Hi,  I am in my 60''s with a pacemaker placed 2 months ago for AV node block with bradycardia and arrhythmia.  My question is about clothing and pressure on the pacemaker.   My grandchildren like to put their head on my shoulder as I read to them, one on each shoulder.   Is the pressure from their heads cause for concern.   Also my bra straps seem to rub some.   I know the skin is still tender and not concerned about that just if this could cause a problem to the wires.   I appreciate your help in learning how to live with this.


Nope. No problem.

by AgentX86 - 2019-04-08 12:15:23

As long as you're comfortable nothing bad is going to happen. It may take a while to get there, however. Mine was quite sensitive to the touch for six or eight months (no bra straps to worry about either). I still use a shoulder harness pad when driving, but mostly because it's there.


by Cindy GA - 2019-04-08 12:17:54

Thank you AgentX86.   I appreciate the reassurance.

times heals

by Rookie - 2019-04-08 18:20:15

I felt the location of the pm for ages but all of a sudden it's like it 'settled in' and now it's not that noticable at all anymore. :)

Same situation

by marathonpaced - 2019-04-09 17:05:07

I'm 6.5 weeks out from receiving my first PM (implanted sub-pec) and am dealing with the same things!  I have two young kids who love to lay on each side of me while we read and I definitley have some tenderness.  They often ask "is this your computer heart side?" (what they call it) and then we'll adjust to not put too much pressure directly on it.  It's not causing issues with the actual PM, just uncomfortable.  I'm hoping with time, the tenderness goes away. 

As for the bra strap, I noticed mine rubbing too, especially a sports bra.  I started using silicone scar strip over mine in an attempt to minimize the appearance of the scar but also decrease the rubbing.  

Enjoy the snuggles with your grandkids and good luck learning how to navigate the new reality of having a PM.  I'm definitely still in adjustment mode but know that just like the physical healing, that will also take some time :)


Always sensitive

by dwelch - 2019-04-12 02:06:10

I have had pacers for 30 years, the current ones are wee bitty compared to my first, but the car seat belt has always been a problem.  My daughter and wife are both exact at pacer height so when I hug them sometimes its skull to pacer, and that can hurt.  I generally position myself so the hug is on the other side.   

When she was little and would read to her would position her on the other side.  But I understand your situation with one on each side.

They are not going to hurt the device, the device is not emitting something that is going to hurt them.   If it causes you pain with them pinching the skin between their head and the device, then just try a facecloth folded over or a hand towel, other than them banging their head on you that should be enough.  

I have taken a good, direct, hit on one of my devices, (equivalent of a padded baseball bat type hit) got a pretty good bruise, felt it was doctor worthy and I went in right away and they checked it and it was fine.  While someone might get super lucky with an elbow or a hammer, it should be pretty difficult to break a wire from the outside without puncturing the skin and going through, and basically thats an automatic need to rush to the ER kind of thing obvously.  No way to harm the device itself without breaking the skin.  

I did and would say use your hand to cover the area while they are wiggling into position, they WILL no matter how many times you or their parents warn them sometimes put a hand right on the device as they climb onto you.  Just put your hand over it, all the way to when they rest their head there (they never rest their head the always kinda bump it into position).  Maybe guide their head into position, and use some extra padding.  I had my device long before my daughter was born and of course device all through her childhood (she is in her first year of college now).   Im not by any stretch the only parent here, you can do this.

Just find some creative padding and enjoy those sitting in the lap reading or sleeping or whatever years they go by so fast, as you know if you are a grandparent.  Enjoy.  

You know you're wired when...

You have an excuse for being a couch potato.

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I had a pacemaker since 2002 and ever since then my life has been a total blessing.