Getting my device next week

Hey everyone! I was happy to find this club.  I am 43 years old and very fit.  In fact, it's my job to be fit and help others!  I have been working in the nutrition and fitness field for 20 years!  I was shocked to find out that my low heart rate was actually a problem - I just thought I had a super strong heart!  ha!  So much for that idea.  

I will be getting my device next week. I'm pretty nervous about it.  Mostly I am concerned with the healing/recovery time.  I have a hard time sitting around.  What can I expect?  I realize everyone is different, but how soon were you moving around?  Can I go for walks?  

Any thoughts are appreciated!  I'm sure I'm making it worse in my head than it actually will be.


11 Comments

Healing

by AgentX86 - 2019-12-02 17:11:04

I was back at work the day after I left the hospital. No driving for a week, though. I was walking 10 miles a day immediately but was banned from the gym for a month. I did have to use a sling while walking,  the first week, to take the weight off my shoulder. Do not use a sling constantly. This is important. Frozen shoulder is no fun.

Move your arm as much as you normally would, but keep your hand below your shoulder and in front of you for a month. No extending the arm, either, but use it normally with those exceptions. If, during that time you do reach for something,  don't sweat it. We all did.

No shower for a few days. No swimming or tub baths for a month to six weeks. This is super important. The risk of infection is deadly serious stuff.

Your EP will probably modify the above, depending on the closing method used and your particular needs.

I had no need for pain meds after I left the hospital (overnight) but most don't have it that easy. My PM site wasn't painful at all but was sensitive to the touch for about eight months.

Sleeping can be an issue. I learned from my bypass surgery to sleep in a recliner, which I did for two months. I could probably have used the bed after a month but was gun shy.

It's really not that big of a deal for most but a few aren't so lucky. One caution about this group;those with problems tend to come here. Others just get along with their life.

 

Fear is normal!

by Marmite - 2019-12-02 17:17:33

Hi, 

Sorry to hear that you need a PM. How frustrating when you are so fit! 

The operation does sound frightening but the reality goes by in a blur and is a case of the reality being nowhere near as bad as the thought of it. Afterwards can be tricky or not - it just depends on you and healing / how you accept what has happened mentally etc.  As a fitness instructor you'll need to ask for specific advice about work and fitness. The main limitations in the early weeks are to do with the caring for the scar and keeping the shoulder mobile to avoid stiffness/ frozen shoulder. I'm sure you can run when you feel ready and that may be fairly soon after the op. 

After implantation you have the PM programmed and that is where you might like to focus your attention. Getting the programming right will be key if you want to exercise a lot. It would be best to concentrate on finding out about that and discussing it with the technicians and your doctor so that you get the best out of your device...which shouldn't impede you. 

Don't be afraid to speak up until you have settings that work well for you after the operation, but take it one step at a time. Your body will tell you what you can and can't do and it may be that you can do quite a lot very quickly if you're already fit. 

 

Thank you

by RaeRae - 2019-12-02 17:18:47

I feel better knowing you were able to walk immediately!  I will go crazy if I can't get in movement!  I am bummed about lifting weights, but I'll be fine!  Thanks for your help!

Everyone is different

by Ddefalco326 - 2019-12-02 17:39:21

Welcome to the club, it’s a great place to learn a lot and great support. 2 days after surgery I attended a wedding and was on the dance floor, ( no arm lifting, no jumping). 4 days post surgery I went to low impact Zumba, again, no arm lifting, no jumping. Surgery site was not very painful, it was tender, but not painful. Good luck, wishing you a quick and uneventful recovery! 

Other side of the coin

by Theknotguy - 2019-12-02 19:57:13

Most of the people on this forum have a very positive outlook about having a pacemaker and sometimes go a little overboard in a positive way.  I'm guilty of that too.  Without my pacemaker I won't be alive so pardon me if I'm a little too positive about the situation.  

Since you do adult training in the nutrition and fitness area you hopefully should have a very positive outlook and should also be a self starter.  If so it should help you a lot after you get your pacemaker.  Nothing wrong with having a pity party but that should last for about five minutes and then you need to get on with your life.  If anything, having the pacemaker means that you can really connect with people who also have pacemakers and need your help.  

However, some people with heart problems and pacemakers do go into depression.  During your preparation time for having the pacemaker implant you may want to see if you can find any mental health support people.  Maybe you won't need it but knowing where you can go for help can help immensely.

I woke up in the hospital with the pacemaker implanted after a six day coma.  Talk about a life style change!  My medical insurance helped pay for a psychologist who specialized in trauma and heart problems.  (Yes, those people do exist.)  She helped me in my adjustment period of going from a  self-sustaining person to a person who needed a mechanical device to stay alive.  

I wish you the best and hope your implant and transition to the pacemaker goes well. 

