Religion & Pacemaker

Hi all,

I have waited over a year to post this. I still have not gotten over the event and want some feedback just to ease my mind.

I met a neighbor at our pool last summer. We did not know each other except in that aspect. Our children are of different ages but got along well.

One day, she noticed my scar from my bathing suit and asked me what had happened. I said in a very casual manner I have a pacemaker implanted. She turned dreadfully pale and her face changed immediately. She asked me why I needed this. I said i have a very slow heartrate and this keeps me alive and healthy.
She said "so you would be dead without it" and I replied that was a good possiblilty. She then began praying and through this she told me I should already be dead because the PM was not God's will. I should be dead and my soul has already left my body what is left is a shell not of God.

I tried to reason with her. She then left and since then will not even look at me or any of my family. Apparently my daughter who was 10 at the time got wind of it and cried a lot. I explained to her that this was not true.

Have any of you had the experience? I don't know. To this day somehow I can't let it go.

Thank you,



by ela-girl - 2007-08-20 01:08:46

That's different. I can't say that I've had an encounter like that since receiving my pm, but I am a Christian woman and believe that God gave me my pacemaker in his perfect timing to save my life for a bigger purpose. It just wasn't my time to go. I really feel like Satan was trying to get me--he only comes to kill, steal, and destroy. And the closer you are to God, the more the devil tries to get you. I don't kow your life or if you are a Christian or what your neighbor believes, but I don't believe that you are just a shell 'not of God' and that your soul has already left your body. God is a God of Life. Why can't a pm be part of God's will for you and you life? God can do anything! Your life is no accident, pm or not.

I know there are people on this site who are religious and those who are not. And my comments are from my personal perspective. I'm not trying to push my beliefs on anyone or even say that I have all the answers. But we are a community and it is better to go through things together so this is why I post this message to you. You are not alone! And maybe this post makes sense and maybe it doesn't...I'm thinking so much right now.

I'll pray for you AND your neighbor!
Happy pacing with happier thoughts!

Tools of God

by piggie07 - 2007-08-20 04:08:22

No, God did not "make" the pacemaker, but he made humans. He put man here without cars, houses, grocery stores and without swimming pools! He did give to humankind the brain and he left it up to us to use it for the good of ourselves and our fellow man. We learned how to build houses, heat and cool them, and we have cars to take us to pools so we can enjoy life. More importantly, we progressed from primitive medicine to the incredible resources we have today in medical technology. He made us and He expects us to use everything He gave us, including our intelligence. Some Christian religions forbid mans intervention in medicine, and that is their right under freedom of religion. I personally believe God gave "someone" the knowledge and that a lot of "someones" who had that knowledge the night I got sick, saved my life. Don't let it get to you. God wants you here for a reason, and when He decides to call you home, He won't let anything or anyone stop Him! Not even a pacemaker!! Don't let it get to you. I am sure you can find something else to bug you!! Let God and His decisions be a Happy Spot in your life. Donna

I agree with ELA-girl

by auntiesamm - 2007-08-20 04:08:40

Hi Stillshocked - That would certainly be a disconcerting thing to experience, especially if you do not have any beliefs! WOW.......but, you never know where people are coming from and there are many, many sects & cults out there with very different beliefs. Like ELA-girl, I am a Christian and get my information from the Bible. And, like she said, neither as I trying to convince you or convert you to my beliefs.

There is no doubt in my mind that things happen in God's timing and I am so grateful. He gives medical science the knowledge and skills to develop and refine all the tools at the hands of the physicians. I believe He guides them in what they do. I've seen God's hand at work hundreds of times in my life. I've also got 2 total knee replacements and I thank Him every single day for these knees that feel no pain!

Do NOT be upset by what the neighbor said and please reassure your daughter. Try to find some resources for her and yourself to better understand these things. I also know, like ELA, that Satan is just waiting for us to fall so he can catch us. Do you know that God is the "great and glorious Physician", the ultimate healer? This does not mean He will heal everyone or answer all our prayers the way we want, but He has the power to do so. We saw a great miracle this past week in my husband's condition which I know was an answer to prayers being lifted up for Cliff by hundreds of people. If you have further questions there are so many in this pacemaker community who will answer you. As you have learned, these are some of the kindest, nurturing, sincere people you will Never meet. We all keep each other lifted up and out of the realms of self-pity! Good luck and I ask God to bless you and your family.

now I'm shocked!!!!

