14yrs and still playing basketball @ 49

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jepskie

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
9
Location
Manila,Philippines
Hi. Been away for quite some time. Been busy with work and active lifestyle. Having the surgery early in my life and listening to my heaven sent cardiologist has given me a very fruitful second life. I am very thankful to the Lord. The only reminder of my surgery is the mark on my chest. Hoping for more years of happiness for me :)
 

epstns

Premium User
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
5,075
Location
Chicago area
Glad to hear that things are going so well. It really helps when the "experienced" members drop back in to let the new folks know that valve surgery really is like getting another life.
 

normofthenorth

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
862
Location
Toronto, ON, Canada
I just dropped back in to say hi. I think I'm 8.5 years after getting my pig valve (Hancock II) and some repairs. I just turned 74 and I've still been pursuing a crazy active lifestyle:
I got out to play PICKUP INDOOR BEACH VOLLEYBALL about as often as ever, maybe 15 times this winter! Mostly 4-on-4 with a bunch of 20- and 30-somethings, but sprinkled with some wonderful 2-on-2 matches thrown in (including some 2-on-2 wins, which is tough in that crowd!).
I have 3 Whistler SKI week timeshares, and I skied all 18 days pretty aggressively. Conditions were never "hero snow", but in late March I finally finished the week with 3 days over my mental benchmark of 20,000' of vertical. A year or two ago I mused on Facebook about switching my benchmark down to 18,000' of vertical, but those 3 days showed me that I was falling short more because of slow conditions (heavy snow, silly late starts) than age and deterioration.
I've stayed active and successful in SAILING AND RACING LITTLE (15') DINGHIES. In addition to training a lot of newer sailors, I managed to regain my club's top racing skipper spot after 3 years of getting beaten. One of the guys who'd beaten me moved away, but I had to beat the other one fair and square. :)
BICYCLING: I don't take serious bike trips these days, but I commute locally (e.g. to/from the sailing club) as an urban cyclist. No mountains, but the city slopes down to the lake, so cycling back home while tired from sailing is a workout.
I call it all "doing my best to age gracelessly". I know I can't keep it up forever - or even very long - but I'm loving and appreciating it for now, one experience at a time. :)
Mentally I'm still relatively unimpaired, though I do find myself taking an extra "beat" to find the right word. I don't think the AVR has much to do with that.
Good luck all, and keep doing what you can,
 

normofthenorth

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
862
Location
Toronto, ON, Canada
There are some people my age keeping up with me in dinghy racing and downhill skiing and urban cycling, and I've got no idea how many have had OHS - though I did compare AVR notes with a guy on a Whistler chair lift in late March! ;-) But at the huge indoor beach volleyball place where I play (8 courts) there is NOBODY playing decent ball who is close to my age. I know because every time I see a "candidate" I ask their (always "his") age. For years my story was that I never found anybody playing good ball within 20 years of my age, but a few years ago the father in a father-son duo blew that record because he was "only" 18 years younger than I am. And he's still showing up, ruining that story. ;-)
 

Duffey

Me and Granbon
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
5,056
Location
Far side of the moon
Hi. Been away for quite some time. Been busy with work and active lifestyle. Having the surgery early in my life and listening to my heaven sent cardiologist has given me a very fruitful second life. I am very thankful to the Lord. The only reminder of my surgery is the mark on my chest. Hoping for more years of happiness for me :)
Wishing you many more years of happiness and good health.
 

Duffey

Me and Granbon
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
5,056
Location
Far side of the moon
I just dropped back in to say hi. I think I'm 8.5 years after getting my pig valve (Hancock II) and some repairs. I just turned 74 and I've still been pursuing a crazy active lifestyle:
I got out to play PICKUP INDOOR BEACH VOLLEYBALL about as often as ever, maybe 15 times this winter! Mostly 4-on-4 with a bunch of 20- and 30-somethings, but sprinkled with some wonderful 2-on-2 matches thrown in (including some 2-on-2 wins, which is tough in that crowd!).
I have 3 Whistler SKI week timeshares, and I skied all 18 days pretty aggressively. Conditions were never "hero snow", but in late March I finally finished the week with 3 days over my mental benchmark of 20,000' of vertical. A year or two ago I mused on Facebook about switching my benchmark down to 18,000' of vertical, but those 3 days showed me that I was falling short more because of slow conditions (heavy snow, silly late starts) than age and deterioration.
I've stayed active and successful in SAILING AND RACING LITTLE (15') DINGHIES. In addition to training a lot of newer sailors, I managed to regain my club's top racing skipper spot after 3 years of getting beaten. One of the guys who'd beaten me moved away, but I had to beat the other one fair and square. :)
BICYCLING: I don't take serious bike trips these days, but I commute locally (e.g. to/from the sailing club) as an urban cyclist. No mountains, but the city slopes down to the lake, so cycling back home while tired from sailing is a workout.
I call it all "doing my best to age gracelessly". I know I can't keep it up forever - or even very long - but I'm loving and appreciating it for now, one experience at a time. :)
Mentally I'm still relatively unimpaired, though I do find myself taking an extra "beat" to find the right word. I don't think the AVR has much to do with that.
Good luck all, and keep doing what you can,
Good for you, Norm! Keep on, keeping on!
 

