Getting Ready For Life With A Pacemaker

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Yvonne Smith, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    I once worked with an engineer with a pacemaker. When it was really quiet, I could hear it ticking!

    I'm sure all will be AOK, Yvonne!
    Hal
     
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  2. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Veteran Member
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    In my thoughts and prayers for you . I know all will be good. My brother in law had to have one in his early 50's.... been doing well since:)
     
    #17
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    Today was the preliminary tests day, so we went to the Heart Center first thing in the morning and they gave me the PET stress test, and then the echocardiogram after that.
    I seriously HATE those chemical stress tests !
    This one might have been better than the other ones I have had in the past, and I think that it shows them a lot more about my heart; but I still felt like I was about to pass out, my hands and feet were both numb and tingly, I was gasping for air, my chest hurt, and my head was spinning.
    Afterwards, they had to help me sit up, stand, and then walk.

    Thankfully, I got to sit and rest for a while between tests, and the echo is not stressful at all, so I was better by the time we came back home.
    I was still more tired than I am after swimming for an hour, so I laid down and snoozed most of the day, just now getting back up, and starting to feel like a human again.
    Monday is the procedure, and my oldest son is flying out from Idaho this weekend to visit Robin, so he will be there for when I am in the hospital, too.
     
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  4. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    I'm glad the testing is over for you, Yvonne. People I know agree about how horrible the chemical stress test is. I'm sure the procedure will go smoothly on Monday, and how nice that your son will get to be with you, too.
     
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  5. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    @Yvonne Smith This is a really silly question. Decades ago when my grandmother had a pacemaker, she avoided any place with a microwave. Is this still true or have they updated them by now?
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    As far as I know, they no longer say that we have to avoid a microwave . I remember seeing those signs on the door of a restaurant, but I have not seen one in a long time.
    I am still in the process of learning what is and isn’t okay. One of the guys at the gym told Bobby that I can’t use an electric blanket even, and if that is so, then even the little hot pad that I use for my back when it hurts bad would not be safe to use. I need to ask some questions on that pacemaker forum that I joined.

    I discovered that I have round red burns all over my chest where they hooked up the electrodes yesterday. Some of the burns completely took my skin off, so I do not think that is a good thing. No one told me to expect anything like that, and it is definitely red burns and not just from pulling off the sticky things they use to attach the electrodes.
    I am thinking that might be why I felt so bad yesterday, and I messaged my doctor to ask about it.
     
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  7. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    I found this info, Yvonne...

    Once you have a pacemaker, you have to avoid close or prolonged contact with electrical devices or devices that have strong magnetic fields. Devices that can interfere with a pacemaker include:
    • Cell phones and MP3 players (for example, iPods)
    • Household appliances, such as microwave ovens
    • High-tension wires
    • Metal detectors
    • Industrial welders
    • Electrical generators
    These devices can disrupt the electrical signaling of your pacemaker and stop it from working properly. You may not be able to tell whether your pacemaker has been affected.

    How likely a device is to disrupt your pacemaker depends on how long you're exposed to it and how close it is to your pacemaker.

    To be safe, some experts recommend not putting your cell phone or MP3 player in a shirt pocket over your pacemaker (if the devices are turned on).

    You may want to hold your cell phone up to the ear that's opposite the site where your pacemaker is implanted. If you strap your MP3 player to your arm while listening to it, put it on the arm that's farther from your pacemaker.

    You can still use household appliances, but avoid close and prolonged exposure, as it may interfere with your pacemaker.

    You can walk through security system metal detectors at your normal pace. Security staff can check you with a metal detector wand as long as it isn't held for too long over your pacemaker site. You should avoid sitting or standing close to a security system metal detector. Notify security staff if you have a pacemaker.

    Also, stay at least 2 feet away from industrial welders and electrical generators.

    Some medical procedures can disrupt your pacemaker. These procedures include:

    • Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI
    • Shock-wave lithotripsy to get rid of kidney stones
    • Electrocauterization to stop bleeding during surgery
    Let all of your doctors, dentists, and medical technicians know that you have a pacemaker. Your doctor can give you a card that states what kind of pacemaker you have. Carry this card in your wallet. You may want to wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace that states that you have a pacemaker.
     
    #22
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  8. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Yvonne--I hope all goes smoothly for you tomorrow. Check in with us (or ask Bobby to) when you get home.
     
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  9. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    @Yvonne Smith Did you find out anything about the burn marks? How terrible.
    In addition, the list @Beth Gallagher posted indicates this could be a bit of a life re-arranger for you.
    As she requested, please do remind Bobby to let us know how you are doing.
     
    #24
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  10. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I third that motion.
     
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  11. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    #26
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Some people react badly to the gel that holds the electrodes in place, which leaves marks that look (and, I guess, feel) very much like burns.
     
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  13. Lois Winters

    Lois Winters Greeter
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    That doesn't sound right, Yvonne. Find out from your doctor why this is so. The gel should not do that at all.
     
    #28
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  14. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Has anyone heard from @Yvonne Smith ? I hope all went well for her.
     
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  15. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    I came on the thread to check. At least she knows we were all thinking about her.
     
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