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Wow, I need heart surgery, wasn't expecting that!

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Wow, I need heart surgery, wasn't expecting that!

Old 07-12-21, 06:35 PM
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trainchaser
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Wow, I need heart surgery, wasn't expecting that!

Oh the joys of getting old and then, older. I've been experiencing a bit of chest pain when riding faster or uphill, didn't think much of it at the time. On July 3rd I was on my way to get my 2nd vaccination dose and I experienced severe angina walking to the bus and on the bus. I was going to meet with a friend after the shot for coffee, instead I called them and asked if they could take me to the hospital. Things happen fast when you walk into ER and say you're having chest pain! I was tested, x-rayed, ECG, given a nitro patch, hooked up to a heart monitor and admitted to the cardiac ward at our best hospital. Two days later I had an angiogram which showed that I require bypass surgery - just a bit of a shock! So I'm waiting until July 16th when the surgery will take place. I was told that I didn't actually have a heart attack, that the heart muscles are fine, and its just my old veins that are suffering from years of North American diet. I told the cardiologist that I cycle regularly and ride my bike to work, he said that bodes very well for a full recovery, saying "you have the heart of a younger man and you should be able to ride a lot harder and faster after recovery which should only take about 6 weeks in your case." Great news and it demonstrates the health benefits of cycling.
I'll let you all know how it goes and when I'm out on my bike in September.

Cheers
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Old 07-12-21, 07:08 PM
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Positive Waves for your surgery/recovery!

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Old 07-12-21, 07:57 PM
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Good luck with your surgery!
I have a couple of tests this Wednesday after being diagnosed with possibly AFib at my last checkup .
Im hoping that’s all they find .
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Old 07-12-21, 08:33 PM
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Better that you found out now than the hard way later! Best wishes.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:56 PM
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Good luck with the docs.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by trainchaser View Post
Great news and it demonstrates the health benefits of cycling.
OK, you're expected to set a good example for all heart patients from now on.
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Old 07-13-21, 04:33 AM
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A friend has been an avid cyclist for over 50 years. He's now 66 and is 5'8" and 140 lbs...so, very fit. He's also the best climber I've ever known. One day he was telling me how hard it has been for him to climb. He was struggling to breathe. Even had to walk a hill. Of course he sought out medical help. Long story short he had a quadruple bypass. He has a family history of heart disease. I think it's been about 4 months since the operation and he's back on the bike leading Farm to Fork Fondos here in the northeast and back to his radio show "Bicycle Talk." You are going to be so much better. Best of luck on your new adventure.
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Old 07-13-21, 06:28 AM
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Thread moved from 50+ to Pills & Ills.
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Old 07-13-21, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by trainchaser View Post
Great news and it demonstrates the health benefits of cycling.
Good luck!

But in my unique case...I was born with a congenital heart defect (hole between the ventricles causing my aortic valve to leak a bit). My case was minor but was predicted to require corrective surgery around the age of 30-35. It became necessary at age 25. A few years earlier I had lost 90 lbs in 9 months (6' 2", went from 265 lbs. to 175 lbs.) through diet change and cycling. I was in the best shape I had ever been in up to that point in my life. My medical team thinks all the cycling I was doing actually hastened the need for me to have my aortic valve replaced. Sucky thing to happen at that age. Even though I knew it was a possibility, I never thought it would happen at such a young age. I wasn't even done my school. I guess the blessing was that my age likely aided in my recovery. It also did not disrupt work.
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Old 07-13-21, 08:37 AM
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WIshing you a speedy and full recovery!
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Old 07-13-21, 08:47 AM
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Glad that you caught it in time. Good mojo sent your way for a quick recovery.
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Old 07-13-21, 09:10 AM
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Speedy recovery. Good thing it was caught and good thing there is something the Docs can do.

My heart stops multiple times during sleep for upto to 8 seconds and they can't do anything for me. (no, I do not have apnea)

It is a bit if a shocker to learn something is wrong, I hope they get you back on the bike!
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Old 07-13-21, 10:24 AM
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Glad they caught it on time! Good luck with the surgery and recovery.

