Swimming

I had a Pacemaker implanted in October 2019. I have had the first check up and all was well and I now use a Latitude device at home.

The technician seemed cagey when I asked if I could swim again - I'm afraid I'm a little scared of damaging the leads. How long did other members wait until  continuing to swim?


4 Comments

Skin healing

by Theknotguy - 2020-03-10 17:55:02

You want the skin to be completely healed over the implant site.  Partial healing can lead to a site that can become infected.  

There is some healing that goes on under the surface skin for up to a year after you have the implant.  It just depends upon how your body heals.  So you need to go really easy with stretching your arms and how hard you press your arm stroke.  Pushing it too hard can damage the underlying tissue and that can mean you have to stop swimming until it heals.  

For me, the surface skin had healed and I went out to throw the ball for the dog.  Pushed it a little too hard and pulled the underlying tissue.  Can't tell you how badly it hurt.  Had to take the next six weeks off while the tissue healed.  Then had to go through stretching out the tissue so it wouldn't pull again, then had to work slowly because the muscle tissue couldn't handle the stress.  I would have been better off not pushing it.  

So take it really easy and listen to your body.


 

October?

by AgentX86 - 2020-03-10 22:30:14

Five months should be enough time to completely heal.  Perhaps the device tech was worried about giving "medical advice" and would rather you asked your EP.

Don’t swim like I used to

by heckboy - 2020-03-11 11:26:09

Hey, it's kind of sad, but I don't feel comfortable swimming like I used to. I was in a masters program before my PM. But after partially pulling a lead a year in (not from swimming) I am cautious.  I do scuba dive, lift weights and other things, but swimming the crawl for 90 minutes a day puts the image of wriggling a wire back and forth till it breaks.  My dr. and rep say to live a full life and do what I want, but aside from the occasional race with my kids in the pool, I avoid the crawl. Lucky for me that I've always hated the backstroke.  :)

Swim!

by RandomICD - 2020-03-15 15:37:42

I was warned off swimming by a doctor, as so ensued the worst 6 months for my health. I put on weight and my mental health suffered. I then saw another doctor who said that although wire life is likely to be less when you're more active (such as swimming), it's not a good reason to not do it. Since then I got back into swimming, and also started kayaking.

An ICD nurse once said to me "forget about all this [hospital stuff] when you get out, leave that all to us. Go out and enjoy life! 

In terms of length of time I was told 3 months off swimming.

But then swim! Enjoy swimming as far as you want! 

You know you're wired when...

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Member Quotes

I am 100% pacemaker dependant and have been all my life. I try not to think about how a little metal box keeps me alive - it would drive me crazy. So I lead a very active life.