End of battery

How can you tell when the battery changes modes? Dr. said something about staying at 65 beats/minute?



by heckboy - 2008-01-27 05:01:02

You may be talking about settings that your Dr. or nurse practitioner can program into your device. You can set a low and a high depending on your comfort level. You may want your low to be set at 65, but a high of 150. You'll need that for running or doing sports. Mine gets up to 140-150 during my warm-up at the gym.

Does this help?

PMs are complicated

by CathrynB - 2008-01-27 06:01:17

Hi curleebobcat,
Pacemakers are complicated little devices and many doctors, nurses and technicians don't do a great job of explaining the details to us. Mine have been great at answering all my questions, so I'm fortunate. I hope Smitty will weigh in on your question as he's the best at answering these sorts of things.
Basically, the device you have implanted, if I understand it correctly, is made up of a titanium body (the actual pacemaker) which contains a little computer that monitors your natural heartbeat (if you still have one), a generator that creates electrical impulses to make your heart muscle contract if it doesn't do it on it's own, and a battery that gives it power. Then you also have one, two or three electrical leads that connect from the pacemaker and run through a blood vessel into one or more chambers of your heart. This all assumes you have a pacemaker, not an ICD, which I know very little about.
So the doctor, nurse of technician has a machine that reads all the computer settings on your pacemaker, the quality of impulses being sent from your PM to your heart and how much life is left on your battery before it runs out. I'm not aware that your battery actually "changes modes", though settings on your pacemaker can vary, and maybe that's what your question is about?
Some people have both a high and low setting on their PM. For those of us whose hearts can increase the beats per minute without assistance when our activity level requires it, there is no high setting -- just a low setting to keep our hearts from beating too slowly, or pause, which causes us to feel dizzy or faint. Other people's hearts are not capable of increasing to a faster beat without help from a pacemaker, and those people may use something called the "rate response mode" to gauge activity levels and increase the beats per minute as needed. It sounds as though that's the case for heckboy who responded above. I only have a low setting. I also have the "rate response mode" turned off on my pacemaker because I don't need it. I do, however, have the "sleep mode" turned on, because I sleep a bit more soundly with a lower heart rate, and the battery will last longer too, so in theory I won't need a replacement and more surgery quite so often. I'm 51 years old so hope to live long enough for many replacements in future years. My sleep mode is turned on from midnight to 6am daily (Pacific Standard Time -- so it's skewed when I travel to other time zones, but doesn't seem to bother me).
So it sounds like possibly you only have a lower rate setting at 65 beats per minute. And you can ask your doctor, nurse or technician whether you also have a high setting, the rate response mode turned on or off, and sleep mode turned on or off. Other settings that affect how some people feel include the voltage -- if it's higher than needed, some people can feel themselves being paced, or feel "fluttery" feelings in their chest, neck, stomach or elsewhere.
I always get a printout of my interrogation reports when I have a checkup and ask for explanations of what changes have been made to my settings, if any.
Sorry for such a long-winded answer, and I apologize if you already knew all this and I was just too dense to get right to your real question. I hope you're feeling good and having a great quality of life with your pacemaker! Keep us posted,

Curleebobcat and Smitty

by CathrynB - 2008-01-27 07:01:01

Well, curleebobcat, now I'm embarrassed that I went on at such length! I didn't recognize your screen name and assumed you were a Newbie looking for an explanation of how the PM works. But after 10 years with a PM, I'm sure you know WAY more than I do, as I've had mine only one year. And I haven't been through an "end of life" (of the PM, that is!) mode, so can't answer the question you really posted. So, Smitty, thank you for the compliment on my answer, but maybe I just saved you from embarrassing yourself by going on at length about the wrong question, so you could thank me for that too! LOL Meanwhile, please come back Smitty, and take a whack at curleebobcat's REAL question!
Take care, Cathryn

Pacemaker Settings

by SMITTY - 2008-01-27 07:01:44

This is for Cathryn.

