PM shield

I got PM 2 weeks ago. I am going to prepare a metallic shield which protcts the PM against pressure and hits in bjj. Has anybody used such before?


15 Comments

"Brazilian Jiu Jitsu...

by CatDad - 2019-07-15 21:02:35

..is a martial art and combat sport system that focuses on grappling with particular emphasis on ground fighting."  -Wikipedia

Well, that sounds gentle enough to engage in with a brand new pacemaker. Shouldn't need to cobble together any metal breastplate for it. /s

Your PM is probably tougher than you are

by crustyg - 2019-07-16 05:05:12


Modern PMs have a titanium clam-shell which is pretty strong.  Where the leads attach is more vulnerable, and where the leads are stitched into the tissue directly above where the leads go into the vein can get pulled around as you lift and stretch your left arm (assuming your PM is under your left collar-bone).

Your EP physician probably told you not to lift your left elbow above your shoulder for at least 3-4 weeks post implantation.  You will find that the sensation of tugging around the pocket continues for some weeks after that - I'm nearly eight weeks post and I still feel gentle tugging when doing some of the side stretches in yoga and Pilates.  Go easy on the vigorous upper body work - it takes time to heal and you really don't want to dislodge an atrial lead or disrupt the stitch that holds the PM to be base of the pocket.

Never underestimate the healing power of rest - but don't put your arm in a sling!

Martial Arts

by AgentX86 - 2019-07-16 09:08:17

Is your EP onboard with your plan? Sounds damned dangerous to me. Even with the best shield, a direct strike is going to be a mighty big hurt.

BTW, shields are available from advertisers on this site.

protective shirts

by Tracey_E - 2019-07-16 10:18:50

There are several companies that make shirts with protective inserts to shield the pacer. Martial arts are ok but sparring is not recommended. Pacers are tough so a direct hit isn't likely to hurt it, but we aren't quite so tough. A direct hard hit, HURTS. Been there, done that, don't recommend getting in a position where it is likely to happen. 

Bjj

by martti@aplcomp.fi - 2019-07-16 18:32:45

Thank you very much for your interesting views, i will keep them in mind. Yes my EP is aware of my bjj, he warned against stretching left arm. My regular doctor is bjj practitioner, i will consult him also.

Bought shield

by martti@aplcomp.fi - 2019-07-16 19:02:57

and I ordered vital sport shield. Easier than build it myself.

lead tugging

by martti@aplcomp.fi - 2019-07-18 15:19:21

Is it possible that the lead will become dislodged from the heart tissue, in a strenuous effort?
In first weeks after the implantation, for example.

Lead tugging

by AgentX86 - 2019-07-18 15:43:39

Certainly. That's why you're given instructions to not raise your hand above your shoulder or to extend it straight in front or reach behind, for the first few weeks.

A striking blow, anytime, can damage the leads, which is why the prohibition from full contact sports. 

pulling a lead

by Tracey_E - 2019-07-18 22:03:30

Once they heal, you are not going to pull out a lead. After the first year, they are in so tight it takes a special laser to get them out. They do not put them in tight, there is often enough slack that they coil the extra and tuck it behind the device. In theory it's possible to hit a lead and damage it but I've never heard of that happening. I've heard of a few who have damaged them from being pinched or excessive repetitive motion (think professional rower), but not a hit. They are thin and flexible, designed to move with us. My team has repeatedly told me to do what I want and don't worry about it. I lift weights, kayak, ride roller coasters, pull ups, push ups. I've been paced 25 years and still have one original working lead, the other was replaced 10 years ago, which is typical lead life. Be careful the first few months, after that. live your life. 

Pull upps

by martti@aplcomp.fi - 2019-07-19 09:21:26

Tracey, interesting to learn about your exercise experiences, indeed!
Can I start pull upps after 4 weeks? Are there any warning symptoms if I have problems with leads then? I am anxious to restart training for bjj, going to use protective shield.

 

training

by Tracey_E - 2019-07-21 09:09:41

Ask your doctor if 4 weeks is too early. Some say 4, some say 6-8 for more strenuous moves like pull ups and a full golf swing. Mine is under the pectoral and I was still too sore to try it at 4 weeks. You should definitely be able to train at 4 weeks, but you'll want to ease back into it and maybe hold off on some things for a few more weeks.

I do Crossfit. When I got my last replacement I was cleared to go back at 4 weeks but I was really cautious with things like kettlebell swings and holding the bar in front rack for a while. I wasn't worried about damaging anything but there was some residual soreness. It takes some time for the scar tissue to get numb. 

If you damage a lead, it will stop pacing so you'll feel like you did before you got it. I honestly don't give my leads a thought! I started off conservative but I've had a lot of years to get used to the idea and push a few limits. Nothing happened (and I had fun!) so I pushed a few more. If you read my other posts or look at the pictures I've put in the gallery, you'll see that I do what I want. I take my doctor at his word that the leads are safe. So far it hasn't come back to bite me in the butt lol.

Warning signs

by martti@aplcomp.fi - 2019-07-21 14:46:57

Can I summarize: lead straining does not happen without warning, i.e. pain / soreness / feel of lead tugging in chest? 

 

Maybe?

by Tracey_E - 2019-07-21 16:58:47

I don't think you'd ever feel a lead pulling in the chest. They are not put in tight. There is a short distance between where they come out of the vein and where they connect to the box and there is plenty of slack.  I have never felt anything resembling pulling of the leads, even when I was doing some more questionable things. Pulling of the scar tissue around the box, yes, but not the leads themselves.

When my lead went bad, the insulation had ruptured (from age) and it showed up in the pacing report several years before we did anything about it. They programmed around it and kept an eye on it, but I never felt anything or made any changes in my activities. 

If you are doing something strenuous and you can feel, say, a barbell pressing on the box, that's asking for trouble so back off. If you can feel the leads in the vein, don't do anything that will put pressure on it. Mine are low enough that's not a problem. If something is more than mildly uncomfortable, don't do it.  

Long way of saying, I really don't know the answer. I don't think anyone knows. Inactive, older patients far outnumber the younger, active ones and there are no long term studies, no guidelines, not even any standard instructions we are given. We are the first generation to be paced long term. I've had the same St Judes rep since my first surgery in 1996 so he's been doing this a long time and sees a lot of patients over a lot of years, he said I was not going to damage a lead, period. My ep specializes in adult congenital so has a lot of patients who have been paced for many years, and I'm one of his older patients. He doesn't see leads damaged from activity in his practice and he encourages me to stay fit, whatever that entails for me. They've never given me warning signs to look for. 

If your doctor clears you to do what you want, go do what you want.  The risks of not being fit far outweigh the risks of damaging a lead. Worst case we damage a lead, we get it fixed. An annoyance but not the end of the world.  Some may disagree but I'm far more afraid of being out of shape and risking a heart attack, risking needing bypass surgery, of the osteoporosis that runs in my family, than I am damaging a lead.

Once you've had more time to get back to exercising and see how it feels, once you've had more time to wrap your head around having hardware, I think the worry will fade. 

Warning

by martti@aplcomp.fi - 2019-07-23 16:36:33

Tracey, thank you very much for your wise words!

Chest twitching

by Jasmin - 2019-07-25 17:31:11

Im 21, i got my first pacemaker put on july 5th because i have tachy brady syndrome, im reading a lot of comments saying i shouldnt feel my pacemaker working, but i can, ive asked my cardiologist if its normal and he said it is? But hed tune it to where i dont feel it. I randomly feel my chest twitching, ive had an xray done and it was normal, anybody else experience this? 

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