newbie and miserable

Hi all,,,,i was implanted 6 weeks ago,,medtronic bi-ventricuar for SSS and vent tach (at times)  I am having a miserable time sleeping (leftt sided sleeper and left handed too,,,,) I'm still not allowed to swim (i live in fla and always love love my pool activites)   not allowed to lift my elbow above my shoulder or lift more than 5 lbs till JUNE 30th,,,, Is this 'normal' i see so many of you after a couple of weeks to be allowed to 'return' to normal,,,,,,,biking exercising,,etc,,,, I am so tired all the time,,sleep is a joke,, i go to bed maybe 11-12,,wake up at 2am,, up till 5-6am,back to sleep till 9 ish,,,,nap almost every day,, never was a napping person,,,,will this all ever go away ???   was a nurse for almost 50 years,, ICU,, worked like a dog and never felt this tired as i do now,,,,,,,,


12 weeks?

by AgentX86 - 2021-05-21 15:13:34

Hi Fins,  Twelve weeks is a long time for the post-implant restrictions.  It's normally four to six weeks, on the outside.  I understand the ban from swimming more than the others.  You don't give any information in your bio so I couldn't even guess but it is unusual.

From my understanding, it's also odd that they put the PM on your dominant side.  This is usually done only when there was a problem on the other side, like in infection and everything gets replaced.  I don't believe that I've heard of another case where they put the PM on the dominant side as a first choice.   It's bad for shooting shotgun.  ;-)

I'm more of a left-side stomach (if it's cool enough) and right side sleeper but a righty.  I couldn't sleep in the bed for at least a month and didn't for two.  I slept in a recliner, which I'd done for five months after my sternotomy.

Sleep quality and being constantly tired.  Were you as tired before your PM?  If not, I'd be on my EPs back to find and fix the problem.  If not, I'd be all over my PCP.  Quality of Life is rather important. You deserve answers, at least.


Similar problems

by Theknotguy - 2021-05-21 18:52:28

I was walking on the trail with the dogs.  Woke up six days later with the pacemaker implanted on the left side.   Am ambidextrous.  I do some things with my right hand, do other things with my left.  Hard to switch as I've done it that way for years.  

About six weeks out, threw the ball for the dog - left handed.  Pulled some of the underlying tissue and had to stop.  Took another four weeks for the pulled area to heal.  Not fun.  Also a left side sleeper and every time I'd flip on my left side the pacemaker would get pinched and I'd have to move.  

What can I suggest?  For sleeping, get some pillows.  I was able to get one of those long pillows and would roll over on that.  It didn't solve the problem but it helped.  Now at six years out, don't miss sleeping on the left side but it did take time to adjust.  

Question in my mind is if your pacemaker isn't set right.  Also have you been tested for sleep apnea?  Does your pacemaker doctor or your medical insurance have someone who can check you out for depression?  A lot of people get depression after heart procedures.  I spent some time with a psychologist and she helped.  Have you talked with your health insurance?  They might have some suggestions too.  Another thing you could do is to go sleep in your EP/Cardiologists' office.  I would also start pestering your EP/Cardiologist's office and see if they can come up with more suggestions.  

Sorry that I don't have a wealth of solutions for you.  Adjustment to my pacemaker being on my left side did take a while longer.  (Can't shoot shotguns anymore.)  But I get along fine with it now even though it's on the wrong side.  I wish you the best.   

Left-hander with PM implanted left side

by amanda_shanti - 2021-05-23 07:09:23

Hi FINSFAN1012, sorry to hear that you're still struggling with your recovery. I'm still new to the PM situation, just about 6 months post surgery now.

I remember I also had trouble sleeping in the first two months and got better and better later on. I try many different ways and use cushions to make my body more comfortable while sleeping. (I used to sleep on my back though, not sleep on the side) Maybe you could explore it a bit and see how to be more comfortable in sleep. Once my sleeping condition is back to normal, I feel less fatigue and start to feel normal once again.

About the arm restriction, I saw many information mentions the restriction period is 4 to 6 weeks. However, my doctor told me to follow the restriction for 3 months, it's a bit long but I did what I was told. I believe it's case by case, you may consult with your doctor first and see what's his/her view on starting your regular exercise. In my case, I practice yoga for 10 years, my doctor worried about me to start doing intensive stretching and advance yoga postures too early that I may harm myself. So, that's the reason for 3 months restriction.

Btw, if I got it right from your post, you have your PM implanted left side, right? I'm also a left-hander with PM implanted left side just like you. To me, personally I'm okay with PM at my left side. Discussed with my doctor, she found that even left hand is my dominant hand and I use left hand for writing, holding knife such kind of things, but my right arm has more strength than my left (quite interesting). Therefore, PM on my left side. So far, I have no problem at all.

I hope you will get better soon!

Newbie and Miserable

by Roger A - 2021-05-25 02:37:31

Finsfan1012, I am surprised they did the implant on your left shoulder knowing you are left handed, that is unusal. but rest assured eventually you will be able to sleep on your left side, I went through the same issue and it took me about 8 weeks to be able to sleep on my left side, I am right handed and they implaned me on my left side, so it was harder for me to sleep on my left side till my body built scars around my device and it became normal for me to sleep that way.

I would not swim either if I were you right now, wait it out, you will be fine soon enough to swim and do water activities.

Wish you lots of luck and patience



by finsfan1012 - 2021-05-30 01:18:45

thanks for all your comments,,,, yes i also have sleep apnea and have a machine,, so add that onto this new PM,,,and difficulties sleeping,,, ugh,,,just gotta get use to it all,,,,,,,thanks again

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