The recovery trap!!

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sensei Ade

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May 4, 2011
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uk
Hi all,
This is for those of you that are very active like me: Ever since I had my On-X valve put in last November my focus has been on the recovery and now I'm playing hockey again, doing my karate training and running in the gym. As you get better you tend to aim to push things a bit more, especially as you reach the 9-month mark after surgery, so it's really easy to overstep the mark, which is what I think I've done. For the past 10 days I've been getting dizzy spells with pressure around my temples, blood pressure around 148/85, heart thumping but no arrhythmia, general fuzzy feeling, exhaustion, no breathlessness. So I've gotta take the foot off the pedal a bit, but this is such an easy mistake to make as you start to get fitter again. You end up over-exerting yourself. Watch out for this everyone.

Sensei
 

epstns

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Hey - I'm hoping that I can make those mistakes myself at 8 or 9 months out. :wink2:

So far my beta blocker (I think) is keeping me from pushing that hard. I can walk the treadmill at a good pace with a 5% - plus incline, but I cannot jog. It seems that when I get to around a 12:45 mile pace, I just can't get my heart rate up enough to continue and must slow down. At that point I'm at all of about 125 BPM. Pre-op I was able to run up to the 150's and jog comfortably for 3 to 4 miles a day. I'm going to have to have a chat with my cardio about meds after my next pacer interrogation.
 

RunMartin

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Sounds very familiar. Sometimes I think I am OK so I push a bit harder/longer but I always get the reminder that I cannot do exactly what I used to do. I find I need longer rests in between hard exercise.
 

Daveb

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Oct 16, 2010
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Corvallis, OR
Yep, we get constant reminders. After my first AVR (Dec 2010) I was running at 5 weeks, doing interval work at 8 weeks. Ran a 10K with my HR at 155 at 10 weeks. Developed endocarditis at 14 weeks and had my second AVR at 20 weeks. This time I am taking my recovery a lot slower. I am currently at 9 weeks post op and just got released to start running easy.
 

ski girl

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Sep 14, 2010
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Perth, Western Australia
Sensei I'm at the nine month mark too and my cardio has no worries at all about me pushing hard - if I were you I'd be on the phone to my cardio about those symptoms!! Sounds like more than just 'oh you pushed a bit too hard' . . . .
 

camgough

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Jan 1, 2011
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Ontario, Canada
I am just over a year post op, and along the way I had many mini set backs from over doing it. I'm feeling better now, but long days outside in the heat, hard workouts still take me a day to recover. Keep up the good work!
 

sensei Ade

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May 4, 2011
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uk
Hi ski girl, as it happens I'm off to the clinic tomorrow for an ECG to check all is OK. Things are better today though, my heart rate is at just 44bpms as I type on 1.25mg of bisoprolol. I think I have to just chill a bit. My lifestyle has been far too hectic for my own good - I'm a bit of a 90mph man which isn't ideal for cardiac recovery!!!!
 

sensei Ade

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May 4, 2011
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uk
cheers, Martin, this could be where I've been going wrong. I've been doing tough exercise on consecutive days, i.e. 5km < 24mins on Monday, field hockey on Tuesday, then karate training wednesday!!
 

sensei Ade

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uk
Hi camgough,
That's very encouraging, yes same for me, you go through these dips which can last about 10 days or so then you're better, but a bit more than before. So you're on that gradual climb. What a slow old process it is, but there again, it's pretty major surgery, has to be expected. I lose sight of this sometimes. All the best.

Sensei
 
G

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wow.. i am majorly impressed with you guys. I am just at 9 weeks post-op and still get easily winded by walking too hard. .. but .. i wasn't fit before surgery either .. with severe mitral stenosis i could not sustain any exercise . Now , i can tell i am improving but certainly not at the pace i see here.

Margie... slowly recovering : _) and hoping to go zip-lining soon.
 

ken taylor

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Aug 15, 2009
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Boquete Panama
Nine weeks post avr walking now 7 miles a day in this heat every morning its about 88 degrees with less than 50 % humidity. Walking at 18 min. per mile.
 

epstns

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I was able to do stairs - very slowly and carefully - by the time I got home some 9 days post-op. I didn't do them like I can now at 5.5 months out, but I did them. YMMV, though. Be careful but persevere.
 

ken taylor

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I have not tried stairs , just some small hills, Today it hit 112 degrees here in east texas, we now have broke all records and there is no change in sight. I think Im g either going to stop walking or at least try one hour and see . If that does not work I will stop until this God awfull weather changes.
 

MaryC

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Nov 18, 2006
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DFW, TX
Now that I am 4 years out I wish I had written a diary during my 1st year after surgery. What I remember about the months following my surgery is having a lightheadedness for a long time everytime I stood upright. I had other issues such as a-flutter and developed pleurisy around 6 months post surgery. My surgery was in February and I had started bike riding and planned to do a 50 mile bike ride in August but couldn't due to the pleurisy.


Chris
 

epstns

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Ken - I'm not trying to be "cute" but with the temps you are experiencing, are there any indoor shopping malls you could walk in? Mall-walking is a big activity among seniors here (we're not THAT old, but being a heart patient makes up for it), especially during the hottest summer months and coldest winter months.

OTOH when I came home from surgery last March, we just bundled up and walked outdoors.

Good luck, and try to keep moving ahead!
 

ken taylor

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STEVE_The mall here is really small and I think I would get dizzy going in circles. Today I did the yard instead, Im so wet I look like I did the seven miles. Early this morning it weas 90 at sun rise later today 112 . The normal for this time of year 75 in the morning and a high of 95. IT REALLY SUCKS it out of you!
 

Michellemar

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Mar 6, 2011
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Live near Santa Barbara, California, treated at US
So, hi. Exercise...? did any of you follow your BNP numbers... I don't know if I'm remodeling (4mos out) but my liver-hepatomegaly, and pulse, and venous pulse veins darned visible on my neck. So I stress.!!! AVR from .8cm to 2.3cm... Huge difference for formerly backpressured valves (pulmonary valve , tricuspid-the tricuspid is leaking still, and not just a s
A bit I don't think... But to have BNPs in the 4-500's this far out from surgery???
Walking hurts my hip replacements, even at say 7 minutes, so is
Y lack of exercise holding recovery back? 20 mg of Torsemide plus potassium does all the diuretic thing, sometimes I half the dose. But if I DO exercise (walk pretty slowly,(!)(and I used to be a jock) my pulse can go to 150 and not good so I worry about afib and then spend hours breathing to slow things down. Maybe tKe a BIT of Atenolol (25mg or under (BB) because by morning I can be 86/47. A little low. I am very frustrated, AND scared. I'm 62. Can a gone relate to this?? Want to start Cardio and a Holter monitor because I don't know WHERE I stand!!! Michelle
 

JeffM

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Aug 18, 2008
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Fairfax, VA USA
At what point could y'all do stairs without incident? I tried yesterday and it was a mistake. I am just home since last Friday July 29th. I want to push for better cardio health but also don't want to over do anything.
Try not to compare yourself with others too much. Everyone is different with respect to their conditioning level going into surgery and their understanding of athletic training coming out. Additionally, we don't all have the same surgeries and complications so you have to set your own bench marks with the help of your medical professionals.
 
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