Pacemaker Activity Guidelines

Before they discharged me last night the nurse read the guidelines, which I had to agree to or they would not let me leave with my pacemaker:

• You should limit use of your arm and shoulder where the pacemaker was placed for the first 1 to 3 months. You should NOT do any heavy pushing, (Read: Be more lenient with my clients) pulling, (no tearing out hair when being more lenient) or raising your arm above your shoulder (do not hit clients you are TRYING to be lenient with) until told otherwise by your cardiologist.

• Do not drive until advised by your cardiologist. This is usually 1 to 4 weeks. (Choice – Take the bus and buy new walking shoes to get to a bus-stop)

• You may do light housework such as (watching your husband . . .) wash dishes and cook. Avoid vacuuming, lifting laundry, overhead cleaning, and activities that require frequent reaching. (Good to know I can continue avoiding all of the above, as usual)

• Ask your cardiologist before doing any sport activities such as golf, bowling, wrestling, hunting, fishing (there goes all my passions) or weight lifting. (there goes my dream of the Ms. World title)

Pacemaker Precautions

• Avoid being near areas with high voltage, magnetic force fields, or radiation because these can cause pacemaker malfunction. (!!! Whaaaaaa?) These areas may include high tension wires, power plants, large industrial magnets and arc welding machines. (There goes my career) Symptoms of pacemaker malfunction are dizziness, lightheadedness or changes in heart rhythm. (Hey!  this is what I got a pacemaker for!) If symptoms occur, back up 10 feet (I thought I wasn’t allowed to drive?) and check your pulse. (Read:  If you have no pulse you don’t need to backup 10 feet)

• Pacemakers inserted today are not affected by microwave ovens. (Yes!  My cooking appliance of choice) Pacemakers have built-in safety mechanisms protecting them from this electrical interference. (Why don’t they have built-in safety mechanisms protecting me from power plants, large industrial magnets and arc welding machines?)

• When you go to an airport, always carry your pacemaker card with you. Because the pacemaker contains metal, it may trigger an airport metal detector. Explain to the airport attendant (Have YOU ever tried to “explain” to an airport attendant anything?) that you have a pacemaker so that special arrangements (read: strip search) can be made for a security check. The metal detector itself will NOT harm the pacemaker. (Read: But the attendant could . . )

• Do not have an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test because it can damage your pacemaker. (From now on all diagnostics will be done through exploratory surgery)

Call your cardiologist if you have:

• severe pain at your pacemaker site  (With Fibromyalgia I always have pain at the pacemaker site- long before I had a pacemaker)

• frequent or constant hiccups (Read:  Lay off the beer & peanuts)

• twitching of your abdominal muscles (No sex?)

• shortness of breath  (Yup, no sex)

• dizziness, light-headedness or blackouts (Positively no sex – oh well, what’s sex without beer & peanuts . . .)

2 comments on “Pacemaker Activity Guidelines

  1. Judy, you are hysterical!
    Can you hear me still howling over your pacemaker comments?
    you should forward it to your doctor and nurses!
    They need a good laugh too, especially Dr. Ehrlich…did you ever see a more serious doctor?
    Love, Nancy


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