Pacemaker. 3 days in

Had pacemaker tuesday. Soreness improving. Staples out Tuesday. Struggling to emotionally cope initially. Has anyone any tips on general recovery. 



by AgentX86 - 2019-12-06 23:26:49

The subect says it all.

Your life isn't over

by Theknotguy - 2019-12-07 12:07:11

I don't know why some people automatically assume their life is over as soon as they get a pacemaker.  And, maybe I'm being too harsh.  If you look around the forum you'll see people living "normal" and above "normal" lives with their pacemakers.  So the pacemaker isn't a limit to your life, it's a help.  

As AgentX86 says, attitude plays an important part.  Talked with a lady yesterday, she said her father-in-law lost his job a couple of years back and is doing nothing.  Gets up in the AM, eats breakfast, makes breakfast for his wife, then sits and reads for the rest of the day.  The idea that he lost his job bummed him out so much that he's retreated and isn't doing anything.  How sad.  

Same lady, talking to me.  I've got a pacemaker.  I volunteer two days a week at a hospital, one day a week at a charity woodshop.  Now am working with a local high school helping kids in the woodshop.  I've got three hobbies going, plus two grand-dogs and two grandkids.  Don't have any trouble sleeping at night.  Had to have my pacemaker adjusted because it wasn't keeping up with my activity.  The only difference between the other guy and me is the attitude.

Now, if you are depressed - which can happen post pacemaker implant, you can get help.  Nothing wrong with being depressed as I went through that too. Found a psychologist who specialized in trauma and heart problems. (Yes, there are people like that out there.) Helped a lot talking with the psychologist. Got me on track and moving ahead.  Had my five minute pity party and then went on with my life.  

My option without the pacemaker is being dead.  I don't like that.  Don't want to be there.  With the pacemaker I'm leading a full life and now I've got funny pacemaker stories to tell.  As far as any of the doctors can tell, I should be able to lead and live a "normal" life and live a "normal" life span.  Believe me when I say I like the second option much better.  

So if you're depressed or even if you think you might be slightly depressed, get some help.  There's a lot of living to do with your pacemaker and it can be a good life too.

General tips on adjusting to life with a pacemaker is to start moving as much as you can.  Then keep doing it for the rest of your life.  Maybe it sounds harsh but it's a lot better than sitting in a recliner saying, "Oh woe is me." 

Hope I said something that will help.  

coping too

by Pacemaker_Sally - 2019-12-07 15:37:40

I am also one of those people who experienced a very sudden and urgent need for a dual chamber pacemaker. In my case, the GPs were always so impressed with my naturally low BP, they never suspected anything wrong with my heart, until I diagnosed my own "swallow syncope" which led to discovering a 5-second complete AV block. Then the phone started ringing...

I am now 6 weeks post op and will admit to having needing some therapy (EFT, NLP, CBT) these past weeks to cope with suddenly becoming a "cardiac patient". It can feel like a loss of freedom, being dependent on a device to remain upright (and prevent injury). And then there is the whole trust issue: that the PM clinic and my surgeon are communicating effectively and that, in my case, the complications I am experiencing are being followed and that there is a plan to address them. 

We all handle change, trust and control issues differently and I support everyone's efforts to be well, whether that is an attitude adjustment you can make on your own and/or getting coaching to integrate some pretty big, life-changing experiences.

Wishing you a speedy recovery - and welcome to the PM club! 

Give it time.

by Graham M - 2019-12-07 16:31:30

It is still less than 4 months since I had my PM so I haven't forgotten those first few days.

There are people in this club who are able to get back to their normal life as soon as possible, and others who struggle to come to terms with it, but most people are pleased at the new lease of life we get after our PMs have settled in.

I had 4 weeks off work, which I didn't think I really needed, but my boss and my wife insisted and they were right.  I was able to use the time to find out as much as I could about my heart block and to get used to the idea.  By the time I went back to work, I was feeling so good that any worries I had were over.

The only tips I can give you are to follow what they told you in the hospital and give it some time.  We all recover at our own pace, but I think you may be pleasantly surprised at how quick it can be.

Welcome to the club and best wishes.



by AgentX86 - 2019-12-07 21:00:51

I think TheKnotGuy hit on the "secret".  I don't focus on the past, or "how did I get here?".  Never have.  I'd rather know where I am and where I want to be. In this case, it doesn't matter why I need a pacemaker.  I do, so where do we go from here.

When I had the CABG surgery, I could have focused on what I did wrong (plenty) but that wasn't going to help me, in any way.  "OK, I'm in deep kimchi, how do I get back on the road?"

Yes and yes

by Pacer2019 - 2019-12-08 00:42:38

I think one thing that’s good for me or has been is it’s normal to have to take a little time and come to terms - don’t panic just get your mind right 

I had a 5 way CABG at 44 13 years ago ... I wish I had found support then like I have now on this site .  I just sucked it up (had to ) and navigated on my own. Took me literally years to breakthrough the fear that occupied my mind . 

I know now there are plenty of walked my same pass and much worse , but I thought I was alone .

An out of nowhere PM in October made me step back but this time instead of years it was more like days to get my head right - being able to embrace the future and attack it instead of hunkering down as if I was under attack

”every man who ever feared something bad was about to happen was right “ ..... quote me on that ! 

Get your physical self better then attack !!  It’s the only logical choice . 

God Bless 

You know you're wired when...

You fondly named your implanted buddy.

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So, my advice is to go about your daily routine and forget that you have a pacemaker implanted in your body.