You are all a blessing to me!

Hello all,

I am SO glad I found this site! 

I received my first and my hope is, my last pacemaker implant on 1/19/2021 . Medtronic, Azure Xt two lead.

Diagnosis was Sick Sinus Syndrome.  I do have a history of ablated SVT of about 8 years ago.  I had a mild case of Covid 1/3/21 and it is 50/50 if it was the Covid or my history of ablation according to which doctor you speak to.

I am 58 ,was healthy and active, so It was a shock to me when they said "pacemaker" . I am still in denial that I actually need it or want it in my body right now. I only pace 00.1% of the time. I know its there if I need it, but dang ! it has to remind me everyday with the pain to my shoulder and underarm or the lovely swelling I am still experienceing eight weeks later.

However, finding this site was a blessing and has saved me many hours of stress wondering if something has gone wrong. I was discharged without a clue about pacemakers or what to expect with recovery and the little quirks that accompany a new pacemaker.

So thank you all for being here for me and all the other newbies to come, I will have lots of questions!!




Lotsa questions

by AgentX86 - 2021-03-17 23:21:33

Fire away, Loretta.  There are a lot of informed people here.  At least one ex-professional and a lot us geeks who like following albino rabbits to down to where they live.

Welcome to the club.  Sorry that you had to become a member.

Welcome Loretta

by Gemita - 2021-03-18 05:58:54

Thank you for your post.  We are all a blessing to each other on this site and we are all qualified to try to answer your questions because we have something that many of our doctors do not have:  personal experience living with a pacemaker.

We all bring our own brand of expertise and experience to the table with our own unique health conditions and reasons for our pacemaker.  Even so, we all share many of the same struggles as we journey with our heart devices .... trying to get them fine tuned to help with our heart condition, our lifestyle and our quality of life.  This will be a work in progress and cannot happen overnight Loretta.

I am assuming you mean you had a mild case of Covid in March 2020, not March 2021, as a potential cause for your electrical disturbances since I note your pacemaker was implanted in January 2021.  You also mention your doctors, depending on which one you speak to, say your SVT ablation may have triggered your SSS (Sick Sinus Syndrome).

Sometimes we will never know what caused our electrical disturbances like SSS (which I also have).  It can have so many causes, including ageing itself, which none of us can stop.  Sometimes acceptance of our condition and then moving on is the best way to overcome the doubt, the fear we may harbour.  The pacemaker when set up appropriately for us should provide support when we most need it.  

Although at 58, it is your first pacemaker, I trust it will not be your last as you hope since you are too young to leave us just yet!   I am sure you will have a few device changes (for battery replacement) ahead of you, although hopefully your leads will remain effective for many years to come.

Your present painful symptoms after eight weeks should be easing by now.  Some have found icing the area which is inflammed or swollen can help ease painful symptoms.  Have you spoken to your general doctor for advice?  Alternatively go back to your pacemaker clinic/hospital where you had the implant since they should have provided you with wound care instructions and a telephone number to ring in the event of any concern.  It may just be part of the normal healing process which can take longer for some but if you are ever uncertain or worried, don’t be afraid to call your medical team for advice.  If Covid is preventing you from physically seeing your doctors, get someone to take a picture of the swelling and send it to them for their opinion.

On the painful shoulder, yes this can take a considerable time to settle, particularly if we don’t try to mobilise our arm gently from the start.  We are all given instructions not to raise our pacemaker side arm above the shoulder or to carry certain weights but are often given no instructions of what we can do to keep the arm and shoulder mobile.  As a result we can quickly become stiff and may develop frozen shoulder which can take time to treat.  I can still get some discomfort in my left shoulder, upper and under left arm three years on but your acute symptoms should ease as each day passes.

I send my best wishes for a speedy resolve of your difficult symptoms


by Tracey_E - 2021-03-18 10:12:14

I'm 54 and plan to go through a few more pacers! Replacements are a piece of cake, I'm on my 5th.

If it's still swollen after 8 weeks, try a heating pad on low for 15 minutes. This helped when the same thing happened to me. Did it twice and the swelling was gone. Caveat, if this is NEW swelling, ask to be seen. 

Shoulder pain is generally from lack of use. You don't have any restrictions at this point, so try to use the arm normally. Sometimes PT helps get mobility back. 

Glad you found us! If you have questions, ask away. 


by Julros - 2021-03-18 22:53:16

I agree with the suggestion of gentle heat since your implantation was so long ago. I had prolonged pain, and kept using ice, and when I switched to warmth there was immediate improvement. That plus a knowlegable physical therapist made a world of difference. 

I agree, finding this community has helped immensely. I felt like I was some sort of odd ball for having so much pain so long, and now I know its not that uncommon. 


by Tulp - 2021-03-19 10:43:12

Hi Loretta

I had mine in only 3 weeks ago, and I m lucky to say I have no pain left at all.

I hope you found enough advice here to go on smoothly.

We are all in the same boat here,  sorry to know you are joining the club, but we all know its for the best.


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