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A pacemaker shouldn’t stop you from enjoying life by Tina Y. Gerber

Pacemakers aren’t just for older people! The pacemaker was invented over 50 years ago by Mr. Wilson Greatbatch.

Whether you have a pacemaker or not, keep as active as you can. Having a pacemaker shouldn’t stop you from living a full and happy life. Sitting and worrying achieves nothing other than backing yourself into a corner. You should treasure every moment God gives you.

You do have the choice to fight, push through and succeed, to enjoy the best life you can. I believe attitude and determination play an important role in a person’s life. I truly believe good things sometimes fall apart, so better things can come together. It’s a healthy perspective to embrace.

They say having a pacemaker will bring you peace of mind, so they can help you return to an active lifestyle. A cardiac pacemaker is a small device, placed under the skin in your chest, to help control your heartbeat. It is used to help your heart beat more regularly. Still, technology isn’t always perfect, and you may consider having a medical alert device in addition to your pacemaker.

If you have an irregular heartbeat, it is called arrhythmia, but a slow heartbeat is called bradycardia. Those suffering from arrhythmia or bradycardia who get a pacemaker have a better life expectancy and quality of life.

After you have your pacemaker implanted, your doctor will go over detailed restrictions and precautions. Just be sure to remember your doctor’s recommendations about daily activities. It’s important to ask lots of questions. It takes about six to eight weeks for your pacemaker to settle firmly into place. Yet, soon after surgery, you may go on about your day.

Starting slowly on your exercise routine after surgery is important. Be gently physically active, take a walk, or simply move your arms and legs to aid in circulation. The right amount of activity should make you feel better, not worse. Walking is an excellent way of burning calories and increasing your heart rate. Be sure to start with low to moderate intensity. In the first six weeks, avoid any lifting or weight bearing on the side where your pacemaker is located. It is suggested you avoid swimming, golfing and tennis right after surgery for this period.

The modern pacemakers are built to last. However, it should be checked periodically, to assess the battery and determine how the wires are working. Peacemakers can help keep your heart rhythm and heart rate at a safe level. The pacemaker battery lasts six to 15 years, and your provider will check the battery regularly and will replace it when necessary. Your doctor may recommend you take your pulse, to gauge your heart rate, to make sure it’s working properly. Just be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendation and take your suggested medications.

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