Howdy--I got my pacemaker a week ago and so far so good.  It seems to pace as it should.  Does anyone have experience with machines like chain saws that shake and/or vibrate?  I have a sickle bar mower that shakes like hell and a couple of chain saws and I don't know if the leads would be adversely affected or broken once it's confirmed that everything's in place.  Thanks


Bad vibrations

by AgentX86 - 2021-07-08 19:23:28

Vibrations won't hurt your leads at all.  However, if rate response is turned on, vibrations can really screw with your heart rate.  The accelerometer that measures "activity" will think you're running and crank up the heart rate.

Turn on a chainsaw and your heart will go with it.  Not particularly dangerous but can really feel odd (sometimes the same as being set way too low).

Nine months out

by Theknotguy - 2021-07-08 20:58:47

I had to chuckle when I saw your question.  I have a Medtronic pacemaker.  One of the perks is a built in accelerometer.  If I start to move quickly it will bump up my heart rate.  It helps a lot.  However....

I volunteer at a wood shop.  Am able to work all the tools with no problems.  At nine months out after I got my  pacemaker I was finally able to work at the wood shop.  I'd be OK while I was there lifting and moving stuff but the next day it would feel like someone had wrapped my pacemaker in sandpaper and scrubbed it around in the pocket.  Hot packs, cold packs, and Tylenol were my friends.  Eventually everything healed and I can do all I want now.  

We were cutting the corner off boards to use as planks in our bedframes.  You'd lift the planks up onto the  chop saw, cut the corner off, then drop the planks back onto the pallet.  It would really hurt because as I'd swing the boards up onto the chop saw it would squeeze my pacemaker between my shoulder and the ribcage.  It would really start to hurt.  So I got tired of it quickly.

Got the idea to stack the planks vertically, use large clamps to hold them while I cut the corners off.  I grabbed a Sawsall saw (which has very bad vibration) and completely forgot about my pacemaker.  Started to cut the corners off the planks like you'd slice bread.  Bore down with the Sawsall and the vibration went up my arm and hit the accelerometer in my pacemaker.  Seeing the vibration it interpreted it as though I was running fast and kicked my heart rate way up.  I practically dropped the Sawsall.  One of the other guys in the shop came over and asked me if I was OK.  "You had the strangest look on your face!", he said.  

No damage to the pacemaker and no problems.  I can run all the tools in the shop and have reported several times on this forum that I drilled over a hundred holes with my pacemaker lying on top of a running 110 volt power drill - with no problems there.  Where I do have problems are with vibration.  So far I've had large trucks, buses, rough roads, and the Sawsall kick up my heart rate due to vibration.  It doesn't hurt anything, it just is annoying.  

You shouldn't have to worry about vibration breaking the leads.  I volunteered at a hospital and worked with a security guy who had a pacemaker too.  He was bench pressing 300 pounds and finally broke a lead.  He said he knew he was pushing the envelope and expected it to happen.  Doing bench presses less than 300 pounds were OK and he had been doing it for some time.  So unless there is a defect or the lead comes loose on its own you shouldn't have to worry about breaking the leads.  

When I do encounter vibration and it kicks up my heart rate I can reach up and just hold the pacemaker with my other hand.  It slows the vibration and stops the pacemaker from kicking up my heart rate.  Running joke with the truck drivers is that I usually give them a Roman salute as we're bouncing down the road.  I use my right arm now when running the Sawsall.  

There is some healing that goes on after the skin heals over the pacemaker pocket.  It was nine months before I could get back to working at the wood shop and even then I still had problems because underlying tissue hadn't healed.  I also had problems with scar tissue being pulled.  You'd get a sharp pain as it was pulled but as the scar tissue healed I could do more and more.  Now I can do anything I want and run any equipment I want.  

I hope your adjustment to your pacemaker goes well.  


by Julros - 2021-07-09 01:17:35

I found that jarring and riding in a car on a bumpy road extremely painful during the first few months of recovery. I too cupped my hand over the pacer to stop the jiggling and decrease the pain. This is when I realized that warm was more soothing than cold. 

chain saws

by Selwyn - 2021-07-09 07:47:09

I expect the sensitivity of movement for  pacemaker rate response is an individual thing. The sensitivity  can also be set by the techs. If you do experience a problem it is worth talking to your  pacemaker tech.

I have used a chainsaw for years without any problems. My advice is try to keep it a foot or two away from your pacemaker site like any big motor. 

There are no problems with the leads. 




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