work pressure from managers & help needed

Hello, I am under a lot of pressure from work. they read somewhere that I should have made a full recovery within 6 weeks and that a pacemaker is a small procedure. 

I work nights in tunnels, hauling heavy machinery up and down stairs on one side of the body all night, occasionally coping with sleep deprivation. 

My cardiologists advised me to gradually build up my body, and I am also suffering from lack of sleep owing to pacemaker sensitivity, for which I have now altered the settings three times. 

I want to give my body the rest it deserves because I was unable to sleep for a year owing to severe AV block and am still getting used to the settings of having a high heart rate at night .

I requested for advice, and the doctor suggested no arm movement for 8 weeks, then gently build up swimming 12 weeks, and then other strengthening exercises such as weights around 5 months for a full recovery in around 6-7 months. 
I still have the sensation of tearing every time I pull my shopping cart after 2 months. 
My body is aching from inactivity. 

Im scared .

Which brings me to my question. 
What would you tell my bosses about what I'm going through?
What would you tell them about your pacemaker procedure and recovery being called minor. 
I'm thinking of sending them your responses. 
Please leave a comment; it will provide me with information on how to handle this situation and maybe help my manegers understand the problems we face . 

Please leave some of your experiences in the comments section .  




by Lavender - 2023-10-10 15:45:41

How about getting a work excuse from your doctor/cardiologist? Have the written excuse say just what you wrote:  the doctor suggested no arm movement for 8 weeks, then gently build up swimming 12 weeks, and then other strengthening exercises such as weights around 5 months for a full recovery in around 6-7 months. 

By the way, no arm movement for eight weeks??? That's a long time if it's just from getting a pacemaker. 


by TPMP001 - 2023-10-10 16:04:12

i already have a sick note and am working towards getting better . 

But I'd like to hear about other people's healing stories.

Doctor indicated 6-8 weeks since she changed the operation somewhat so I could continue with physical sports and stressful job settings.

Please do not ask for specifics that I did not grasp.

Her main concern was that I am an ex athlete who works and trains hard.

She stated that 10% of all younger patients she has had to re-operate due to not allowing enough time to heal, and she is concerned that the same thing will happen to me.

Your health

by piglet22 - 2023-10-10 16:57:40

Your health is the most importan and needs to come first.

A decent company with decent managers wouldn't hesitate to look after you.

Don't be afraid to tell them.

If they aren't sympathetic then start to wonder if it's a company to work for.

Google search

by TPMP001 - 2023-10-10 17:21:51

I understand a managers job is to push you back to work .

But when its heart related I expected more sympathy 

The problem is Occupational health as messed up by not sending the report and managers are basing their facts on google search . There is so much crap out there . 


Cardiac Rehab?

by DoingMyBest - 2023-10-10 19:53:29

Do you have access to Cardiac Rehab? I'm sure things are different on your side of the pond.

I learned about cardiac rehab after having open heart surgery. I was very impressed with the setup. As I healed and got stronger I could exercise as hard as wanted in a controlled, monitored environment. It gave me a safe way to determine my limits. The nurses post reports after every session and they are available to your cardiologist. The cardiologist is much better informed than if you only saw them for a few minutes every couple months.

After completing 12 weeks of rehab for the heart surgery, I received my pacemaker not even a month later. I was insistent on getting back into rehab to see how my body now reacted to the pacemaker. I'm glad I did. After six weeks of inactivity, I've had a significant reset, strength-wise, and it's taking time to adapt to the pacemaker. I've had issues during exercise that wouldn't have been apparent otherwise. But with the way things are going, I now feel like I'll be back to full strength in another month or two.

I highly recommend it if it is available to you. It will do wonders for your strength and your confidence.


by TPMP001 - 2023-10-10 21:14:22

That is exactly what I requested, yet the NHS does not provide physiotherapy following pacemaker implantation.

My occupational health also refused to assist, claiming that it was not a work-related accident.

I'm on the waiting list for physiotherapy from my local GP; you'd think the cardiologists would have a plan . 
The entire reason I'm concerned and sticking to this timeline is that there has been no support with recuperation. 
I'm riding an exercise bike; I can stand on it, but I'm hesitant to put weight on the left side. 

My shoulder is killing me, and my entire body is hurting and becoming worse since I'm frightened to perform any upper body strength exercises until the 3-4 months mark,  as I was warned.

I feel lethargic, tired, and moody, with 40% of my strength stolen.

i felt the same way after the hole in the heart procedure , took me 5 months before the cloud lifted . 

