3 weeks post-op (and counting)

Looking for support and advice on what questions I should ask the doctor today. After lying awake with pain since 330am, I'm heading into the walk in clinic to evaluate why and whether I should still be in pain 3 weeks post op: dual chamber pacemaker insertion for a healthy heart that gets interrupted by swallow syncope with a 5 second AV block  

I have near constant incision pain that is tolerable during the day (2 out of 10) but keeps me awake at night (4 out of ten). I also feel intermittent rib pain - front, side and back that I feel very anxious about at times.

I had a long surgery with 'vein access' complications and experienced shortness of breath in the OR. I also have an "under sensing" issue with the right ventricle lead.  I'm second guessing everything, including my own pain.

When I called The pacemaker clinic earlier this week to ask what I should do, they said that I could request a referral to them from the GP. So unless the GP tells me to go get checked today at the ER, that's what I will ask for. 
I will check back for ideas and post updates here as this unfolds. 

To add: I am also trying to get back to work, but it seems to me that I need to be free of nighttime pain first. I will also confirm that with the GP today. 



by Pacer2019 - 2019-11-15 12:24:33

I am sorry for such pain - I am no expert bur did have more pain than expected for my incision - I am aboit 3 weeks in and its pretty minor. first week was pretty intense. They did give me some percocet - i did take a few but mostly managed with Advil.

I do know they cut me through muscle and nerves so discomfort is expected. 

You mention come complications in the process so maybe they did have to be more agressive in the procedure which could produce more pain that I experienced whuch from what I understand was a smooth uneventful insert.

Bets of luck... dont panic and hopefully they will give you something so you can sleep - maybe even something for anxiety ?  To heal you gotta get pain free


by AgentX86 - 2019-11-15 12:40:01

IMO going to the ER is a waste of time and money. The PM clinic is the place to go. It's possible but unlikely that you have an infection, which would be deadly serious but the PM clinic is more likely to recognize it. You may need the referral for insurance reasons but a GP (preferably yours, not a walk-in) is the place to start. It needs to be done today, though.

How are you sleeping? I had virtually no pain (took none of the Vicodin they prescribed and no OTC stuff after I left the hospital) but if I tried to sleep in the bed, it would hurt a lot (more than a 2/10). I slept in a recliner for two months. I probably didn't have to go that long but my experience with the CABG wound (and bronchitis a week after) convinced me to take it slowly).

Update: all is well and 1 more week off work

by Pacemaker_Sally - 2019-11-15 13:27:11

Thanks for support everyone. All is well. My GP was thankfully at the walk in clinic. No signs of infection or lung issues. I just need one more week off work and to keep managing my pain. I only need Tylenol at this point but I came off of it a bit too soon, hence my little breakdown this morning. 

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