Please wear the stupid sling!!!

I am having two leads fixed tomorrow, so please wear the sling, even if they tell you its okay to "use your arm' after one week. I really tried my best to follow the instructions of the people who supposedly know best, but now I am having my doubts. both my doctor and the nurse that checks the device after the first week said use your arm, live your life. maybe they should know what that entails. i took their advice and know now that after just two weeks, a lead had come out, of course no one would support this until my defibrillator malfunctioned and I got the crap shocked out of me three times within about 3 nimutes! I thought the thing was trying to kill me!!! A simple chest x-ray will confirm whether or not a lead has come lose, so please use lots of caution the first few weeks, and if you have a feeling something may have come lose, get an x-ray. God Bless us all!


6 Comments

Sling is not always good

by MSPACER - 2007-07-01 10:07:20

My doc only put the sling on me after the surgery. I did not go home with one. Using a sling can cause frozen shoulder. Did you really overdo it? From what my doctor told me, if your pacemaker is implanted properly, those leads should not come out. Just moving your arm and lifting something light is not going to make the leads come out. I doubt if you could lift anything anyway, considering the pain you have the first month. What type of activities were you doing that you think caused the leads to come out?

pulled leads

by CathrynB - 2007-07-01 10:07:55

Oh Nibor1, I'm so sorry to hear this happened to you! That must have been terrifying to be zapped by your ICD 3 times in 3 minutes. And how frustrating to have to go through surgery again so soon. Please let us know how it goes, ok?
From my reading on this site over the last 6 months, it seems our post op discharge instructions vary somewhat, but almost always we were all told not to raise our left arm (or whichever side your PM/ICD is placed on) above our shoulder level, or lift more than 10 pounds, for six weeks. The purpose of that instruction is to prevent leads from being pulled. Not everyone wears the sling, but everyone does their darndest to follow that instruction anyway. I found the sling too uncomfortable to sleep in, so I tied a sash around my waist and a shoestring to my wrist, then tied them together in such a way as to prevent me from raising my arm over my head in my sleep. Most of us were also told not to do strenuous activities like tennis, golf, swimming, etc until after the 6 weeks is up. I'm sorry you learned all this the hard way, rather than through your doctor's instructions. Please write and tell us how you're doing after the surgery. Take care, Cathryn

Please wear the sling

by Judieanne - 2007-07-02 10:07:41

Hi there. I too had a lead pull loose. But mine happened right after surgery, the evening of. I was struggling to get on a bed pan by myself and had no sling, so think that may have caused the problem. I went back for surgery the next morning and they put me in a sling. Then I requested they catherize me, so I would not have to worry about the bed pan. But, I have received no shocks to this date, which will soon be a year. I am doing o.k. This has been a real life changing thing for me. You worry about whats next, or will the ICD shock you, and how will you handle it. Hope I never need the darn thing. Take care, Judy

My sling

by Surferman - 2007-07-02 12:07:51

My EP told me to keep the sling on for the first six weeks. Why? Because she knew from my record and interview that I was very active and she didn't want me to dislodge the leads, worst tear the heart tissue. After the third week, she let me take the sling off for an hour at a time and just let the arm and shoulder move forward and to the side; then back into the sling. That prevented shoulder block. I hated sleeping with it at night but she had me put a pillow under my left arm; that helped a lot. I'm so glad I followed my EP's instructions. Haste makes waste; only makes for additonal business for your surgeon. Good luck with your follow-up surgery. Keep us posted. Surferman

no sling

by khaled2007 - 2007-07-04 07:07:01

my doctor did not ask me to wear sling . it has been 11 days since the surgey. should i start now ?

My nurse threw my sling away

by carismendez - 2007-07-05 10:07:56

I was wearing my sling about 90% percent of the time until my 10-day wound-care checkup, at which point the nurse threw away my sling and said "you don't need that anymore". My pain and soreness in my neck and shoulder and chest then decided to worsen for about a week after that before getting better. I have blamed it on losing my sling suddenly, lol. I feel better now though, at 27-days post op. Wearing the sling at the very least keeps you from being as sore because it keeps you from doing too much with that hand/arm. I don't have experiece with lead-pulling but it sounds like at best it could prevent the leads from dislodging.

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