I am sure that almost everyone here has had an experience similar to mine today--but it has caused me some slight concern that I know you can address.

At the grocery store, my favorite iced tea (12 pack of cans) was for some reason stocked only on the top shelf. I reached up--I'm 3 months post-implant, but I still reached mainly with my right arm, using my left to support the box on the way down. The box had gained some momentum & landed instead precisely on my pacemaker! It hurt quite a bit, and I am still feeling sore over the area were the device sits. I know it can't be that easy to damage either the pacemaker or my body...right? 



by AgentX86 - 2021-04-30 17:39:51

If you can hit something hard enough to damage your PM, you'll be liquified. If you hit your shoulder just right (wrong?) you may damage leads but it's highly unlikely.  Hurt yourself?  Well, yeah.  That's easy.  Your PM won't give much.

Curse yourself, laugh, then learn from the experience.


by ROBO Pop - 2021-04-30 19:05:00

You learned the hard way ... iced tea isn't good for you


by Persephone - 2021-04-30 20:36:48

I hope you enjoy the tea anyway!  No doubt all is well.


by Theknotguy - 2021-05-01 20:17:29

If you're old enough you might remember the Timex watch advertisements on TV.  

"Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'!"  That was the punch line.  

Pacemakers are a lot like that.  There has been documentation of a pacemaker being hit by a bullet and it still kept on working.  Ice tea shouldn't even bother it.  

it's tougher than we are

by Tracey_E - 2021-05-02 09:58:39

I've had purple bruises over mine, pacer was always fine. 

There used to be a video on Heartbeat International's website of a boy who was shot in the chest. The pacer stopped the bullet which saved his life, then kept on pacing. 

All is well

by TLee - 2021-05-04 14:40:12

Update: I can now add my reassurance to anyone dealing with similar fear. No lasting damage! It did hurt A LOT at first, but the area is still tender at the best of times (pacemaker was put in on Jan 27). There was some lasting soreness as well, all the way into my arm pit. My pm is nearly in the pit anyway, and I imagine it moved slightly when it was hit & bruised the area around it. I feel totally OK now, no more pain than the usual small amount of soreness & discomfort, which may go away in, oh, 4 or 5 years ;)  

Hopefully not that long! :-)

by Persephone - 2021-05-04 16:57:35

Hopefully soreness and discomfort will ease before that!  I'm glad to hear that all is well with you, TLee.  It was amazing to me how sensitive the area was for the first few months.  I had read comments on this site but didn't fully understand until I had a few impacts myself.  Fortunately the area becomes essentially numb over time and we can just go about our lives normally.

It happens

by dwelch - 2021-05-09 23:36:00

yep, it happens, I have had some hard hits.  My wife and daughters heads are exactly at pacer height so if they forget when I get a hug sometimes I get a bump on the pacer.

Depending on where yours is and how deep, mine is not that deep so think of the skin between your thumb and first finger, and put that flat on a hard surface and hit it with something, hurts pretty bad.  Hit it just right and it might tear.  But the hard surface is fine.

The skin is the primary week point here, I would have to assume that even to break a lead the skin would be damaged pretty bad too.  

If things feel weird then go in sooner if not immediately.  If you feel good other than pain and possibly embarassment depending on what happened, then call the doc and if you have one of the take home boxes you can use it, or go in and have an interrogation done they can see if the leads are working fine or have changed.  Odds are they are, but if it makes you feel more comfortable.  Just test them.



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I am 100% pacemaker dependant and have been all my life. I try not to think about how a little metal box keeps me alive - it would drive me crazy. So I lead a very active life.