I've had a couple of CT angiograms to try to get a handle on the status of my arteries. So far so good (partial blockages, but less than what is typical for my age). In another couple of years, I think I'll get another to check out the status. It's hugely important to catch blockages before heart damage is done.
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Old 07-13-21, 07:38 PM
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Good luck with the surgery and recovery.
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Old 07-13-21, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Glad they caught it on time! Good luck with the surgery and recovery.

I've had a couple of CT angiograms to try to get a handle on the status of my arteries. So far so good (partial blockages, but less than what is typical for my age). In another couple of years, I think I'll get another to check out the status. It's hugely important to catch blockages before heart damage is done.
Covered by your insurance?
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Old 07-13-21, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by trainchaser View Post
Oh the joys of getting old and then, older. I've been experiencing a bit of chest pain when riding faster or uphill, didn't think much of it at the time. On July 3rd I was on my way to get my 2nd vaccination dose and I experienced severe angina walking to the bus and on the bus. I was going to meet with a friend after the shot for coffee, instead I called them and asked if they could take me to the hospital. ............
Sounds familiar!
Back in 2011, after complaining to the family doctor about my declining energy and getting the old "Don't forget you're getting older", I insisted on a stress test on the tread mill.
Made it to three+ minutes, needed to sit down and promptly blacked out. They just kept me at the hospital, shipped me to Kelowna for the angiogram. Blood vessels as clean as a whistle but the aortic valve was closing up. Surgery in Victoria followed, got a new aortic valve. After the procedure the surgeon told me that I was better than new. It was a birth defect i.e. the valve had only two cusps (flaps) instead of three. According to the doc what kept me going is the amount of exercise. Usually the problem is at the stage mine was at between 50 and 55 years old.
I like the better than new feeling. Back to cycling in a "normal manner" — a lower 2000+km is the target this year. XC skiing surpassed the 1000 km mark last winter. And for my 80th birthday in 2025 I promised myself an e-bike to use part time.
BTW I'm still looking for that specific t-shirt that says "old guys rule"!

Cheers

HJ
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Old 07-14-21, 11:26 AM
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The good news is that they caught it before you had a full-on myocardial infarction. And bypass surgery today is so much better than it was when I started out in healthcare 30 years ago.
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Old 07-14-21, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Covered by your insurance?
No, but not expensive. You can get one using a Groupon. A heart scan is only about $150:

https://www.groupon.com/deals/cardia...stic-imaging-1

The place where they do it is also a cardiac center with a lot of trials ... so it is possible to get it done for free if you're willing to participate. One of my scans was taken because I was in a fish oil clinical trial (they concluded it didn't help, BTW).
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Old 07-14-21, 11:32 AM
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Aren't CT cardiac calcium scans a standard for screening nowadays? I had to pay out of pocket and was less than the cost of a good bicycle tire

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-pro...t/pac-20384686
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Old 07-14-21, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Aren't CT cardiac calcium scans a standard for screening nowadays? I had to pay out of pocket and was less than the cost of a good bicycle tire

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-pro...t/pac-20384686
I don't think they are currently the standard of care. But I think they should be ... enough so, that I (like you) are willing to pay for it out of pocket. IMHO, highly recommended for people our age.
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Old 07-14-21, 02:15 PM
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I had the calcium scan a couple of years ago. It wasn't covered by insurance but it only cost $50. I had to have a referral from my doc.
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Old 07-24-21, 08:36 AM
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I've been feeling tired/run down for months now - just no 'Ooomph' in the tank any more. My cycling commute time has suffered as of late- I have been forced to drop down a couple of gears...

Part of it could be my sinus condition - polyps making breathing in- or out of the nose totally impossible. That issue makes it impossible to use my auto-pap machine. so my sleep quality has suffered. I finally had an appointment with my ENT yesterday (six week lead time for appointments), and correcting the sinus issue will require surgery. I'll be calling next week to schedule the CT scan, then the surgery consultation appointment, then the actual surgery. Maybe something will be resolved in a month or so... Oh, yea...

