Help for after surgery

My mom (77) just had pacemaker surgery. She will be going home tomorrow or the next day. What are some "things" you wish you had right after your surgery?  Or things you did have that highly recommend?  How can I help make things easier and more comfortable for her?  
I did buy her some front closure bras and some button up shirts. Someone suggested a bidet- so I've got that ordered too. 
The cardio Dr makes it seem like it''s not going to be a big lifestyle change when she gets home ... help me help her :). 
Thank you!


I wish I had known to ask what you ask

by IrishToast - 2024-03-07 23:42:38

You are a wonderful daughter. Your mom is blessed to have you. I am 9 weeks out. The number one thing I should have had at home was fresh Tylenol. I assumed they would send me home with pain meds. They didn't, and all I had was expired. Yes to front close bras. I didn't have those and needed them. Squishy pillows help a lot. Check children's departments, even dollar discount stores for velvety squishy pillow things to hold at night. My grabbers came in handy, too, to minimize reaching

what to do or have

by new to pace.... - 2024-03-08 07:36:02

Your doctor was right it is not big deal.  I slept in a recliner until the stiches were removed.  She still can use both arms.  Just not raise her left arm above her shoulder for a couple of weeks. Or lift anything heavier than 5lbs with her left arm.  But she should keep moving her left arm otherwise she will get frozen shoulder which is not good.  The reason not to reach is to make sure the leads are firmly attached before the reach.  

She will be given instructions as to what she should do and not do.   

new to pace 

Not a big change

by Lavender - 2024-03-08 08:31:38

Like with any surgery, there's a period of recovery. I agree with having Tylenol and extra pillows to cushion her, especially a little one for her to place over the pacemaker and lean into when lying down. I slept in my own bed not a recliner. 

Please do not let her wear that arm sling for more than a day or two if she is given one. You want her to use the arm just keep the elbow below the shoulder.  She may want you to help with hair washing. 

She is blessed to have such a thoughtful caring daughter! She will be ok and doing everything she enjoys within six weeks. 


by Tracey_E - 2024-03-08 10:26:18

Most of us find the recovery pretty easy. Once we heal, it's life back to normal. There is nothing I want to do that I can't because of the pacer. 

Ice is her friend. I found ice helped with the pain more than the meds. 

I liked to sleep hugging a small pillow the first weeks. It kept me from rolling onto my sore side in my sleep. 


by Penguin - 2024-03-08 12:52:55

I would highly recommend help on hand from family initially so that she can feel cossetted and above all else - chocolate!  

...and all of the above already mentioned. 

Odd woman out....

by R2D2 - 2024-03-08 17:13:52

I'm not going to be as easy going as the others about this surgery. I had a CRT-D placed last July and it wasn't easy on ANY level. But I'm also a redhead and I hear that has something to do with how you respond to pain and pain medications. The experience for me was difficult, VERY painful, and I would recommend having something other than Tylenol for her pain. The first few days for literally like someone stabbed through my shoulder with a sword. Every move I made hurt at about a level 7-9. To be fair, I had two children with no pain killers whatsoever and I made it through that. But the older you get, I think things can be worse. 

The thing is... many people sail right through, no big issues. But there are those that don't and we shouldn't feel like we are big babies just because it hurts. No one is saying that... Gee... I just want you to get a fuller picture of the possibilities and if your Mom doesn't feel as good after her surgery than most, that's normal too. I took some hydrocodone for about 3-4 days and then no longer needed it. But I'm sure glad I had some left over from a wisdon tooth being pulled, or I would have been miserable. 

The other advice people gave is great, but don't be surprised if she isn't wanting to wear a normal bra for some time. I still don't like wearing one, the strap just touches my incision area and it bugs me. Again... my device is quite a bit larger, so a bigger pocket was made and my doctor says it's still normal for me to feel pain where the device is. Go figure... 

Whatever the case may be, your Mom will let you know what she needs, it all depends on the person. There are many new sensations she will experience, and you can get answers to all your questions here. Hug her carefully for awhile. 

Post implant

by GNU - 2024-03-08 19:01:49

Thanks for asking the questions. Three days ago, I had a pacemaker and I'm your mother's age. I have found all the answers to be helpful. In one day I went from my local hospital by ambulance to have the procedure. And returned the same day for a total of 10 hours in the ambulance. My pain was in my back and probably more related to the hard stretcher. I was given Tramadol and spent the night vomiting. If your mother has pain and is given a strong medication you might ask the doc to order gravol so she avoids nausea. Since being home, I've only used paracetamol and had no issues. Good luck!

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