I don’t want my pacemaker anymore

I have now been given a chance from a division 2 Coach to play quarterback at the University, I love football so much and I have always loved it. I did have a problem with my Pacemaker not being paced high enough heart rate that my body needed it to, but every since I have felt much better, the doctors fixed that from 180 to 210. I can actually run again and do things I couldn't do when I first got the pacemaker, I feel much better. I occasionally get a skipped beat here and there but nothing serious, this can make my anxiety worse thought. I just have a problem with anxiety, we did power cleans this week which is explosive exercise and I kept thinking I was goin to hurt my pacemaker! I have always wanted to play college football and have always dreamed of playing and I still haven't given up to play professionally because I have the talent! I have just been in contact with a researcher in Emory and children's healthcare of Atlanta in Atlanta Georgia. I plan to meet with him because he asked if I would like to, he said we are getting closer and closer we should be in the first clinical studies in four years to regenerate the hearts conduction system. I am 20 years old and I can't keep putting Football off I have to play this year, how do you cope with your anxiety, I just want to forget that I have a pacemaker and just enjoy life. Has anyone known of people fixing their heart block? I acquired heart block due to previous doctor in and ablation for WPW.


Don't reject the pacemaker---reject the fear

by Gotrhythm - 2020-01-16 16:30:27

It sounds to me like your problem isn't a pacemaker.

Your problem is anxiety, specifically a totally unrealistic fear that you can damage your pacemaker.

Don't get rid of the pacemaker. Get rid of the fear!

There are a number of professionals, counselors, psychologists, psychaitrists and others who can help you get your fearful thoughts under control. Seek them out.

You are young and talented. Running away from fear never works. Turn and face it. Carpe diem, my friend. Sieze the day!


by Violet West - 2020-01-16 17:51:22

I agree with the sentiments of "reject the fear," and not to give up your dream, but . . . football?  I am doubtful that would be a wise decision based on the amount of contact involved (let alone the danger of CTE, which is a whole 'nother . . . ball game). What does your doctor say?


by RwB15 - 2020-01-16 19:04:05

I am 100% for everything, based on the fact my escape rhythm is high, it was in the high 40s which he said isn't common. He said if my pacemaker wires were to break that my escape rhythm would keep me goin I would just be tired and he said they would put in another wire. It's just scary to me honestly but my love for football is so big! I have skipped beats sometimes and it scares me, these are like one skipped beat every so often tho but they just scare me! I'm cleared due to my high escape rhythm and healthy heart structure, I have a EF of 74 too.

I get it

by Pacer2019 - 2020-01-17 01:02:16

I think the fear or anxiety part is real ...I have been there .  One day I had a doctor tell me " if you live in fear that something bad will happen you will be right " ...... his advice was to embrace life and I did.

i played sports and I understand the passion. I guess you just to weigh the potential consequences and your desire.  Certainly football .... PM or no PM comes with risk of injury.  Everyone out there risks say a spinal cord injury or a head injury that could be life alterating.  Every year seems like a kid dies from heat exhaustion.

so all of us that ever strapped it on assumed a certain amount of risk.

in your case there is certainly more .... I guess with your passion - when you say it's a life long dream that's a pretty big deal..... I would ask medical experts to be straight up concerning any risk - if they clear me (I think a school would probabky require some type of clearance any way ) then I would look at it just like the risk of a spinal cord or head trauma Injury.

whats worse ? Playing and getting hurt or living a lifetime of regret wondering "what if?"

I think you know that answer ....I say if medically clear strap it on and get after your dream ! You can't change your mind when you are 40.

I agree!

by RwB15 - 2020-01-17 07:33:35

I agree! I am off and on, I believe I will eventually accept what my situation is and play ball, I hope for a miracle that one day soon I want need the pacemaker anymore, but football is my love and I'll be getting m education while playing! Thanks for the comments everyone!

Your Decision

by nhorner10 - 2020-01-17 15:46:03

As a fellow young PM recipient (I'm 24, got mine about 6 months ago so I know everything there is to know now haha), I totally get the anxiety - it's a lot to process. For me, I've still been very active with my PM (hiking, backpacking, skiing, fishing, etc) and I rarely even notice it's there anymore. I do draw the line at anything with serious contact though, for me it's just not worth it - I've got a lot of stuff left to do in this life. 

I'm by no means a doctor so I won't pretend to have much medical knowledge, but I do find it surprising that a doctor would recommend that anyone with a PM play football. That being said though, at the end of a day I think it's a decision you have to make for yourself. You might find that for you, the risk is absolutely worth the opportunity to play college football, or you might not. No one can tell you but YOU, so do a little soul searching and figure out what's really important to you - there's no wrong answer!

As far as reversing heart block, I have heard nothing about that. Doesn't mean it can't happen but I don't know if I'd put all my eggs in that basket.

Don't know how much this helps but I wish you the best! 

One more thought

by Pacer2019 - 2020-01-17 19:29:47

As a former play and coach remember ..... many times in football if you play timid it's when you get hurt ... if you do play (I think you will) have to be at a mental place to play without thoughts of getting injured . No tiptoeing out there ! 


by RwB15 - 2020-01-17 20:19:49

I agree with the both of you! Thanks for the comments, its breaking my heart cause in the first week i am already in talks of being the starting quarterback which is crazy to think of. I dont know if i can do it honestly, i also play baseball and i am on the fence about it but i may have to tell the coach i cant play football, i am going to play till the spring game and see how it all goes, thank you all so much for the comments!


by Pacer2019 - 2020-01-17 20:51:34

Coach baseball...I was implanted on the left side October 22.  Practice starts Feb 24 .

what has been your experience swinging a bat ! Seems like a lot of torque and rotation ..... as a coach I hit lots of fungos and throw BP.

whats been your experience with baseball? 

I’ve hit plenty of times

by RwB15 - 2020-01-17 21:38:59

I can swing a bat! I've received 3 scholarships with my pacemaker at tryouts! I like baseball but it's nothing like football to me. I'm left handed and my pacemaker is on the right side, when I swing I have a long one handed finish and involves a lot of power, it worried me at first when hitting but I've done it so much that I'm fine with it! 


by Pacer2019 - 2020-01-18 18:06:31

I appreciate the info .... of course ...you're 20 I'm 57 ! You probably generate more torque than I do on a swing BUT also probably have the advantage of 20 year old body.

the good news about having medical,procedures when you are young is a quick recovery ! I had heart bypass at a young age and did really well physically recovering .... mentally is a whole other story ! 

You know you're wired when...

Your signature looks like an EKG.

Member Quotes

I am 100% pacemaker dependant and have been all my life. I try not to think about how a little metal box keeps me alive - it would drive me crazy. So I lead a very active life.