is this usual?: I'm new here... 2 weeks... - British Heart Fou...

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is this usual?


I'm new here... 2 weeks ago today I had to have unexpected and sudden pacemaker surgery, after a loop recorder fitted in March revealed a problem with my heartbeat, which was slowing right down and then stopping for several seconds, before going way too fast and settling down again. I'd been blacking out since a virus 30 years ago and twice this happened going upstairs, causing Traumatic Brain Injury in 2002 and SubArachnoid Brain Haemorrhage in 2017. On Friday 29 June 2018 I was taken down to be operated on at 1pm & the night nurse insisted on sending me home the same evening - is this usual?? I'd not really got much rest as another patient was having a noisy 'event' & the ward went into curtained lock-down. Around 8.30 the nurse 'let' me try to sit my my chair for around a minute or two, said 'you're fine' and told me to get my clothes on! Bear in mind I was still very sore, bruised and sedated... I had to WALK back through the hospital, a long way, to a friend's car in the carpark across the road, no offer of transport at all. I was not given any aftercare instructions with me so I had no idea what to do or to expect... mum and I had to phone the ward several days later to enquire and my GP was helpful too. I feel I should have kept in at least overnight, as it was 9pm at the time of 'discharge' and it was done in a rather underhand way to say the least - I felt like I was a nuisance rather than a patient. Thankfully it is healing well and the wound is clean though sore. I will have it checked next week at the pacemaker clinic but as there will be no doctor present, and I am still recuperating from the SAH only a year following my last blackout but will not see the Neuro Rehab Unit till November, I feel a bit abandoned...

9 Replies

Sounds a bit rushed but when I had both mine fitted I stayed overnight but didnt see any doctor or have any help. They check its all working well in theatre. Better off at home. But is scary. My wound healed ok. Dont bend over too far or lay on it. Keep your arm mobile but not stretch too much. If a woman, you need to wear a bra all the time for a few days. Will be sore.

I'm sorry to hear you are feeling so abandoned, I also kept collapsing but luckily for me, I had a few seconds warning and I was never on the stairs when I collapsed. It sounds like you've had a terrible time, I was treated pretty shabbily too in the hospital and also had an emergency PM fitted after the loop recorders findings but it is normal to only be in the hospital for a few hours when getting a pacemaker, it's just a routine operation for the hospital even though it's quite traumatic for the patient. It doesn't sound like you were treated very nicely especially with your other problems too and if you were feeling sedated you probably shouldn't have been walking and you should have had some basic aftercare instructions when you left but it is normal to have to sort out your own transport home. Unfortunately, I can't say I was treated much better and also felt abandoned with no-one to contact for help. You are probably feeling better now 2 weeks on though the trauma of it all is probably still fresh! Hope you are feeling better? there's lots of info online about pacemakers and lots of people on here with them if you have any questions. Take care, Tracey...

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yes I do realise this but it was still a shock to the system as it all happened so quickly, within 2 days. It is working well and I guess I will just have to wait till the soreness wears off as I am left handed and currently somewhat restricted - just what do they call repetitive arm movements?? Cleaning my teeth could be classed as that! Alison

Hi, I had a pacemaker fitted as an emergency in September. I’m sorry you had a tough experience as well. I too felt traumatised and abandoned and knew I needed to talk it through with someone. I paid for some counselling, so I could see someone straight away, and it was really helpful. Medical staff never have time to let you talk as much as you need to, though obviously counsellors can’t answer medical questions, they can help you come to terms with it all. I feel abandoned this week too because my lovely gp leaves at the end of the month and I’ll have to start again with a new one who doesn’t know anything about me. I’m still having problems so continuity of care was important to me but cardiology discharged me after clear angiogram. Been referred to a different one now. Really hope you get some support with this and try the PALS dept at your hospital if you don’t because they help patients with problems like this. Good luck! Helen

thanks, hope your new GP is good and understanding

It was really only to know that there is support there, if and when I should need it - eg I don't feel like I will be seeing a doctor about it ever again, according to the leaflet it will always be a technician!! It does not fill me with confidence and I am left handed and finding it difficult to manage certain tasks - teeth cleaning is impossible using my other hand and writing is still painful: I have to fill in a humungous DWP form in in the next couple of weeks and this is not making it easy!

I had a pacemaker fitted 10/7/18, the whole team at Basingstoke Hospital were wonderful and helpful. I had a full briefing care and treatment for the future, how to use my arm for the next six weeks. The operation itself was OK. the surgeon and I were joking a lot of the time. I chose not to have sedation, I was calm enough after all the prayer I got from my church members. I went home the same day.

That sounds great for you, but my experience unfortunately was not so pleasant! It was very sudden and unexpected, so I really had no time to adjust.. I still don't really have any detailed aftercare instructions, only basic ones and certainly not what to do with my left arm for 6 weeks - & I'm left handed. I only know: don't lift anything heavy or stretch across, or make repetitive movements (ie cleaning my teeth is an issue, writing is painful etc). Other than that it's only about security machines and gadgets which could possibly affect it! I am going for my tech check-up on Wednesday this week but am unsure if I will ever see a doctor to discuss anything about it ever again

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