Pulse going below what pacer is set at

I had pacemaker implanted on 08/16/07, set at 50. I stayed at 50+ till last night, when I had several pulse readings in the 40's. Panicked, of course, and called doc who said to keep it monitored and call office Monday morning. Went up to 50 after an hour, and still at 50+. Doc said that shouldn't have happened and didn't know why . . . not too reassuring. Should I panic? (I have been checking heart rate twice a day just as a precaution, and found the pulse in 40's just on a routine check.)
~Jean


5 Comments

Amendment

by windway - 2007-08-25 03:08:18

Sorry about that, meant a continuous monitoring would prove all OK.

Dont Worry

by windway - 2007-08-25 03:08:58

Depends on how you have been taking your pulse. If PM is set at 50, then the PM needs to detect a lower rate to fire. This is not normally instantaneous and could be that a single pulse reading as opposed to continuous monitoring would prove that all is OK.

Digital monitor

by auntiesamm - 2007-08-25 04:08:17

Are you checking your pulse manually or do you have a digital monitor? As windway said, it would make a difference in how you are monitoring your HR; it can be tricky sometimes without a good monitor. Good luck and keep pacing!

Slow Heart Rate

by SMITTY - 2007-08-25 06:08:09

Hi Jean,

First let me say I put my comment together off line and I see you have already received three comments, which I have not read. If what I say contradicts one of them take their word as I’m doing nothing but guessing.

I have a 7-year-old pacemaker with a reported 30 months of battery life left. The low setting is 60 and since March I have frequently found my heart rate in the 40s. I can tell you what I have been given as the reason this is happening to me. Whether your problem is for the same reason or not I’ll have to let you and your doctor decide.

My problem is caused by PVCs or skip beats which I have been told here are the same thing. It seems that, as you probably know, your pacemaker checks your heart each time before it will send a signal to see if your hear hearts natural pacemaker is going to send an impulse to make your heart beat. If the PM sees such indication it will not send an impulse, or conversely, if it does not see such indication it will not send a signal.

So what is happening to me is my heart will start to send a signal that is not strong enough to make my heart beat but my PM interprets it as a viable impulse on its way and does not send the signal to make my heart beat. In other words, my hearts natural pacemaker is faking out my manmade pacemaker weak signals and the result is I have a slow heart rate from time to time.

Fortunately the PVCs or skip beats or not constant and either my hearts natural pacemaker or my manmade job keeps my heart thumping along at a minimum of 60 BPM. When my HR is in the 40s for an extended period I fell like the devil and my stamina is just above zero. It takes very little to have me gasping for breath like a fish out of water. So far, I have tried three different medications to solve the problem with no luck.

I haven’t given up though. Problems of this kind started 25 years ago and they have always been self-correcting after a few weeks to a couple of months. I’ve never before had one to hang around this long. But, not much I (or apparently the doctors also) can do but get up each morning hoping for a better day.

So, hang in there and maybe you will get lucky like I have in the past. One thing I would suggest is don’t worry about your heart stopping. If that should become a risk, I am sure your pacemaker would see that it did not happen.

Good luck

Smitty

Correction

by SMITTY - 2007-08-25 06:08:11

Jean,

Believe it or not I'm not drunk. But I don't know how such convoluted paragraph got by two spell checkers and two grammer checkers but the correct version is as follows:

My problem is caused by PVCs or skip beats which I have been told here are the same thing. It seems that, as you probably know, your pacemaker checks your heart each time before it will send a signal to see if your hearts natural pacemaker is going to send an impulse to make your heart beat. If the PM sees such indication it will not send an impulse, or conversely, if it does not see such indication it will send a signal.

Maybe it is time to put away my keyboard, bid everyone adieu, and go to the barn.

Smitty

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