Battery End of Life and Safety Mode
I had originally posted this as a response to another person with a battery concern. I am reposting to the general battery forum since it seems to pertain to some other posters.
I am now at 3 months before my battery end of life. I have a Medtronic dual chamber for bradycardia and other issues. I pace 95% of the time in one atrium and 45-55% in the other. I have it set to adjust to pace more/at a higher rate when I am exercising (called adjustable mode, I think). This will be my first battery change.
I thought I could schedule an appointment to have my battery replaced BEFORE the safety shut down, but my cardiologist told me that by law, he is not able to schedule the battery replacement procedure until the battery actually goes into battery safety mode (my heart rate will go down to 60 beats per minute without any warning).
My cardiologist said the safety mode would be obvious to me as I would likely feel the change in my heart rhythm as it slows down and have the following physical responses: difficulty going up stairs, difficulty breathing during exercising, fatigue, and possibly other symptoms.
I wrote to Medtronic to complain as this seems to be very inefficient in a busy, modern age. They responded that it is my choice what rate I want my heart to beat at...even though we have NO choice as to when the battery goes in to safety mode. No one has been able to tell me who made the law. I understand this feature was originally created to keep people alive until they could get their new battery, but it seems like it would make sense to schedule it...Another issue is that I will have to deal with my new year medical insurance reset and pay out of pocket due to my deductible since it didn't happen in 2023.
Tracey has always been a great source of information, but I see that she was able to schedule her procedure...I'm not sure if this battery save mode is specific to Medtronic or if other manufacturers have the same preset. I'm wondering if others are able to schedule their battery replacement or if everyone has to wait until it goes into safety mode before getting their replacement battery?
I admit to being anxious about this situation. I have a very busy work life and a daughter with special needs. My cardiologist assured me he would do everything possible to replace the battery within a couple of days if he or is colleague are able to free up their schedule, but it still means missing at least a couple of day of work before the procedure and feeling sick when my heart rate goes down. He doesn't think it will require much down time at least.
I wake up every day wondering if today will be the day it shuts down. It has been really hard! I've let close family and friends know. The hospital won't release me without an adult present due to the need for anesthesia during the procedure so this is another complication.
I'm at the point of acceptance (while still frustrated to be in this situation) and am trying to joke about it, but it is still nerve wracking waiting for it to happen.
The good news is technology has advanced and the new battery is supposed to be better and have a longer life than my current one. If all goes well, I will get a new pacemaker and leads in another 10 years or so.
My best to everyone.
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