OUT OF BREATH AFTER 1 min Jogging after AVR

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MidlifeCrisis

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2016
Messages
8
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I'm a 45 year old male who used to be in top physical condition. I was a former college swimmer and water polo player and continued to lift, run, swim and do HIIT training until a routine physical led to a cardiologist telling me my aortic valve was in the severe range and I needed to have open heart surgery. Long story short, I had a less evasive open heart surgery 12/08/2016 and my aortic valve was replaced with a pig valve. I started working out 2 months after. At first I couldn't jog 2 min now I can do almost 4 miles without stopping HOWEVER---- I went from running 8:30 min miles to 11:30-12:30 min mile and after 1 min I'm completely outta breath its like someone switched my cardio vascular system out with a 98-year-old 2 packs a day smoker. It's not me and I've been at it for last 3 months and although I can go a little further it takes all I got in will and pain to muscle out 3 miles or so without stopping. I'm going so slow and I'm so out of breath and it doesn't seem to get any better. No matter what I'm outta breath in a minute and want to stop but I push through. I did a stress test on treadmill for my cardiologist and it was all good. I told him of my out of breath woes and he was like keep at it, it may never come back fully. Now I should mention I'm on 12.5mg of metoprolol extended release 25mg losartan and baby aspirin. I told him I was reading the internets and the metoprolol might be cause and he wouldn't take me off it just yet. Oh yeah I went into afib 2 days after surgery and they had to shock me to get me back to rhythm and then I went into fib again a month after surgery working 5 days in a row on a public speaking gig I had to travel to. Crazy I know but I needed the money and the Dr cleared me. I was fueled by caffeine, norco and adderall which his what I'm sure put me into afib. I had been on adderall or some sorta ADHD meds for 20 years prior to surgery. I went off for surgery but started taking right before speaking gig for about a week until I went into afib. I stopped adderall immediately after afib and haven't returned. Anyway, has anyone had this experience with being out of breath while working out and it not getting any better?? Sorry for poorly written all over the place post.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Messages
10
Location
Hayward, CA
I went through the same thing. I have been a triathlete for almost 20 years now and had a porcine aortic valve replacement and aortic root replacement in January of 2012. It took a year before my aerobic system got even close to where it was before the surgery. I'm SURE that the metoprolol is also affecting you because it will limit your max heart rate. If I remember correctly I couldn't even get my heart rate above 120 while on metoprolol. I also got afib a few times in the first 3 months after surgery and get it periodically now(once in 2014 and once about a week ago). I think I may have also had some atrial flutter last year. However, I am back doing triathlons and am doing fine aerobically. I would definitely discuss it with your doctor but I think you will be fine. You may even be back normal before my because everyone recovers at a different rate. By the way I am 53 now and had my surgery done at age 47.
 

MidlifeCrisis

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2016
Messages
8
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Man thank you so much for your reply. It's been real defeating. Obviously I'm grateful to be alive and those are quality problems to have after surgery but it's been so depressing. As I'm sure you can attest going from having a great cardiovascular system (despite having a F-ed up valve) to suddenly being outta breath doing something that used to be so easy is crazy. Sorry about your recent afib. I'm just gonna keep plugging away. I swam 1600 yards today and it was crazy hard. I did an interval workout cause there's no way I could do that straight without stopping. Hopefully I can get off Metoprolol and get my wind back. Thanks again!!!
 

SumoRunner

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
926
Location
Latham, NY
Here's something I wrote for my road runners club in 1991. I bet little has changed in 26 years.

Old Jack's Back Again.

I RAN A MILE TODAY!
And boy it felt good. Not running it though, that felt horrible. You know, the
burning lungs, the aching legs. I mean after I did it, then it felt good. Then
there was a surge of adrenalin from the knowledge that I could at least do
one again. Boy it's been a long time. But that's not what matters now because...

I RAN A MILE TODAY!
It's just a couple days shy of three months from the date when I had the open
heart surgery. Three months, yeah it sounds like such a short time, but it's
been the longest three months of my life. Every step I've taken toward
recovery has been a tough one. The day I got out of the hospital, one week
after the operation, I went immediately out for a mile walk. Nah, nothing
extraordinary there, that's what they tell you to do. Within a couple weeks
though I was walking 3 miles every day. And at 6 weeks I tried a tiny bit of
running again. I made 80 yards the first time. It's taken from then to now,
another whole 6 week period to work it up to one full continuous mile. But
that's not what matters now because...

I RAN A MILE TODAY!
The muscles, the ligaments, the tendons and the bones they sawed in two have
all healed quite nicely now. I didn't have much trouble from those after the
operation, but there were complications. Aren't there always? Upon arriving
home from the hospital I was at a loss for as simple a thing as oxygen. During
the procedure one of my lungs collapsed, so I began my latest come-back at
half capacity. Bringing it back on-line has been a struggle I wouldn't wish on
my worst enemy. My wife thinks it was a good thing though, since if I had full
power I might have gone at the running too soon and too hard. She could be
right, but that's not what matters now because...

I RAN A MILE TODAY!
And now I can call myself a real runner again. One mile may not seem like much
to anyone who does 10 or more every Saturday morning. I used to be able to
handle 35 to 40 miles a week myself. That was just a year ago in fact,
training for the Schenectady Stockade-athon 15Km. Gawd, that sounds like light
years compared to a single mile. But it's a start. I know that if I can do one
now, I can work up to 2 or 3 soon and maybe more later. But who cares about
later, I'm only thinking about now. What I may or may not do later isn't what
matters now because...

I RAN A MILE TODAY!
And it was good to be back out on my favorite path and meet an old friend on
the run. He said, "Nice to see ya back again Jack". Yeah, it's nice to be
back, Mike. Nice to be a part of it all again. Yeah, nice. real nice. Nice
just to be alive. Oh hey, before I go, did I tell you I RAN A MILE TODAY?
 

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