Greetings - new to the 'club'....

I am actually just jumping around and reading different subjects and your input on things.  I am a newbie, just 5 days post op since my device was implanted for afib.   The more I learn the more I realize I don't know anything about this heart of mine.....

I am curious though, I read someone advise against wearing the sling longer than a couple days?   I was going to wear it to remind myself NOT to use the arm.   Oh I am most likely the middle of the road kinda gal, using the left arm while washing dishes, folding clothes, but really trying not to push, pull or reach up.   I may not say much, but you can rest assured I will be reading and learning from your all's experiences. 

I am a pretty healthy person, so this is all new to me.   Bugged with afib since 2021.  

Gotta run, thanks in advance for any comments about the sling wearing....


8 Comments

Also a newbie

by Kimmieb - 2023-08-02 14:10:49

Hi!  I'm right there with you, I'm just one week out from getting my PM.  I also feel there is so much to learn.  I had the same thoughts about the sling, it's more of a reminder not to raise my arm.  I'm trying to use my left arm in very gentle movements so I don't get the dreaded frozen shoulder.  So much to learn early on....we're part of the same club now.

Important to keep the arm mobile

by atiras - 2023-08-02 15:45:33

If you don't use the arm at all, you risk fr.ozen shoulder which can be painful and take a while to sort out, hence the advice not to use the sling.

I had a new pacemaker and leads implanted 9 days ago. I've not worn s sling at all. Although as I've had 3 permanent devices (all with new leads) and 2 temporary devices in 5 years I've had plenty of practice in being careful.  I sleep with a cushion alongside me on the pacemaker side to inhibit me stretching my arm out in my sleep, and am just careful the rest of the time. As I understand it the odd lapse in avoiding stretching isnt the end of the world, but I'm much more careful about lifting.

Ouch

by Daedalus - 2023-08-02 15:56:38


I kept my sling on too long and here I am 18 months post implant and still have aches.  Sometimes just discomfort in deltoid and bicep, sometimes a decent sized "owww."  Overall, seems less, though, and hopefully getting better. 

Hi there!

by Lavender - 2023-08-02 16:29:58

I hear your southern accent. Lol We tell folks to ditch the sling within a couple days. Move the arm just keep it elbow below shoulder. When sleeping just block the arm with a pillow. I pinned my wrist sleeve to my pajama waist for a day or two only. Don't baby it!

Sling

by AgentX86 - 2023-08-02 23:16:24

Do not use the sling. As mentioned, a frozen shoulder is nothing you want to go anywhere near.  It will take serious, and very painful, physical therapy over many months to get straightened out.  Far longer than it takes to get it. 

Some will use the sling overnight to keep their arm down, which is fine.  You're not moving your arm then anyway.  Otherwise, use your arm as normally as possible, without reaching or lifting more weight than proscribed.

If you do raise your arm accidentally, and we all did, don't sweat it.  Just kick yourself and move on.

The proscriptions about arm movement are more to make sure the incision is fully healed than to prevent the leads being pulled out. 

There is a lot of slack in the leads needed for any movement. While the leads will embed in the veins over time, there shouldn't be any problem at all.  Sometimes the tip isn't screwed into the heart wall well, or that place isn't strong enough, and a lead will pull out but it has little to do with arm movement.  It was going to pull out at some point anyway.

The incision reopening is a far more serious problem.  Any infection is deadly serious.  Pulling open in a dirty environment (outside the cath lab) can be quite dangerous. 

Even after the skin has healed over, there is a fair amount of damage under the skin that needs to heal properly too.  It's not all that serious if it pulls but it's going to make things more difficult and drawn out.

There is no need to be too worried about all this.  Listen to your doctor.  He's been through this with his patients once or twice and knows what he's talking about. We're here to help with our experience but listen to your doctor(s).

I do find it odd that your pacemaker is intended to help with Afib.  That's not what they do.  He may be intending to increase your drugs, which may drive your heart rate down.  The pacemaker will take care of this problem but it won't affect Afib directly.  As we say, pacemakers are accelerators, not brakes.  They can only make the heart go faster.

sling

by Tracey_E - 2023-08-03 08:52:22

The sling is for 24-48 hours only. Don't lift anything heavy, don't raise your arm overhead. Other than that, use the arm normally. You do not want frozen shoulder. 

Glad I am getting exercise after implant...

by Springtongirl - 2023-08-06 09:35:10

I have read and reread your comments and I am very thankful, believe me.   I often wonder if what I am doing is hurting myself, but stacking firewood yesterday I would only do it for short amount of times, take long breaks, did not lift heavy wood with the left arm.   I am sleeping on my back or right side (implanted on left), I am only post 8 days so I am believing in God that I will be good going forward.  Big smile here !!  I too, am taking naps, or down times during the day which surprised me, but am doing it anyway.  I have farmed my yard work out for the month of August and I find myself tempted to drag out my self-propelled mower...haha, I won't, well unless I do a small section with no real pushing or tugging of the mower...  So all in all, I would say I AM BLESSED in my recovery !!    

You know, saying I got the pacemaker for Afib was probably incorrect, as it is to stop my heart beats from dropping down to the 40's, instead 70 is now my lowest, the ole heart can still beat high though, tachycardia, I believe.   I am still having afib which we are still trying to correct with meds.

OK I need to scoot out to church !!   Have a great Sunday.

PM moving

by Pacesister - 2023-08-30 07:39:23

I had PM installed 18th May healed well  quite q7 but I have a problem  with  it moving, flips up and  sticks out. It weakens me up and  I need  to smooth  it back into place. The only solution I have found is to stick a square silicone patch over it and keep  that  in place with a sleeping bra. Does anyone else have this and does it ever go away?

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Your electric tooth brush interferes with your device.

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I, too, am feeling tons better since my implant.