I got my pacemaker 6 months ago and have complete resolution of my cardiac problem. No more fainting or dizzy spells, warm hands and feet, etc. I'm thrilled about that!
Unfortunately, I've had continuing problems with the location of the pacemaker -- too close to my shoulder, and the skin over the pacemaker is so thin I never got past the point of pain on the surface. I couldn't wear a bra strap on the left side, seatbelt hurt, couldn't sleep on my left, and any activity involving my left arm (kayaking, backpack, bicycle riding, drying my hair) hurt when my shoulder bumped into my PM.
My EP was very sympathetic to my problem, and while he encouraged me to give it some time to completely heal initially, referred me to a General Surgeon to consult about having it moved to a better location. The surgeon discussed the pros and cons of relocating it under the muscle, versus on top of the muscle but lower down behind thicker breast tissue. We decided to keep it on top of the muscle, but more to the center to get it away from my shoulder, and several inches lower to get it better padded.
I had the surgery two days ago, and so far things are looking good. The electrical leads are long enough that she was able to move it about 2 inches toward the center of my chest (away from my shoulder) and almost 3 inches lower, which offers much more padding. Yesterday was pretty painful (vicodin helped a lot, though made me nauseous), but today I'm only taking Tylenol and feeling much better.
Already I can tell that my shoulder won't run into my PM in it's new location, and there's no visible "lump" due to thin skin. I never minded the lump cosmetically, but the pain was not okay with me. This shouldn't be a problem any longer. She went in through the same incision, so I'll only have one scar.
There is another person on this website who is having her bi-V PM relocated on August 12 due to the same problems I was having. I wonder how common this is?
Anyway, special thanks to Meerkats, AmyMarla and Ela-Girl for information, photographs and support to help me in making the decision to do this! Pacemaker Club is so great, and the people on it are the best! As always, thank you Blake for providing this forum. Take care all and happy pacing, Cathryn
You know you're wired when...
You participate in the Pacer Olympics.
I'm 35 and got my pacemaker a little over a year ago. It definitely is not a burden to me. In fact, I have more energy (which my husband enjoys), can do more things with my kids and have weight because of having the energy.