Post surgery

I had my PM implant 4 weeks ago. To say I'm worse since surgery would be an understatement. I was doing just fine, walking around a mile each day and feeling great. I haven't walked a mile or felt great a single day since. 

First day after surgery in hospital told nurses about pain in muscles and difficulty breathing. I was told that a little pain was to be expected. Given Tylenol 3 and released from hospital. The problem was not the pain but more the failure of anyone telling me it was normal. 

At home I only leave my recliner for bathroom room. I do have a day or two now without pain but now have trouble sleeping. 

At an appointment last Friday, my doctor told me everything was working fine with the device, but glossed over my complaint of pain and set my next appointment a year from now. 

I should mention that heating pad gives temporary relief to neck pain and stiffness. Also my PM is monitored by a device called a Merlin and can also be adjusted remotely. 

Thanks for listening to my rant, however I wish I had read this right after surgery so I'd have known what was coming and that it was normal 


this is not normal

by Tracey_E - 2023-10-11 13:25:39

Nothing that you've described is normal! Some need prescription pain meds the first few days, most get by on otc or nothing.  A very few have lingering pain after the few weeks but nothing like you've described. Have you seen your primary? It sounds like something else is going on. 

When they say the pacer is working, they just mean that it's pacing. That doesn't take into account anything else that's going on. Sometimes the settings need adjusted but that doesnt seem like what's going on here. If the ep isn't listening, I'd try your primary next. 

This is the place to find reassurance!

by TLee - 2023-10-11 13:39:29

I searched for and found this forum just a few days post-implant. I had many of the concerns that you describe: I felt completely uninformed about my new device, I felt decieved by the professionals who payed down my confusion and pain, I felt like my body wasn't bouncing back the way it should (and wondered if it ever would). I was grateful to find out that the things that I was thinking and feeling were pretty normal and that once my body healed and adjusted I would most likely feel much better. This proved true in my case, and by probably a week out I was having much less pain and was able to do most of my normal activities. Everyone is different, but 4 weeks seems a long time to be dealing with pain and limited movement. Could you possibly start to increase movement in order to gain back strength and stamina? (I would only suggest this if you have your doctor's approval, and it sounds like there would not be a problem, but maybe double check). Also, I was amazed at the power that the mind has over our physical well being. You can find many discussions here about how anxiety can affect the healing process. Just a suggestion that it may be worth checking out. The main thing is knowing that you are not alone and that there is a lot of information here for you, and folks who have a lot of knowledge and experience. I don't include myself in that category, but I do wish you good luck and good health! 

Rough Time

by Penguin - 2023-10-11 15:19:32

I'm sorry that you're having such a rough time. I agree with Tracey-E's comments above. Pain affects everyone differently but 4 weeks post implant you should be feeling better - wound should have healed and pain decreasing.  However, everyone heals at their own rate. Presumably the doctor or nurse looked at your wound and checked it. Was it all OK? 

Re: Muscle pain. That sounds unusual if it began immediately after the implant operation. Which muscles hurt immediately after the implant and are you still having pain from the same muscles?   Moving as TLee suggests might help if you have stiffened up. 

'I should mention that heating pad gives temporary relief to neck pain and stiffness. Also my PM is monitored by a device called a Merlin and can also be adjusted remotely.' 

Ice can help with inflammation more than heat. Alternating ice and heat can help with stiff muscles according to my chiropractor. 

Re: Sleep - if you have been avoiding sleeping on the PM side or finding it uncomfortable I empathise. It's tough initially and it can take some time to get accustomed to your new phsyical geography.  Use the search icon on the tabs above and put 'sleep' into the search box. Lots of suggestions there! 

Re: Merlin device - this sits under your bed and monitors your pacemaker / heart.  It will send alterts to the clinic if anything untoward happens. The Merlin box transmits data at a programmed time of day / night and as frequently as it has been programmed to do so.  It is monitored remotely and programmed in the clinic. 

Re: Out of Breath - Sometimes the wrong settings may cause you to feel out of breath. This shouldn't happen with a pacemaker that is well programmed. Perhaps get a general check up first with your general doctor / GP and explain your symptoms as Tracey-E suggests.  If nothing is found I would ring the clinic and tell them. If this is settings related you may have to insist that you are seen. 

It helps to keep a note of when you get out of breath and whether there are any triggers e.g. when lying still for more than 20 mins, at night, when walking up stairs, when worried / anxious, all the time etc. The PM runs an EKG and it can be consulted if you keep a note of dates / times when you have symptoms. 

Anyway, that's a long enough essay for now! Let us know if you have further Qs.

I really hope you get some answers - and don't worry about the rant! It's normal to feel agitated and angry when things don't go right. I'm the same. 

You must use your arm normally

by atiras - 2023-10-11 16:25:56

If you don't use your arm normally (except not raising your elbow above your shoulder and not stretching it round behind your back) you may get a thing called frozen shoulder which is very painful and takes a long while to recover from. Might that be part of the problem?

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