May have messed up

Not sure if this is a big mess up or not and I can't find enough information to know which way. 

I got my dual chamber pacemaker installed 4/17/2023 so I'm about six days post op. I've been very good about not lifting my elbow above my shoulder. Until this morning when my arm managed to get free from my sling when I was half asleep and I ended up stretching my whole surgery side arm above my head for a few seconds.

How likely is it that I yanked on a lead or dislodged the generator or something? Surgery site is pretty damn sore but otherwise I don't feel any new chest pain or shortness of breath? 



by USMC-Pacer - 2023-04-23 13:41:59

I've done it in my sleep as well. I've woken up in a full stretch and caught myself. "Oh shxt!" But, it sure felt good. Nothing happened. I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but I think they are more worried about the area your leads enter your vena cava. 

Forgeddaboutit but throw away the sling

by Gotrhythm - 2023-04-23 13:47:21

It's fine. Everybody does it. I did it on about three days post surgery. My shoulder didn't hurt and I just forget and reached in a cabinet for a coffee cup. If you'd pulled something loose, you'd know it, but you haven't, so don't worry. After six days you are healed enough that it's very, very unlikely that you could pull out the wires.

But do throw away the sling! It's important that you start moving your shoulder and arm. Start slow and easy and gradually increase the range of motion. Restricting arm movement for too long can lead to "frozen shoulder" which is very painful and can take months, or years, to recover from.



by AgentX86 - 2023-04-23 13:52:57

The chances that you'd pull a lead free is next to zero. If it does pull free, it's not because you raised your arm (we ALL did it) but because it wasn't embedded properly. It does happen but it's just because the lead doesn't anchor in that spot.

The more important reason for the prohibition is to make sure the wound heals properly. An infection can be really bad. The shoulder takes a lot of stress and you've been cut up. It takes a little while to make sure all is good.

Relax. You've done nothing that every one of us has done. Just keep it to a minimum.

Thank you!

by Minitiger - 2023-04-23 13:57:09

Thank you for the reassurance! 

I don't wear the sling unless I'm sleeping because I'm an extremely active twisting pretzel sleeper or when my kids are having a hard time remembering not to jump on mommy as more of a visual signal. They're four year old twin boys that are very physical in how they show affection which is normally just fine but not when you could get an accidental headbutt in the sutures.

But I, and they, will be very happy when I'm cleared to lift and stretch above my head again.  

This has finally solved some major syncope problems that kept me from being as active with my family as I'd like so I don't want to do anything to mess up my recovery by being forgetful or stupid. 


It’s fine

by docklock - 2023-04-23 13:58:05

We've all done the "reaching" without thinking.  Hard to not do it -- muscle memory and reaching go hand in hand.  While I wouldn't purposely reach above my shoulder, I'm sure you're fine. 
I would agree tho, to ditch the sling. You gotta move that shoulder -- gently, but move it 

I was given a sling when I left hospital and it's still in the box. Was too hard to use and I didn't use it at all. 

Very common

by Lavender - 2023-04-23 14:47:53

Yep I freaked myself out by reaching up high into a cupboard. As soon as I realized it, I was panicked and wanted an xray to verify that all was well. The cardiac nurse I called said no harm was done and not to worry, so no xray was taken. 
Your boys sound so rambunctious and all boy! Lol what a fun age!  Yes, please lose the sling for good. You're using it too long. Keep that elbow below the shoulder but don't be upset if you forget. 

I'll add in here

by Persephone - 2023-04-23 15:16:48

Hi Minitiger - nice to meet you and I hope you're feeling well. I'll add in here though you've gotten lots of responses. When I was at your stage post-surgery, I had to carry some medium-weight items around, up and down stairs, etc because my house was caved in by a treefall. It was actually probably the best thing for my recovery, in an ironic kind of way. Keep your body in motion and keep up the activity.

More Motion

by Minitiger - 2023-04-23 19:07:46

Sling has been ditched and we've now used painter's tape on "my" spot on the couch to make the "Mommy Box" to remind the kids not to jump on me. We'll see how that works. 

Shoulder has been rotated the full allowed range of motion each day too throughout the day when pain didn't stop me so hopefully that helps. 

Mommy's box

by AgentX86 - 2023-04-23 19:20:32

That's cute. Too bad it won't work. If it did, you could patent it and make Bezos seem poor.

Just do everything you normally would do that is within your restrictions and pain threshold. You really do need to move that shoulder normally even if you do exceed the limits a few times. Do your best and don't worry too much about breaking the "rules". Just try your best.


Working so far

by Minitiger - 2023-04-23 20:57:08

Mommy Box has worked out reasonably well so far. 

The good thing about my kids are they are pretty empathetic and when they do accidentally hurt someone they feel terrible about it (unless it's brother). The tape is more of a reminder than a deterant. They know they're not supposed to get all over me but sometimes they get excited and forget. The tape is pretty wide and bright green so it's pretty hard to miss. 

Additional benefit: They also asked for "boxes" for their spots on the couch and my husband taped it so there's a bit of no man's land between them and said you can't invade the other's box or both boxes get taken away and only mommy gets one. There's been less "he's touching meeeee!" complaints on the couch today. 

sling and sleeping

by RZ - 2023-04-24 23:46:40

I did the same thing, stretched my arm.  I worried like you are.  I was fine.  Toss the sling as soon as you can or else you will end up with a frozen shoulder which is very painful...


by Minitiger - 2023-04-26 16:41:43

Sling was ditched shen you guys said to and arm has been moving everywhere except the forbidden elbow above shoulder. Mostly.

Also feeling very vindicated. Found out at my follow up appointment that the right atrium is being paced 60% of the time for trying to beat under 60 bpm even when I'm being active. Right ventricle is receiving the signal from the atrium properly so it has had zero pacing time. So there's that. It has also bumped my heart rate up a few times in the day to compensate for my through the floor low blood pressure. I haven't passed out once! Feel like a new woman! 

Oh yeah, the leads were fine lol.

Only complaint is the very normal itching from the healing process. Which means it's healing and I will gladly take. 


by new to pace.... - 2023-04-26 19:30:57

If they used glue to close your incision you might be allergic to the glue.  once the glue is gone from your body the itching will stop.  If you can you might take an allergry pill.  as you do not want to scratch your incision an cause an infection.  Once you can take a shower, use the hot water to soften the glue and sort of peel it off a little at a time.

new to pace


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