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Children with Pacemakers How to Help Them Be Normal.

Updated on February 4, 2013
Look at this handsome young man who lives a pretty normal life. He is 14 years old with Daphne our little dog who has since on Dec 25, 2012 past away.
Look at this handsome young man who lives a pretty normal life. He is 14 years old with Daphne our little dog who has since on Dec 25, 2012 past away. | Source

WHY CAN'T I PLAY ON THAT?

"No, honey you can't jump on a trampoline. The doctor has told you that it will jar the wires of your pacemaker for you to jump repeatedly, or to jump down hard on the ground or floor." Have you seen the look on a child's face when he or she has been told that they can't play on something other children are having such fun on? It is not a look that I like to see. Disappointed is not enough to describe the look because the child knows that it is not a temporary situation it is a permanent condition. Children are resilient though, and helping them to understand their condition is the best way to help them.

My grandson has two (2) pacemakers only because the baby pacer could not be removed when they implanted the adult pacer. It would have been too stressful and painful on him to remove the first pacer, so they left it for a back up. Good thing the doctors did because the wires to the adult pacer broke and we would have lost him if the baby pacer had not kicked in to keep his heart beating. We thank God for insight for him.

He is the only child I know personally that has a pacemaker, so my experience will be from what I have helped him go through. It has been very hard for him at times to not be able to do things other children can do. When he started at a new school where they had never had a child with a pacemaker they had someone follow him every where he went. He was so upset he said that they won't leave him alone. They were so afraid he would get hurt. They finally got used to the idea that he is not that fragile. He can't play contact sports like football, soccer, and even basketball which is something that boys really like to play. Because he could be hit on his pacemaker. Jumping on a trampoline was his favorite, but when he jumped down like his brothers were doing it jarred and broke the wires. He had to be rushed to the hospital to have the pacemaker replaced. No fun there. We have had to worry about wires breaking from the start almost. He was almost 2 years old when he had his first open heart surgery, and 2 years later in testing his pacer from the phone the cardiologist called and said we had to get him to the hospital right away. When we got there we were told his heart rate was way too low, and that one of the wires was probably broken. There are so many children with broken hearts that he had to stay in ICU for 3 days before they could even schedule an appointment for his pacer replacement surgery. It is so sad to see all those children, and a lot of them even worse than my grandson.

ADAPTING TO LIFE WITH A PACEMAKER

My grandson is now 14 years old, and has pretty much adapted to life with his pacemakers. It used to be hard on him, and he would have night mares especially of having to be rushed to the hospital. He had passed out and had convulsions, and he does remember that time. Someone had to sleep in his room for about a year for him to adjust again. He does know that he could go to sleep in death, but we have addressed this. He is confident of the resurrection hope, and of the good news of a new cleansed earth where we can all live forever only through our Christ Jesus mighty name. There are a lot of issues with children who have heart conditions and pacemakers, but with talking to the child and being honest and helping them to come to grips with what is wrong with them they will understand. Helping them to get through the times when they get afraid is really important that you remain calm with them.

Helping someone who has a child with heart problems is so important too. Treating them normal is the most important thing anyone can do for these children, and helping them to know how precious they are. Letting them know we need them is so important also, and they can live as normal as any other child they just have to adjust to their situation.

PRECAUTIONS THAT SHOULD BE NOTED

There are not a lot of precautions with the pacemaker just make sure that testing is done on time, and when you have an appointment. Like with my grandson we had no idea his heart rate was low other than he wasn't active like a 4 year old would be. The testing will let you know what is going on with your child's pacemaker and heart.

Make sure your child wears a medical identification bracelet or necklace to let others know about the device in case of emergency. When he or she is old enough to have a wallet, it is a good idea to also carry an ID card.

We were never told that my Grandson should wear an ID, so make sure if you know a child with a pacer they have their ID.

These days we don't have to worry about a microwave or normal things of that sort. The things that we need to be aware of are an MRI, airport check points, and things of that nature.

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      Julia Bargeron 4 years ago

      Nancy, I truly appreciate this article. It is so informative and I could tell it was written by someone who had experienced first hand what having a child who has serious heart conditions can be like. This article will benefit many who have been searching for answers you have already found. Excellent writing!

