My Bypass Surgery

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Health and Fitness

Postby [old] ljwagner » January 20th, 2006, 4:56 pm

<!--QuoteBegin-PaulS+Jan 20 2006, 04:17 AM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(PaulS @ Jan 20 2006, 04:17 AM)</b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'><!--QuoteEBegin-->Curious about the source of replacement parts too.  <br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />Your own arms or legs. They used a vein from my inner left thigh, about groin to knee.<br />
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Postby [old] ljwagner » January 20th, 2006, 5:00 pm

Hi Xeno.<br /><br /><!--QuoteBegin-Xeno+Jan 20 2006, 08:20 AM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(Xeno @ Jan 20 2006, 08:20 AM)</b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'><!--QuoteEBegin-->Hi Paul, hello Larry, and hello Robert!<br /><br />My gosh what experiences you guys have gone through.  Paul, I had no idea.  What is remarkable is the difference of body type you both have.  Why did the clogging occur in the first place?  Cholesterol?  Larry and Paul when I read your posts, my jaw was in a constant drop.  I can't believe that your doctor had no clue! As for you Robert you really give anybody great hope to power through heart issues.  <br />All the best,<br />XENO <br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />Cursed genetically most likely. Went from short generation family to long, and something happened. My mother's side as good health into the 70's, 80's, and ok into 100's. She still lives alone and cleans her own house. A sister got her a housekeeper, and she made the lady sit, have tea and talk to her. Well, she's not quite all there.
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Postby [old] John Rupp » January 20th, 2006, 5:39 pm

<!--QuoteBegin-Paul S+Jan 20 2006, 07:54 AM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(Paul S @ Jan 20 2006, 07:54 AM)</b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'><!--QuoteEBegin-->What most people do not realize is that 50% of the people who have heart attacks have cholesterol that is in the healthy range, and if yours is in the un-healthy range do not depend on excercise alone to lower it.  This was demonstrated when Dr. Jim Fixx, who was considered the guru of running had a fatal heart attack while on a run.  The lesson to be learned here is to eat healthy and excercise.  I am sure most of the people in this forum have the latter well taken care of.  Do not ignore the former. </td></tr></table><br /><br />Sorry but that's just not true.<br /><br />There is a 98% correlation between total cholesterol, smoking, age, and death from heart disease.<br /><br />You will find very few people in the U.S. with cholesterol readings in the healthy range, i.e. of 150 or below. I have had numerous people tell me their doctors told them their cholesterol was "fine" and then found it was 200 or above. The average in the U.S. is a reading of 225 or above. Normal is not healthy!<br /><br />Jim Fixx had high cholesterol and was not a healthy person. He expected exercise alone to protect him but it doesn't work that way. One's diet, food intake, and avoidance of harmful chemicals are more important than almost anything else. Jim Fixx's cholesterol was above 225 so he had a FAR greater risk of death by heart attack than a healthy person with cholesterol in the range of 125 or below.
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Postby [old] rspenger » January 20th, 2006, 5:40 pm

<!--QuoteBegin-ljwagner+Jan 20 2006, 01:42 PM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(ljwagner @ Jan 20 2006, 01:42 PM)</b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'><!--QuoteEBegin-->  Sounds like you were on pill abuse the whole time.  I'm not sure anyone else on here can imagine what those 3 weeks were like, including me. <br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />Larry,<br /><br />I don't think that it was the result of pills. I had a lot of medication during the six day hospital stay, 2 days in ICU and 4 in a regular room. They started me on the short walks on the third or fourth day, but no stairs. I was 78 and had valve replacement as well as a 3x, so they may have been starting me out at a slower rate than you. We had just moved about three hundred miles away (to a remote rural area) a couple of months before the surgery, so I wasn't up to riding all the way home until about four weeks after the surgery and, of course, I wasn't given the O.K. to do any driving until about two months afterwardsl My wife had to do all the driving, while I went around with a small pillow clutched to my chest. It takes a long time for the sternum to heal and it is necessary tp protect it zealously for several months.<br /><br />The pumphead fog that I was referring to was the sort of period of mental lapses that many attribute to having been on the heart-lung machine for several hours:<br /><a href='http://heartdisease.about.com/cs/bypasssurgery/a/pumphead.htm' target='_blank'>http://heartdisease.about.com/cs/bypasssur.../a/pumphead.htm</a><br />I posted this before, but perhaps you didn't see it. We were fortunate enough to be about to stay at the home of a friend near the hospital for the three weeks between the hospital release and the drive home. During that stay in the metropolitan area, I was definitely not up to par mentally. I lay around a lot just relaxing, did my little walks regularly, read for short periods at a time, and occasionly used our friend's computer, but my attention span was quite short and my memory was hazy. I had one bad evening when my pulse rate shot way up and I had to be hustled off to the ER and spent the rest of the night there under observation, but was given medication that brought it back under control. That was probably about 3 or 4 days after my release from the hospital. Since then, I have had no real problems. My new valve is tissue rather than mechanical, so I didn't have to take coumadin after the first four months. For the first few months, I was upset because my resting heart beat wouldn't go below 60, but eventually it got down to the normal 54. I am still on lipitor, even though I never really did have a high cholestrol count, but I managed to talk the cardiologist into okaying my cutting the 10 mg pills in half so that I take only 5 mg a day. They tried me out on a statin/niacin combo at one time to try to increase my HDLP level, but I couldn't tolerate the high dose of niacin, so it was back to plain lipitor.<br /><br />regards,<br /><br />Bob S.<br />
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Postby [old] Porkchop » January 20th, 2006, 6:16 pm