by CathrynB - 2007-08-20 04:08:45

I'm so glad you wrote about this awful experience and sad that you kept it to yourself to struggle with for so long. Reading your message, I felt an enormous sense of outrage growing in my mind that this woman could possibly think, much less say, such a thing. I think of myself as a very tolerant person of the beliefs of others, religious, political, social, cultural, whatever. But this woman is WAY OFF BASE and you should completely discount her absurd view. Does she put life vests on her children when they are in the pool? Does she wear a seatbelt when she is in a car? Does she go to any medical practitioner of any kind for any medical treatments? If she does any of these things, then she could be equally accused of "intervening" in God's will and perhaps she or her children would be dead if she had not interfered with God's will in those ways. What's the difference between taking advantage of an implanted medical device and any other life and safety treatment? And if her belief that God is all powerful and should have you dead or alive as He wishes is correct, then no intervention from a doctor and pacemaker can stand in the way of God's will; so if you're alive, it must be God's will. Please, you and anyone else who reads my message, I apologize if I'm saying anything that offends you, but this story so outraged me than I cannot help saying how I truly feel about it. This woman has the right to believe and think anything she wants, but she had no right to say what she did to you, and I'm almost too outraged for words (guess not, since I'm rambling on an on, yes?)
Stillshocked, I hope you are able to process this story, get it out of your emotions, and put it in it's proper place and perspective so you will not be troubled by it anymore. That event does not deserve any more of your emotional energy or thinking. I have not had anything like this happen to me, I hope no one else ever will, and I'm so sorry to hear it happened to you. Please take care and keep us posted on how you're feeling about this if you want to, Cathryn

PM & Religion

by SMITTY - 2007-08-20 05:08:26

Hello Stillshocked,

As I start to write this I see you already have fiive comments. I have not read nay of those yet as I do not want what I have to say about this person and her religion influenced by anyone. So to those of you that have already commented if I say something that you find offensive, it is because I am not aware of what you have said and not because I’m purposely trying to make a statement that disagrees with you.

The total ignorance some people have about religion in general and their religion in particular never ceases to amaze me. I wonder who she thinks has permitted the making of the millions of pacemakers that already been made, many of which are busily prolonging the life of people of every faith. If the pacemaker was not made with God’s help, it most certainly was made with his approval.

We all know that a pacemaker does not save a life, as with or without a pacemaker we are all going to die some day. However, pacemakers have certainly prolonged the life of many of us. When I hear of a person like this, the Devil in me surfaces, because I so wish that person could be given the choice of having their life prolonged by a pacemaker, or some other life extending device, or refusing that device and dying before what should be their time.

As for you Stillshocked, I say the best thing that has come out of this ordeal is this person’s refusal to even look at you. No one should ever be confronted by the same idiot more than once.

Best wishes,


Your Soul Has Not Left Your Body!

by hooimom - 2007-08-20 05:08:59

Wow! That is quite a neighbor you have....what in the world is she thinking to lay that on you. I am a Christian and have a few things that I truly believe with my PM. The first is that God has gifted scientists and doctors to place computer technology in our tiny little pacemakers that keep us alive.

God uses each and every experience that we go through in life for His purpose. We are sharing with people all the time on this site and in person about how God has taken care of us through our health crisis.

God's healing can happen with a mighty and miraculous healing or He can ask us to walk it out and trust in Him. I have grown so much in my faith and trust in God through my experience.

Please let this comment go. Some people have very different beliefs than we do but we don't have to listen and we certainly don't have to take them to heart. You are not dead and your soul is certainly still there!

As far as a similiar experience, I had one couple from my church who was disappointed that I was having the surgery and not waiting for God to heal me. I know they meant well, but it certainly didn't help me go through something I knew I was supposed to do.

God wants you healthy and living life with your family. You know you made the right choice and that is ALL that matters!


Smitty's last paragraph

by Suze - 2007-08-20 06:08:36

Dear Stillshocked,

I pretty much agree with everyone's comments, but that last paragraph from Smitty says it all !!!

I'm sorry you had to be confronted by such stupidity...even one time. Next time something bothers you, please don't wait so long to share with us. That's why we're here!

Stay strong,

ONe Comment

by gaby - 2007-08-20 06:08:52

I take offense to the comment " I'm sorry you had to be confronted by such stupidity" that womans beliefs and reactions are not stupid to her. Who knows they maybe Jehova's Witnesses (sp) so for her that is a very bad thing. Just because you don't agree with it means it is wrong.


haha load of/////

by dbmurf - 2007-08-20 07:08:36

get away from that person because she probaly messing up the water that person is full of it

Religion & Medicine

by SMITTY - 2007-08-21 01:08:46

Hello Kyle,

I think your assessment of that person being a whack-job is given her the benefit of the doubt.

In 1850 life expectancy in the USA was about 38 years. In 1900 that had risen to about 48 years and today it is about 78 years. Those increases in life expectancy did not happen because people simply started living cleaner lives. They happened because of the advances in medicine, better education of our doctors and the new devices available to improve our quality of life as well as keeping us alive longer.