Jerry D

New member
Joined
May 24, 2018
Messages
1
Location
Irvine, CA
I had aortic stenosis--a bicuspid valve--and after monitoring it for about ten years, I finally had a "situation"--I semi-passed out while hiking up a steep hill early in the morning after a 2.5 hour paddling practice the night before in April 2018. My cardiologist said he had been expecting something like it. I stayed two days in the hospital for tests, went back home and back to work for two days, then had open heart surgery with an Edwards 25mm bovine heart valve. Some background--I was 68, working full time in a stressful job as a nonprofit CEO, and racing 6-man outriggers on the open ocean. Fortunately I had no heart disease, my arteries were clear, no cholesterol or blood pressure issues, and I did not need anything but the valve replacement. I was very fortunate, I know that. I was back to work in 30 days. I did have some a-fib occurrences for a couple of months after the surgery, but that is now controlled with a low dose of cardizem. (a-fib is the worst feeling.) I am also on a low dose of metoprolol mostly as a prophylactic. I missed the racing season, but was back paddling a one-man outrigger on the bay by late August. I am racing this season, doing long practices now. 18 miles last Saturday and 15 last night. I seem to have no ill effects except the morning after I feel a little winded still.

One thing that really helped me was 6 weeks of cardiac rehab, 3 days a week. I started rehab 6 weeks after the surgery at Hoag Cardiac Center. That was an excellent experience and I know it increased my energy, range of movement (lifting one's arms over one's head the first week was not fun), and endurance. I strongly recommend that anyone going through heart surgery seek out cardiac rehab and be religious about doing it. There were two heart transplant patients there and they were doing great in the rehab.

Couple of things that surprised me after the surgery. I used to be able to sing, but I lost my range and tone. I suspect it was the tubes in my throat. I could hear my heart so loud--my surgeon said it was because the pericardium had to be cut into and it would go away--and it has. The other is that I still have some discomfort in my shoulder, it comes and goes. Again, my surgeon reminded me that open heart is a violent surgery and a nerve or muscle might have been damaged. Obviously it is not uncomfortable enough to stop me from paddling nor have I had a loss of strength.

I will be 70 in a couple of months and am very thankful for my surgeon, the cardiac center, the rehab staff, and my cardiologist's followup. I also thank heaven for whatever person at Edwards Lifesciences sewed my new valve. Heck of a job!
 

normofthenorth

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
862
Location
Toronto, ON, Canada
I had aortic stenosis--a bicuspid valve--and after monitoring it for about ten years, I finally had a "situation"--I semi-passed out while hiking up a steep hill early in the morning after a 2.5 hour paddling practice the night before in April 2018. My cardiologist said he had been expecting something like it. I stayed two days in the hospital for tests, went back home and back to work for two days, then had open heart surgery with an Edwards 25mm bovine heart valve. Some background--I was 68, working full time in a stressful job as a nonprofit CEO, and racing 6-man outriggers on the open ocean. Fortunately I had no heart disease, my arteries were clear, no cholesterol or blood pressure issues, and I did not need anything but the valve replacement. I was very fortunate, I know that. I was back to work in 30 days. I did have some a-fib occurrences for a couple of months after the surgery, but that is now controlled with a low dose of cardizem. (a-fib is the worst feeling.) I am also on a low dose of metoprolol mostly as a prophylactic. I missed the racing season, but was back paddling a one-man outrigger on the bay by late August. I am racing this season, doing long practices now. 18 miles last Saturday and 15 last night. I seem to have no ill effects except the morning after I feel a little winded still.

One thing that really helped me was 6 weeks of cardiac rehab, 3 days a week. I started rehab 6 weeks after the surgery at Hoag Cardiac Center. That was an excellent experience and I know it increased my energy, range of movement (lifting one's arms over one's head the first week was not fun), and endurance. I strongly recommend that anyone going through heart surgery seek out cardiac rehab and be religious about doing it. There were two heart transplant patients there and they were doing great in the rehab.

