Backup pacemaker.

I think that by backup pacemaker they mean that it will only start pacing when my own heart isn't coping well, so it doesn't pace all the time. I am not sure if 50 bpm is still low considering that l am being treated for ectopic beats using beta blockers but l know from years of experience that l very rarely managed over 45 bpm at rest untreated, and when flat out exercising never got above 115 bpm but they put that down to being fit as l used to exercise a lot. I had my pacemaker fitted 2 weeks ago and l am 60 now so perhaps l am where l should be all things considered. I guess l just have to get used to the change and trust in the specialists who are looking after me.


back up

by Tracey_E - 2022-04-27 22:14:41

All pacers are technically back up in that they only kick in when our heart slacks off. It will always give your heart a chance to beat on its own before it paces. Don't stress over how much it paces or what your rate is. If you feel good, it's at the right place. If you don't feel good, then go back. It's common to take a few tries to get the settings fine tuned for our needs. 

I'm no expert, but I don't think 115 during hard exercise is ever ok! So many doctors see someone young and fit so they write off problems rather then digging deeper. 

Your maxHR should be higher than that

by crustyg - 2022-04-28 03:59:27

I'm mid-60s and frequently get to 165 BPM and stay there for 20-30min, courtesy of my PM.  I have an enlarged, athletic heart, so a properly paced A=>V beat gets a lot of blood out into my aorta.

I think your MaxHR is much too low.  My EP-doc told me (as I had asked) that he had two athletic PM patients under his care.  His experience of what's an acceptable maxHR for athletic Seniors is necessarily limited.  Unless you're the team doc for a Masters group of athletes you're unlikely to be comfortable seeing how hard some seniors push themselves.  If you have healthy heart muscle and clean arteries, there's no reason why you shouldn't reach 150+BPM, or higher.  It makes a *big* difference to the performance of large muscle groups during excercise.

The real marker of how 'fit' you are is your HR recovery when you stop exercising (when not paced), not your resting HR or your maxHR.

Higher than that

by AgentX86 - 2022-04-28 13:55:31

The issue may not just be healthy heart muscle but a healthy conduction system.  Since, by definition, none of us have a healthy conduction system, saying that someones maximum HR should be X is dangerous.  Danger of ventricular tachycardia can be a worry, as can PMT.  I'm sure there are other conditions that are reasons to limit HR.

EPs are also unlikely to raise it unless the interrogations show a lot of time in the highest histogram bin.

higher rate

by Tracey_E - 2022-04-28 18:21:25

My last two doctors set my upper limit after a stress test to see what my needs were and how my heart handled it. I'm 55 with an upper limit of 190 right now. I regularly get to 165-170 so they gave me a cushion over that. 

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