new to the club

Hi everyone,
I do not have a pacemaker yet, I am schedualed for the implant in 10 days and feeling a litttle anxious.Can anyone give me their imput
Thanks


6 Comments

It gets easier

by sboissonnas - 2007-04-13 01:04:30

Hi TOGUY,

I guess it depends on your situation, but for me, it ended up being no big deal. (I got a pacer in October after fainting on a commuter train - long story.) I was completely NOT expecting them to tell me I needed one, so I freaked out a little bit (well, okay, a lot) at the time. My mom called around to everybody she knew and the resounding response was: "A pacemaker? Oh that's nothing - no big deal! Won't even notice it after a few days!" Well, that's easy to say, and not nearly as easy to accept right before you get one...

All I can tell you is that in my case, it really *was* no big deal. The surgery went fine, the post-op went fine, I was quite nauseous afterwards and then slept the rest of the day, and went home the next morning. There was a little pain, but nothing terrible.

Not being able to shower or drive for a week was annoying (they hadn't told me about THAT until afterwards), and not being able to lift much for 6 weeks was annoying, but once all of that was over, well, life was 100% back to normal. Honest. I can't say I ever truly "forget" that I have a pacemaker, and even now it all seems kind of surreal to me, but it really doesn't affect my life one bit.

I'd be more than happy to tell you anything you want to know about my experience - feel free to send me a message anytime. In the meantime, good luck, and try not to let it get to you. It's absolutely okay to be anxious - it means you're normal. :)

-Stephanie

hi

by randrews - 2007-04-13 02:04:33

I'm going on my 4th week with my pm. I also passed out, was taken to the er and got a pm. The surgery and everthing went fine. Everyone also told me I'd feel great and it would help immediatly. That wasn't the case for me. It all felt weird at first, I had a cough, and a twitch. But as the days have passed I feel much better. I think the main thing is to allow yourself time to heal and don't compare your recovery to anyone elses. They are all different. I took 2 weeks off work. I have just worked my 1st full week. LIfe is getting back to normal for me and it's good. I like what Stephanie said, it doesn't affect my life so much but it is surreal.
I also have started doing a little running again. This weekend WAS going to be my first marathon. My biggest struggle has been the anxiety. I have begun some medication for it and I have found this website to be an endless source of encouragement and knowledge.
Stay rested, talk with people and take it easy and laugh.
Please let us know how your doing,
Rusty

button-up shirts

by M_Fox - 2007-04-13 04:04:43

Best thing I found on this site was the advice to wear button-up shirts. You can get dressed easily without raising your arm.
After a few days I managed to put on an oversized t-shirt. I gathered up the fabric like you would if you were dressing a child, slid the sleeve all the way up, tucked my head under and then brought the other arm up and in. (hope that made sense).

Welcome

by Suze - 2007-04-13 06:04:33

Glad you found this website and forum. We are all nervous regarding the implanting of our pacer beforehand.
My experience was similar to others on this site. It does seem surreal at first, but the pacemaker soon becomes just another part of our anatomy. You'll see what I mean sooner than you think. And if you have concerns or questions you now know where to turn. (After contacting your doctor, of course). Welcome aboard.. .

Suze

You'll do fine

by valbob89 - 2007-04-13 08:04:40

Toguy:

The above commentators are right on -- what a great bunch of people! Getting a cut through the skin and an artery punctured isn't "nothing," but it certainly was better than an appendectomy. The doctor will warn you not to use your (probably left) arm for a while because the wires have to bind into the heart and artery -- not just so the incision doesn't pull.

I was back in the gym within a month, testing it from an exercycle and treadmill. Swimming too, once the scar was dried up. I could swim farther, "cycle" and "jog" longer soon after, because my heart rate wasn't in the cellar.

I seem to be much more observant of when my heart rate is kicked up by the pacemaker during and after activity, but basically, it's no big. But some people have trouble with getting the programming right for comfort, and I was persistent. I got extra help from my cardiologist and the St. Jude tech rep. Those are great people too. I think it's important to have a doctor whom you can comfortably talk with, and who won't keep stepping through the door before you get what you need.

Best wishes.

Bob

Toguy

by aa11177 - 2007-06-19 11:06:06

Hi how are you my name is Ashley Amaro i have had my pacemaker since December 19,2001 I was very scard at first but I did not have choce at that time it has been almost 6 years this year and I feel great I can do things that I would never have done before. Just remember do not give up on your dreams take care Ashley Amaro

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