Oh,and after having the pacemaker for six years, my life is going fine.  I wish you the same.
 

recent installation

by lucentio - 2019-12-02 21:31:42

I had my PM installed in early October and I've just discovered this club.  I was discharged from the hospital the day after the installation after being in for 16 days.  My CHF was very advanced with enormous congestion in the lungs.  The drip of liquid furosemide removed all the liquid in my body by 35 lbs. over that that hospitalisation.

No carrying or lifting weight with the left arm for several weeks, no left arm raised.  No shower for a week but now 7 weeks later no problems, just a scar.

No driving for a week.  I can now walk several blocks but walking is limited because of a bad knee, ligament snapped 35 years ago now causing problem.  I'm 77 years of age.

Because my breathing has improved so much I sleep very well at night, 8 1/2 to 9 hours in a queen sized bed.

It barely affects your exercise at all

by crustyg - 2019-12-03 04:54:21

PM in at 08:30 Wed, home by 14:30, out on bicycle (27k) on Sunday.  Don't restrict your shoulder movements too much - that way lies a frozen shoulder - but do try not to lift elbow on implant side above shoulder for some weeks - some say 4 some 6.

Other than that don't restrict yourself (but no contact sports, *NO* swimming until the skin wound is 100% healed, probably 4 weeks).  You'll find some of the upper body stretching exercises in yoga/Pilates uncomfortable for a while as the pocket settles down, but keep doing them.

All the best.

All new heart block patients should be screened for cardiac sarcoidosis

by laughingarcher - 2019-12-03 20:04:12

Hi Raerae...

The American College of Cardiology recommends that "all patients under the age of 60 years with newly recognized heart block should be screened for cardiac sarcoidosis as this condition is potentially reversible."  This means chest xrays, EKG, echocardiogram with strain, and a dedicated cardiac MRI or PET scan.

Although the majority of sarcoidosis patients have lung involvement, a few (like me) have it limited to the heart or another organ, so don't let anyone tell you "you don't have lung or lymph node inflammation so you can't have it in your heart."

Screening for sarcoidosis is important not only because resulting heart block is potentially reversible but because, if you do have it, you should be implanted with an ICD and not just a regular pacemaker.  My sarc diagnosis came three years after I got my pacemaker because no one thought to screen me at the time.  I recently had to have it replaced with an ICD, so two surgeries within five years.

No worries

by Summerlove17 - 2019-12-03 22:49:00

Hi there! I had my surgery on November 26, 2019 just a week ago! Most people on here will tell you how afraid I was. I am a 55-year-old female and had my ICD implanted under the muscle. I only had Tylenol and Advil and have stopped taking both.  I resumed my normal activities except for being careful of my shoulder and putting my hand behind my back. My arm is a little achy right now but should not be cause for alarm. If you're active now you'll be active after. it might just have to take a little bit of a break on the extreme stuff
Surgery lasted less than three hours and could a left that day if my blood pressure didn't drop. Doctors office messed up and told me to take my Entresto and that with anesthesia made it dropped low so I had to spend the night otherwise I would've been home within three hours of waking up post surgery

trust me when I say this is a great form to ask questions and talk to some great people!  You'll do fine!  Keep us posted please

 

 

Yes

by Pacer2019 - 2019-12-04 10:49:56

I thinik exercise is almost an as tolerated sitution - certainly nothing wrong with taking a little recovery time to regroup and dont panic if you cant exercise the day of or day after like some.

You know as a fitness guy recovery is as important as training.

Dont be bumed about weights as this is a GREAT time to go an often over looked leg cycle! 

dont be that guy with the big arms and skinny legs!

aint no thing

by dwelch - 2019-12-06 10:53:15

I am usually driving within a few days.  There is no reason to be bedridden or anything like that. Often for the first one or when a lead is added you spend the night, otherwise you go home the same day usually.   From the front curb at the hospital on you are free to walk and roam around at will, no reason to be stuck in a chair or bed.

Sleep wont be great for a week or two, may not be able to sleep through the night for days a week or two, and sleep on that side for a week or few.  So lack of sleep may wipe your energy, depends on you and/or how many naps you want to take.

You wont want to use the arm much for a while, ideally weeks or months before fully functional, but work back into it slowly let the pain guide how much you can do that day, not as in workout at the gym pain, pain is gain, but I move my elbow up this little bit I get pain, okay thats how high I can go today or this morning.  First pacer and new leads are different from folks on number 2 on, the replacements the leads are settled and grown into the heart muscle, so its about the shoulder and surgery site.  first pacer its the whole system so maybe dont drive for a week or two and really really take it easy on how fast and how much you move that arm.  But you can start from day one, dont need a sling to hold your arm nor be bed ridden.

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