Jimmy and Charles met when they were 18 and 19 years old, just a few years after Charles had been diagnosed with idiopathic ventricular tachycardia (IVT). At 13 he underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker, which regulates his heart rate during IVT episodes when his heart beats chaotically. Charles was initially nervous to disclose this information to his new romantic partner, but Jimmy’s effortless acceptance would become a hallmark of their eventual marriage.

In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Jimmy and Charles discuss how IVT has interwoven with their lives and relationship. They are both Seattle based dancers and performing artists, and IVT presents unique challenges for a career based on physical movement. Charles discusses some of the limitations and considerations of walking though the world with a pacemaker, as well as sharing his love for swimming and how he would not let this diagnosis keep him out of the water. Jimmy and Charles also speak to the role of faith and spirituality in their lives, examining whether or not they were “meant to be here,” and the purpose they have found in living with that question.

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1 Comment

Karen Brixner · October 26, 2021 at 8:36 pm

I really enjoyed this episode. Charles and Jimmy were very engaging and you made them very comfortable to talk about medical issues that Charles has. A member of my own family has a pacemaker so this was particularly of interest to me. Thanks for again bringing a chronic illness to the forefront so that people know they’re not alone.

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