On-X Aortic Heart Valves: Safer with Less Warfarin On-X Aortic Heart Valves: Safer with Less Warfarin

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Sternal Pain 5 Weeks Post-Op.?

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  • #16
    Homeskillet - I just "stumbled" onto this thread. Prior to my valve surgery, I was also a gym rat. I ran 7 days a week, lifted weights (bench pressing my own weight in multiple sets), did isometrics and floor exercises including push-ups. (Our great Uncle Sam got me started on all this in army basic training many years ago, and I never stopped.) At one time I was doing 3 sets of 60 push-ups every morning before going to work. Not bragging at all - just trying to set the stage. I was in good shape for a geezer going in to my surgery at age 63. After surgery, with all my complications, I was not cleared to even start cardiac rehab until 12 weeks after surgery. I did really well in rehab, but I couldn't even THINK about a push-up until I was nearly a full YEAR out from surgery. It was just too uncomfortable.

    I'm now 6 years out from surgery (and 6 years older), and I never did get back to the 180 push-ups daily. I'm stuck at about 35 (one set) now, and use 15 lb. handweights for curls, etc., and do planks and all to stay defined. I also have given up running (knees won't have it) and have moved to an elliptical machine instead.

    I guess my points are several:
    1. Don't ever give up. It may take a while and you may not get back to where you were, but it will get better.
    2. You're younger than I, so you have a better chance to regain fitness.
    3. Don't over-do it. It may take time, but you have time to stay with it.

    The worst is behind you. You have fitness wired into your mind and body. Work at things only as hard as your comfort allows. There is time. You will regain your strength. (If you want to read of some real extremes, look for old posts by gymguy. He really pushed the envelope.)
    Go Class of 2011!

    Steve Epstein
    9 Years in The Waiting Room, then on February 28, 2011,
    AVR with 23mm Edwards Bovine Pericardial Tissue Valve, Model 3300TFX, Pacemaker - Boston Scientific Altrua 60 DDDR IS-1 and CABG (LIMA-LAD) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago by Dr. Patrick McCarthy and the most wonderful team of professionals I could ask for. New pacemaker (Boston Scientific L101) and ventricular lead, July, 2016.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by epstns View Post
      Homeskillet - I just "stumbled" onto this thread. Prior to my valve surgery, I was also a gym rat. I ran 7 days a week, lifted weights (bench pressing my own weight in multiple sets), did isometrics and floor exercises including push-ups. (Our great Uncle Sam got me started on all this in army basic training many years ago, and I never stopped.) At one time I was doing 3 sets of 60 push-ups every morning before going to work. Not bragging at all - just trying to set the stage. I was in good shape for a geezer going in to my surgery at age 63. After surgery, with all my complications, I was not cleared to even start cardiac rehab until 12 weeks after surgery. I did really well in rehab, but I couldn't even THINK about a push-up until I was nearly a full YEAR out from surgery. It was just too uncomfortable.

      I'm now 6 years out from surgery (and 6 years older), and I never did get back to the 180 push-ups daily. I'm stuck at about 35 (one set) now, and use 15 lb. handweights for curls, etc., and do planks and all to stay defined. I also have given up running (knees won't have it) and have moved to an elliptical machine instead.

      I guess my points are several:
      1. Don't ever give up. It may take a while and you may not get back to where you were, but it will get better.
      2. You're younger than I, so you have a better chance to regain fitness.
      3. Don't over-do it. It may take time, but you have time to stay with it.

      The worst is behind you. You have fitness wired into your mind and body. Work at things only as hard as your comfort allows. There is time. You will regain your strength. (If you want to read of some real extremes, look for old posts by gymguy. He really pushed the envelope.)
      Ok - will look into this.

      But, as already mentioned, I can tell that it will be a lot longer than 8-10 weeks to start doing push-ups or any torso engagement.

      Like you indicated about yourself, I can't even think of it right now w.out grimacing !

      Comment


      • #18
        When I had my valve surgery, nearly 26 years ago, the subject of cardiac rehab never came up. Either they didn't have it, or they didnt offer it, or I just didn't know about it. The suggestion to walk was ablout all the cardiac rehab that I got.

        There's a book called 'You are your own Gym.' It's not the best writnig (or editing) in the world, but there are a lot of exercises that might be useful post-op without the risk of ripping stitches, or overstressing the sternum, or doing other bad things to you. It's probably downloadable.