Y'all are some tough dudes. Best wishes.
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Postby [old] Ducatista » January 20th, 2006, 6:32 pm

<!--QuoteBegin-Paul S+--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(Paul S)</b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'><!--QuoteEBegin-->Ah well, I shall continue' "Sliding Down The Razor Blade Of Life."  Quote by Tom Leher. </td></tr></table><br />Ha, Leher.<br /><br /><i>There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium,<br />And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium...</i><br /><br />Sorry to hijack, but I love that song.
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Postby [old] ljwagner » January 21st, 2006, 1:50 am

Chest Scar and vein source photos.<br /><br /><a href='http://us.f2.yahoofs.com/bc/3fc41676_127ca/bc/bypass+scars/Chest+Scar.jpg?BCfyc0DBAjK7YQzF' target='_blank'>Chest Scar</a><br /><br />The chest incision has internal dissolving sutures, so my scar will be just the vertical line, some already forming. I seem to be healing a lot faster now with more oxygen available.<br /><br /><a href='http://us.f2.yahoofs.com/bc/3fc41676_127ca/bc/bypass+scars/Artery+Source.jpg?BCfyc0DBytIMqI43' target='_blank'>Artery Source</a><br /><br />The vein was cut at the left, where there is a small scab, and pulled out in the big scar by the knee. Small branch veins were broken, and things will "find" alternate circulatory sources.
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Postby [old] ljwagner » February 12th, 2006, 3:08 am

I'm having a new experience, training for life after bypass surgery. I thought I would feel better after 4 weeks.<br /><br />I walked 1.3 miles today, in about an hour with a few minutes of rest a few times. But that's my longest cumulative walk yet after 4 weeks. Can I call that a personal best in a new life ? Played catch with my daughter, too. Anything outside of arms reach was not even worth a lean. I can walk, do 8-10 chair squats (even holding 16# now :P ), some brief step ups, but nothing resembling getting off the ground both feet at a time. Very strange experience. Dropped 5 more pounds during recovery, and have to eat every 3 hours. Gained 1 pound last week, lost it this week.
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Postby [old] rspenger » February 12th, 2006, 12:21 pm

<!--quoteo(post=55644:date=Feb 11 2006, 11:08 PM:name=ljwagner)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(ljwagner @ Feb 11 2006, 11:08 PM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'>I'm having a new experience, training for life after bypass surgery. I thought I would feel better after 4 weeks.<br /><br />I walked 1.3 miles today, in about an hour with a few minutes of rest a few times. But that's my longest cumulative walk yet after 4 weeks. Can I call that a personal best in a new life ? Played catch with my daughter, too. Anything outside of arms reach was not even worth a lean. I can walk, do 8-10 chair squats (even holding 16# now :P ), some brief step ups, but nothing resembling getting off the ground both feet at a time. Very strange experience. Dropped 5 more pounds during recovery, and have to eat every 3 hours. Gained 1 pound last week, lost it this week.<br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />It will get better. The vital ingredients are patience, persistence and prudence. I just checked out my diary from 2003. My surgery had been done on July 29. I find an entry for September 26 that indicates a set of 5 pushups and a 15' erg workout. My exercise log has this: 15' on erg, 2851m. Started at 15 spm. After 1 1/2' my pulse reached 113 (80% of max). Continued at the same level for another 10'. Highest pulse was 131 - mostly in the range 125-130. Another 3 1/2' at 12 spm with diminishing pressure. Pulse dropped to 115.<br /><br />As far as I can tell, that was my first day of anything more adventurous than walking. The pushups were real, i.e. toes and palms, with body straight. Up until a couple of years before the surgery, I had been doing sets of 70 to 80 three times a week, but this dropped as I started having problems with increasing stenosis of the aortic valve. I am now back up to doing sets of 50-60 and a recent 65 and 63. I can't do it with flat palms anymore - too much arthritic pain in my thumbs, but a set of Nautilus hand grips makes it possible for me to do them.<br /><br />After that first day on the erg, I concentrated mostly on my walking, trying to get at least 30' of exercise in which my pulse was in the 80-90% range. I was 79 by then, so my simple calculated max was 141 and 80% was 112.8. Walking on the level didn't cut it, but by weariing heavy shoes, carrying some weights in a pack, taking uphill paths, and swinging my arms vigorously on the level and downhill sections, I was usually able to keep my pulse above 113. In addition to the 30', it usually took 5-10' to get into the zone and I took a fairly long cool down. On the hikes, the cool down was on the way home, since that was mostly a descent. My standard hike was about 4 miles and took 70-80 minutes. Later I found a fitness center in town and alternated with the treadmills there, my erg at home, and the trail hikes. It no doubt helped that we now live at 4000 ft and that I have the opportunity to take occasional walks that range from 8000 to 12000 ft.<br /><br />It seems to have worked. It was exactly 18 months after the surgery, January 29, 2005, that I qualified for a trip to Boston at the Beach Sprints in Long Beach. A year later, I met my old goal of cracking 8' at the age of 80+.<br /><br />regards,<br /><br />Bob S.
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Postby [old] ljwagner » February 28th, 2006, 1:21 pm

