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As some of you might know, I had a pacemaker (PM) implanted last Sunday morning. It itches like crazy, and it's a bummer when I sneeze. Things are better, all around, though. Such an excellent Christmas present!

Within a few weeks, I should be "about" ready to make a decision about riding again, and I have such issues as electromagnetic interference (EMI issues to consider (heated vest?). I've sent an e-mail to Gerbing asking about this particular issue. There are many other issues a pacemaker invokes that the consequences of I have just begun to digest, and all will require management. For example, a minor but jolting accident could be more critical to me, as a person with a PM, as opposed to one without a PM, etc. I naturally wonder, now that I'm affected, what other medical aspects and consideration of riding limitations others experience but don't reveal?

Does anyone out there have a pacemaker and ride? If so, I'd like to hear from you, off list ([email protected]).

If I decide to stay off my bikes, I'll have a blue 2001 Connie and a candy red 2003 GL1800A to sell, plus a lot of equipment and gear. There is no good time to sell either bike, and since I own both outright it isn't a decision I need to make soon.

I'll post this also at the GOG site.

Donald M. Ricks
GOG 5336
Spring Hill, TN
2001 Kawasaki Concours "BubbaBlue"
2003 Honda GL1800A "Catkiller"
 

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Pacemaker

First of all I am not a physican. But if heated clothing was going to be a problem then I think your cardiologist would have warned you about using an electric blanket this winter. I would however avoid strong RF fields such as those created by two way radios (ie. CB radio) and microwave ovens, ect.

On the other hand I would encourage you to consult your doctor and not take advice from, well you know what I mean. :beer8:

TexWalter
 

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I would contact the manufacturer of the PM for a technical question like that, you would be more likely to get an accurate answer from them. If you ask your doctor, you would probably get his opinion, which may...or may not be the same answer. I would recommend you ask the question about using heated clothing outdoors, a question about using heated clothing on a motorcycle may get a personal opinion about motorcycles!

That's kind of dancing around the details. :s27:
 

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Don,

I wouldn't even think about advising you about Electro - magnetic fields on specific equipment and apparel.

But one thing for sure, I am happy about your recovery and your attitude - All Good !

Bulldog
 

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Bill Stobaugh said:
Since the Gerbing operates on DC current, there is no field to worry about.
That's not necessarily so. Sometimes controllers for heated clothing chop the DC voltage and vary the pulse width to control the amount of heat in the clothing. Some of the wiring in the clothing will pass right over the pacemaker. Better ask the manufacturer... or did you get some kind of instruction manual with it? I would think you would.
 

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Can't help

Sorry I can't help with this one, but I am glad to hear that you are doing well and wish you the best for the Holidays and the future. I must agree on going to the manufacturer of the pacemaker and perhaps do a couple of searches on the web. Should provide tons of info. I scanned a few and thought the following provided a pretty good summary, but again, important to go to the source of the PM i believe.

http://userpages.aug.com/ddodd/CCS/SCS/emi.html
 

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first DC circuit has a magnetic field, second the only one to give you advise about your pacemaker is your Doctor. Be smart and follow the Doctors advise, your life may depend on it.

Dan L
 

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We're glad someone had the wisdom and insight from above to invent the pacemaker. God speed your recovery.
 

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just a collective group question

if your worried about "RF" why can't you ware fine copper wire mesh to "absorb" RF.

and wouldn't that also absorb any EMF.

I only ask this because I use to work for a company that tested it's circuit boards in a "static free" enviroment. and the only thing (that I could see) that made it static free was fine copper wire mesh???

just a question
 

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Pace makers are programmed via an antenna, thus is the reason for the concern about strong fields.

Dan L
 

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I can't give you any advice about the PM but there are two things you could do. First off, put on more clothing and forget about the heated vest. I have been riding for many years without any such comfort. Just last year I bought the Gerbing jacket and glove but I don't need them to ride. The other thing you could do is just wait till it warms up a bit. That may be your best bet anyway. You will have more recovery time and you will know a little more about what you can and can't take.

