Shooting pain

Posted this in coping but think it probably belongs here instead. I'll try and delete in other section.

Hoping someone someone can shed some light on what I might be experiencing. Looked around but haven't seen a similar issue.

Background: 45 year old male, consider my self quite healthy and very physically active. I got my pacemaker implanted on july 16. It went really smoothly with absolutely no pain around the incision or the left shoulder area.

Issues: The next day everything was still fine but when I took deep breaths, the breaths felt a bit 'heavy'. By thursday afternoon it was beginning to hurt to breathe. I decided to make my way to the emergency room to see what was up.

By the time I got there I was getting shooting pains in the center of my chest that then shot up to my throat and into my nose. All on the left side. They admitted me and started the testing: Blood test and xrays to start. The initial xrays showed that my pacemaker rotated about 60 degrees and may need to open me back up. They decided to keep me for observation. A few hours later, still in hospital, the shooting pains happened any time I would move and went all the way to the back of my head. Lying down was not a possibility since the pain would be unbearable. Gave me some light drugs. Tylenol.

So after dealing with a night of pain and no sleep, they took another xray - still 60 degree rotation. Interrogated the pacemaker - working great. Then did an echocardiogram which felt like I was crushing my heart when rolling onto my side. They provided me with some drugs to make the pain less. Echo showed nothing.

After tests they decided to send me home since they couldn't figure out what was wrong and everything else was fine. The rotation wasn't a concern since the pacemaker will shift around a bit normally before it lodges in permanently and leads were still solidly attached. They gave me some anti inflammatory pills and some high dose ibuprofen. Treated me like someone with Pericarditis.

Over the next few days it's been getting better. Less throbbing, can take fairly deep breaths without pain and can sleep but at an angle. Now pain only  happens if I bend over to pick something up or if I go up stairs too quick. 3 or 4 sharp pulses that coincide with my heartbeat and then fades.

Hopefully this issue fades away to nothing but I would really like to know what happened and why I haven't read about similar occurrences and pain with others. Personally I think the wires or pacemaker are rubbing against a bundle of nerves and hopefully the nerves will start ignoring the irritation.

Just my guess wondering what others think. Sorry for rambling


Punctured Lung

by alanr1303 - 2019-07-22 07:31:42

Has anyone checked for a punctured lung? It is a rare but recognised complication of pacemaker implanting. ( It happened to my mother, it was diagnosed just before her discharge after pacemaker op. She didn't realise there was a problem, not knowing what to expect )

One thought...

by Gotrhythm - 2019-07-22 16:44:35

Over the years I have learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know about muscle spasms--particularly back spasms. 

All that you described, including how it comes on and how it goes away, sounds like something I experience fairly frequently. 

The thing that can make a spasm hard to recognize is that you don't neccessarily feel pain at all at the site of the spasm. It's possible that you actually feel the pain some distance away. A spasm in the back can be felt as a pain in the front, and/or difficulty getting a deep breath.

You can self-diagnose the spasm by pressing or having someone press very firmly across your back and shoulders and on either side of your spine down to the top of your ribs. When they press on the area of spasm, you will know it. When they press in exactly the right spot, it might even perfectly reproduce the pain you have been experiencing.

When I have a pain like you describe, it's possible to find a spasm in my back a couple of inches below the shoulder blade and toward the spine.

In my experience, medical doctors are of little help, even in diagnosing the problem. There are many non-medical therapies.

One last thought, while getting a pacemaker could set up conditions for back spasms--sleeping in odd positions, favoring one side of the body, getting less exercise, less strecthing than you're used to--the pacemaker itself isn't the cause.


by quickstepper - 2019-07-22 23:54:46

Thanks alanr1303 and gotrhythm for the extra insights and possible causes.

I'm really hoping that the xrays they took would have noticed a punctured lung. I know they said my heart wasn't punctured but they didn't say anything about the lungs.

I think you might be onto something with the spasms. Although I didn't have the shooting pains up into my throat and head , I did have pain once before when I had done a heavy pushup and chest day and I woke up in the middle of the night with chest pains and sweating. Again nothing was found when I went to the hospital but it may have been spasms.

Like you said it's probably the new scenario for my body and it not used to new behaviors and favoring my body differently.

Thanks again for the feedback.


by quickstepper - 2019-07-26 17:38:45

Just a follow up

I did another echocardiogram and went to my doctor to review.

They are saying there is fluid on my heart and that this is most likely Pericarditis. 

The pain is diminishing day by day and I hope that continues. It's been almost 10 days since Implantation so I have tome on my side.

I just wish they would explain some of the after effects or possible side effects a bit more.

Good luck to everyone.

Take care


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