New to the club

I will be having my PM implanted tomorrow. I don't know a lot about restrictions and want to be prepared. Are there specific household appliances and/or personal care appliances that I need to avoid or be cautious around?  Thanks in advance 


36 Comments

restrictions

by new to pace.... - 2022-08-28 15:28:23

Welcome to the club you did not want to belong to.

You shuld have asked your d.r those questions. They should give you most everything you should be  doing  not doing when you leave the hospital.

That said their are many that have answered that question.   Search this site for the answer to your questions. Go to your search engine and put in that question.  Or put in pacemakerclub.com restrictions.

  The general rule of thumb is at least 6 inches away from anything with a magnet. I found my TV remote has a magnet in it.  No heavy lifting until your stiches  are healed. Keep your incision  dry.  I slept on a recliner for a couple of weeks until i felt comfortable sleeping on my side.

new to pace

Welcome Bethypoo

by Persephone - 2022-08-28 16:14:52

Love your screen name. Best wishes to you tomorrow - many people who I think I can generally speak for will be rooting for you. Stay in touch, and focus on your recovery as first steps. You'll have time to tackle any potential household item issue later - more than likely your home appliances are completely safe for you.

Household items

by atiras - 2022-08-28 16:46:34

When I was pacemaker dependent there was nothing around the house that my consultant said to avoid. I asked specifically about an induction hob and I quote "it would be dangerous iif you lay face down on it while it was on. But if you did that you'd have bigger problems to worry about".

Restrictions

by AgentX86 - 2022-08-28 16:57:50

Listen carefully to the short term list of restrictions. There won't be many but they are important. Basically they revolve around keeping from overusing the shoulder until the wound is completely healed. You do NOT want to reopen the wound. It's not just any old incision. There is now a superhighway through the leads directly to your heart. You do not want to risk infection.

That said, it is also extremely important to continue to move that shoulder normally, within the parameters given. Otherwise it's all too easy to end up with frozen shoulder, which will require physical therapy and much pain.

It isn't hard to go between these important barriers, just understand what they are. After the first month or two, everything get easy. The things you have to watch out for in a normal household environment can be counted on one hand. Again, pay attention. Your cardiologist or EP may have instructions specifically for your case.

Good luck! God go with you!

by Lavender - 2022-08-28 18:40:08

You don't have to be concerned about most household or personal care appliances. Most people go through the surgery with no problems! May your surgery and recovery be as smooth as can be! There's a video that I learned about here that's very short and easy that explains post care:

Copy and paste:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WO76no_Ipgk

Appliances to Avoid

by Shaun - 2022-08-28 18:40:48

I'd stay away from appliances that pass small electrical currents through the body such as bathroom scales that measure body fat. If I'm not mistaken I think there might be certain types of foot massager that also pass small electrical currents through the body.

Good luck for tomorrow.

Thanks

by Bethypoo - 2022-08-28 19:03:09

Thank you all for the feedback. As you can imagine I am anxious today. I am sure it will all go smoothly. 

Honestly

by Lavender - 2022-08-28 19:44:27

I was more anxious that they wouldn't get my pacemaker in fast enough to prevent another deadly pause. I was raring to go! That device was going to save my life. 
 

here's another video on household devices:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9_dl8ANjdx8

Thanks Lavender

by Bethypoo - 2022-08-28 22:17:20

I was at 46 bpm and feeling unwell today. I know it needs to be done. 

Thanks for the video. I will check it out. I found a comprehensive list on Boston Scientific's website if the do's and dont's. 

Dos and Don'ts

by AgentX86 - 2022-08-29 01:17:36

The lists you're going to find on PM or appliance manufacturers is going to be way over on the conservative scale. They're written by lawyers for lawyers ("nothing here to sue"). You EP or cardiologist is the place to get your information.

Possible interference from Apple products

by Daedalus - 2022-08-29 17:55:09

From the Apple website:

 

Many consumer-electronic devices contain magnets or components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields.

