I have the opportunity to meet people with medical devices at many social networks. I meet Peyton Chitty @frankendaddy68, last year on Instagram. Find out who is he, what he does, and their perception of how society views their condition of pacemaker user in your country, inspire yourself.
Name: Peyton Chitty
Type of medical device: Pacemaker (Implanted Feb., 2016)
First implant (month and year): December 2015
Physical Activity modalities: Surfing, Running, Bodysurfing, Skateboarding
City/State/Country: Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
How your life used to be before the implant?
My life before my pacemaker implant was filled with physical activities such as surfing, running, body surfing, skateboarding and soccer. I performed these activities weekly, but after an incident in which I passed out during a 10K I did not do them as much because of fatigue and fear that something bad would happen again. As the months passed and I was being monitored via a Reaceal Linq monitor, my symptoms begin to worsen and my physical activity was minimal. My heart was stopping at night more regularly and I was reporting symptoms the correlated with my device readings. My doctor consulted with me and decided the pacemaker would be my best course of action.
If you was practicing physical activities before implant, something changed after it?
Since my pacemaker implant, I am now doing all the activities I was doing before. I’ve had to start over in regards to my fitness and am more patient with myself. I’ve also learned to trust the process and work within my limitations but comfortably pushing them when I am able to do so. I’m definitely not as fast as I used to be when I run, however, I am improving on my time and stamina every week. Since my implant, I have completed one 5K trail race, a 5K Road race, and a half marathon. My goals for these races her to simply how fun, comfortably push myself, and finish strong. I have an upcoming 10K that is the anniversary of my heart incident. I’m hoping to set a personal record in that race, so my training has been focusing on doing so. Most notably, I am able to sustain an even heart rate when I run and only experience a few issues if I push it a little too much. When that happens I am more easily able to back off and level out than I did before my pacemaker implant.
How your doctor sees your physical activities?
I am really blessed that I have a cardiologist who sees me as an individual and is working with me so that I can maintain my active lifestyle and do the things I love to do. He advised that we will tweak my pacemaker according to my fitness level and needs.
How people in your country sees in generally people who use a cardiac medical device?
I believe most people in the United States see people with pacemakers as “cardiac cripples” and as delicate individuals who are likely to die at any minute. I believe this is due to low expectations placed upon cardiac patients. Often, I see The medical community and sports medicine community apply a one-size-fits-all approach to heart patients instead of treating them as individuals according to their fitness levels, lifestyles and overall health.
You had at some point to deal with preconception as a pacemaker user?
I did have a preconception about pacemakers. I thought people with pacemakers would not be able to keep exercising and were placed under great restrictions causing the inner athlete to be debilitated. I bought into the preconceived notion that much of the medical community promoted with their generalized approach to cardiac patients. I know better now.
What kind of message for people you want spread with your posts?
My message for others is that I want them to refuse to be defined by their circumstances or diagnosis. I want others to live life as it’s meant to be lived by rising above low expectations set for them and raising the bar to set their own goals and expectations. I hope I can continue to inspire and be inspired.