What 65 means

My son found this website for me and encouraged me to join. I have to tell you though that it will be my son or husband who checkes the site and writes my questions and replies. In fact my son will guide me through this process since the internet and computers are something i know very little about. They can do the internet and I'll do the cooking. I always say: "stay with what you know".
Anyway here's some of the details of my pacemaker: Got it in November of 1991, after the operation I was lethargic and disappointed about life in general. My son pep talked me every chance he could. He got me to start walking and then to join a gym. I loved the gym and social life...it was all good for me. In many ways my life took a major change for the better.
Since 1991 I have had two battery changes: the first in 98 and the second one a couple months ago. I continued going to the gym until August 2nd when I had major survery and was told by my doctor not to exercise except to walk daily.
I miss the gym and hate sitting around watching TV and doing little except giving orders to my husband and son on how to clean and cook.
But here's the question that led to my son finding this site. My doctor told me that the pace maker was set for 65. But I am wondering 65 what? The bottom number in my BP has been very low ( today it was 55 ) my pulse at rest is always around the low 70's so I'm wondering what "being set for 65" means. We just took it now and it was 129/49 and 72 pulse.
Maybe it's because I've had two operations in the last 6 weeks and was told that I can't exercise that I'm a feeling a little discouraged about everything but isn't my Diastolic # too low?

Any thoughts on what "being set at 65" is suppose to mean?

Thanks,
Misty


6 Comments

beats per minute

by CathrynB - 2007-08-20 04:08:44

Yep, bowlrbob is right, that's 65 beats per minute. You must have some tendency for your heartbeat rate or pulse (not your blood pressure) to go too low, and the pacemaker keeps that from happening so you won't feel faint, or get dizzy or pass out. If your pulse is in the 70s when you check it, then you're likely not being paced at that point. Some people are paced by their pacemaker 100% of the time, others only 1% or 5% or 50%. It all depends on what your heart needs, and the computer inside your pacemaker does the work continuously to figure that out.
I hope your surgery recovery goes well and you can get back to the gym soon. It's so important to stay engaged with your social life, keep fit, etc. Perhaps you could ask the doctor if there are some other activities you could do at the gym that would not be unsafe for you -- perhaps yoga, or a stretching and conditioning class, or slow riding on a stationary bicycle, or something?
Take care, Misty, and keep us posted on how you're doing. Cathryn

Beats per minute

by Misty - 2007-08-20 05:08:47

Thanks Bob and Cathryn...nice to find a community of PM people who share information that is not always available from doctors that are far too busy to take a call or call you back.

I was told that my pacemaker must not be working very hard since the battery lasts 7 years. How does that number compare to others here?

Thanks again,

Misty

life of a pacemaker

by CathrynB - 2007-08-20 07:08:41

You're very welcome, Misty. My pacemaker is pacing me approximately 4% of the time, and the interrogation report printouts estimate it will last 9-12 years (it was new January '07). I've seen people posting on this site say they've gotten anywhere from 4 or 5 years, to 12 years and very occasionally longer. It seems to me that 5 - 7 years is pretty typical. It depends on how many electrical leads you have (1, 2 or 3), how high the voltage setting is, and what percentage of the time you are being paced.
Keep those questions coming, as you can see from all the responses to postings that many people are eager to share their experience. Take care, Cathryn

Beats per minute.

by bowlrbob - 2007-08-20 12:08:18

Set at 65 means that the pacer is set at 65 bpm. Should your heart want to go lower the pacer won't let it. Bowlrbob PS everyone is different mine was first set at 50BPM then later changed to 70 BPM to increase my energy level. That worked.

Pacer life

by bowlrbob - 2007-08-21 01:08:33

No Problem Misty, After you get to be an old hand at this Pacer stuff. It is fun to help others as others helped us when we needed it. My last interrogation showed that mine was working 38% of the time and it still showed an estimated life of 8 years. That is based on the use it is getting at the time. When they had me set at 50BPM the estimated life was 12 years. So that drops depending on usage. The usage then was 8%. But quality of life means more than the battery life. So if I have to get another one sooner because I am using it more, so be it. I hear getting one replaced is a piece of cake. Bowlrbob

I'm getting educated!

by MJH - 2007-08-23 11:08:43

Thanks, guys and gals for all the info. I should know all this since my daughter has had a pacer for 9 years now, but I don't. I just got out the report from her June 29 annual visit to the cardiologist and reviewed her numbers: programmed in the DDD (?) mode low rate 50, upper tracking rate 180 bpm.; one lead in both right atrium and right ventricle, battery voltage showed 2.79 with predicted longevity of 8 years. When inhibited the underlying rhythm was 3rd degree block at 44 bpm. BP 115/47, heart rate 71. I don't know what % of time it's working, but was told it's "rate responsive." I need to ask that question--and several others! Anyone have comments about an abnormal VO2Max reading of 25 (normal 34) she got June 29? What's the long-term prognosis? Mary Jane

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Member Quotes

I have a well tuned pacer. I hardly know I have it. I am 76 year old, hike and camp alone in the desert. I have more energy than I have had in a long time. The only problem is my wife wants to have a knob installed so she can turn the pacer down.