Magnetic interference and medical devices

Under certain conditions, magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices. For example, implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact. To avoid any potential interactions with these types of medical devices, keep your Apple product a safe distance away from your medical device (more than 6 inches / 15 cm apart or more than 12 inches / 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging). Consult with your physician and your device manufacturer for specific guidelines.

If you suspect that your Apple product is interfering with your medical device, stop using your Apple product and consult your physician and your medical-device manufacturer.

 

These Apple products contain magnets

Keep these products a safe distance away from your medical device:

AirPods and cases:

AirPods and charging case

AirPods Pro and charging case

AirPods Max and Smart Case

Apple Watch and accessories:

Apple Watch

Apple Watch bands with magnets

Apple Watch magnetic charging accessories

HomePod:

HomePod 

HomePod mini

iPad and accessories:

iPad

iPad mini

iPad Air

iPad Pro

iPad Smart Covers and Smart Folios:

iPad Smart Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio

Magic Keyboard for iPad

iPhone and MagSafe accessories:

iPhone 12 models

iPhone 13 models

MagSafe accessories

Mac and accessories:

Mac mini

Mac Pro

MacBook Air

MacBook Pro

iMac

Apple Pro Display XDR

Beats:

Beats Flex

Beats Studio Buds

BeatsX

Powerbeats Pro

UrBeats3

Certain other Apple products contain magnets that are unlikely to interfere with medical devices. We provide more information on safety in the Important Safety Information sections of the user guides for Apple products.

Published Date: November 09, 2021

 

Link:  https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211900

Apple

by AgentX86 - 2022-08-29 19:38:31

That's a classical corporate-lawyer-induced CYA letter.  If anyone sues, point to that letter and say "We disclosed that information, you were negligent in avoiding a know health risk.". It covers all products and more are probably automatically added to that web site as part of the normal product release cycle.  IOW, the page has no informational value.  It's written by a lawyer to other lawyres for the express purpose of discourraging law suits. Information disclosed, now go away or prepare to go unarmed into a fight with one arm tied behind your back.

 

Recovering

by Bethypoo - 2022-08-30 15:14:31

All went as well as it could. Late start to implant which happened after 3pm. I did get a booklet from Boston Scientific with the dos and donts. It has been difficult to keep the cell phone 6 inches away from the device. 

Get well

by Lavender - 2022-08-30 17:08:51

You'll get used to things! New habits are hard, lol!

Nice to see you posting already and hope the discomfort is minimal and the benefits are maximal!

Drink lots of water!

Rest up!

Keep your elbow lower than the shoulder!

Don't overuse the sling!

Be good to yourself! God bless!

Great to hear

by Persephone - 2022-08-30 17:13:18

I wouldn't worry about the phone proximity too much - you could just support the phone on a pillow or blanket that gives you about 6 inches of separation. I know it gets hard to hold when you're reclined or just feeling a bit of weakness. The booklet, if I'm conjuring up the right image, is a little teeny tiny thing - you should be able to access more readable material online - could be specific info available by model number. Best to you for an uneventful recovery.

good to hear you are doing well

by new to pace.... - 2022-08-30 17:19:03

Listen to what the others have suggested.  I suggest you use the speaker phone for a while. Or use  your phone on the other  ear.

new to pace

Old timer

by ROBO Pop - 2022-08-30 17:39:24

As an old timer who has every heart ailment possible and wore at defibrillator pacemaker for 16 years I can honestly say the only thing in the household you should be concerned about is a crazy spouse with a handfull of refrigerator magnets. Relax and enjoy your new life. 

By the way so far I've survived a stack of 36 magnets my wife lovingly placed on my chest.

Grateful

by Bethypoo - 2022-08-31 10:52:57

I am thankful for all your replies. I am also grateful AgentX86 suggested this site. 

