I am 2 months post pacemaker implant. Everything has been going quite well with including some of the emotional and physical adjustment. I have some days I almost don't think about my pacemaker. Then there are other days I seem to be acutely aware of my pacemaker. I feel the physical presence on my body (a kind of tightness near the area or under my arm) and see it more than other times. It seems like this occurs after more physical exercise (nothing extreme). I tell myself things are still healing and this is probably normal. I have the other side of me that panics a bit and thinks the pacemaker is shifting or something is wrong. I am wondering if others have gone through this type of feeling. I appreciate any input. The support from this group has been a tremendous help to me. I look forward to payingit forward.
by Good Dog - 2022-04-26 10:05:31
Yeah, I completely agree with Tracey. I'll speak for myself when I tell you that the hardest part of getting a PM is psychological. The first year was the hardest for me. However, once I got really active after about six months and discovered that I could run, play basketball, etc., I realized that my life could be no different than before I had any heart issues. It is completely normal during the first 6 mo/year to sometimes be hyper-aware and feel every little pinch or movement of your PM. Everyone responds a little differently, but there will come a time when you will completely forget that you have a PM. The nice thing is that once you are healed, these PM's are really bullet-proof. So not to worry!
Yep -- Definitely Normal
by MinimeJer05 - 2022-04-26 10:24:51
I hope you can take some reassurance and calmness knowing that you are definitely describing NORMAL feelings, both physical and mental/emotional.
To most, a PM implant is just another "thing" needed to keep their lives moving forward and barely noticing it, but to others, it can be more of an adjustment. Know that your PM is likely funcitoning fine and that you should soon be back to normal and not even notice it.
Know also that your cardiac team and general doctors are always available to answer questions -- over the phone, via email, via whatever means you communicate to them.
If something feels off enough to go to the ER or Urgent Care, then go. Nobody knows their body more than the person themselves. Yes, stress, anxiety and panic can often feel like a dang heart attack at times, but that simply means that we need to be intune with our bodies and understand what is "our new normal" and what isn't.
Any sort of unusual or abnormal pain, tightness or shortness of breath should always require a call to the doctor or a trip to the ER, otherwise, expected soreness, tightness and mild pain is acceptable and should be managed accordingly.
Ever since my PM, I noticed that laying on my left side or laying on my back (at an angle with pressure on my left side) makes my PM area feel tight and uncomfortable, it also can sometimes lead to a tingley senstation across my entire left half of my body (they told me nerves were maybe damaged during the PM implant) -- the first time this happened, I thought for sure, I am having a stroke, this is it! But then after going to ER and being told that everything is OK, I've just kinda learned to accept it and relax when it happens -- someday's it's as easy as shrugging it off and going back about my day, and other days, when I am tired or weak for whatever reason, it can get to me and cause panic and anxiety.
You'll have good and bad days -- the important part is to try to understand what an "okay" bad day is for you and when something is definitely not OKAY and needs to be followed up on.
Never be afraid to engage your doctors and continue to post here for support and tips.
I wish you the best of luck on your recovery and your journey through life!
Better than normal
by AgentX86 - 2022-04-26 17:45:32
Few get to the point where they can forget their pacemaker for days, after only two months. That's great!
I'd ask my EP or device tech if the movement is normal or if the anchor stitch has pulled loose. If it has they probably won't do anything about it unless it's wandering all over the place. The chance of infection for a surgery to re-anchor it would have the same risk of infection as the original surgery. It would have to really be bad to justify that risk.
Tightness and a whole range of feelings is normal at this point. Obviously you are/have developed scar tissue. As you move more that scar tissue stretches causing, well, a stretching sensation. Itching, or "ant bites", or pretty much anything is also normal. Nerves have been cut and as the brain sorts it all out, any sensation is possible.
Onward and Upward
by Kbob - 2022-04-27 00:06:31
Thank you, all, for your insight and encouraging words. I am grateful.
You know you're wired when...
Your device makes you win at the slot machines.
I finished 29th in London in 2 hours 20 minutes 30 seconds which is my fastest with or without a device so clearly it didnt slow me down ! I had no problems apart from some slight chaffing on my scar - more Vaseline next time.
by Tracey_E - 2022-04-26 09:33:51
Sounds about right to me! It can take 6 months up to a year to fully heal. Keep moving, the tightness should get better with time.
The longer we have it, the less we think about it. I rarely give mine a thought now. As we fully heal and our lives get back to normal, our brains move on to other things to obsess over.
The pacer shifting a bit is perfectly normal, esp when we work out. Know that even if it shifts more than a bit (mine does), it's usually more annoying than harmful. They are stitched into place, in my case the stitch didn't hold and it drifted before it settled again. My doctor offered to move it and stitch it again but it doesn't hurt so I'm going to leave it alone until my next replacement.