Device time settings

Hey all.What a week! I went in for my 6-week check. The technician was not very clued up and had to keep phoning Medtronic for instructions...also defensive about answering questions... anyhooo... Cardio sorted the settings and she teleconferenced with colleagues and I left with my HR upped to 70 bpm from 60bpm, RR turned on AND sleep settings in place between 22:00and 06:00 @ 50 bpm.

By Thursday I was Exhausted! I had been rudely awakened each morning at 04:00 by a rapid increase in bpm. On Thursday eve at 20:00 I suddenly became aware that my HR had dropped down into the 50s. and there it stayed.

Knowing that the Tech is not great, I did my own research on this site and found some mention of time zones. I phoned first thing for an appointment. They laughed when I said I thought my device was in a different time zone, I left the tech to her own devices and according to her all was as it should be...until I asked her to check the date and time according to the pacemaker...It was set to GMT 2 hours ahead of my time zone in SA! 

Thanks to all who contribute on this site. It may seem like an insignificant titbit but may have saved my sanity! Unfortunately, I can't remember who mentioned it and a search did not turn up the post I had read.

I thought it may be worth mentioning again.

I am pacing 70% of the time in the Atrium now and 0.1% in the ventricle. I am going to give adapting to the higher HR a good go as I feel physically much better. Unfortunately, I am very aware of the pulse in my ears and at the base of my throat. I hope my brain will earn to tune these sensations out given time. Any advice on this?



Twilight Zone pacemaker

by AgentX86 - 2019-03-16 00:33:33

I'm surprised that you can feel the rate change and that goes double that it wakes you up.  My normal rate is set to 80bpm (to try to avoid PVCs) and from midnight to 6:00AM[*] it sets back to 50bpm.  It takes it something like a half hour to make the change so I don't even notice it and it certainly doesn't wake me up.

[*] Since we're now on DST, it's 1:00AM to 7:00AM which isn't that great.

Pacemaker Club scores!

by Gotrhythm - 2019-03-16 17:00:33

You story is the perfect example of the neccessity to learn all one can about the little devices that are regulating our hearts. And it perfectly justifies the existence of the Pacemaker Club (not that justification is needed.)

Your story exemplifies the reason I advise newbies to read every post whether they think it applies to them or not. The more you understand about how your device works, the better you will communicate with the pacemaker professionals who are now part of your life. You never know which post will contain the tiny bit of information you need.

The hardest part of dealing with a pacemaker for me was--when I inruited something was wrong--not knowing what questions to ask. Until I discovered Pacemaker Club, I felt like I was foundering all the time.

I don't know whether you will learn to turn out the uncomfortable sensations--or whether you should. From my own 7 years plus experience, I can tell you being able to feel your heart beat is not a totally reliable sign something is wrong. More reliable is how you feel. Do you feel good enough to get through the day, doing what you need and want to do?

Thank you for the info!

by karuss12 - 2019-03-16 21:43:35

I appreciate the information you shared. Glad to know how the time change can impact the pacemaker. Also glad to know that the increase in rate helped you feel better. I am going to ask to have my rate increased at my next visit. I've started to notice lightheadedness more when getting up quickly from a sitting position. Also, feeling a little more shortness of breath when exercising. These changes have occurred slowly over time so I've just realized their impact on how I feel. And, I've just started looking for info and ways to improve symptoms. I have Dr and Tech appt next month and want to gather as much data as I can before the visit. 

So much to learn.... 


by shirley d - 2019-03-17 07:49:53

Thanks for your responses all!

I love your subject heading  AgentX86. It is perfect! The awareness of my pulse rate has been with me for years. I have Tinnitus and can hear every beat. I think that that is what wakes me. Also, I feel a pressure pulse at the base of my throat. I had both of these symptoms with the previous PMs, then had a 5-year hiatus from the throat pressure after my previous PM was removed due to severe infection. Now back to pacing.

Gotrhythm, It is a big help to have informed, non-medical experiences at your fingertips, a place to go where the human element is at the fore and you are not just a case file. The cardio says some patients are just more sensitive to the physiological changes than others. I am hoping my brain will tune these sensations out as it gets used to them being constant and non-threatening. Since the time settings have been changed I have slept better and that already makes a difference!

I am definitely feeling much better, energy levels up, brain function more alert, so I am happy with the settings for now. It is only the constant awareness of the increase in HR that has me unsettled...and a bit irascible. The Cardio asked for me to give it at least 6 weeks to see if it will settle. I think that is reasonable and will in fact give it until my 6-month check. It is not an impossible situation and the energy trade-off is worth it. 

 karuss12, good luck with getting your settings tailor-made! It is a good idea to have a check anyway to find the cause of your symptoms. Glad you have an appointment. Let us know how it goes!


You know you're wired when...

Titanium is your favorite metal.

Member Quotes

I just want to share about the quality of life after my pacemaker, and hopefully increase awareness that lifestyles do not have to be drastically modified just because we are pacemaker recipients.