Recovery info needed for new PM recipient

Hi. I'm new to a PM, it was fitted 5 days ago after having complete heart block while out walking. Don't remember anything till waking up in Cardiac Care Unit.Came home day after the PM was fitted. How long do the surface wounds take to heal and when will my shoulder, elbow and hand stop aching. Otherwise I feel great. I'm a 58 yr old female


8 Comments

hello cray

by jessie - 2007-04-22 02:04:12

welcome to the club. i am 65 and in august i went for an ekg about for the 4th tiem in 4 months. within minutes they whipped me into e.r. doing a temporary pacemaker. i was in complete heart block and my pulse was 28. i remember it all until i went into congestive heart failure and had to be intubated for a few hours. that i don't remeber. i was in icu and within a few days went to london ontario for the permanent medtronic pacemaker. i would say it was a good 3 months before it healed for me. everyone is different but that is what it is for me. you will find this site wonderful and supportive and you also will eventually support. great people. i have made some great friends and look forward to coming on this site. take care and god bless jessie

Some info.

by ela-girl - 2007-04-22 02:04:25

You should be careful not to get the site wet in the shower for awhile--it seems that everyone's doctor says something different as far as how long. Make sure you don't overextend your arm or lift anything heavy. You should be checked at 6 weeks and cleared for most activity. If your dressing hasn't come off yet or all the way it will be removed (at my 1 week check, my doctor took off the plastic, skin-like covering but made me keep my dressing on until it came off on its own--over 3 weeks). You will most likely have some trouble sleeping until you heal and get used to the pm. After about 2 months, you can start putting vitamin E on the scar to lessen its appearance (check with your doctor first, though). I didn't have any problems with an aching arm or hand. My shoulder bothered me for weeks, though, when I had my arm in a sling to immobilize it and keep from overextending my arm. When you are used to moving around and can't for awhile, it's easy for muscles to get stiff.

I'm 29 and had my pm put in via emergency surgery, too. I was on my own finding answers to my questions after the surgery since I was unprepared for this device. However, my life is SO MUCH better with my pm, pacing works, and lilfe does get back to "normal."

Hang in there and keep asking questions!
ela-girl

Recovery

by angelo - 2007-04-22 09:04:24

Welcome to your new normal. Things get better rapidly. I am a 59 year old male witha avery similar story (read my bio) You should see quick healing at the wound site as the blood clot begins to desolve. If you have a good chiropractor or massage therapist or both call tehm and let them know what happend to you and see if they are willing to see you. They have to know what they are doing and be gentle and keep awasy from the wound. I had to ahve a shoulder and neck adjustment and masage to get pain relief. Take the pain med your Dr gave you to sleep thru the night and keep you arm down at your side a few weeks or disciple will pay off long term. Take it easy with the arm you can walk but keep the arm still as possible. You will be amazed at your recovery in a few weeks. God Bless and welcome.

good luck!

by tcrabtree85 - 2007-04-22 10:04:37

I am 21 and got my pacemaker almost 6 weeks ago. My dr.'s said no chiropractor for atleast 6 weeks so I would ask your heart doctor before making the choice to go. My arm still hurts at times but the pain gradually gets better.
I think everyone else already explained everything. Keep asking questions and ask your doctor a lot of questions. I wish you luck and will be thinking of you! Keep us updated on how your recovery is going. Blessings,
Tammy

more info

by Surferman - 2007-04-22 11:04:46

Others have given you lots of good advice. The only thing I can add is about the arm. My EP had me keep my arm in a sling for the first four weeks. It may be that she suspected that I'm a very active person and that was a way to immobilize me. Anyways, I had to sleep flat on my back. Looking back, it really helped me because I didn't overexert the arm and shoulder. It was a pain but now my arm and shoulder are like they used to be. I still tend to favor it a bit but my leads are secure and the pm is doing a fine job. After four weeks I took the arm out of the sling for a few hours at a time but still slept with it on, with a pillow under it to bring it up to trunk height. God bless you and I know your recovery is in the prayer of your fellow pacers. Surferman

Thank you

by crayspond - 2007-04-23 06:04:49

What wonderful people you all are. It is really great hearing from you. Fortunately I do have any problems sleeping. I've stopped using the sling except at night to stop me making unwitting sudden arm movements, and also support it like Surfeman. Due to see the nurse today to have the skin-like covering removed. How much sick leave do people have before returning to work? I don't need the arm for work as I use a PC. Cray

Time off

by ela-girl - 2007-04-24 10:04:52

As far as sick leave...people have used none, a few days, couple of weeks, or longer. It really depends on you, your healing, your emotional state, and what kind of work you do, etc. Do what is best for you, regardless. If it feels too soon to be back, it probably is. It's okay to need some time!

I'm a teacher, and I had my pm put in via emergency surgery. The next week after my surgery happened to be our one week fall break. I went back after the break (so after a week) and almost had a breakdown (I'm in an abusive teaching position this year, too, long story...) I took another two weeks. Then I went back. It was still too soon, but I was in a pickle. Anyways...

Private message me sometime if you want!
ela-girl

Time off!

by tcrabtree85 - 2007-04-27 03:04:06

I am going on six weeks of having my pacemaker and still haven't been able to go back to work. Recovery is totally different on each person. Listen to your body. I know at this point I couldn't go back to doing my job but if I was able to sit in front of a computer I think I could. Just don't over use your hand is my recommendation. Good luck!
Tammy

You know you're wired when...

You play MP3 files on your pacer.

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