new pm

I'm getting my second pacemaker in a week. My doctors told me the battery is so low that they can't even run more tests on it because it would take too much voltage. For the past few weeks I've felt tired and lightheaded all of the time. I'm only 21 and that isn't normally the case. Could this have anything to do with the PM? How did y'all feel right before you needed a new one? Any thoughts would be great. Thanks!


13 Comments

thanks!

by anne8486 - 2008-01-07 11:01:17

so everyone feels like they are finishing up a marathon right before they get their new one? I'm not just really out of shap? haha, thanks for y'alls info. It's reassuring and puts me at ease.

sounds familiar!

by bambi - 2008-01-07 11:01:30

Hi Anne,
I could tell the exact moment my pacemaker went into end of life mode! It felt like I was running uphill, swimming against the current, pushing a mountain---- you get the picture! I was short of breath and exhausted. As soon as the new one was put in, I was up and good to go! Try to take it very easy until you get your battery replaced, which is a piece of cake by the way. Right now, all the fancy bells and whistles have shut down, and your pacemaker is functioning on a very basic setting. Anyway, that's what they told me. Good luck, and I'm sure you will be feeling like your old self [well in your case, young self!] very soon!
Bambi

New PM

by janetinak - 2008-01-07 11:01:50

Got very short of breath again which was my orginal problem. Got new PM & all OK again.

Good luck,

Janet

not the doctors...

by anne8486 - 2008-01-08 01:01:14

I went in last May after a wreck to have it checked out. And they told me everything was fine for then and that I needed to start doing the phone checks every other month... well, I'm not real good at keeping up with those and when I finally did get around to doing one they called me in immediately, the fault is definitely on me. Just thought I had another 4-5 months before I had to start taking it seriously. They told me that once they reach the replacement level the battery life plumets... that isn't a good word for it, but it's what they told me... anyway, I should have kept up with it, the doctors are great and scheduled me ASAP so don't think it's them. I'm pretty sure most of the problems are in my head... it's a lot to take in and I make myself worry too much. But! I guess that's kind of expected. Rather worry too much than not enough... thanks for everyone's concern though.

FLAT BATTERIES

by peter - 2008-01-08 04:01:03

Could you please say which county or countries is allowing the batteries to run dangerously low. This is totally unacceptable. A new pacemaker should be scheduled long before the battery is about to go flat. I cant believe it, hospitals are playing russian roulette. Please let us know as residents of that county or countries need to know about this medical neglect. There is no excuse as the batteries have a nice bathtub curve as the voltage slowly declines over many months and is easily picked up and monitored by the pacing technicians.

FLAT BATTERIES AGAIN

by peter - 2008-01-08 04:01:25

Ive worked it out its the United States well well well. Who would have thought of that? Cant beleive they are taking such risks. Could not fathom out Janetinek though as she seems to be doing rather well with a posted birthday of 1870 wow thats 137 years old. Theres hope for us yet.Congratulations Janetinak. Yippee

Agree with Peter

by auntiesamm - 2008-01-08 04:01:31

I absolutely agree with Peter - it is incomprehensible that a physician would handle a pacemaker in this manner! You are only 21 - how long have you had the current PM? I've only had my PM about 19 months but each time I have it checked I am told I have so many years and months left on the batteries at that point in time. It is still up around 6 yrs. but my cardio told me exactly what Peter stated above: they will know well in advance when a replacement is needed. Take care of yourself and please keep us posted. God bless you.
Sharon (USA)

You're honest...

by Suze - 2008-01-08 06:01:23

Thanks for clearing that up. And thanks for being so honest. I know how time can get away from us in our busy lives. Especially you young people! LOL

I was wondering, like everyone else, how the doctors let you go so long on a low battery. You've made us see how important those last few monthly checks obviously are!

Again thanks for getting back to us so quickly....

Suze

9 years

by anne8486 - 2008-01-08 10:01:10

I've had it for almost nine years. And as far as I know it has another month or two on there... but they don't want it to get that low, but my energy is still so low usually. They won't know if I need the leads changed or not until I'm in surgery... they said it would take too much voltage to check... so I won't know if it's major surgery or just a PM replacement until I wake up... kind of nervewrecking. Could use someone to talk to other than my parents who have turned completely bipolar on me since we scheduled the appt.... everything is a mess right now, ready for it to be over!

Peter is right!

by TKS - 2008-01-08 11:01:20

Anne, where do you live? I can't believe that they have let your PM battery run down so badly! Like auntiesamm each time I have mine checked in the clinic they show me the battery life, how often it paces, etc. I do not get this info on the phone checks but they always tell me things are fine, and when there is a problem they tell me they are going to contact my EP for a clinic check.

Theresa (also USA)

Hold on now folks!

by bambi - 2008-01-08 11:01:58

Sometimes batteries ca go pretty quickly. I was told my 1st pacemaker had 6 months to a year of life yet, but they needed to up my resting rate and it might use the battery up quicker. Sure enough, within 3 months I was experiencing the before mentioned symptoms and replacement surgery was scheduled. Usually these symptoms are so profound that it prompts us to see the Dr. I was also told that the battery never " flat lines". That there is always a safety net in the generator. As ANNE, not Janet, cleared up in her later post, she does have a couple of months left. Could we possibly keep comments about different countries to ourselves? I love my country, warts and all!

Betty2

by Betty2 - 2008-01-10 12:01:23

Hi I am new Just found your web page today. I an glad I need some one to talk to. I live in Ohio In the good old USA. I had my PC put in in 1999. For the last seven month. the phone checks says I have only one month left on my battery. My heart doctor sent me to see the Doctor in there group that dose the install. Well that was Nov 1,07 The Doctor spent all of his time yelling at me, telling me I did not need to be there. I was told I must be in end of life mode or my insurance would not cover me and unless i had $25,000 I would just have to deal with It. He told me if i was in as much pain as I said I was was real I would be dead. He told me I only me needed to phone check my pacer every 3 to 4 mo. He kept asking my why I was taking up his time . I left in tears . I though all my worry must be wrong. So I listen to him have been feeling so bad I haven't been able to get anything done. I finely did a phone check last Monday. And back on Nov 22 my pacer went into end of life mode, no wonder I feel so bad. But they still are not going to replace until the 18 of this month( if I can last that long) I could sure use some prayers Thanks


Safe mode

by heckboy - 2008-01-30 12:01:16

I forget the official name, but a PM should go into a safe mode about 2 months out from running out of power. My St Jude stopped it's full rate response when it got close so I noticed it immediately. Even so, I had been monitored every month, up from the every 6 months as the battery was running low. When it was confirmed that I was due for replacement, there was at least a two month window to get it done before the PM would completely run down. Sounds like someone is messing up here.

You know you're wired when...

Your device acts like a police scanner.

Member Quotes

The pacer systems are really very reliable. The main problem is the incompetent programming of them. If yours is working well for you, get on with life and enjoy it. You probably are more at risk of problems with a valve job than the pacer.