PM placement change..how soon?

Hey all, 

I'm still only about 3.5 weeks into life with a PM and I'm really struggling with how enormous it seems. I'm super thin/boney and I talked to the doc beforehand about potentially placing it in the muscle...he was reluctant and said they usually only do that on people who are so thin, they barely have enough skin to pull over the device...now, being in this group it seems to me that thats not so true, and plenty of people have it in the muscle. Not to mention, you can practically see every bone in my chest so I still don't understand why he didn't think it was going to be so very visible. When friends have seen it, they gasp. It's not just bump, definitely juts out a solid inch and I've bumped it on things already because of that. Maybe this is normal, I have no point of reference for someone my age/body type.

So, my question is...how soon can I get its placement changed? In that original convo, my doc said if I absolutely could not live with it they could do it in the muscle when they change the battery, but thats like 5 to 8 years from now. He also said that he wasn't sure insurance would cover the change in placement. So. I feel trapped. And its taking a much bigger toll on my mental health than I anticipated. I'm young, have always been fit, active, and healthy. I desperately wish I had advocated for myself more beforehand and insisted that he place it under the muscle. Does anyone have any insight on this? 

Thank you all ! 


4 Comments

give it more time

by Tracey_E - 2021-01-10 18:01:37

How it looks now is not how it will look when it's fully healed. It can take 6-12 months for it to fully settle in so try not to judge it yet.

Some doctors really do not like to bury it, others do it routinely. Mine was originally buried because I was young (27) and very underweight. Two kids, 25 years and menopause later, I'm on my 5th device and underweight is a distance memory. I keep it buried because I'm very active and don't like it in my way. 

Insurance is unlikely to cover a change for cosmetic reasons before the battery goes, and you are correct that is a long way off. The good news is, it will look a lot better than it does now! You might consider changing doctors to one more willing to listen but don't assume at this point that this is as good as it gets. You still have a lot of healing to go.

Perspective: Use it or Lose it

by Gotrhythm - 2021-01-10 18:31:16

Love the "handle" you've chosen! It turns out, cyborgs are real and they are us.

About a new placement for your device, I understand you're unhappy and I understand why, but let me counsel patience.

Three and a half weeks is early days in the healing process. I too am slender, small boned, and of small stature. The pacemaker proportionately takes up a lot more room on my chest than say, a six foot man. I remember how appalled I was by the lump.

What I didn't know was how much of that lump wasn't the pacemaker. It was swelling. And it took at least 6 months for the swelling to go down. After a year, although the pacemaker was visible if you knew were to look and looked hard, the fact is I had to point to it, to get others to see it.

In ten years, no one has ever asked me, "What is that lump?" And I have had to ask massage therapists not to massage on it. I can see it, but it just isn't that noticeable, even to people whose job it is to notice.

Although you want to do something about this thing that's bothering you, keep your perspective. This isn't an emergency. Let some time pass before you decide how big this problem is and what is reasonable to do about it.

thanks

by cyborg_manifested - 2021-01-10 21:26:46

Thank you Tracy_E and Gotrhythm! No one has told me that swelling can create such a dramatic bump....other than it seeming huge and obvious, it is not really painful anymore so I did not consider swelling might still be impacting it. It's really encouraging to hear that it has become less visible over time. Seriously so helpful to hear from folks who have been through this before...grateful for your words! I will be working on patience. 

(and thanks Gotrhythm for the nod to my handle! I choose it as a reference to a feminist text loved in college: the Cyborg Manifesto. Trying to embrace its wisdom now!)

 

Smaller device

by PacedNRunning - 2021-01-14 03:58:27

Next time ask for a smaller device. Mine is one of the smallest on the market and it's under the skin.  My doc prefers under the skin and uses the small devices when he does this. It's also about 4" below my collarbone, so hidden under my upper breast tissue. He buried it deep under all my skin so that it barely shows.  I use to be super skinny but I'm still small up top. So next time as to use a smaller pacemaker and see if that helps too.

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