chopping firewood

I won't see my cardiologist for over a month so I am hoping to glean some wisdom from this august bunch. Now that winter is gripping the northern climes - I was hoping to split some firewood. Do you think the vibrations from the impact of chopping would have an effect on leads? My PM was implanted two months ago and I don't even know its there anymore (maybe not always such a good thing, huh?)



chopping firewood

by SMITTY - 2007-11-29 03:11:38

Hello Gary,

When you read what I have to say it will be obvious that I'm not Karen's husband. Just kidding. That is what makes this such a great site. We can offer differing opinions and leave it up the person posting the question to decide as I think very few of us are experts on this subject. But then I think pacemakers are very much like our faces. No two are the same. So what I have done and found to be OK does not necessarily mean it will be good for everyone.

If there is anything I have learned about pacemakers it is to never say never. But if it were I and I wanted to split firewood I would go ahead and give it a try. Of course I've had my pacemaker almost eight years now, but I would have done it when it was two months old if the implant area was no longer sore and I did not feel discomfort or anything in the implant area when I swung the ax. Also I would not be concerned about the leads as after two months they are probably pretty well seated. Now, with all that said, my suggestion is to give it a try and if you do feel anything, stop the wood splitting immediately.

My feeling is you have now reached trial and error time. By that I mean give whatever you want to do a try, except doing something that could result in a direct lick on the pacemaker, and see how it feels. If it doesn't cause discomfort, or otherwise strange feelings, have at it.

There is one other thing. Many of us are getting pacemakers with a rate response feature. If yours has that feature and it is activated, (this is not activated for everyone until there is a demonstrated need for it) splitting wood is most certainly going to cause a need for your heart to beat faster and it is possibly you will feel this. In my case the rate response caused discomfort and I had to have it turned off later. The rate response was causing the contraction of the ventricle before the contraction of the atrium was completed and this put pressure on the valve which hurt. The pain was not severe but then I don’t like any pain in the heart area, unless I am absolutely sure I know what is going on.

Good luck,


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