Seatbelts

This coming Tuesday marks two weeks since I got my pacemaker. It also marks the day I have been told I can drive again, but I must stick to driving an automatic at first (normatively I drive a stick shift, but the doctor who put in my device said I should drive an automatic for the first week before returning to stick shift). My concern here is with wearing a seatbelt. Riding with my wife, the seatbelt comes over the right shoulder, but it is a bit close to where my device was placed. I realize that with me being the one driving, the seatbelt will come over the left shoulder and across where the device is. I have been looking into various seatbelt pads. Any suggestions, aside from the one recommended on this site? I just want to be safe.


6 Comments

Shoulder harness

by AgentX86 - 2020-07-04 20:50:48

That's an easy one.  Just get one (well, they come in twos) of those furry faux sheepskin shoulder harness covers.  Amazon has piles of them if you can't find them locally but I'm sure WallyWorld will have them, as will auto parts stores. Don't use the cover for padding, rather position it in the center of your chest.  This will lift the strap just enough to clear your pacemaker.

number one problem

by dwelch - 2020-07-05 01:36:09

Pacers are easy to live with, but the seatbelt has been my biggest problem.  I do also currently just use a big fuzzy fake sheepskin seat belt cover (sometimes on the device, sometimes under as described above).   But right after a new pacer you want to do the bridge thing as described by AgentX86, keeping the belt from touching you in the area of the device, easier to do from below than above.  Winter glove if you keep one in the car, facecloth folded up, sock folded up, etc.  I have tried the device sometimes advertised on this site, right idea, bad execution caused more pain than it solved, it is exactly the idea but needed to be bigger hitting higher and lower above and below the device.   Back in the day chevys (GM) and perhaps others had a seat belt stop slide on the belt and you could move it so that the belt was just slack and not putitng pressure, that was the optimal (other tahn of course cars that only had seat belts and not shoulder belts, something from the 1960s for example) I spent years in following cars trying to re-create that slide in various ways (binder clip on the belt near where it retracts, etc.  

Push comes to shove just use your left hand to hold the belt off the device and drive with the right. (rental cars, etc, or  just wad something up and put it between your chest and the belt).  If you travel, buy a spare whatever your solution is and keep it in your luggage for rental cars.

So padding for the long term, short term something below device that keeps the belt off the device.

Most of my devices I had at least one automatic, one though I didnt and at least for folks that drive on the correct side of the road, left hand is steering and right hand is shifting so through city turns, etc using that arm a lot and the shoulder is tender.  So automatic is easier to cope with initially, esp if this is your first device.

33 years with devices, I was spoiled for a long while by having GM's with the little slide thing, then had to cope. (actually I didnt have a shoulder belt for a good stretch there).  Winter is nice because you have jackets or coats on adding even more padding.

 

amazon

by dwelch - 2020-07-05 01:42:12

Nice, from a google search amazon has seatbelt pillows for post surgery, yes you may feel silly driving around with it but looks like these would work very well to keep the belt off the device.

Do you really need it?

by Protimenow - 2020-07-05 04:10:57

I had my PM put in on May 30.

A few days after I had it put in, my EP told me that I can drive. A day or two later, I did. 

When I started, I still had the pressure dressing over the incision - I didn't feel the belt on the incision. I actually thought that the belt didn't rub against the incision. 

Over the past month or so, I didn't even feel the belt across the PM. It certainly didn't cause any pain. Maybe I'm just lucky, or maybe I just tempted fate and will start hurting. 

You may just try without a cover and, if necessary, do what others have suggested here. 

Good luck finding what works best -- if you need it.

Had the same issue

by Josh - 2020-07-06 08:52:45

Honestly, I just either tucked the seat belt under my left arm or put it behind my back. Sure, in the event of an accident, it might have hurt more, but with airbags the shoulder restraint is somewhat redundant. 

Same issue - NOT recommended

by AgentX86 - 2020-07-06 16:43:30

Putting the shoulder harness behind your back is illegal and they will ticket you in most states. More importantly, the belt and air bag are not redundant. The air bag designers, vehicle designers, and DOT government dweeb, all assume that you're wearing your seat belt properly. The air bag explosion causes the bags to deploy very rapidly with a lot of energy assuming that the belts are keeping you in your seat. If you're moving forward the bags will badly injure you. It's the reason one turns off the airbag (in some vehicles) if a child is in the front seat.

 

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