I know I've searched and read posts regarding rate response, yet I'm so confused and with my appt tears.

I've had my Medtronic pm-dual lead will be two years this May. Was suppose to have it many years ago but kept getting talked into ablations.

Anyway- Im 46.  History of ventricular tachycardia, SVT over 200, av node, sinus node issyes..extra pathway. Heart blocks 1st and 2nd degrees and bradycardias... 32 bpm which lead to finally placing pacemaker in. While waiting HR jumped over 180 from 35. Soo .. I've been on rate response, getting adjustments every 3 months...but still something seems not right. 

At Dr few weeks ago resting heart rate was 101... Blood pressure was high (mine never is) they couldn't get a pulse ox read on me as fingers were ice cold. 

I am on 50mg on metpropol and no cardiologist as he no longer takes my insurance. 

Now. Tomorrow I'll be going to the pacemaker clinic and dealing with the tech and maybe she'll call in a Medtronic tech.  But Im nervous it'll be obviously another "tweak"... And I'll be clueless still. Should my rate response stay on? Do I trust another bunch of setting changes again.. why do I feel my heart is still all over the place.

Maybe i needed to vent since it seems I'm not too familiar with this part of my body taken over .They we're concerned because I paced so much about the battery but that was prior to putting the RR on.

I know I also now just learned my thyroid is underactive and just started medication for that but I know my heart-too well. .

Any advice? Lay man's term of RR?

Thank you so much... As I'm feeling lost, confused and frustrated.



rate response, layman terms

by Tracey_E - 2019-01-08 09:02:35

Rate response is atrial pacing and gets your rate up on exertion when it doesn't go up on its own. Medtronic devices work on motion, they sense that you are moving and raise your rate. If they are tweaking it, they are probably adjusting the sensitivity. They can adjust how quickly it kicks in vs letting the heart go up on its own, how fast it goes when it does kick in, how high it goes. 

I'm no expert but it doesn't sound to me that the pacer needs tweaked so much as your meds need to be straightened out. It can take weeks, up to months, to get the beta blocker dosage figured out and get used to being on it. If your thyroid is off, that will affect your heart rate so that should be addressed asap. I wouldn't keep messing with the settings until the meds are straightened out. JMHO. 

Don't worry about how much you pace. It doesn't really make that much difference in battery life, many other factors affect it as well and pacing is a small part of the whole. The important thing is pacing enough that you feel good. There is no one amount of pacing that's considered good. Many of us pace every beat, our batteries last a long time, and we feel good. Feeling good is key, the numbers are secondary. 

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