I could say of all the nerve, but I'll refrain this time. But you say you wish I would weigh on this question and then to proceed to give a much more detailed and better answer than I could. So, I guess all that leaves for me to do is say Amen to what Cathryn said.

Cathryn, of course you know I'm kidding, but I do think you did an excellent job of explaining what is most likely going on with Curlee and the pacemaker

Now, all I have to do is end this by wishing Curlee the very best.


endo of battery life

by curleebobcat - 2008-01-27 07:01:49

They have been checking my Pm every month since I have had it for ten years. Today I felt a little out of sorts and rememberd the doc said i might feel when it went into the end of life mode, or staying at about 65BPM even after exertion.

battery settings

by aldeer - 2008-01-27 08:01:36

When I had my medtronic checked... it is set at 60 to 135, I asked if I could have it set at 65, and the rep said they saved that to be able to check on life of battery. I don't really understand it, but that is what I was told.

End of battery

by Susan - 2008-01-27 09:01:47

I reecently had a battery replacement. I was told that when my pacemaker got to the ERI mode (elective replacement interval) to conserve energy it would not pace my heart faster than 65 bmp. Usually the pacer is rate responsive but not in the ERI unless my heart would do it naturally. I was being checked monthly and I was down to the one month level and I knew immediately when I got to the ERI mode for I tried to do my usual exercise routine and I was out of breath and I thought something was wrong. I was told this isn't necessarily dangerous but exercise would be difficult because the muscles would't be getting the oxgen they needed because of the lower heart rate. It was suggested that I take it easy until I got the replacement and there was no danger whatsoever that the battery would run out. I was told that there were still months of battery life left but the plan calls for replacing the battery as soon as can be done in a reasonable fashion once the ERI mode is reached.



by heckboy - 2008-01-27 10:01:30

You came pretty close to target. My rate response is turned off since I have normal sinus activity, but since pacing is not as efficient as a natural contraction, I still have an upper limit. An athlete can hit 200 bpm, but a pm won't move the same amount of blood at that rate.

Nice post, btw!


by peter - 2008-01-28 03:01:09

Susan has made me laugh my socks off. I am amazed at the wierd medical terminology doctors seem to love to invent. Like the ERM = Elective Repacement Mode.
Whenever I find a new one my mind immediately tries to come up with someting more realistic or down right outrageous, just for the fun of it. So it could also be called these modes
CBT Change the Bloody Thing.
BFM Battery Flat Mode
NQD Not Quite Dead
OLB On its Last Breath
TM Terminator Mode
HYMW Had Your Moneys Worth
DDM Dead Duck Mode
PISD Past Its Sell Date
Any other suggestions?
Cheers Peter


by Rewiredaussiegirl - 2008-01-28 05:01:33

I am laughing so much that I forget what I was going to say!!!My battery is starting to run out!!
how about BS-Battery stuffed!!
Thanks for the laugh-Kay

Dead Battery

by curleebobcat - 2008-01-28 12:01:53

You guys are too much. All I know is yesterday I started feeling things i haven't felt in years since i received my Pacer---fluttering, light-headed, blah!. I have been near the end of the battery life for several months now and have been getting phone checks monthly. doc said it would still have plenty of reserve in order to have time to schedule for replacement and that I may well feel when it drops to the ERI, CBT, BFM, NQD, TM, all of the above mode. I went up a flight of stairs and excercised on an elyptical machine, took my pulse, and it remains on 65. Felt kinda woozy also. I've placed a call to the Pacer lab to see if they want to check it now instead of waiting for my next scheduled check. I'll let you know and thanks for the info and laughs.

End of Battery

by curleebobcat - 2008-02-04 09:02:57

Well i was right, it tripped last sunday and i'm scheduled for surgery this thursday. Getting an ICD this time.

How long can it stay on ERI mode?

by 1of4kids - 2008-09-16 03:09:44

My pacer is on ERI mode, has been on it since 8/30. So how long can it stay on it before it runs out of battery life? I am just so sick of this tiredness and the strange heart beat I am feeling and just want it to end soon.
I have no plans for a replacement until doctor can give me the word that I indeed need it.

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