I'm new to the PM world...

Hi everyone! I am a 53 yr old woman who just had my first PM installed/implanted (?) on Tuesday, after going through 4 cardioversions, 3 Ablations, and 2 years of pure misery! I am still not sure I like being a Bionic Woman, but the humor I have read here in my first 1/2 hour on site, has helped tremendously! I feel lighter already.
My pacer is a St. Jude Victory 2 wire unit. I am paced 100% of the time right now, as my body tries to adjust to the device. It is smaller than I expected, and the insision is also much smaller than I thought it would be. Actually, I have been wearing blouses that are showing off the site. It was done unconciously, but for some reason I feel proud of my battle scar! Strange, huh?
I am wondering if anyone "out there" can give me some info regarding recovery? I feel some pain under my right arm, (I am left handed/ ambidexerous), and think that is from the lack of use. I also have been feeling some"lump in the throat" palpitations. (Maybe just my anxiety?) Last night I swore I could hear the Deepest Bass a car radio could possible play at 10PM, although it was muffled, as though it was far away. (We live in the country). My partner couldn't hear anything at all. After hearing my heartbeat pound in my ears for two years, can I now actually be hearing the Pacer as my heart beats? (Will I never be quiet again! LOL!) I also am wondering how long before the soreness should go away? I want to take up Yoga, and Golf, but am waiting for the healing to do it's thing first.
I am extremely excited to find this site. I have been trying for months to find something like this, where there are actual answers for the questions I am struggling with. I guess, since this is my first time on the net since my implantation, "All things come in their own time..."
Any information, answers, or even just gentle words to a newbie, will be most greatly appreciated.
Thank you... for being here for me, as I will now be here for you...


Battle Scar

by hooimom - 2007-05-24 08:05:28

Welcome to the Club. I think it is wonderful that you feel proud of your battle scar. I don't worry about anyone seeing mine. I am just happy that I was able to get a fix for my heart block. I am not going to be bothered by a little scar!

As far as the soreness, it is different for everyone. I was very sore for a week or so and then it started to ease up. There was some tenderness for two months or longer. The doctor said since I hadn't been using my arm and the PM was close to the muscle, the muscle would take some time. I have had mine for ten months now and I can still get some tenderness when I lift heavy things. You might not have this problem, I think it depends on the PM placement.

I also had some weird sensations in my neck and throat for a week or so. I felt strange beats for a time as well. That all got better with time.

You will figure out what you can do as far as Yoga and golf. Try it and see how you feel. Just wait until your recovery time is up. Depending on doctors, this could be anywhere between 4 and 6 weeks. I haven't seen or heard anything that would keep you from trying either one after that.

This site is a blessing. It is very helpful to get advice from those who are walking in your shoes! Ask any question, someone will have an answer.


just went yesterday

by queen_beez - 2007-05-24 09:05:35

to my cardio for my 3 month check up. I asked about those problems myself. First let me start with , welcome, and hope all is well. As I was saying I am having pain at my site stil and its been 5 months. My doc asked me to bare with it as there seems to be no infection and the PM is doing its job perfectly. He touched it and pushed down slightly and I almost went through the roof. It hurt for 8 hours after that real bad. It finally calmed down but not for awhile. But the constant numbing pain is still there and I was told that it could just be my body needing more time, or that the pm is rubbing up against a muscle and it is actually that ,that is causing the pain. Then there was the interagation. I know the feeling from the first time and my EP turned off the "check" mode because I was getting the lump in my throat feeling at 1 am every night. I also could hear my heart beating as the vetricle was being checked, is what I was told. It happened yesterday just while he was checking everything then he put the settings back to where they were and I was fine.Take time to heal. That is my advice to you. Everyone heals at a different pace. Only you will know how quickly you can do each thing. Just don't try to push it as playing it safe is a better bet. You don't want to pull your leads out and have to go through it all over again. I know it can be tough to sit back and not do the things you are used to doing but know that before you knpw it you will be back out there hittting golf ballsand doing the downward dog. LOL .As for the scar, be proud. you are in a elite club. I mean the whole procedure can cost upwards of 100,000. so hey feel proud of the bling you have.I hope you are getting better with each day. And I can speak from experience, the day will come when you do some tings and absolutely forget you have the pm at all.


