My Pacemaker Road to Recovery thus Far
Currently I am post-op day 8 from my pacemaker insertion and I feel pretty good, although last week was pretty rough! I experienced more pain and limitations than expected. As previously mentioned in prior posts I had my pacemaker inserted under the muscle and I’m only 25 so I have more muscle mass than typical older patients, my EP doctor said he expected me to have pain for this reason. Post-op day 1 to post-op day 4 were rough for me, I experienced quite a bit of pain around the pacemaker site, particularly related to the muscle. I had swelling around the site, and was having some muscle spasms as well. The pain was pretty significant that it required Percocet and Flexeril as needed, it really helped me though. I didn’t realize the limitations I would have with not being able to lift the arm and from the pain. Simple tasks like trying to get dressed, take a shower, wash/do my hair were difficult. I found ways to adapt though! I was allowed to shower once discharged because my incision had stitches with dermabond. I have restrictions to not lift my left arm above my shoulder for 6 weeks. I’ve adopted to wash my hair with my right arm. For the first few days I wore zip-up or button up shirts, regular shirts were really difficult and painful to put on.
Come Sunday, post-op day 5, I started feeling much better. There still was pain but very mild, it could be controlled by Tylenol. This was the first time I felt well enough to go out, went food-shopping with my mom. I am unable to drive though until I have my first follow-up appointment with my EP doctor on February 14th. Post-op day 7 and 8 (today) is when I started really feeling good again. The swelling has gone down significantly, the site is sore with certain movement/touch but doesn’t even require Tylenol anymore. I am starting to feel so good that I have to be mindful to follow my restrictions. What’s bothering me the most is the dermabond is still on my incisions, it’s starting to get pretty itchy from healing and I think it just wants to air out! I’m excited for my follow-up appointment, to see how things are healing, and to be cleared to drive again!