Sleeping mistake.

I just had my PM placed April 30.

Last night I was sleeping and woke up with my left arm were almost raised above my shoulder. I am hypersensitive about not wanting to pull my leads out of place. What should I feel if I do pull one out of place? I have a 2 lead devise. Will it feel just like it felt just before I have the PM if only one lead is dislodged? Do you know what the corrective measure is? Is it just a resetting of the lead(s)? Does this create more/new problems with my heart?


sleeping mistake

by CathrynB - 2007-05-05 02:05:48

Hey SuperBionic, Welcome to the world of pacers! I hope your surgery went well and your recovery goes completely smoothly! I think Boatman and Rusty have given you good advice. I got my first PM in January, was told not to raise my arm above my shoulder for 6 weeks, and hated sleeping in the arm sling after 2 nights so gave it up. A week later I woke in the middle of the night with my left arm flung straight above my head! It sent me into a panic, and I'm probably the person Rusty refers to who tied my wrist to my waist at bedtime for the rest of the 6 weeks. I wore a sash around my waist, then used an 18 inch shoestring tied around my wrist and to the sash. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it allowed me to sleep peacefully, still move my arm a bit, and was not as uncomfortable as the arm sling. My husband thought it was a bit of a hoot, but was supportive as alwasy. For two days I was constantly checking my pulse to see if it was below my beats-per-minute setting (it wasn't) and note whether I felt dizzy (I didn't). So I stopped worrying, and at my next PM check they confirmed I could not have the readings I had if I had pulled a lead, so everything was fine. It's true you can pull a lead, but it's probably not as easy as you think. If you aren't feeling light-headed, and your pulse is ok, you're probably fine. But if you are worried, call your Doc. Keep coming here with all your questions -- this a great, caring group of friends, even though we've never met each other. Keep us posted, Cathryn

sleeping mistake

by TOGUY - 2007-05-05 03:05:24

Hi Thanks for your posting. I had my PM placed on April 25, did the same thing as you did. I should have posted my problem but thought it was not important. I was worried about it also. My heart rate is good and I have no more dizzyness, so I'm guessing I did not pull a lead. Just goes to show there are no silly guestions and this is such a super site with lots of friends and advise. Good luck with your new PM.


by SuperBionic - 2007-05-05 06:05:36

Wow! Thank you for your comments. I am feeling fine. I ahve been chacking my pulse on the hour! Hahahaha. It was fluctuating but I have not been feeling dizzy or light headed.


by boatman50 - 2007-05-05 09:05:01

Chances are there is nothing wrong, I bet many of us did the same thing. I doubt you would be able to know if you pulled a lead out unless you started having the same symptoms you had before the pm. You can always contact your cardiologist and ask for advice. They can hook you up and check the pm. Feel better, Boatman


by randrews - 2007-05-05 10:05:18

I have done the exact same thing. Others here have also said they awoke with an arm over the head. Like boatman said, it's probably ok, but pay attention to any symptoms. Call the doctor if you want to talk to them.
I have heard some say they wore there sling to bed at night and another say they "leashed" their arm to there waist to keep it from happening.
I hope this help, and welcome to the club.

Ah, the joys of pm surgery!

by ela-girl - 2007-05-06 01:05:17

When I came home from the hospital they sent a "thingy" home with me to wear in bed while sleeping. Essentially, it did the same thing CathrynB has said (minus the shoestring/sash and have to rig something up). It wasn't fun to sleep with--it's awkward and unnatural to have your arm strapped down to your waist. But, I wasn't sleeping that comfortably anyways. I liked the peace of mind, though, knowing I was doing everything I could to avoid any possible complications. The first 6 weeks are really important. Anything you can do to speed along your recovery and avoid problems is in your best interest.

Happy pacing!

Use a little pillow

by tcrabtree85 - 2007-05-06 03:05:32

We all seem to have had this problem at one point. Now I was as freaked out as you because after three heart surgeries I don't really want another one for my own mistakes.I talked to my doctor about the chances of pulling out a lead they do happen but it is also hard for it to happen. If it did happen though you shouldn't stress too much. When you receive a pm it normally is set high for the first couple of months then they will reduce it mine is still set at 5 Volts and I have a month to go before it goes down to 3.5 Volts. They set it high starting off so if it does move it can still help you.
With the sling I hated wearing it at night. I wrapped my arms around a small pillow and slept on my right side and that seemed much easier for me. I tried the shoe lace deal and that felt very weird to me.
I wish you luck and will keek you in my prayers! Take care and keep us updated and keep asking questions. We all learn from them.

Arm Sling

by Butch - 2007-05-06 05:05:31

Just like Cathryn I tied a shoelace to my wrist and then around my belt. It sounds crazy but it kept me from raising my arm up in my sleep.
Good Luck Butch


by TitoA - 2007-05-07 06:05:28

Hi, I had a lead pulled, but It was because I did so many things, lifted boxes, drove etc, but I think just sleeping at the pm side wouldn't be much to worry about.

After my second surgery, when I got a lead replacement I used an arm sling to prevent shocks and sleeping on mi left side.
A pulled lead feels awful, you will surely notice it in case it happens. In my case the loose lead stimulated my diafragm, so I got some kind of tough "hiccups" on my belly. Not good :-(

Sling and a pillow

by Surferman - 2007-05-09 12:05:17

Like you, I did the same thing on one or two ocassions during the first couple of weeks. I slept with my arm in a sling to prevent lifting it above my head. I found that when I put a pillow under that arm, it lifted the arm to chest height and took the strain off the hanging arm. I slept better and the arm didn't get tired during the night; that's probably why I slept better. My EP make me keep my arm in the sling for five weeks. I'm glad I did
cause I have full mobility in my arm now, 9 weeks after implant. You'll notice the swelling really go down during the four week post-op. Welcome to the Club. Surferman

sleeping mistake

by luckyloo - 2007-05-11 11:05:25


i had a lead come out of place the day after my surgery. i had severe excruciating chest pain. it felt like a million pins prickling all around inside. i couldn't catch my breath. i was able to push the nurse button and call for help. the EP came stat and ordered a stat echo to check for tamponade...blood filling up inside heart...the lead bouncing around in there can puncture things and cause all kinds of damage. apparently the screw at the end of the lead wasn't set in right....a resident did it. i did get an effusion...blood outside the heart. i was losing blood so they started testing me for punctured liver, nuclear scan of my lungs, echo at bedside. my overnight stay ended up being 8 days. not fun.
i hope you are feeling better soon.
God bless,

Not probable

by TexasBeat - 2008-07-06 09:07:37

Leads do not come losse as often as one may think. Early after implantation there is the risk as reported by luckloo.
In all the years i worked EP and implantation (in your area btw) i can nthink of One episode where the leads cam loose from normal daily living.

Its been a while since these post.. How are you doing now?

You know you're wired when...

You play MP3 files on your pacer.

Member Quotes

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