International travel when battery is getting old

I had my St Judes pacemaker installed in March 2011.  My cardiologist says the battery should be OK for another couple of years, although 7 years was the suggested duration at the time of installation.  At what point should I plan to restrict international travel, especially to 3rd world or developing countries?


1 Comments

battery life

by Tracey_E - 2018-12-27 16:56:15

Ignore what they told you when you first got it. Your doctor gets an up to date estimate with every interragation that is much more accurate. 

I'm on my 5th. Once it gets to the last year, they let me know what the time estimate is with every quarterly check. When it gets under 3 months, I go once a month instead of quarterly. It doesn't just stop. When it has approximately 3 months left, it will go into EOS (end of service) cut back what it does to conserve battery, all the bells and whistles will turn off and it will pace at a constant rate. How you feel in this stage depends on how you pace. If you are dependent, you will feel pretty lousy. Safe, but not good. If you don't pace much, you may not even notice.

The approximately 3 months before that is elective replacement period, ERI, still fully functional, think gas light on in the car. That's when I've always had mine done, tho some insurance will require it to go to EOS before they'll cover the replacement. Once it switches to ERI, I choose my time to have it done. 

When they say how much time is left, that's based on the current usage at the time they do the interrogation so it can change if they change the settings, and it's just a guess. The closer it gets to the end, the better the guess, but as much as technology has progressed they still can't accurately predict when a battery is going to go low.  I've had it say 9-12 months for a full year before it dropped again. I've had it say 9-12 months then 3 months later it was ERI. My first one was supposed to last 5 years, it lasted 7. My 3rd one lasted 3 years (bad lead killed the battery). My current one is almost 3 years old and still says10+ years. I'm dependent and pace every beat. Me personally, I wouldn't plan anything too crazy once it says under 3-6 months, and as soon as goes to ERI I start planning to have it replaced. I do not want to know what EOS feels like!

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