Couple of things that surprised me after the surgery. I used to be able to sing, but I lost my range and tone. I suspect it was the tubes in my throat. I could hear my heart so loud--my surgeon said it was because the pericardium had to be cut into and it would go away--and it has. The other is that I still have some discomfort in my shoulder, it comes and goes. Again, my surgeon reminded me that open heart is a violent surgery and a nerve or muscle might have been damaged. Obviously it is not uncomfortable enough to stop me from paddling nor have I had a loss of strength.

I will be 70 in a couple of months and am very thankful for my surgeon, the cardiac center, the rehab staff, and my cardiologist's followup. I also thank heaven for whatever person at Edwards Lifesciences sewed my new valve. Heck of a job!
Sounds great! But losing the ability to sing (well) was never a concern for me, and I'm glad I escaped! Ive been singing in public (professionally and amateur-ly) both PRE-AVR and since. In fact, teaching "my pig" how to sing was much easier than teaching it to ski and bike and play volleyball! ;-)
 

normofthenorth

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
862
Location
Toronto, ON, Canada
I'm sure we're all familiar with the concept of "famous last words"... Well, soon after I made a few posts here rejoicing in the way I've been "aging gracelessly", I've experienced a few grazing blows from the big foot in the sky! After several days in a row when my back kept going in and out of spasm, I woke up this morning with violent vertigo! :-(
I didn't even REALLY roll over to kill the alarm, when the room started spinning fast. I've had maybe 2 really short-term episodes like this, but this one has been hanging around for many hours now. And my 7y-older sister had a long experience with that so-called "benign" vertigo caused by calcified particles floating into the cilia in her inner ear. She resolved hers with repeated Epley maneuvers, and I'm getting ready to try that. Dr. Google suggests a related test first to determine which ear is causing the problem...
Who knew that shampooing one's hair while experiencing vertigo was so hard??
 
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pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
6,164
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
...I've experienced a few grazing blows from the big foot in the sky! ...
while I am unsure if a God (as any human religion understands that) exists, and I have never really felt prayer helps, I do occasionally get the message (personally in my own life) that you don't jinx things by saying "what else could go wrong" ...

(even if I did say Jehova)
 

Duffey

Me and Granbon
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
5,056
Location
Far side of the moon
I'm sure we're all familiar with the concept of "famous last words"... Well, soon after I made a few posts here rejoicing in the way I've been "aging gracelessly", I've experienced a few grazing blows from the big foot in the sky! After several days in a row when my back kept going in and out of spasm, I woke up this morning with violent vertigo! :-(
I didn't even REALLY roll over to kill the alarm, when the room started spinning fast. I've had maybe 2 really short-term episodes like this, but this one has been hanging around for many hours now. And my 7yo-older sister had a long experience with that so-called "benign" vertigo caused by calcified particles floating into the cilia in her inner ear. She resolved hers with repeated Epley maneuvers, and I'm getting ready to try that. Dr. Google suggests a related test first to determine which ear is causing the problem...
Who knew that shampooing one's hair while experiencing vertigo was so hard??
No famous last words from me concerning vertigo. Not taking a chance on it striking me!
 

normofthenorth

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
862
Location
Toronto, ON, Canada
No famous last words from me concerning vertigo. Not taking a chance on it striking me!
And at the risk of doubling down...
I just followed Dr. Google to do a test (Dix-somebody) to determine which ear was causing my problem (right) and another procedure (Epley) to slide the misplaced calcium pieces back where they belong, and SO FAR, TOUCH WOOD, I have been vertigo free for an hour or so. :)
 
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normofthenorth

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
862
Location
Toronto, ON, Canada
Still getting near-magical relief from the vertigo from the DIY Epley maneuver - touch wood! :)
The maneuver is pretty easy to learn and do, as is the test to determine which ear is the problem, but they are both unpleasant. Specifically, they both intentionally cause the same violent vertigo that you're trying to cure! Of course you're lying down on your bed when it happens, so you're in no danger of falling down a flight of stairs. But it's still very unpleasant. Stomach turning. Some people with vertigo have to take drugs to avoid tossing their cookies. I didn't go that far, but I can sympathize.
The other good news is that my second Epley maneuver, done at bedtime, produced NO feelings of vertigo, suggesting that the first one had successfully repositioned the errant calcium bits in the part of my right inner ear where they belong.
My back doesn't seem as spasm-prone today either. We all know that these bodies don't come with warranties, but I'll take it and rejoice in it while I've got it! :)
 

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