new to this

I am getting a pacemaker on the 29th and I am very nervous. I have no idea what to expect. Any help here? I have a very slow heart rate and blood pressure so I hope this helps me.


8 Comments

Don't worry.

by bowlrbob - 2007-08-17 11:08:15

Yes you will feel better. Some better right away but even better a year or so down the road. You may need a couple of adjustments on the pacer till they get it set right for you. No matter what they tell you it also takes time for your body to get back where it was previous to the problems. You have been oxygen deprived for some time. It takes some months till you catch up. As for the surgery it is a piece of cake takes about an hour and they put you in a light sleep. Personally I felt great when i woke up. Not much pain and recovery was quick. Just remember no lifting and don't raise your arm on the side they put it on over your head for about 4 weeks. An inconvenience but worth it. I am going on 2 years with mine and the last year has been great. Hope you do as well. Bowlrbob PS let us know how your doing.

Thanks so much !!

by tweetybyrd2009 - 2007-08-18 01:08:09

I really appreciate the support and help. I had gastric bypass two years ago and found a wonderful site for support and help online so figured I could do the same now. I am a 47 year old female . I will remember the ice packs as I don't deal well with pain meds since the weight loss surgery. I have lost 182 pounds and thought my life was going to be all roses but guess not. I really do want to say thanks for helping me to know what to expect. Doctors don't seem to relay things about what to expect and such about things unless they have been there themselves.

Thank God for Pacemakers!

by ela-girl - 2007-08-18 01:08:58

Hi, tweetybyrd2009!

As everyone else has said, you have found a great site with great people. Don't be afraid to ask questions or keep us posted!

I had my pacer implanted via an emergency surgery for neurocardiogenic syncope and severe bradycardia. In a sense, it was nice not having a surgery date to think about! You say that you have a very slow heart rate and BP...and because of my history, I can relate. My pacer has helped me SOOOOOooooo much! As your recovery gets further along, I'm sure you'll feel like a new person!

For some reason, doctors tend to think that because pm surgery is considered minor surgery it's no big deal. Hence they tend to leave out any information about what to expect. And how many docs have a pacer themselves ( I would really like to know that!) ?? You have already received some good advice from the previous posts and I agree with Bambi...icing your incision site is great! I think most of us didn't really have a lot of pain or need much pain meds if at all. I would just say don't be surprised if a seatbelt bothers your site. And washing your hair is a pain (and doing your hair if you're a gal). Another girl thing is the bra...sometimes putting a folded hankie under the strap where it hits your site is very helpful. But PLEASE be careful with the arm--you do not want to pull the leads. You'll just have to have more surgery and a longer recovery time. Even if you start feeling great before the 6 weeks is up, take an easy. I will say that sleeping for the first 3-4 weeks was a nightmare. It's hard to get comfortable. And don't beat yourself up if it takes you longer to adjust then you thought!

Keep in touch and you'll be happily pacing before you know it!
ela-girl

Welcome PreciousDays

by hooimom - 2007-08-18 03:08:17

I didn't have the EP study so I can't help you there. You are right though, the stress before hand is not good for us. Try to relax. Many, many people on this site have been through the study and lived to tell....Try to relax. It is so important to be informed about what is going on. I am glad you found this site. Ask questions...any question you can think of. Someone will have an answer.

Same boat

by PreciousDays - 2007-08-18 10:08:38

I'm set to get a pacer/defib on Sept 4th. with an EP study the day before. I have heard the EP study is "worse" than the implant. Lovely. No one has told me exactly what that means. It seems all this pre-procedure stress can't be doing our hearts any good... so it helps to read stuff from others who have been, or are, there. Thanks.

Welcome

by hooimom - 2007-08-18 12:08:41

What to expect...that is alot to cover! Everyone's experience is a little different. My doctor put me out for my PM surgery. I was sore and very anxious for a about 10 days. I got lots of support from friends and family and this website. That is all very important. Find support where you can. It will help. After 10 days I started to feel better quickly. My attitude improved, my energy level increased and I just felt much better. It took several months to feel totally normal. I found that in the beginning I thought about my PM all the time. Gradually I thought about it less and less until one day I realized I had gone the entire day and not had a thought about it. It is just another part of my body now.

The only thing that is different about my life now is that my shoulder gets sore at times. You will also get your PM interrogated (checked) at regular times. Mine are scheduled for every three months. They check to make sure everything is working correctly and your battery life. I have felt better this year with my PM than I had in two or three years.

You are so smart to start getting informed. It really helps to know what you are going to face. I wish I had joined this site before my surgery. I needed some encouragement from people who had been there. Everyone on this site can empathize with you...we have all been there.

Keep a positive attitude. Get informed and ask questions. You have found a great site! I don't know if I have given you the information you were looking for. If you ask a specific question or voice a concern, someone will have an answer for you.

Michelle

Relax, breathe deep...

by bambi - 2007-08-18 12:08:53

Welcome to a great site. We will support you and hold your hand in cyberspace among other things! You know, I've had more surgeries than I care to think about, and getting my pacemaker[s] have been the easiest to handle. Many other members here will agree. Most of the time you're sedated, there is very little real pain, [soreness and tenderness around the incision, yes] an overnight stay in the hospital or you go home the same day, and a few restrictions, to protect the leads and you'll be feeling so much better! I'm not sure if you're a guy or gal, but if you're a girl, there are a few issues like wearing a strapless bra, and figuring out a low maintenance hair style because you won't be allowed to lift your arm above your shoulder for 3-6 weeks. Your Dr. should give you clear instructions when he/she discharges you. Also, my personal tidbit of advice is, use ice packs on your incision.They work better than pain meds! So welcome, and stay in touch!
Bambi

EP Study

by lucybell - 2007-08-19 06:08:24

Hi PreciousDays- I am 27 and the EP study is not fun but its not horrible. I would invest in ear plugs as the doctors will yell all sorts of things when they are doing it and it is a bit frightening. It will go through your neck- at least mine did and they used a temporary PM for a bit. Your neck will be incredibly sore for a few days. Get a massage:) But they will force your heart to palpatate, feels really bad but then they stop. The entire thing lasted about 2 hours for me- I think its usually shorter though. You are not out- they numb the area and besides a sore neck everything else will be back fine right then. I went back to the gym the next morning! They will do an echo before you leave to make sure that everything is ok with the heart muscle but honestly its not that bad. If you have had a tilt table test that is much worse than the EP study. No worries you will be fine!

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