Pacemaker Surgery

passport4vickiAugust 1, 2007


My mom will have a pacemaker put in next week. She lives in the Boston area, I live in the San Farancisco area. She just got scheduled two days ago, so not much notice. She told me she didn't need help; she told my sister she wished she had the surgery when she was visiting last month. My sister lives in LA Area.

I had plans to go down to be with my sister next week. Her son will come home on leave from Iraq. I was going to take my 11 yr old DD to Disneyland; and then to my sisters to help with a party and see my nephew. My 17 yr DD will be in Mexico on a missions trip. My married DD was to fly down for the party and drive back with me.

Now I am having second thoughts. Should I be with my mother instead? My DH said my mom is able to tell me if she needs help or not. My mom is not the kind of person to admit she wants help or someone to be there. I read online about the procedure. Does anyone know how bad the procedure is? How is the recovery? I know she will not work for a month. She is 70 and I wish she was not working at all. She has a live-in boyfriend. I do have one other sister that lives close by. But she is a single parent and is very busy.

Any thoughts? Another problem is that short notice tickets are expensive and there are no dates open to use our miles on United.


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DH has a pacemaker. He was back at work the next day. We had to keep him 'down' for several days until the wires were firmly attached inside the heart. Didn't want them pulling out of place which would have required another surgery. We had the store at the time so keeping him down meant NO lifting glass or anything else. We all told him he couldn't pick up a gallon of milk knowing darn well he wouldn't listen to us.

So the question I raise is how stubborn is your mother. Will she abide by the doctors orders on her own?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 2:03PM
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Thanks Glass,

She is a bit stubborn. I don't think she would do something to send her back to the hospital since she has put this off so long. But she wuld lift a gallon of milk before asking for a drink. I think she does not want to inconvenience anyone. I feel guilty putting a price on the visit. Truth is, if I could get a flight using miles I would be there. Spending $800-$900 plus expenses while there will add up quick.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 2:54PM
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Vicki, I can't help with the surgery advice, but I can sure sympathize with you! My mom is exactly the same way. My DH is always offering to fix things for her, but no...she doesn't want to bother us, she pays someone to do it. Years ago someone broke into her house and hit her in the face with a frying pan and robbed her, and she only told us about it because we happened to visit before the bruise was gone. When she had cataract surgery she said she'd take a cab so I didn't have to worry about it. It's just that generation, I think!

Does she have a close friend who lives near her that she would allow to help her out for a few days? It's a tough call, but I think if it was me & I could afford the trip I would go be with her just to make sure.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 4:32PM
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Hi Vicki, I can tell you first hand . I have an ICD( implanted cardioverter defibrillator_) which is very similar to a pacemaker.Except mine is able to give me a shock plus it keeps my heartbeat regular. The hardest thing is.. not to move the arm. I had to keep it in a sling for 6 wks. Whew that was hard. I am going in for a new one next week, My battery is low on juice. I've had it for 6yrs. It is a litle uncomfortable. But once she gets use to it she won't think about it. If you have any questions you can e-mail me or ask here. I grew up in Salem Ma. thats about 30 miles north of Boston. Does your Mom live near there ? Mary in Va.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 6:47PM
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Yes she is in Peabody. I grew up in Beverly & Peabody. I can see keeping her arm still will be hard. She will want to sew! She sells things at the "Pink House" up at Hampton Beach. I am trying to get in touch with my sister in Salem -she is on vacation this week and does not have a cell phone.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 7:28PM
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WoW That is so cool. My Mom still lives in Salem.I had friends that lived in Beverly and Peabody. I;m sure your Mom will go thru it fine.There is hardly any scar where they implanted it. Here is a good site for you to go to. The first site is like this forem .You will find lots of good info. also Both sites have lots of good information. Mary in va

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 1:00PM
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I am a nurse and work for a heart surgeon. I have assisted in placing hundreds of pacemakers over the years.

Where I work the surgery takes around 20-30 minutes and the patient goes home the next day. She can't lift her arm on the side of the pacemaker above her shoulder for about 2 weeks and should not lift anything greater than 10 pounds for about 1 month. The pain usually is minimal.

The incision is usually about 2-3 inches long.
If you have more questions you can email me at stashie @ hotmail dot com

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 5:18PM
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Thanks for all your support and thoughts. I got in touch with my sister in Salem; her daughter will be around to help and check in on her. I sent a pile of new magazines for her to look at and some old jeans that she can make into purses.
I decided to go to the LA area to help my sister get ready for her son to come home for a visit (she is not able to drive). His was the last plane to depart Iraq and it broke down. We hope it is fixed and he is on his way home now.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 12:10PM
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I hope things are well with your mom. Give that soldier a great big hug and thanks from me. I prayer for them all daily.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 9:06AM
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