    • Nancy C Moores profile image
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      Nancy C Moores 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Julia, I appreciate what you said. It has been a tough road sometimes, but Zech makes my life enjoyable. I hope others can gain some help from this article.

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      Jody 4 years ago

      Nancy,

      It was a pleasure to see you and Zech today for his pacemaker interrogation. ( check). I really enjoyed your article ! I would encourage y'all to find activities that he can do that are non contact- but would keep him excercising such as tennis , swimming or biking. Feel free to go to and / or to refer people to www.medtronic.com for patients section for free educational information. I look forward to seeing y'all again.

    • Nancy C Moores profile image
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      Nancy C Moores 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Jody for this information. I appreciate you so much you do such a great job with Zech. Thanks for the site people can check on. Take care and look forward to our next appointment too.

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      Zechariah T Moore 4 years ago

      ☺☻♥ Hay grandmother how are you doing i just heard about this site and it is great for you to talk about (me) I Love You grandmother.☺☻♥

    • Nancy C Moores profile image
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      Nancy C Moores 4 years ago

      Hey, my baby boy, I love you so much. Thanks for commenting on this article. Didn't know that you were going to. Thank you for letting me talk about you here, and maybe this will help others who are going through this too. I love you grandson, too

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      Mary Moonwalker 4 years ago

      Hey Nancy i really enjoyed the article..it will help other children a lot. Zech i admire your strengh and ambition. Just always go for your dreams. There are no boundaries My uncle also had a pacemaker when he was young and he has 3 doctor titles today.

    • Nancy C Moores profile image
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      Nancy C Moores 4 years ago

      Thank you Mary and for also the encouragement for Zech.

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      hotkevin 4 years ago

      more grace to you

    • Nancy C Moores profile image
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      Nancy C Moores 4 years ago

      thx hotkevin

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      wood 4 years ago

      hi nancy i really like the article,,,very nice ,, this will help a lot of the kids

    • Nancy C Moores profile image
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      Nancy C Moores 4 years ago

      wood,

      thank you so much for commenting. I really appreciate what you said I hope that this information will help someone.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Wow. Don't know any kids with pacemakers, but do know a teen with a defibrillator. His brother woke up in the middle of the night to the dog howling and pawing at him. Brother was trained in CPR and started it immediately all the while yelling for help. Turns out there is syndrome where the heart just stops. The defibrillator starts it again. Now when his heart stops the hospital calls him to alert him to an episode. There haven't been any calls for nearly a year.

    • Nancy C Moores profile image
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      Nancy C Moores 4 years ago

      Wow, thanks for sharing this with us Tirelesstraveler. I know I was really very dismayed at the amount of children with and born with heart problems. It was/is heart breaking every time we have to take my grandson for his check ups. We have to check his pacemaker every month to make sure everything is running smoothly. It can get tiring. Well, thanks again for sharing. Take care.

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      Svetlana 2 years ago

      that he feels so much better, his brain was not geinttg enough oxygen. The batteries need to be replaced about every 10 years, we thought we still had 7 to 9 months, but it surprised us. The battery triggered low but we did not know until he had a pre-syncable episode. The pacer keeps him from full syncope (passing out). The day of surgery they were taking their final read before wheeling him in and they couldn't get one because they said the battery was completely drained! We got it down to the wire. There are different reasons to get a pacemaker. Jason has a genetic disorder, not actually a heart problem but more of a wiring problem in layman's terms. Jason is missing the light switch, which tells his heart to beat faster when it slows. Which really is great, the doctors say that he can manage his whole life as long as we keep the batteries up! It could always be worse, and I believe that you make the best of the cards that are dealt to you and god does not give you more than you can handle.Thank you for sharing this information. I would love to tell you and share more about other disabilities! Talk soon and take care!Your friend,Crystal

    • Nancy C Moores profile image
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      Nancy C Moores 2 years ago

      Thank you so much (Svetlana) Crystal for coming here and sharing your story also. There are so many children with heart problems, and also a lot of other problems too. When we were going thru all of this and still do to a certain extent I noticed that there are so many children a lot worse off than my grandson which is sad. You are so right about God not giving you more than you can handle. If not for God, and his son Jesus I don't even want to think about where I might be now. Take care my dear friend Crystal, and I would love to talk more with you. So sorry I just now saw your comment I hope you get to read my answer to you.

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