6 1/2 weeks since surgery. <br /><br /> Been walking, erging a little, some very light weights, bench step-ups exercises in lieu of walking stairs.<br /><br /> Monday the 27th, I managed a 6K. I've been doing some easy 10 minute pieces every few days, and thought I'd press the time longer. Only a bit higher on the HR: <br /> 6K , 36:20, HR 127-133, not too much cardiac drift. <br /> Pacing 254 - 3:10 / 500m. Resting HR prior to starting was 72. <br /> Tried to keep the HR at 129 without slowing too much.<br /><br /> Needed an early evening nap.<br /> <br /><br />
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Postby [old] ljwagner » March 12th, 2006, 2:12 pm

8 weeks.<br /><br />I've backed off a bit to 50% of RHR for about 20 minute workouts. I did this yesterday for a row in the morning, and the treadmill in the afternoon. For me, that is about a 122-125 bpm. Rowing, only Gear 3 on my A model, and about 2:52 - 3:05 /500m pace. Walking, 3.2 mph at 5.5% slope. Very slow, but I'm trying to feel better, and continue recovery. The walking pace was surprisingly brisk to get the HR to 122.<br /><br />Both left me less tired, and and bit refreshed later in the day. Added a bit of weight work for my arms and shoulders. Tried a pushup today. 1 full one to the ground and then full arm extension. I'll wait another week or two to do more.<br /><br />I can sleep in a bed again. Before now, I could not lie flat without putting a lot of tension on the healing sternum, or use way too much pain medication. I can even sleep on my side now.<br /><br />Found the CD with video clips of my angiogram. My wife only told me about it last week. The pinch-points where the cicrculation is blocked are really obvious, sometimes even causing ballooning of the artery from back pressure, with only a trickle of flow passing the blockage point.<br /><br />The peripheral/secondary circulation is glimpsed in a view that showed the blood circulation. As the dyed blood flows, there are a couple of fraction of a second views when a web of thin blood vessels suddenly appears and shows the entire heart as if in a line drawing. Each image clip is only about 3-4 seconds.<br /><br />
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Postby [old] rspenger » March 12th, 2006, 3:41 pm

<!--quoteo(post=59116:date=Mar 12 2006, 10:12 AM:name=ljwagner)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(ljwagner @ Mar 12 2006, 10:12 AM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'>8 weeks.<br />I've backed off a bit to 50% of RHR for about 20 minute workouts. I did this yesterday for a row in the morning, and the treadmill in the afternoon. For me, that is about a 122-125 bpm. Rowing, only Gear 3 on my A model, and about 2:52 - 3:05 /500m pace. Walking, 3.2 mph at 5.5% slope. Very slow, but I'm trying to feel better, and continue recovery. The walking pace was surprisingly brisk to get the HR to 122.<br />Both left me less tired, and and bit refreshed later in the day. Added a bit of weight work for my arms and shoulders. Tried a pushup today. 1 full one to the ground and then full arm extension. I'll wait another week or two to do more.<br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />Larry,<br /><br />It sounds like you are making good progress. One problem with treadmills is that, even at the highest slope (15% on the machines that I have access to), you are not really raising your whole body to higher levels. The increased slope provides some additional work in that you have to raise your feet higher with each step and that your body is probably bobbing up and down to a greater extent than with zero slope, but you don't get the full mgh work that you would get from gaining real elevation. I found a couple of tricks to help get my heart rate up on a treadmill. One was to swing my arms vigorously instead of just holding onto the bar, which is my usual practice. This works on regular walks as well, when I am on level terrain. Another pulse raiser is taking short, quick steps instead of my usual longer strides. I have found that arm swing can raise my pulse by about ten points in a couple of minutes. It isn't really excessive - just bending at the elbow about 90°, raising my forearm from hanging vertical up to horizontal. The quick stepping technique yields about 5 beats a minute pulse increase. At one time I was using ankle weights on the TM and sometimes on hikes, but I heard that ankle (and wrist) weights can produce problems of their own, so I quit that practice. Instead, on hikes at least, I just stuck the weights (3# each) in my pack with other stuff, so I ended up with 15-18# hanging from my shoulders.<br /><br />It is good to hear that things are improving for you. Keep us posted.<br /><br />regards,<br /><br />Bob S.<br />
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