Struggling with the thought of my battery running out

I often feel like I don't have enough time, as if my batteries will run out and I won't be able to have them replaced on time. It doesn't feel good. 


7 Comments

Afraid PM battery will run out

by TAC - 2022-03-29 23:02:55

I see in your profile that your PM was implanted in 2018. There is plenty of time before you will need a battery change. There is no way your battery will stop suddenly without giving you sufficient warnings. Your EP will keep an eye on your battery and before a change s needed, he will alert you with plenty of time to prepare. Relax, enjoy life.

Replacement of generator unit

by Selwyn - 2022-03-30 07:50:27

Well, 12 years on and I am waiting for a new pacemaker.  My battery status has been monitored every 6 months for the last 2 years and now I am on the waiting list for a replacement with 6 months of power left (before the pacemaker goes into End of Service mode - then you are left paced with basic functions with enough power for 3 months). 6 weeks have gone by since my check up. I phoned the hospital this week ( as instructed if I had not heard anything)  and they reckon it will be May when they get round to putting in a new unit. No panic. Some pacemakers  have an inbuilt Elective Replacement Indicator program: so, we get a warning Elective Replacement Near, then another, Elective Replacement Time ie. Schedule replacement, and finally, End of Service ie. 3 months of basic function left. All can be determined at your pacemaker check up. 

When to panic? I expect I would be worried if I was at End of Service mode and had no date to go in. 

The monitoring of battery status gets more accurate the longer your pacemaker has been monitored over time as the rate of power use for you can be more accurately predicted.  

I hope this helps with your concerns. 

For further info. see: https://www.bostonscientific.com/content/dam/bostonscientific/quality/education-resources/english-a4/EN_ACL_Battery_Status_INSIGNIA_ALTRUA_20110808.pdf

 

everything is cool

by athena123 - 2022-03-30 14:25:17

you are ok, my friend. plenty of life on your battery so go and enjoy youself like tacs says.

Battery

by AgentX86 - 2022-03-30 14:46:04

In addition to what everyone else has said, unless you're truely dependent on it, there would be no problem if it did run out.  You may not feel well or even pass out or maybe nothing, but you'd survive.

The chances of it getting that far as close to zero as you can get.  Your pacemaker clinic is following the battery's progress and will have plenty of warning that you need a preplacement. They'll know what to do at that point. 

our irrational brains

by Tracey_E - 2022-03-31 09:06:42

Sometimes our brains don't want to listen to facts, anxiety is not rational. 

I'm on my 5th device and have never come close to it running out. When it first says we are in replacement mode, we still have a good 6 months of life left, 3 months of full function, then 3 months of reduced function. I've never gone to the reduce function stage either. As long as you have your regular check ups, or have a home monitor that checks in regularly, you will have plenty of notice. When it gets under a year, they've always moved my checks from quarterly to monthly. If you don't miss those checks, there is literally no way it can sneak up on you. 

What to expect if it got to really low battery

by LondonAndy - 2022-03-31 17:54:27

Good advice from everyone else already, but following a surgical complication when my aortic valve was replaced in 2014, I got a Medtronic pacemaker and am 100% dependent on it.  So even though I knew they do regular testing, this was something of interest to me too.

I had read about the "end of [battery] life" mode, which makes the device go into a basic, fixed rate of operation. So when I went for my first check-up I asked the technician what I would feel if, despite all these regular checks, it got down to this level. He kindly set the device into that mode, and told me to carefully walk down the hospital corridor and see. All that happened was my heart felt really heavy. I am sure that if I tried to walk fast or something I would very soon be panting! But as I walked it was fine apart from this heaviness. So you might want to ask your technician to at least explain how it feels, and perhaps briefly set your into this mode, so that you can see too. Different models have different ways of alerting - I think I read that with some manufacturers they buzz!

As it happens, I am now expecting the replacement to be done this December. The annual checks increased to 6 monthly about a year ago, and my latest test in February showed about 15 months of battery life left, which would take me to May 2023 - so that means my first device would have lasted about 8.5 years at 100%. My next test will be in August.

no worries

by dwelch - 2022-05-04 01:50:54

no worries, first off the report during the interrogation is just wrong. until the units are weeks, ignore it.   I have run three of the four that I had replaced (am on number 5) past the point where they go into the fixed rate mode, my first one there was no phone box, or daily monitoring thing, I went in every six months.   so I could have been in this mode for up to 6 months, I probably wasnt.   that doc did say...hmmm...what are you doing next week?.....getting a new pacer.

the others I did have phone checks between 3 and 1 month depending on the doc.  

number four actually the one that didnt run into the fixed rate mode. we replaced mid life because I needed a biventrical.   so who knows I might have ran that one down.

but I have had zero worries about it.  despite all of them basically running into that fixed rate mode.   you do feel that mode.  climbing stairs, etc.  gets your attention and you call the doc, hey it it is time.  and then weeks later get a new one....it can stay in that mode for months before any need to worry.

do your regular checkups, the doc should be doing 3 to 1 month checks as you get close. if you are already using a take home box then they will know.

note that at least in the US our wonderful insurers want to milk the devices so early replacements are being refused and you pretty much have to go into the fixed rate mode before they will replace them (nothing to worry about).  so if you have a take home box, leave it on that last few years of the device and it will know and tell them.  much sooner than I found out with any of mine...

 

 

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Your pacemaker receives radio frequencies.

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It is just over 10 years since a dual lead device was implanted for complete heart block. It has worked perfectly and I have traveled well near two million miles internationally since then.