Boston Scientific settings for swimming

I am 73 years old and a long time swimmer.  I had a PM replacement last May after I broke a wire in my Medtronic setup implanted in 12/18 for SSS.  I had been frustrated in the pool but was making progress.  My EP and I agreed that the Boston Scientific Accolade would be a better device for me. At this point, it is not.  I am something like 7-10% off my previous performance levels.  My bad days are really bad and seem to occur randomly. My land based activities seem to be ok and maybe better in some cases.  I rarely measure those but I know my way around a pool and I know when it's not right.  My HR after a strong effort is typically about 96.

I shoud also say that I have "mild" Myelodysplastic Syndrome and my hemoglobin is low (latest 10.8) so there may be more than one thing affecting perfomance.  Those levels have not changed much in the last year.

I see my EP on 4/11.  If anyone on this forum knows of anyone who has the same device and is a satisfied swimmer, I would be very interested in their settings so I could share that information.   

I woud be grateful for any input.

Jeff Wren



I think you're stuck with it

by crustyg - 2022-03-18 19:22:35

I have SSS+CI and Accolade.  I've had my settings tweaked a little to try and improve (and retain) the rate response from the accelerometer for Pilates and pool swimming, but it hasn't really been successful.  I'm very reluctant to push the settings any further as I see complications ahead if my HR spends a lot of time much higher.

A while back (pre-AFlut/pre-PM) I had weekly coached swimming lessons.  Occasionally coach would make us do paired pull-alongs.  I was best paired with one guy who had fantastic arm-pulls, and I could just about do 25m hanging onto his ankles without breathing (which always disrupts the bodyline and increases drag).  Now, my swimming is aimed at getting somewhere close to his arm pull effectiveness in arms-only stroke, as I can't get enough cardiac output to support my leg kick (which was never very good).

There are some contributors here who've had their settings pushed hard to support dancing - zero to max HR demand as quickly as possible, so that's something that you could consider.  I tended to pester my EP-techs a bit when first implanted, then left them alone - but they assure me that making an adjustment and then coming back a few months later for a check or revision is fine.  Perhaps I'm very lucky (it's the hospital where I trained).  But if you don't ask...  96BPM seems very low, even though you're older than I am.  140-150BPM would be more realistic at MaxEffort exercise, IMHO.

From personal experience I would say that your low Hb is a much greater drag on your performance than a low HR.  But folk adapt.  I had a colleague who ran 10ks with his wife, and could usually beat her, but only just.  Once her docs discovered that her Hb was about 8g/dl and started her on treatment, he couldn't keep up.  Her next race she won the age/sex category and left him in the dust.

h Pacemaker Settings

by Skeet - 2022-03-19 10:02:30

Jeff don't give up. I am 74 not a swimmer but a bike rider.The Boston S. pacemaker I have was implanted in Feb. 2017. It has never worked like I thought it was suppose to. After years of changoing all settings, I finally went to an EP. He never really looked at any settings, but he said I could bring in my stationary bike and he brought in a BS tech to look at my pacemaker. I worked out for 52 minutes mostly doing intervals to get my breathing up faster. Tech said she couldn't do anything after going over all settings. She called a higher up BS internal tech. They both went over all my settings again. Conclusion was I needed a new pacemaker. I was scheduled for a replacement. That next week I went for a little ride on bike and noticed my average pulse was higher, so I went for a longer ride, pulse was best in 5 years, average 120 and high of 147. I canceled my replacement pacemaker. I don't think the techs really knew what they changed, but something that changed everything for me. It has been a few weeks now and pacemaker is working perfect. I wish I knew what settings they changed. Good luck and I think thats all it was.


Swimming biking

by dogtired - 2022-03-24 15:09:40

I'm scheduled to get a PM 4/6 and was wondering just how long everyone here waited before getting to the pool.  I'm worried about the arm extension.  The restrictions are standard 4 weeks elbow below shoulder and no more than 10 lbs, but oddley my EP clearly stated as soon as the incision heals I can swim with no restriction.  What are people doing in real life????  I also bike is there a peiod of "adjustment" to get used to the pacing? or can I just ride with no restrictions as soon as I feel like?  My plan is to ride indoors to test things out and take it easy to see how I feel

reply to dog-tired

by JWren - 2022-03-26 20:33:29

My surgeon was much less conservative than some with how soon I could swim.  My first implant, it was six weeks.  This past surgery, I got instructions similar to what you got.  I think I was in after two weeks.  I had no problems with the surgical part of things but as you can see by my original post-the rate response has not been satisfactory in the pool.  For biking and hiking, the BS implant has been clearly better than the Medtronic.  It's about the same for running.  I see my EP/surgeon on 4/11.  I'm hoping he has some answers but I'm not optimistic.

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Member Quotes

Today I explained everything to my doctor, he set my lower rate back to 80 and I felt an immediate improvement.