In the meantime, I have also scheduled a visit with a cardiologist (three month lead time for appointments) to see if something is going wonky with my ticker. I'm 63, and family history of heart issues. Dad had his first two heart attacks at age 55. My BP is under control with meds (115/75), and a resting heart rate of high 50s/low 60s. That appointment is still two weeks away...
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Old 07-25-21, 09:37 PM
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I'm alive! That was my initial reaction after waking up from having quintuple bypass open heart surgery on July 16th. I now have large scars on my right leg, left arm and down the middle of my chest. They had me up and sitting on the edge of the bed shortly after coming out of the anaesthesia, they want you to be moving as soon as possible in order to get your body fluids moving again. I was still covered with tubes and bandages but was able to move around. The next morning I was moved to a private room in the Cardiac Recovery Ward and one of the first things they do to you there is remove the catheter that was placed before surgery began. Now you can't just lie there and "let it flow", if you got to go you have to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom. The nurses work with you non stop encouraging you to be as mobile as you can be. They show you how to get out of and back in bed because you can't use your arms, try that at home and tell me how that works for you LOL. For the next month I cannot push, pull, lift or carry anything weighing over 5 lbs as the breastbone or sternum must heal first. My nurses were amazed at how well I managed and commented "WOW, you have amazing abs and strong legs!" That is how this all ties in with cycling, my surgeon told me that because of my fitness level due to cycling I would recover much faster than normal, and I was released to go home after only four and a half days. It will be awhile before I can get back on the bike due to the need for the sternum to be fully healed along with the muscles in the chest wall, but by the end of September he says "You'll be leading the pack instead of trailing it"
I'm really looking forward to the day I can mount my bike and head down the road again, life is good!!
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Old 07-25-21, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by trainchaser View Post
I'm alive! That was my initial reaction after waking up from having quintuple bypass open heart surgery on July 16th. I now have large scars on my right leg, left arm and down the middle of my chest. They had me up and sitting on the edge of the bed shortly after coming out of the anaesthesia, they want you to be moving as soon as possible in order to get your body fluids moving again. I was still covered with tubes and bandages but was able to move around. The next morning I was moved to a private room in the Cardiac Recovery Ward and one of the first things they do to you there is remove the catheter that was placed before surgery began. Now you can't just lie there and "let it flow", if you got to go you have to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom. The nurses work with you non stop encouraging you to be as mobile as you can be. They show you how to get out of and back in bed because you can't use your arms, try that at home and tell me how that works for you LOL. For the next month I cannot push, pull, lift or carry anything weighing over 5 lbs as the breastbone or sternum must heal first. My nurses were amazed at how well I managed and commented "WOW, you have amazing abs and strong legs!" That is how this all ties in with cycling, my surgeon told me that because of my fitness level due to cycling I would recover much faster than normal, and I was released to go home after only four and a half days. It will be awhile before I can get back on the bike due to the need for the sternum to be fully healed along with the muscles in the chest wall, but by the end of September he says "You'll be leading the pack instead of trailing it"
I'm really looking forward to the day I can mount my bike and head down the road again, life is good!!

Congrats! Be thankful that you caught this before your heart was damaged. Prayers for a speedy recovery!
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Old 07-26-21, 02:24 AM
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Good going ! I am glad it is going well. I always do what the Dr.’s tell me and things work out. When my Dr. told me no cycling for twelve weeks , it was so tough, I listened. Yes, cycling and a good diet helps tremendously. I just had my blood work done as a maintenance procedure and at 66 everything ok. Low blood pressure and resting heart rate at 51 , I think due to riding my bike frequently. I also walk at a decent speed every morning for 30 minutes. It sounds like you are on your way, do what the pro’s tell you and before you know it , you will be back on the bike. Godspeed!
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