Pacemaker

Hi I'm due to have a pacemaker fitted soon,what I want to know how long does it take to fully recover and get back to duties such as making my bed changing sheets,reaching above my head with my left arm as that is the side the pacemaker will be fitted,cooking meals washing up doing the washing and hanging out.As you can see I live alone,I'm scared of the wires coming adrift which would mean a trip back to hospital.I've tried to get this info  but am being told the doctor will talk to you after surgery ,I want to know now so I can make plans to go into a nursing home to recover.


4 Comments

pacemaker

by Sam P. - 2019-01-02 22:47:26

No need for nursing home. I live alone also. Just take it easy the first few weeks to give the scar tissue to form. I did not raise my arm or lift more than five pounds for the first month but otherwise did my normal routine.

I live alone

by atiras - 2019-01-03 11:46:32

No need for a nursing home.  I live alone, and after 24 hours was totally on my own to handle everything.

As others have said it is inportant to keep using the left arm as much as possible to avoid frozen shoulder. Just remember -- don't stretch it above shoulder level or behing your back and don't push up on your right arm with a lot of force or carry anything heavy -- more than 5kg/11lb. (That's what I was told anyway -- it's probably being overcautious but I say better safe than sorry.)

Pain -- I needed paracetamol/tylenol for a couple days for mild pain but was fine after that -- everyone varies so if you do get pain, remember to ICE.

Clothes and personal hygiene -- baggy tops and stretchy bras (if relevant) that I could pull on without raising my left arm (do the bra up first, put the left arm in at shoulder level, jiggle everything around until comfortable and then put the right arm in -- which you can stretch). Same manouvre for t-shirts etc -- but button-through tops are easiest.  Bottom half was manageable just using my right arm to pull stuff up where needed.  If you do wear a bra, considering stuffing the bottom of it with soft fabric to minimise the pull on the scar.)

Sleeping -- consider keeping your left arm inside your nightclothes to stop you stretching while you're asleep -- or sleep with it draped over a pillow in front of you when you're on your right side (if you're comfortable sleeping like that).

Showering/hair washing -- wash your hair right-handed only or (if you can bend over without getting dizzy) bend to put your head below shoulder level and use both hands. Showering not a problem and probably better than a bath (so that you don't have to bear weight with the left arm).

Cooking, washing up etc. no problem -- but remember to get stuff out of the tops of cupboards that you're going to want to use while recovering -- perhaps even stuff you can get out single handed (because you'll forget and use the wrong hand -- not a disaster, but probably not a habit you want to get into either).

Changing the bed was probably the trickiest thing -- I use a duvet and it could be a bit awkward stuffing the duvet back in the duvet cover single handed, but stretching the left arm forward is OK as long as you don't overdo it.  Ditto putting the fitted sheet back on.  Change the bed just before you go for the procedure, and leave it as long as you can bear before changing it.

Shopping -- bag stuff up so that each bag isn't very heavy -- or get it delivered if that's a possibility.

Do you have pets? I had to be careful not to lift my cats but they're plenty capable of jumping on my lap without being lifted.

Pacemaker

by turney123 - 2019-01-03 18:19:26

Thanks eveyone for the replies,best to hear the ins and outs for those at the coalface not Doctors.

After op

by Lynne71 - 2019-01-04 16:59:55

My surgery went well came home the day after couldn't drive for two weeks and couldn't lift arm above head for six weeks so husband helped with dressing .and hanging out washing.watched my op on screen while it was being done.very interesting .

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