Children with Pacemakers How to Help Them Be Normal.
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.