90 day review

Still pretty new with my St Jude 2 lead PM installed for complete heart block...Bradycardia.  Just had my 90 day review...I think the tech just changed my HR with instructions from my Cardiologist from 60 to 70 BPM.  My cardiologist also wanted to make sure the rate response was turned on...the tech said it was already on.  I then asked if it could be turned to more sensitive which is what my doc had asked for.  He said again it was already on, so I’m not sure it that is any different than it was.  I’m thinking he might have made it more sensitive because all I noticed is my ears fill a little stopped up...not sure if it would cause that or not.  My main question is what difference should I feel from going from 60 to 70 BPM.  All comments appreciated!


90 day review follow up

by Radioman#1a - 2020-08-20 22:39:03

A follow up to the above post.  I’m about 8 hours into the new setting of 70 BPM instead of 60.  I seem to be having a little trouble getting a deep breath, especially when I’m having a conversation...seems like my issue of getting up from my recliner and walking to the kitchen (maybe 10 steps) and being breathless with my ears wanting to stop up and getting a hot rush up my neck into my head continues and seems a little more extreme.

I’m wondering since my diagnosis is bradycardia and I was used to a HR in the 40l”s and 50’s that moving from 60 to 70 was the right move.  Would it have been better to move back to what I was used to feeling to say maybe 55 BPM?

I did walk a quarter mile and felt fine in that regard.  How long should I try the new HR...It is easy to panic a little when you’re feeling wierd.  Thanks again for any input.

Please consider seeing a doctor

by Gemita - 2020-08-21 05:44:29

Hello Radioman,

I think you really should be examined by a doctor who can check your pulses/blood pressure and determine whether all this is normal for you.  It is possible that you could be getting blood pressure changes from the higher heart rate.

Your recent pacemaker check would I expect only have involved a check of your device to see whether any events were recorded, to check condition of your leads and battery and whether the settings seemed right for you.  Were your doctors present at your initial check ?  Have you had a follow up appointment with your doctor?  I would request one to discuss these problems just to be on the safe side.

My heart rate is now set at 70 bpm night and day and I do not have your symptoms, although prior to my pacemaker I was getting head rushes, pre-syncope/syncope spells, breathlessness and chest pain from unstable blood pressure/heart rate caused by my arrhythmias, so maybe worth getting some monitoring done by your team.

A higher heart rate for me has helped me to feel less fatigued, to have more energy, to sleep better, to feel less cold, to be able to exert myself.  In fact it has given me a new lease of life and everything seems to be working better from the stronger, steady blood flow circulating in my body.  Hopefully it will soon be better for you too


by Radioman#1a - 2020-08-21 11:21:11

Thanks Gemita...I’m just trying to get comfortable with the new rate of 70. Pre PM was your normal rate low or high? 

Pre pacemaker heart rate

by Gemita - 2020-08-21 12:18:42

Hello Radioman,

My heart rate, together with blood pressure, has always been low when I am in normal sinus rhythm.  Only when I get arrhythmias, my heart rate and blood pressure can surge to very high levels.

My resting heart rate pre PM was at worst falling to below 30 bpm (at night) with around 40-45 bpm being the norm during the day.  But this rate was way too low for me to function properly, especially when I needed to exert myself.  My pacemaker was implanted for Sick Sinus Syndrome (brady/tachy syndrome), pausing and syncope (latter due to my arrhythmias).   My pacemaker also allows my EP to give me rate lowering medication (a beta blocker) for my several tachy arrhythmias without reducing my heart rate to dangerously low levels, since my pacemaker will prevent my heart rate from falling below 70 bpm.  It has made such a difference to my quality of life.  

If you feel your heart rate is too high for you, do tell your doctors and perhaps try a lower rate for a short period to see if things improve for you.

HR change

by Radioman#1a - 2020-08-21 12:46:18

I think I’m going to give it some time.  It’s the 1st morning I woke up at 70 BPM and after settling in. My BP was pretty good and I haven’t had any head rushes when getting up and moving around. I did notice yesterday when I walke about a quarter mile, that I felt pretty good.  Again thanks for your reply, it gives me hope that 70 might be a better option.  I’ll continue to monitor.

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