Are these too extreme...

Hi all, just joined the club (though I have been eligible since 1981). I know both of these topics have come up before but was wondering if there were any updates ...

1) scuba diving - we are going on holiday next week and I would really like to do an introductory dive. Any advice? 

2) skydiving - have always wanted to do this;my only concern is impact on the site when the ripcord is pulled. Has anyone done it (and did they use padding)?

All and any feedback gratefully received 



Diving, scuba and sky

by Theknotguy - 2019-02-18 15:32:13

Scuba diving can cause problems with irregular heart beats.  So if you're prone to afib, I'd want to check with my EP before trying that.  In scuba diving you're either OK or you're drowning and I would hate to be 30 feet down and go into an afib session with RVR.  Not a fun day.  

Sky diving.  We used to have a member on the forum who would go sky diving.  They said they used extra padding over the pacemaker site and used a slow-open parachute to lessen the shock to the body.  Of course, why anyone would want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane is beyond me.  

Sea, sky and the thrill of doing something new

by Party hearty - 2019-02-18 16:09:06

Thanks @Theknotguy - good to know on both counts. Nothing irregular about the heartbeat - it was just reaaallly slow and I was passing out as a result..  Still, that was in 1981 and it hasn't slowed me down since! 


My doc said OK

by El Gordo - 2019-02-19 09:40:36

My cardiologist told me to go for it. I called the manufacturer of my pacemaker and spoke to the guy who tested my model, and was told that it's good to 4 atmospheres (~100 feet). Next Monday we go to Roatan for 2 weeks, and I intend to dive every day. The only problem is the waivers they're going to want you to sign. They are designed to limit the liability of the operator, and you essentially sign your rights away. 

If you are doing an intro to scuba and they take you out into open water, they're not going to take you to a difficult place, or too deep. If you tell them you have a pacemaker, they'll probably want you to see a doctor before they'll let you proceed (it happened to me when I indicated I had high blood pressure controlled with medication on their form). I'm certain this would happen again if I mentioned a pacemaker. 

I'm just going to wear a t-shirt and tick the boxes that make them happy.

As for skydiving, your pacemaker may speed up when the parachute opens. My pacemaker gets excited if I dive head first into the water, and it's disconcerting; I hit the water and my heart races for a few seconds, so no more diving head first unless I have to.


I'd just do it.

Have fun!


Doctor's Letter

by Jimmy Dinfla - 2019-02-19 22:26:54

I am a certified scuba diver with heart conditions.   My cardiologist provided me a letter that I presented to the dive instructors.  They reluctantly accepted it.  I believe they first had to get a medical clearance from their headquarters before accepting my doctor's letter.  Recommend contacting the dive service before your trip to obtain their procedures.  And as mentioned above, there are standard waivers to sign.


Thanks for your feedback

by Party hearty - 2019-02-27 17:14:50

Hi all. Just to say thanks to El Gordo and Jimmy for your comments (my email sent the comment notifications to spam). We fly out Friday morning and I will let you know how it goes... Looking forward to celebrating my 50th doing something new! Cheers 

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