pacemaker protection?

Hi my name is Lindsay and i just turned 18 and got my pacemaker in october 2007. I have always been involved in gymnastics and skiing but my parents are afraid that my pacemaker will get hit. What kind of protection should i wear and where can I buy it? Should I wear like a hard vest or something?


2 Comments

Check with your Dr.

by bambi - 2008-01-19 09:01:25

Hi Lindsay and welcome to pacemaker club. Did you mention your activities to your Dr.? He will tell you what you can and can not do. I think activities that involve the possibility of getting struck on the pacemaker site are to be avoided. Contact sports such as hockey, football, or any sport where flying balls or objects are involved, are probably not to be played at all without some protective gear. I know there are other young people on this site who have asked these same questions, and I would look under the " Exercise and Sports" postings under Forums. Good luck to you!
Bambi

good questions

by CathrynB - 2008-01-20 12:01:24

Hi Lindsay,
Welcome to PM Club, and I hope you're feeling well now with your PM. That's great that you have the interest and energy for resuming gymnastics and skiing! I'm lots older than you (51) but I have daughters who are 18 and 21 and both did gymnastics for many years and are skiers. They would be devastated if they were told to give them up, so I can understand how you feel. On the other hand, as a parent, I can understand your parents concern, and they're right that there is some risk to your PM if you do gymnastics or skiing. Is that snow skiing or water skiing? You do not want to take a direct hit on your PM, not as much because you might damage it (it's made out of mighty tough titanium), but because you could damage the electrical leads or the connection between them and the PM.
Having said that, I'm a snow skier and am skiing again this winter. I do ski more conservatively than I used to -- not so fast, very much in control, and try not to ever fall. I'd hate to catch the tip of my ski on an ice ball and pitch forward hitting my PM on the top of my ski pole. There are an awful lots of teens (OK, adults too!) who ski aggressively and "out of control" and if you're one of those people, you need to make a decision how important skiing is to you and whether you're willing to change your style. Finally, gymnastics involves an awful lot of maneuvers that are rough on your arms and shoulders (think of swinging from the high bar to the low bar, or multiple round-off-back-handsprings) and I'd worry a little bit about pulling a lead in those maneuvers.
So, as Bambi says, talk to your doctor about all of this before resuming skiing or gymnastics. And click on the "exercise and sports" section of this site under "Forums" on the left -- and do a serach for protective gear. I don't use protective gear, but I know there are people who have asked about this before and gotten advice on what to buy.
Take care and keep us posted on how things go,
CathrynB

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