is that dropping my base rate to 30, exposed skipped beats that were always there but hidden by the higher base rate because it triggered an artificial pace. But my other thought is that maybe there IS an engagement happening with the settings my EP made. Maybe it's not off until it's OFF.