New to the Club!!

I had my pacemaker installed yesterday and I was super anxious about it!! For some reason I thought it would be like a colonoscopy where I would be sedated in the pre-OP room and then wake up in recovery. Notsomuch!! I didn't even get any sedation until immediately before being injected w lidocaine. I am not good at these things and was literally freaking out. I was entirely too awake for the procedure, despite a total of 10 micrograms of fentanyl and 8mg verced. Guess my sympathetic nervous system takes over!!

Turns out I was allergic to something they used to clean my skin, but that didn't show up until hours later. But by then, my anxiety settled and the combination of Percocet and Benadryl finally allowed me to relax. 

I found this group yesterday when realizing I wasn't going to be able to wear a normal bra and panicked because I have to go to work starting Monday. Thank goodness for Amazon bc you still can't try things on in the stores where I'm currently at (Tucson, AZ). I am glad to see there's a group bc this is all very new to me and it all happened so fast! I am thankful for my arm sling because it helps hide the fact that I'm leaving the hospital without a bra.. haha.

 


11 Comments

Welcome.

by Graham M - 2020-06-27 18:53:31

Welcome to the club.  I am sorry you had a hard time - I can understand because mine was the same.  I had no sedation at all, and no pain killers until the next day, and then it was just  1g. of paracetamol.

Anyway, after a couple of days, I started to improve and as each day goes by, I feel a little better.  What started off as a traumatic experience has changed my life.

You will probably feel uncomfortable for about 10 days, but then, I'm sure your life will take a new direction, and I wish you well.  I'm a man, so can't help you with the bra situation, but there are plenty of women on this forum who will be happy to help.

 

Best wishes,

Graham.

Thanks

by Terradc - 2020-06-27 19:14:13

Thanks for sharing - glad Im not the only one!! I think they neglected to mention the lack of sedation part to me bc they know I would have chickened out!! I hope it gets better fast... it's tough learning how to do things without lifting your left arm!! But I know I'll get there!

Newbie

by AgentX86 - 2020-06-27 21:24:19

Welcome to the group!  Stick around.  There's a lot to learn and you will survive this.  ...and come out on the other side even better.

I had nothing but the local(s).  I'd been through a lot of other things without sedation and my EP thought I could handle it (I did).

I don't know much about bras but if you search the group, several women have commented on what they've found that worked.  If you drive, I strongly suggest that you get one of the faux-fox shoulder harness  covers.  Position it so it sits in the middle of your chest and it'll tend to lift the strap off the PM.  After 2-1/2 years, I still use it (little sun faded but it still works).

Most improtantly - !DITCH THE SLING!  If you don't move that arm you'll get frozen shoulder.  If you think your surgery is painful, you haven't felt nutin' yet.  Physical therapy is going to be a real treat that you won't soon forget.

Newbie

by Sisterwash65 - 2020-06-28 09:05:07

Welcome ! This site is a wonderful resource. I’ve had mynPM since May 28 and it was a complete surprise to me. However, I feel SO much better now.

i had adequate pain medication ( through IV I guess ) so I never felt a thing. I was also anxious about the No bra thing, especially going in a few days later for my “ wound check “ when my Doc took the steri strips off. Here’s what I did. I wore a “ camisole top “ with a button up the front shirt. That way, you at least have 2 layers, most of the time. This worked for me. However, I’m retired so I don’t have to deal with the braless thing every day. I had just bought 2 very soft stretchy bras before all this happened. I started wearing my bra after about a week. The straps are soft and somewhat wide and they don’t really rub on my scar.

Best of luck to you !

Hi - I'm New Too

by ShanaBer - 2020-06-28 12:38:44

I had my PM implanted just a couple of days before you and no one mentioned the bra issue either. I had general anasthesia and knew it ahead of time and was mostly worried it would make me sick but ended up being fine. I have some really soft stretchy bras (bralettes?) from Jockey that I can pull over my head and get on without raising my arm. They are pretty comfortable and don't rub or put pressure on the bandages.

This group has been great and looking through the questions and responses I have already learned so much. Things that never occurred to me - like the seat belt issue. Or that it will feel strange when I start to run again because I will feel the PM move a bit... yikes!

Good luck with your recovery and I hope returning to work next week will be ok. Not sure I would feel up to it that soon after.

Thanks all!!

by Terradc - 2020-06-28 17:23:59

Thanks so much for all of your encouragement and advice!! I definitely do not want a frozen shoulder and wasn't planning on wearing the sling much, so that was helpful to know about the freezing! My Amazon bras came in and they work okay, the front closure is super helpful. I find tank tops much easier to wear than t-shirts. So far the challenge has been washing my hair (it's really long!). I thought I was good bc I have a hand held shower where I'm staying, but I underestimated how difficult it would be to not get my front wet and rinse my hair. I made it though!! My biggest fear right now is that I do something to pull on my leads and have to go back to surgery. 

I feel good on day two post OP and think I'm ready for a chill day at work. The only reason I'm going (and why I worked half a day on Friday) is that this all happened while on a long term work assignment in Arizona (I live in Houston) and they're not paying me living expenses to be on sick leave. It's also why my husband wasn't able to be here for my surgery. I go back to Texas right after my six-week follow up.

Freezing

by AgentX86 - 2020-06-28 17:49:32

Yeah, they tell you to use your arm "normaly, except..." but don't seem to tell you why it's important or how important it is.  I did use a sling to take the weight off my shoulder when I was walking (I walk a lot).

I was back at work on the second day.  I would have gone in the day after but they kept me overnight so there wasn't enough time left to bother going in.  If you're in a desk job there isn't any reason not to go back to work, as long as you're feeling up to it.  Since you're away from home, without a support system, getting there may be a problem for you but I'm sure you've thought that though.

Work

by Terradc - 2020-06-28 17:53:49

It works out perfectly bc on Monday, a colleague of mine is getting trained and she has to go right past where I'm staying to get to work. She insists on picking me up. I figured as long as I wasn't taking medicine, I would be fine to drive bc I already wear my seatbelt under my arm (I'm really small and it is uncomfortable on my shoulder). Thankfully I've never gotten in trouble for it. I do like the idea I read about the seatbelt cover!!

I go back to the doc first thing Tuesday morning and hopefully that appt will go well. 

Work (and driving)

by AgentX86 - 2020-06-28 20:39:52

I was ordered, as I believe most here have been, to refrain from driving for a week.  Some are prohibitied from driving for two weeks and perhaps more.  Often this is state law.  I had my wife drive me, which wasn't a problem, though we live about 20mi from where I work.  I was recently allowed to drive again after six months being unable to drive (state law), so that week was nothing. ;-)

Driving

by Terradc - 2020-06-28 21:09:15

Weird - I had no idea it could be that long. When my doc told me I couldn't drive, I was going to postpone the surgery until I got back to Texas, but they came back w me being able to drive, but the doc wouldn't write a seatbelt exclusion and it was on me if I got a ticket wearing it under my arm. Luckily the first place I will drive will be to my follow up appointment, so if there are any issues at that appointment, I'll be able to make other arrangements. My friend staying with me leaves on Tuesday, but that would be a good reason for my husband to come back. 
 

Thanks for the info!!

Just to be clear

by AgentX86 - 2020-06-28 22:32:31

The one-week was because of the PM.  The six months was something entirely different (seizure and loss of consciousness).

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A properly implanted and adjusted pacemaker will not even be noticeable after you get over the surgery.