Pacemaker pain

’m still waiting for my next cardiologist appointment hopefully in the next few weeks , Recentyly my pain has been increasing by my pm, it started as a very mild discomfort on the left edge , every day gets more painful especially after I’ve been reaching up or been more active at home , nothing too strenuous , it’s been 6 months since it was fitted . Today I was walking slowly to take my daughter to the park, only up a slight slope , I’ve felt a couple of tugs is the best way I can describe it by the pm , only for a few seconds . Pacing team said everything looks ok so can’t be the pacemaker not working as it should . I have heart pauses and Tachy/Brady . How long do I wait for my appointment as I’m getting a bit concerned over my symptoms .


4 Comments

Pain

by Pharnowa - 2021-06-08 22:03:54

I think the pacing team can address if the device is working properly, but they can't see what you are complaining about. I have only had mine a month longer than you, but I would wonder about an infection. Otherwise, it may be a nerve or scar tissue being impinged. I'd request the EP look at it. 

 

What they don't tell you

by Theknotguy - 2021-06-09 08:02:53

Adjustment to having the pacemaker goes on for a while.  We're accustomed to living in a world where you walk into some place, place and order, and walk out a couple of minutes later with exactly what we wanted.  The idea that you have to wait days, weeks, months, and even years for healing takes a while for the brain to adjust.  I'm working with a guy who had a hemorrhagic stroke and he's gotten frustrated after 90 days.  We, all his caretakers, have to keep reminding him that it will take up to a year for some of the major changes to manifest themselves and he needs to be patient.  Same for living with a pacemaker.  I'm five, going on six years out and still run into new situations with my pacemaker.  Not as often as I did in the first couple of years, but I still run into situations.  

Right after I got my pacemaker and at/about six weeks out I threw a ball for the dog.  Stretched a little too much and it felt like something tore in the pacemaker pocket.  I had pulled some of the underlying scar tissue and it took another six weeks for that soreness to go away.  Until it healed, it was really sore.  No fever or chills,  Pacemaker continued to work OK but still some real soreness.  Then at nine months out I went back to working in the wood shop.  I'd be OK during the time I was there but the next day it felt like someone had wrapped my pacemaker in sandpaper and scrubbed it around in the pocket.  Within the first two years I wouldn't be doing anything and I'd get these sharp pains in the pacemaker pocket area. They'd last a few seconds and just go away.  No problems with the pacemaker working, just sharp pains that would come and go at odd intervals.  I'd also sometimes get the sensation of "ant bites" in the pacemaker pocket area.  The real fun problem was when the entire pacemaker pocket would just itch. I'd be reaching up and scrubbing the thing around to relieve the itch.  Not supposed to do that but it would really itch.  Never ran a fever while this stuff was going on and never had problems with the pacemaker doing its job. 

Problem is, those who don't have a pacemaker can't tell you about this stuff because they've never had to deal with a foreign object being inside their body for a long term.  Another thing I recently found out is that my body very happily grows adhesions and scar tissue.  Great for fixing up a bad cut, bad for healing a pacemaker pocket.  The nerves grow back in quickly and I start having the sensations I've described above.  And, when you talk to doctors and nurses they just shrug and go on.  A little insight into how people might heal would have done a lot to ease my mind.  

Based upon what you are saying, it could possibly be that you too are another one of those people who rapidly grow scar tissue and have nerves rapidly re-grow into the pacemaker pocket area.  Just doing a little stretching in the wrong way could pull the scar tissue and result in soreness while it heals.  If you aren't running a fever, getting chills, and the pacemaker is working OK, there may not be a cause for worry.  Inconvenient I'll agree but not a cause for worry.  You can always call your cardiologist/EP and talk with his nursing staff.  They can point out what may be problems and what to look for, but in the meantime you can use hot/cold compresses and Tylenol to alleviate the symptoms.  I know after I went back to the wood shop, I'd be slapping on the compresses a lot.  I'd also sneak aspirin because for me, it was more effective than Tylenol.  There were a couple of times when I'd stretch the wrong way, feel like something tore, and be really sore for a few days.  Everything would eventually heal up and I'd just go on.  I'd tell my EP about it, he'd just shrug.  Frustrating at times.  But I'm still here and OK.  

Otherwise it sounds like things are going well for you with the pacemaker as you're going out with your child to the park.  I hope things continue to go well for you and that what I've said has been a help.  

Pacemaker pain

by Betts - 2021-06-10 00:54:42

I too have the same sensations off and on. It is nice to know this is something you just need to adjust to. My 6 months will be in July and my next appointment. Thank you for explaining. So nice to have this club to come to

Replies

by Westie2012 - 2021-06-10 02:27:53

Thank you for all your replies , there's some really useful information and more if an insight into living with a pacemaker , I've been told by the pacing team it can't be a problem with the pacemaker as I don't use it that much . Easy for that person to say who isn't dealing with the pain and discomfort it causes . 

You know you're wired when...

Your ICD has a better memory than you.

Member Quotes

In fact after the final "tweaks" of my pacemaker programming at the one year check up it is working so well that I forget I have it.