As far as giving up your bikes, well that would be a hard one for me. :( I was in a pretty bad wreck back in 1982 and I was off of bikes till 1996 but I got to tell you that bikes are a big part of my life in many ways. I think I would ride no matter what. That's just me, you need to make your own decision on that one. I'm just glad you were given a second chance on life :) there are many who are not as fortunate :( My Dad has cancer and there is no electronic gizmo they can implant for that :(
Live your life to it fullest and thank God for it. :D
 

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congratulations on getting your PM

Isn't it wonderful that your lifespan can be extended with the wonders of modern technology?
Be sure that you carry your card with the PM info on it in your wallet at all times. Don't let anyone order an MRI on you without showing them the card first. There are very few PM-compatible MRI units at this time, and exposure to the high Tesla fields could be disastrous. It wouldn't hurt to have the fact that you have a PM put on a medic alert bracelet in case you are in an accident or are unable to talk to allied health folks.
I send people home with some regularity when a doc has ordered an MRI exam for them and didn't know they had a pacemaker.
Have you asked about a pigtail for your Wing? That way when you ride you can save your PM battery! Heh heh heh
 

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I'm happy for your new health and hope you have many more years of riding ahead of you BUT you shouldn't ask us or any non-med for medical advice. That's like taking an overheating Goldwing to a veternarian . I'm sure the medical staff in you area can help with your continued recovery.
And I'm willing to bet that riding motocycles will speed up your recovery and enrich your life. So please consult with multiple medical professionals
about any issues you might have concerning your health and riding.
Hope to see you and you wife on those his and her Goldwings enjoying life.
 

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Ask your Mfg. Rep

I really don't think the Gerbings will be a problem as it takes a strong magnet to put one into the "magnet mode"for telephonic download. They are programed with a magnetic wand which is also strong. BUT, there are variables and your rep from Pacesetter, Medtronic, PCI, etc. can best advise you
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all for the time and effort in submitting those replies, plus others who contacted me directly. I got some good questions to pose to my doctor during my appointment tomorrow morning. Your input helped, and I also appreciate all the best wishes and prayers.

My surgeon made sure that I had a very good patient's PM manual, which I have read a few times. There seems to be only a few men who have implanted PMs, a few brave wives who have them and ride, and some who just wrote to encourage me, which you did. I thank each of you for for the compassion and good sense responses which came from across the board.

Gerbing wote that they had in the past removed a section of wire on their heated vest that crosses the heart, a reasonable response indeed. I'll keep that in mind.

One week after the implant, I went to church today, twice, and sang in the choir and taught a men's Sunday school class. No problem, so I'll high on the future. God bless you all, as He has me.

Donald M. Ricks
Spring Hill, TN
 

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Don,

I want to re-emphasize the advice about a medic alert bracelet and necklace. God forbid, but should you have a cardiac emergency and are alone, EMS responders really need that information. It's always a good idea to keep vital information in the left fairing pocket and the left saddlebag as well.

Follow that still small voice and all will go well.
 

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In my opinion your doctor is a good first step in gaining information however he is a busy man and with the high business costs. These days doctors have to concentrate on quantity and may not be completely up to date. If you have concern about your pacemaker contact the company that makes it (Medtronic or whoever). They have the latest information.
 

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We are given those hairs on the back of our neck for a reason. It sounds like you received a wake up call after receiving the gift of life from your new pacemaker. If you are questioning whether an accident could increase your chance of dying as a result of a collision, you have probably already mentally made your decision. Motorcycle riding is extremely dangerous under the best of circumstances. Those of us who ride regularly understand that and try to mitigate the risk by always improving our proficiency and riding skills through training and practice. Some people just wing it, which is probably why more riders between 50 and 70 are dying today in motorcycle crashes than ever before. We also have to examine our physical and mental abilities as we age because lets admit it, the mirror often lies to us (mirror, mirror on the wall....I still feel like I can do anything.) One of the hardest things we can do is give up things we love because we no longer have the physical or mental acuity to perform the given task or the risk out weighs the reward. I saw it as my dad aged and in myself when I chose to quit flying helicopters due to slower reaction times. I hope the decision becomes obvious to you and you never look back with any regret. Be safe and enjoy life.
 

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This thread is 17 years old. The last post was on Dec. 21, 2003.

Glen
 
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