Occasional soreness

Hi Treble here  This site is amazing for information and support    Got pm in May      People said I would not know I had it    But occasionally it is sore and I almost always know it is there                 Do I get to the point that I do not know it is there ?   Thanks


5 Comments

Soreness

by AgentX86 - 2020-11-01 20:30:22

Is your PM very close to the surface?  The area over and around mine (shoulder to stenum) gets sore.  Part of that is from my sternotomy but some is the PM.  Mine is so close to the surface that, not only can I see the outline, I can see the leads coming out of it and wrapping around and up to the shoulder.  Sometimes it feels like the leads are wearing at the skin from the back side of the skin.  I'm assured by my EP that it's all normal so I don't pay much attention to it.

Cold weather can be an issue, for both my PM and sternum but fortunately we get very liitle of that here.

Do I ever really stop thinking about it?  Sure, most of the day but then I log in here.  ;-)  Unless it's really on the pain scale just ignore it.

Being aware of our pacemaker

by Gemita - 2020-11-02 02:45:58

Hello Trebla,

I am sorry you are still feeling uncomfortable with your pacemaker.  Sometimes the positioning of the pacemaker has a lot to do with whether we feel it or not.  For example mine is positioned or has slightly slipped rather close to my left armpit and as I move my arm or try to do some dancing exercises and raise/lower my arm I can feel my pacemaker.  It is not painful, just uncomfortable and noticeable.  When this happens I have to modify my activity slightly to feel more comfortable but I do not stop exercising or enjoying what I am doing.

We are all individual, have different levels of sensitivity to our devices which after all is a foreign body inside us.  Sometimes a little padding over the pacemaker during those sensitive periods will help to stop any flare up of sensitivity which is generally due to a bit of friction rub over the device, usually nothing more..

Apart from some sensitivity being quite normal, if you do notice any swelling, redness, signs of oozing coming from the device site or wound, or worse still, any protrusion of your device through the skin, this would need immediate assessment by your doctors because a pacemaker infection would be serious and need immediate appropriate antibiotic treatment.

Will you ever reach the point of forgetting your Pacemaker is there?  Yes of course when you are so engrossed in other activities, when you begin to have real confidence that your Pacemaker is your best friend and is not doing harm, when you are able to do most activities without the fear that your Pacemaker might get damaged or fall out (!), when you learn how to manage soreness by using a little padding when your skin is irritated.  And finally when you learn to divert your attention to other activities, focussing your mind well away from your little device.  Be mindful of what you are presently doing, not mindful of your device

Not feeling your pacemaker

by Selwyn - 2020-11-02 09:23:31

Hi Treble,

Most people will not feel their pacemaker once everything has healed. Unfortunately there are a few people that do, relating to infections, poor placement, and fiddling with the implant site ( Twiddler's Syndrome). A few people get complications such as fractured leads and leakage of the charge. It can take some months for everying to settle down following surgery as the human  tissues have to heal and then seperate out from the scar tissue.

Like AgentX86, I can see my box and leads and at one time there was a little redness relating to a lead ( I think due to rubbing whilst I was swimming), however now there is nothing but an underlying bump, as I think the tissues thickened with the rubbing ( a bit like the bottom of you feet), and all is good. Even the scar has gone white ( this can take 6 months or more). 

With regard to placement, occasionally I feel the box if I am crouched as it rubs against the collar bone as the chest wall is squashed upwards. The seat belt on the left fastening side ( the passenger side, here in the UK) is uncomfortable as the strap rubs. Most annoying! The answer is plenty of padding such as wearing a jacket. 

The actual site of implantation should be checked at each visit to the department.  Some departments are a bit lax with regard to this! The check is to make sure the overlying skin is healthy. If this is not the case, and you see the skin is altering, I would seek a medical opinion as soon as is practicable, likewise if there is consistent discomfort/pain. 

Trying to forget about the pacemaker ( literally 'mind over matter') comes with practice and time. It just becomes You. It does offer some reassurance compared to someone without a pacemaker that you are less likely to have a cardiac arrest. 

Soreness

by Aberdeen - 2020-11-02 13:35:31

Hello Trebla, I had my second pacemaker implanted in May. ( a CRT pacemaker) As each day passes I feel it less although I get the occasional twinge. I can see it’s shape particularly if I move my arm,also I feel what I think is the third lead.

Be patient it improves daily!

 

 

When, oh when?

by Gotrhythm - 2020-11-02 17:34:43

I've had my PM 9 years now, and still, occasionally, maybe 3 times a year, there'll be a little soreness. Actually, more frequently, there's itching. Perspective is important. It's not sore, or itchy any more often than my elbow, or knee, or scalp--and those are all original equipment.

Strangely enough, somewhere along the line, feeling the pacemaker became completely separate from having it always on my mind.

It's funny. You don't exactly forget, but one day you realize you haven't thought about the pacemaker for a while--a month, a week, and you don't know when you stopped. And that, the realization that you haven't thought about it, will happen until you won't even think about the fact that you don't think about it.

I had to laugh at myself about six months after implantation, when I was filling out a medical history form and realized I had forgotten to list "pacemaker."

I don't know when it will happen for you. I do know this: until it happens, keep your fingers off it!

 

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