first checkup

Hi, I've had my pacemaker 2 weeks. Friday had my first check up. I was very nervous as to what it look like under the bandage. I'm happy to say it looked really good. I was very nervous but everything was fine. Arm soreness is still there but it's getting better. I wondered why there was a tingling sensation around my pacemaker I was told it's part of the healing with the nerves. So that made me feel better. I'm  still  nervous about over using  my left arm for  fear of dislodgeing  something. I  look forward to the day when I'm  not constantly  aware of it.


4 Comments

Post-Pacemaker Surgery

by Marybird - 2021-03-21 11:47:31

Hi Regina,

And welcome to the club we wouldn't have chosen to join if we'd had our druthers, LOL. But you'll find a bunch of great people, lots of help, support and answers to your questions here. 

Your description of your immediate post-pacemaker surgery sounds pretty much par for the course, I know from what I experienced as well, and as I read so many others too. 

I couldn't imagine what it looked like under my bandage either, covered as it was with a big piece of gauze and an even bigger piece of Tegederm over that. It was sore, swollen and bleeding a little bit, but I had strict instructions from the EP and nurses NOT to touch it till the wound check 10 days after surgery. They pronounced the wound healing going well and all ok, and it healed just fine after that. The itching, "bee sting" like pains as I understand are all part of the healing process over time. The best description I could give of those days, maybe lasting for 3 weeks to a month was that someone had pinned a corsage to my chest- right on the bare skin. 

And I think we all go through those early days of paranoia where we are so sure we will inadvertently pull out the leads by lifting our left arms over our heads, if not by some activity during the day then surely when we are sleeping. I know it can happen but it doesn't seem to be all that common these days, as I've read ( from other posters here) that those leads are generally firmly "screwed" into the heart and some slack is allowed between the leads and the generator. So you're generally careful not to lift something really heavy, play strenuous rounds of tennis, golf, kayacking, etc. till they tell you its ok, and as time goes by you'll become more confident that everything is ok. 

Maybe I went overboard but I tried not to lift my left arm over my head for a month after the surgery, though it's important to move your arm, shoulder normally so as to avoid a frozen shoulder. 

As time goes on, you will get to where you forget you even have a pacemaker.

Best wishes, Mary

Post surgery

by AgentX86 - 2021-03-21 13:40:26

Marybird said it all. Let me stress that you HAVE to continue to use that arm normally within the restrictions you're given. If you srew up and reach too far, and we all did, don't beat yourself up.  The chances of something going wrong are miniscule.

First check up

by Linnie - 2021-03-22 13:01:07

I came home from the hospital with a clear tape over the scar. I was told to let it come off by itself. It was a jagged looking scar and when I first saw it, I cried. Thought it looked like a Frankenstein scar. Now at 5 months after surgery, I can hardly see it. It straightened out and just looks like a pink line. 

I know exactly what you are talking about with the bee stings. I actually yelled out loud and had to look to see there was nothing on my chest. But I have to say, I still have them 5 months later.

I was also afraid to lift my arm while I slept so I came up with a contraption. My doctor said not to rais eit for 6 weeks!  I tied a material belt loosly around my waist and attached it to a wrist band on my left wrist. I could move my arm a little, but I could not get it over my head.

LOL Deja Vu

by Marybird - 2021-03-23 13:43:35

Hi Linnie,

I laughed when I read your description of your first encounter with you pacemaker scar after surgery, a Frankenstein scar, red and jagged. Because that is exactly what I thought when I got the first look at my scar about 10 days after the implant. It was jagged, red, it was lumpy and the skin seemed all bunched up under it. My thoughts were that the doc who planted the thing was a fantastic EP but a plastic surgeon he was NOT, and I was glad that scar wasn't on my face or somewhere else it would show. I also figured I wasn't that familiar with post-surgery scar healing since it'd been eons since I had any surgery, so I needed to give it time. 

Well, the scar is a straight white line now, though there are a few pinkish areas on the skin above and below the scar, but I think those are just my reaction to things. It's been 1 yr 9 months since I got the pacemaker.

I think I recall it took about 8 months or so for those " bee stings", or "ant bites" to go away, at least for me. 

Mary

 

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I had a pacemaker since 2002 and ever since then my life has been a total blessing.