I do no care what a person’s religion may be. One of the advantages of living in the US is that we may worship, or not worship, as we please. It is when ANYONE starts trying to preach to another person that something they have done, or are doing, is in conflict with some religion is when the problems start.

If you take a hard look at all the conflict tin the entire world today, the majority of it is because some group of people objects to another’s form of worship and set out to force a change. It has been that way since almost the beginning of time. It was more easily understood a couple of thousand years ago. The people of the world at that time (when compared to today) had poor means of communication, had little education and were in reality confined to having knowledge of a relatively small part of the entire world. Those people would be called ignorant today, but they really were not ignorant then.

Today, few people in the world have any excuse to be ignorant, unless they choose to be. So hiding behind religion and telling others you are going to hell because you availed yourself of the medical advances we have is the purest kind of ignorance.

OK, I apologize to all of you for my tirade and my soap box will be put back into the barn. But this is a subject that gets my attention, in case you can't tell.


Explaining my comment....

by Suze - 2007-08-21 03:08:24

When I said Stillshocked was confronted by stupidity, I meant it was stupid (and deliberately quite mean-spirited) to rant about the evils of pacemakers to someone who already was living with one...and she certainly knew that fact

I would never call someone stupid for their beliefs...even if I privately thought they were. BUT, I will call someone stupid for deliberately saying something so hurtful to someone who obviously has a serious medical condition.

I was raised a Christian Scientist (I no longer adhere to their teachings) and they didn't believe in medicine or doctor intervention. However, we were taught to NEVER make anyone else feel uncomfortable if they didn't agree with us and made a medical choice. There are ways to let people know their different beliefs without being so aggressively confrontational...and just downright hurtful.

Anyway, I just wanted to explain where I was coming from.

Everyone have a great day,


by kyle0816 - 2007-08-21 12:08:09

You should ask her if she ever took anti-biotics when she got sick. Or maybe you can ask her if she's ever had a cavity in her teeth filled. Without anti-biotics and all the new advances in medicine we'd all probably be dead before the age of 40. This woman is a whack job in my opinion.


by PreciousDays - 2007-08-21 12:08:11

Perhaps they don't have pacemakers on her planet? Her response to you was beyond unacceptable. - and I am surprised she was so brave - if she thinks you are powerful enough to defy God - how dare she offend you? Mostly though - I am just sorry she upset you so much.

Thanks Smitty!

by auntiesamm - 2007-08-22 02:08:01

Hello My Friend,

I am so very glad to see you posting again with some regularity. You are so very wise and when I read you everything seems right with the world. Thank you again.

The gift

by Sparky - 2007-08-22 05:08:58

I read your letter today online and could not let this one pass! On behalf of all Christians I apologise for your neighbor - alas what a sad statement for her to make Doesn't she remember that life is a gift from God - had He wanted you to die there would be no PM, no surgeon etc etc
So please consider yourself blessed I have had a PM ofor over a year and feel each day is a special gift so dont be angry with your small minded neighbor - rather pity her ignorance
YOU are the lucky one
Smile! God loves YOU!!!!!!!!!!


by dward - 2007-08-25 12:08:55

First, how great it is to see all of the responses to this neighbour. Makes me proud to be a part of this group.
Secondly, being a Christian with an extremely open mind (a.k.a. I'm very comfortable in my relationship with God) I always find it interesting how some people will take their religion so seriously that they feel they have to "make things right" or "say certain things" to the point where they don't see that they are doing one of the things that EVERY religion warns us about - It is not our place to judge others!!! To say you have no soul is not her call, period. She just doesn't "get it" ... yet.
Let me quickly share my little miracle story about my PM...
My dad passed away years ago when I was 9. I am now 47 and just got my PM in May. My mom was really worried because, well, she's my mom and she,my sister and I have always been close.
The morning of my operation, I called my mom and told her I loved her. As I was having my operation, she busied herself by organizing her apartment. Some how, she came across on old picture in a drawer... of my dad holding me as a baby! Pure coincidence? Maybe. God sending a message to her that I was going to be okay? Perhaps. But my mom (who is not super religious either) said she immediately felt better after coming across this picture. My soul (and pacemaker) are perfectly intact!


by Aztec - 2007-10-31 09:10:57

Hi there, wow thats funny sorry you got that treatment from that women . but shes sooooo wrong to be that way what if it were her ? iam a christian iam 46 yrs old i have a icd and the way i look at it is god gave the doctors a blessing to help us all my son is 16 and i plan on being here to grow old with my grand kids when he has some ,,, not too soon i bless you and the doctors and the makers of things that keep us all going...

take care

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