        Healing from OHS takes time. You'll get there.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Paleowoman View Post
          I was doing weight lifting (not girlie/Hollywood actress weight lifting) for ten years prior to surgery at a gym (a serious body building gym, no swimming pool or sauna, just weights, both free weights, machine weights with stacks and hammer strength machines which I used the latter a lot), using a high intensity technique. In a very short period after surgery all my muscles were catabolised - it was awful. I lost 4 kg (9 pounds) in a week, and bear in mind my starting weight was 48 kg (105 pounds) and Iím 5ft 4ins tall so I am not petite but just lean. I then started cardiac rehab and one of the exercises wrecked an old injury in my ankle - fast reps step down. I could barely walk for a month due to the ankle so the rehab nurse, who also hapened to be ironman enthusiast, had to give me only upper body exercises which, of course, was weight lifting and exactly what I wanted to get back to ! At first only light weights with fast reps, but when I'd finished re-hab I got back to gradually higher weights and high intensity technique. (I never got back to my pre-surgery fitness though, but that's becasue there's an issue with my new valve and, since last week I have been prohibited from doing any weight lifting for the moment). Be patient, you will get back your strength eventually but even cardiac surgeons will say that full recovery can take 6 to 12 months !
          Yes, I am seeing that this is going to take a lot longer than I anticipated. Was back to bench pressing after 5 weeks of the minimally invasive OHS (my first surgery)....not gonna' happen this time.

          Know what you mean about the muscles catabolizing. In 10 short days the diff. was absolutely night & day.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Protimenow View Post
            When I had my valve surgery, nearly 26 years ago, the subject of cardiac rehab never came up. Either they didn't have it, or they didnt offer it, or I just didn't know about it. The suggestion to walk was ablout all the cardiac rehab that I got.

            There's a book called 'You are your own Gym.' It's not the best writnig (or editing) in the world, but there are a lot of exercises that might be useful post-op without the risk of ripping stitches, or overstressing the sternum, or doing other bad things to you. It's probably downloadable.

            Healing from OHS takes time. You'll get there.
            Ok - book sounds just like what I've looking for. Beginning physical therapy next week, but don't think that's the same thing as cardiac rehab.

            Thanks for tips.

            Comment


            • #21
              I wonder what sort of physical therapy they have in mind for you. My cardiac rehab included riding a stationary bicycle, walking on an inclined treadmill and some very basic handbell exercises. We started out with only about 3 or 4 lbs., but the technicians could tell who could handle more, and pushed us to do so. Their weight set only went up to 15 lbs., and that is the largest ones I have at home, so I just do more reps. (Try doing 35-40 curls with a 15 lb. weight and you'll improve muscle definition. . . )

              The other thing I did to "enhance" the impact cardio rehab had on me was to keep going to my own fitness club. I had rehab on 3 days a week, and did the same routine at my own club the other 2 days each week. Basically, I did rehab 5 days a week for 12 weeks. I also walked in the evenings and on the weekends. In fact, I still do the weights, fitness center and walk as often now as I did then.
              Go Class of 2011!

              Steve Epstein
              9 Years in The Waiting Room, then on February 28, 2011,
              AVR with 23mm Edwards Bovine Pericardial Tissue Valve, Model 3300TFX, Pacemaker - Boston Scientific Altrua 60 DDDR IS-1 and CABG (LIMA-LAD) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago by Dr. Patrick McCarthy and the most wonderful team of professionals I could ask for. New pacemaker (Boston Scientific L101) and ventricular lead, July, 2016.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by epstns View Post
                I wonder what sort of physical therapy they have in mind for you. My cardiac rehab included riding a stationary bicycle, walking on an inclined treadmill and some very basic handbell exercises. We started out with only about 3 or 4 lbs., but the technicians could tell who could handle more, and pushed us to do so. Their weight set only went up to 15 lbs., and that is the largest ones I have at home, so I just do more reps. (Try doing 35-40 curls with a 15 lb. weight and you'll improve muscle definition. . . )

                The other thing I did to "enhance" the impact cardio rehab had on me was to keep going to my own fitness club. I had rehab on 3 days a week, and did the same routine at my own club the other 2 days each week. Basically, I did rehab 5 days a week for 12 weeks. I also walked in the evenings and on the weekends. In fact, I still do the weights, fitness center and walk as often now as I did then.
                I'm basically doing the same thing. Not exactly sure what physical therapy they have in mind either, but I'll take what I can if it helps. This is such a slowwwww process.

                I hide out in a corner of the gym & do 5-8lb. curls forever just to feel a minimal pump. Like you, doing a lot of walking in the evenings as well. Have always hated cardio. - but hope to stick to walking afterwards.

                Comment

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