Healing time

I had PM implanted 10 days ago on a "rush" and didn't have any preparation time. In addition, my lung was nicked so I have a small pneumothorax. It is hard to discern whether small stabs of pain on left side - arm, shoulder, chest - are from healing process of surgery and collapsed lung or more serious. And I have so little energy. Feeling a bit discouraged and anxious. Any words of encouragement would be appreciated. 


6 Comments

Healing time

by AgentX86 - 2021-03-29 17:20:19

Hi Karen, Welcome to the club.

Healing time varies so widely that it's impossible to predict it from one person to another but ten days isn't unheard of.  Your shoulder should be pretty well healed over by now and the pain subsiding a lot, or have gone completely other than some minor twinges, itching, or "ant bites".  Major complications due to pacemaker implants are rare, so I wouldn't worry too much about that now.  Minor pains are to be expected, though usually confined more to the shoulder and arm but your lung issue could also be a source of occaisional pain.

Your reduced energy level could be caused by a number of things and it's hard to know what's affecting you. Is this a new symptom, or were you expecting your PM to improve your energy level?  Are you on any new drugs, particularly beta blockers or antiarrhythmics?  Your pacemaker may just not be set up for your needs yet.  They're often put in withtheir "factory settings", without regard to your needs until your first "interrogation" (no hot lights and rubber hoses involved). 

More information might help us help you.  If you would, fill out as much information in your profile as you can, including why you needed a PM, PM make and mode, and other PM and heart related information.  There isn't really a need to put in your city, if you're worried about privacy, but the country may make a difference in the answers you get (differing health care systems).

Pneumothorax can cause quite a lot of pain

by crustyg - 2021-03-29 17:41:16

Having a pneumothorax isn't quite the same as pleurisy, but the stabbing pain in inspiration can be the same.

The most tissue damage during a normal PM placement + leads is around the pocket for the PM - and this can give sharp twinges of pain for months, especially doing any sort of chest stretching exercise (e.g. Yoga/Pilates).

Probably the most important thing for you to notice, is any relationship between breathing - in, out, deeply, shallowly - and the pain.  If this hasn't gone fairly soon then your pneumothorax may not have resolved spontaneously: it *should* resolve on its own, but if there is much blood in there as well it will take a lot longer.  If you start feeling breathless, get to the ED immediately - it could become serious.

Energy level

by Persephone - 2021-03-29 17:50:03

Dear Karen - no wonder you're feeling like you have little energy - you've had a lot of healing to do, are not sure about the effects of the surgery on your lung, and are still feeling some pain.  I hope your pain is manageable - have you tried icing or OTC pain relievers?  Please take it easy on yourself and try to give yourself some pampering as you may do for a friend or loved one in this same situation. Noting your physical feelings and related questions about them - as well as your emotional feelings - in a journal or by just jotting them down may help you focus your concerns, and prepare for your future meetings with your medical team where you can have your questions addressed.  Best wishes for feeling better with each day.

Healing time

by Dixie Chick 65 - 2021-03-29 18:27:49

Karen123, I also got my pacemaker very quickly. It takes a while to " wrap your brain " around all of it. In addition you had the nick and resulting  pneumothorax, which is one of the risk factors with PM implants. So you have to allow yourself some healing time. This forum will provide you with lots of good support during your recovery. Feeling discouraged and anxious is completely to be expected. Here's hoping that each day you'll find that you're feeling better !

DC65

I had a procedure around the same time

by seenu302 - 2021-03-29 21:08:54

Thankfully everything went smooth and I was back to work in 4 days ( including weekend). Complications during the surgery will make recovery longer. Keep yourself chin up. Once it starts healing you will feel a lot better. It's just a temporary phase.

quick recovery

by Tulp - 2021-03-30 00:03:36

Dear Clubber

I hope you have enough material here to cheer you up a little.

You have come to the right place. So many good advisers here.

I wish you a speedy recovery

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