by auntiesamm - 2007-05-24 09:05:58

Hello and Welcome to The Club, I am so glad for your sake that you found this website. My pacemaker was implanted exactly one year ago as an emergency and as soon as I got home I got on my computer to better educate myself. One of the first sites I came across was this one. Every single day I am so grateful to God for leading me here. The folks on here are terrific, all understand what we are dealing with, are caring and empathetic and most of all as you have already seen - have a great collective sense of humor. From the first time I signed on I have gotten far more reliable information from my PM friends then I ever would even expect to get from the medical "experts". I have never been embarrassed by my scar, in fact, you can hardly see it now. I saw a doctor last week who I had not seen for more than a year and he had to really look to find the scar and feel the PM. My grown grandkids have loved teasing about "computer operated" grandma. Prior to the PM I had only a couple of brief "blips" which lasted nano-seconds without loss of consciousness. What sent me to my PCP was the fact that neither BP nor HR would register on my little monitor. I was ready to march down to Costco and trade it in until I took my pulse manually and realized I was what was broken! PCP did EKG in the office, said Iwas in 3rd degree heart block and sent me off to the ER. The rest, as they say, is history! Within a very short time I realized I felt really great although I did not know I had been feeling so lousy. My daughter noticed the improved color in my face right away. So, that is my story. My recovery was smooth. Went grocery shopping the day after PM - husband drove me - went to a social gathering the following day and drove myself to church the day after that. Haven't looked back. I hope you have an easy, quick recovery. Biggest problem for me was remembering to not raise my left arm above the shoulder. I put little yellow Post-Its on all my cupboards as a reminder; it is such a natural thing to do and we do it all the time without thinking!
For showering I made a patch of Saran Wrap and afixed it really well with tape, then made sure the shower did not directly hit the area. That was a huge relief to be able to stand under the water and wash my hair. My hubby gave me a hand with the hair. My hair is very short so wasn't really a problem. Some of the others hopefully will respond to you as well. They all have great suggestions and terrific stories to tell. There seems to be someone who is an expert on just about everything that comes up. Good luck as you continue your recovery. God bless you.


by valerie - 2007-05-25 01:05:11

Hey there new pacer (you're the same age as my mom; cool).
I also have a St. Jude Victory dual chamber.
Wow, you've been through a lot. I'm so glad that you finally found an answer after these 2 years of searching!

Anyway, you've come to the right place if you're looking for answers, b/c there are indeed people who are "out there". Then again, there are also people who are "not all up there". lol jk
Given that you just had your pacemaker placed this past Tuesday, you are most likely still recovering from the procedure. When I had my PM put in, I also had these weird palpatations that you mentioned. For me, the problem was just a matter of getting my settings just right, and after a few times, it improved a lot. So, make sure you keep your doc posted on these feelings; this way he can tell you if you should come in and get an adjustment.
I can tell that you are doing well otherwise, since you are very eager to get back to golf, yoga...etc.
Please keep us posted on how you're doing.
take care,

Another welcome...

by Suze - 2007-05-25 01:05:42

I can't add anything to what all the others have so nicely written. Just let me add my WELCOME to this site. It has been a godsend to me, also! Everyone is supportive and others add fun and humor.

Again, welcome...



by tcrabtree85 - 2007-05-25 02:05:03

Welcome to the site! This site is so helpful. I also have the same type of pm as you do. I wish you luck on your recovery path. I will be thinking of you as it is a long process ahead of you. Please take care of yourself and get all the rest that you can. Sleep is so good after surgery. As Valerie already said keep us updated on how your recovery process goes.

You know you're wired when...

Bad hair days can be blamed on your device shorting out.

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Good luck with your surgery. It will improve life amazingly.