my time is up

Greetings, all. I've been powered by a Medtronic PM almost 11 years. I do believe it has finally "flipped". I have wondered how/if i would know and my question has been answered - I feel like *&^$. Get winded very quickly and have to sit down and pant like a dog. I thought I would get it replaced in 2009, deductible issues, but i know i cannot wait now that I feel this way. I went to CVS and did the blood pressure machine. Every time my pulse was 67, the other numbers varied, so I have diagnosed myself. Any advice, thought, comments? This is my 1st post. I had 1 SVT 11 years ago and got the PM due to a failed ablation. Thanks!


SOB has affected thinking~~

by failed ablation - 2008-12-07 06:12:32

Time's Up here. Thanks for the replies and concern. I neglected to say some pertinent info, sorry!. I am down to >1 mo to 4 mos. My next appt is Dec 19th and the tech feels i'll have flipd by then. Why one has to wait until it actually goes into that mode is slightly disconcerting to me I must say. From then I'll have 3 mos to get the battery replaced, depending on how bad i feel. So, with that in mind, I strongly suspect "my time is up". It seems at night when I lie down that my beats are flip flopping around a bit. My husband wants me to call manana but in the meantime, he's out doing the shopping, a rarety. I may go the 3 months after all, haha.

just go!

by Tracey_E - 2008-12-07 07:12:44

If you're in the end of life mode and feel that bad, I'd go ahead and get it done! Do you have deductibles you've already paid for the year? It is cheaper for me to get things done before the end of the year because my deductible is already paid for 08, as of 01/01 I'll have to pay a new one. Or if it's cheaper to wait, it's only a few weeks but go ahead and get on the schedule for the first of the year!

SOB time

by PeggyR - 2008-12-07 10:12:30

I wouldn't walk, I would run to get it checked out, and agree with TraceyE - deductibles don't mean anything if you're dead.
Good luck, take care of yourself at all costs.


My Time Is Up (We hope not)

by SMITTY - 2008-12-07 10:12:45

There must be at least a thousand causes of shortness of breath. I went to Google and plugged in "Causes of SOB" and the very first article mentions 950 of these. So the cause of yours can be from almost anything and my guess is that it will take a doctor to pin down the cause of yours.

I have to guess that your pacemaker has not been doing much work, other than monitoring your heart beats if it has lasted 11 years. As for the HR of 67 you found at the pharmacy was that after you rested a few minutes or was it after you had just walked into CVS? The HR should be elevated some amount from any physical activity you may have just had so you may want to rest for about 15 min and then check your HR.

I'll not try any more guesses, but I will mention that if you have any chest pain, or on fact any pain above your belt and below your ears, nausea or sweating that you can associate with the SOB see your doctor at once.

Good luck,



by Tracey_E - 2008-12-07 10:12:54

When's the last time you went and had the pm interrogated? If it's been more than three months, go get checked asap. They can tell you exactly how much time is left. It sounds like you might be in the backup mode it goes into when the battery is very low. It'll keep you alive, but you don't feel so good because it's only doing minimal work.

Ditto what Smitty said about chest pain! Deductibles don't mean anything if you're dead.

It's Official

by failed ablation - 2008-12-08 01:12:08

I wasn't due for a check until Dec 19, but they just let me do a phone check and it confirmed that my device is in EOL mode. End of Life. Sounds a bit dramatic, no? Anyway, then they said, well, just keep your appt for the 19th, like no big deal. I guess I just need to decide when I want to schedule it??


by enzobake - 2008-12-08 09:12:27

With Medtronic devices, you have a built in safety margin of 3 months after the device trips ERI before it will reach EOL. Even at that point, there is still usually (but not always)quite a bit of energy left. So don't worry. You have plenty of time.


by Tracey_E - 2008-12-09 07:12:44

EOL mode is perfectly safe. When you choose to get it changed out is up to you. It's all a matter of how long you want to deal with the symptoms.

What to expect from battery replacement

by failed ablation - 2008-12-10 10:12:59

Thanks so much for your (funny) comments and advice. What will the restrictions/directions be for my 2nd PM? My foot Dr. told me today I need surgery on my big arthritic toe and I thought i might combine the recooperation periods. I'm falling apart - haha. Plus, in my rush to get ready for the appt., I crashed into a table and broke my baby toe. Ouch.


by Tracey_E - 2008-12-12 06:12:49

A big ow on the baby toe!!!

I'd do the foot first as long as the anesthesiologist is ok with doing the foot while your pm is EOL.

I've had several replacements now and they're extremely easy! Your leads will remain, all they replace is the pm device itself. Unless you've had problems, they go in the same place and use the same pocket, so it's all scar tissue. I am usually home fixing my own lunch and have never bothered filling the prescrip for pain meds. You'll be sore for a week or two but it's nothing like the first time, and no restrictions on lifting weight or putting your arm above your shoulder.

Muchas Gracias and Feliz Navidad

by failed ablation - 2008-12-25 06:12:30

Merry Christmas everyone. Thanks, TraceyE, on your info re: my 1st replacement. I now have it scheduled for Jan 8th. They did an echo thing last I was in to make sure my heart muscle has not attrophied (sp?). The teck said she saw an irregular heartbeat while doing the test)?. Haven't talked to the dr. about it. My dad had a massive heart attack when he was 42 - high cholesterol. My PM has nothing to do with heart disease - it was due to a failed ablation after having an SVT, but i wonder if i should ask the Dr. to check out anything else while I'm there? The PA told me my scar would not be as wide if i wear a good support bra afterwards. But I digress, and wander, and blab away. Sorry - too much Zuma today!!

You know you're wired when...

You always run anti-virus software.

Member Quotes

Hi, I am 47 and have had a pacemaker for 7 months and I’m doing great with it.