I may be relying on the sling too much. My follow up is Thursday. The EP said I can return to work on Tuesday which is prior to follow up. Right now I am not comfortable with this. 

I have to share that i already notice a change in energy level. I have checked my rate and each time it is 60. 

Any friend of AgentX86, is a friend of mine 😎

by Lavender - 2022-08-31 12:23:24

I think it's too soon to go back to work, IF YOU ARE NOT READY. I know that some return real quick. If you really have to go, hopefully your boss will let you try out a half day first. 
 

Stop using the sling. It's really just a reminder to not lift your arm high after the first day or so. I used it at night an additional day because I was worried about sleeping position but I really loosened it and kind of velcro attached it to my wrist which allowed extension of the arm downward.

Shoulder pain

by Bethypoo - 2022-08-31 23:39:35

This evening I started to experience shoulder pain. I took a tylenol which did nothing. I am sure it has to do with the sling. Having a hard time resting. 

Ice and heat

by Lavender - 2022-09-01 00:18:02

Sorry about the shoulder pain. I do think we need to move our bodies more and not restrict so much. I find that ice and heat help me. 
 

Try an ice pack with a towel between your skin and the ice. Twenty minutes on. Leave off an hour. Then do a heating pad. Twenty minutes on. Alternatively use ice and heat. If you find that one works better, do that more often. 
 

Tylenol is all that I can take but it doesn't take away inflammation. If you can tolerate ibuprofen take it with food. You can take Tylenol in between the doses of ibuprofen-ibuprofen can be taken with Tylenol too. Just watch the dosages. 
 

I also found it helpful to sit in the bathtub. Don't get your incision wet though. It was relaxing to soak in a bubble bath. 

Thx Lavender

by Bethypoo - 2022-09-01 11:20:12

I ended up calling the doctor's office who nicely told me I wasn't given the proper discharge instructions. The sling was supposed to be only for the first 24 hours!  She recommended heat and small shoulder rolls. She assured me I will be feeling much better by the time I have my follow up. I feel like the discharge instructions overall were not good. They were pretty poor when it came to setting up my Latitude communicator but eventually my daughter and I set it up. 

🙄

by Lavender - 2022-09-01 11:47:19

Wrong discharge instructions!?! What the heck!

How can we possibly know what to do if given the wrong instructions? Sheesh!

Good to call the doctor to check in and verify your concern!

Your shoulder will loosen up. Lots of folks get through the shoulder issues. It's a shame that these slings are worn too long and folks don't know any better. 
 

I have the Latitude monitor too. It's bright so I have it under the nightstand to block some of the light. It's sat there since I set it up. I ignore it. 

nicely told me I wasn't given the proper

by Persephone - 2022-09-02 11:55:50

...and so I guess we need to learn to expect this and ask questions. I know I felt in a very compromised situation and fortunate that i could even sit upright and rise from a seated position due to O2 deprivation over a fairly extended period of time, so I didn't really absorb much of the verbal instructions if they were verbalized. The paper instructions weren't much. Luckily you grasped the situation fairly early on. I also was kind of fortunate to have a forced error of sorts where I had to carry fairly heavy stuff around and go up and down stairs quite a bit on about day 7 unless I was going to hire someone to do it. I think that helped in my recovery, ironically.

Assume?

by Bethypoo - 2022-09-02 18:58:52

Do I assume my return to work note also serves as when it is ok to drive again?  I am still surprised that the EP wrote I can go back in a week especially considering the environment I work in. When I mentioned this to him, he said I don't do any heavy lifting so he doesn't see an issue. 

Assume?

by AgentX86 - 2022-09-02 19:06:03

That's something that should be asked but my first take would be "yes".  I wasn't supposed to drive for a week but he likely wouldn't have said anything if there wasn't someone else in the room asking. 