I'm cautious to go much more because the location of the implant still hurts when I push too hard, and it also somewhat swells when I do things on that side. 

I've had two surgeries and a year of little sleep prior to this, so I know things will take time, but I'm already doing something. 
I'm also concerned that because my job is so difficult, if I return too soon and damage the leads, they may push for redeployment, claiming that I'm a risk due to lead displacement or damage. 


I've seen them put pressure on the elder generation in an attempt to force them to retire or redeploy. 

I mean, recuperation is individual, but there is no defined date for complete freedom with exercise. 
I read that in the first year, there is still an 8-10% probability of pacemaker infection among the younger generation. 

Perhaps I could push more, but without proper supervision, I'm playing things safe. 
That is why I am looking for people's personal experiences; I am delighted you received the proper care and are confident in your recovery. 

Recovery & Re-hab.

by Penguin - 2023-10-11 11:04:11


Work - The type of work is clearly very physical. I read some earlier posts you made which talked about lifting your arms above your head and drilling.  You need some specific advice about that from your EP, particularly if your wound area is swelling when you lift your arms.  That doesn't sound right.  I'd get that checked out.  

If you're using an exercise bike you shouldn't need to avoid any leaning / pressure to the left hand side.  There shouldn't be any pain radiating down that side I would think. Similarly, check that out. 

Are the warnings that you've received about exercise specific to resisting the type of upper body / strength exercises for your professional fighting? Obviously, there are other types of gentler exercise which you will have been recommended e.g. shoulder mobility movements to prevent frozen shoulder.  Have you done these?  Could your pain be due to frozen shoulder?

Have you been told that 'complete freedom with exercise' includes fighting?

Re: Infection - you would know if you had an infection. You would have a temperature, heat and maybe oozing from the wound and swelling.   I'd disagree with your wording ' 8-10% probablility of pacemaker infection among the younger generation'   Perhaps 'possibility' is a better word but I have no idea why it would be higher odds with younger people. I was around your age when I got my first PM (in the UK) and received no such advice. 

I wasn't offered physio either (nor did I need it) but I did research for myself general cardiac re-hab classes to help with confidence to exercise.  These were run in the community and there was a small fee.  Hospitals used to offer cardiac re-hab classes (similar) within hospitals, run by cardiac nurses / re-hab specialist nurses. Not sure what is offered now, but you are right that pacemaker patients are usually not included.  Personally I think they would be helpful. 

Not sure if that helps much. I think this is down to tracking down the source of your continued pain and having it documented by your EP or GP as a valid reason for not returning to work yet. 

I wish you all the best. 



by TPMP001 - 2023-10-12 07:15:40

Thank you for your reply . 

its been hard i had a stomach bug accompained by fever and stomach syptoms told the pacemaker clinic they simply told me it does not sound like pacemaker infection syptoms . 

now i have the flu , i think also them introducing a sleep mode down to 40 bpm as affected me . 

not getting much sleep , although you would think after such a short period having a slight fever twice they would insist on some blood tests . 

think again no support . 

physically i can even lay face down my shoulders and the site of the implant hurts and my shoulder are really hurting . 

cardiac rehab is a no i have asked , im on the waiting list for physio . my work refused me therapy but sent another guy to Germany for private care . 

the doctor who as called is so incompetent he wants me to get a handwritten not from my cardiologist , i told him he need to write to my doctor , doctors dont do handwritten notes . 

especially after phone consultations .


i think my next steps is to remove sleep mode do cold turkey at 50bpm , ask for some blood tests . 

then start with aeorobic exercises in 2 weeks and progress from there with shadow boxing and bags on the 4th month , then slowly introduce weights and grow my strength bacvk mentaly and physically . 

why i am so down is lack of sleep . 

Thats also a reeason why i am building up slow, pushing your body after heart procedures with no sleep is not a good thing to do . 

but also my work is nights , in a very dirty and poluted enviroment , i work in tunnels or out in the cold weather and rain in train tracks and very demanding physical work . 

if i go back too early and have a bout of imsomnia i cant tell my managers sorry please can i stay at home or do lighter duties for a couple of days because i came back to early and am still in pain . 

especially with my work colleagues they are sleepless , been there to long , hate thier work , understaffed and dont care . 

they have as much sympathy as a wolf .  

its only been 2 months . 

whatever job you do your therapy and time off must be fitted accordingly , i need to last another 15 years in my work . 

working nights takes its toll , i have worked at night physically for 20 years on breakers , digging , was a ex athlete sparring everyday on the borderline abusive scale . 

and am pushing 45 . 



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