Driving

by Persephone - 2022-09-02 20:23:55

BP, I drove on day 4ish (shh, don't tell). I think the main issue with driving restrictions - if you're not experiencing syncope - is the potential of having to pull yourself up / wrench a big steering wheel around / shift big gears with your PM arm and potentially dislodge the leads; however, if you're not driving a large truck/SUV that requires any of this and you have power steering, then it really doesn't matter if you're the driver or the passenger, does it?

Driving

by Lavender - 2022-09-02 22:00:31

My cardiologist said not to drive for a week because she was concerned about turning the steering wheel too rapidly or too far. Also the shoulder belt lays on the surgery site. I drove in six days but I still wear the seat belt under the arm. I don't want anything rubbing over the pacemaker. 
 

BIG EDIT-I am no longer wearing the seatbelt under the arm! Walmart has pacemaker protectors as suggested! Advice given and taken!🥴

Under the arm

by AgentX86 - 2022-09-02 23:41:54

Note that a shoulder belt worn under the arm may be more dangerous than none at all. It's not going to keep your face from meeting the steering wheel and will cut across vital organs rather than your shoulder, which can take the impact. Find another way to relieve the irritation. 

I used a "sheep skin" fuzzy seatbelt cover over my sternum that lifted the belt over the PM site. I wore it until a year ago when some yoyo ran a stop sign and totaled my truck.  I haven't bothered to replace it.

Thx AgentX86

by Lavender - 2022-09-03 09:16:40

Will look into padding for the seatbelt!

Lavender

by Persephone - 2022-09-03 11:02:39

I also found your seatbelt comment quite alarming. I can send you some crash test videos if you'd like to see some evidence of the need to properly use the safety equipment in your car. I got some cheap covers from Walmart or similar and they're still doing their job for me.

Sleep stuff

by Bethypoo - 2022-09-03 11:26:45

I am a side sleeper and it has been tough to sleep on my back. I have read in other forums that people have slept in recliners which i do not own. I do have an adjustable bed but it doesn't help much. Any suggestions?

Thx. 

Sleep

by Persephone - 2022-09-03 13:54:30

Yes, this is a tough one. I propped myself up with pillows all around, like under the arms etc, to try to reduce the rolling onto the side thing. But the side roll eventually happened and I'm still kicking several years out. Do you mean it is uncomfortable to be on your side while you're healing or that you have general concern about that sleep position from a PM safety point of view?

Pillows

by Lavender - 2022-09-03 14:45:11

I use a body pillow alongside me to lean into while laying on my right side. I've learned to also sleep on my back w a pillow under the knees like a bolster they use at the masseuse. I also have a small pillow that I lay over the pacemaker to lean into that area where the body pillow doesn't reach. So it's a three pillow night for me every night. 
 

I try and try but left side sleeping is uncomfortable. My heart seems to beat differently on that side and the pacemaker digs into my chest near the arm. Been trying for over 18 months with no luck. 
 

Sleep and Plllows

by Bethypoo - 2022-09-03 19:05:40

Persephone, I mean post PM and healing. I slept on my right side prior to this. 

Lavender, I might try what you have been doing with the three pillows. 

Ink is cheap, pixels are even cheaper

by dwelch - 2022-09-03 22:29:13

Lawyers from all ranges of products will put warnings in as semi-legal insurance.   You likely have nothing in your house to worry about even apple products.   Maybe welding equipment if you have that and have a desire to use it.   All the normal stuff, microwave, fridge, toaster, hair dryer, electric toothbrush, it is all fine, no worries.

Just focus on remembering to use that arm and not getting a stiff arm.  And dont expect to sleep well for a few weeks, so you will be tired.  Your body will tell you with pain how far you can move your arm that day but it will get better quicly if you dont keep it stiff.   Avoid heavy things, wear button down shirts for a number of weeks.  All that good stuff.   The appliances are not an issue.

I will tape plastic bags over my pacer so that I can take a shower, and not get the dressing wet, its fun to try to wash your hair or brush it those first few weeks...

Worry about the recovery and not the appliances.

 

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