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markup


Feb 23, 2014, 8:08 AM
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Registered: Jul 5, 2011
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Heart Surgery
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Hi I do or used to do lot of sport climbing up to 5.12 but had heart surgery last November, had a bi-cuspid valve that needed to be replaced with a mechanical valve. All the Doctors I've seen so far have told me that I wont be able to climb again, I started climbing on 4th of February again in indoor gyms and a week ago did a 5.12 on top rope but I sort of feel that I pushed it too far, I feel as strong as ever and the only thing stopping me is myself, my heart goes up to 160 on hard routes, Doc said no more than 110 but I feel fine, would like to know of anybody going through the same and their thoughts
Cheers


singletrackmike


Feb 23, 2014, 8:44 AM
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Re: [markup] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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I'd get a second opinion if I were in that situation. Seems to me that some people get their heart rates up to 110 just by sneezing.
A friend of mine, who's 70 yrs old, had a mechanical valve put in about ten years ago, regularly visits his doctor to monitor the situation, and we've biked, hike and climbed and I know he's done so hard enough to be hitting 130-140 HR. His doctor knows of his activities and apparently approves.
I gotta say, I admire you for pushing yourself after going through this. I don't know if I'd be able to.
Just curious, if you don't mind, what is your age and what's your general fitness level?


markup


Feb 23, 2014, 10:06 AM
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Re: [singletrackmike] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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Hi, I just turned 37 and always been fit, non smoker, non drinker and always into sport, the problem with most of the doctors I've seen is that they want to limit you, have to find a doctor that's willing to work with me and see how far I can push it


singletrackmike


Feb 23, 2014, 10:13 AM
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Re: [markup] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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My friend's doc is in the D.C. suburbs if that's a help.


potreroed


Feb 23, 2014, 2:07 PM
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Re: [markup] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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You said it yourself--you're pushing too hard. Take it easy and you'll be climbing for many more years.


Partner robdotcalm


Feb 23, 2014, 2:10 PM
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Re: [markup] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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I had my bicuspid aortic valve replaced with a bovine prosthesis in 1997 at age 66. It's still working OK though bioprosthetic valves wear out in contrast to plastic valves. I have an echocardiogram every year. I'm still climbing but at a more moderate level due to the gradual decline in physical abilities as aging progresses.

Prior to the surgery, I was told by three different cardiologists at two different institutions that if I got a plastic valve they did not want me to climb. Reason: a plastic valve requires taking a blood thinner such as Coumadin and that banging my body against the rock could lead to dangerous blood flow. Given my lifestyle they all recommended a bioprosthesis. In your case, because of your young age I assume that the plastic valve was recommended since it won't wear out before you die of other causes. My guess, the doctors don't want you climbing because of the risk of bleeding. Have you checked with them on that?

Rob.calm


markup


Feb 23, 2014, 3:05 PM
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Re: [robdotcalm] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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Yep I have a mechanical valve and I'm on warfarin, hitting myself against the rock doesn't worry me that much, I don't want to hurt my heart or the valve. Most doctors are protective, anyway I'm going to get an echo this week and see a sports doctor, since I climbed hard last week the inside of my chest feels funny


Partner robdotcalm


Feb 23, 2014, 9:20 PM
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Re: [markup] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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markup wrote:
Yep I have a mechanical valve and I'm on warfarin, hitting myself against the rock doesn't worry me that much,

Maybe it should worry you. One of my docs was knowledgeable about climbing, and he was very precise about the dangers of bleeding. He minced no words in saying that if I wanted to continue climbing I needed a bioprosthesis. A climbing friend of mine recently developed atrial fibrillation and is on blood thinners. His cardiologist said he could follow but not lead. After the surgery, the docs placed no limits on my heart rate. I'm surprised at the 110 limit for some one as young as you.

Since I was twice as old as you are when I had my surgery, my recovery was slower, but for what it's worth here is what I encountered. I recovered aerobic capacity in a couple of months. I don't run, but I did a lot of hill walking. On the other hand, using a lot of strength, say in lifting something, did make my chest feel funny and gave me a modest fever. After a couple of months, I started very easy weight lifting, e.g., dead lifting 25 lb, and no chinups. I made the decision I wouldn't climb until I was strong enough to do 12 chinups and sturdy enough to roll 6 somersaults. This took a couple of months of 3 times a week workouts, but I didn't get anymore of the fever or funny chest feelings. You might want to consider easy weight lifting as a way to build up to climbing.

I forgot, but about 10 years ago, I met a climber in the gym who was on blood thinners. His cardiologist said he could gym climb but not climb outdoors.

rob.calm


markup


Feb 26, 2014, 5:48 AM
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Re: [singletrackmike] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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Thanks dude, I'm currently living in South America so I have to find someone local


markup


Feb 26, 2014, 5:52 AM
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Re: [robdotcalm] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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Ill try to get all the info I can, I'm getting a ecc today. 6 weeks after surgery I was able to do 4 sets of 10 chin ups and keep my heart rate low, I'm doing some weights but just light stuff and heaps of reps. Jogging about 3 km and was walking about 5-8 km 4 times a week 3 weeks after surgery, I do understand doctors, they try to keep you safe but there is no fun in that ;). But true I should grow up a bit and be more careful


sonso45


Feb 26, 2014, 9:52 AM
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Re: [markup] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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I had a triple bypass 11 years ago and I have been climbing ever since. I am not on blood thinners though. Then again, I usually don't bleed as a result of a fall although it could happen but would most likely be catastrophic and I'd have other problems.

Keep climbing and take precautions like taping your hands etc.


jorgegonzalez


Mar 3, 2014, 7:47 PM
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Re: [sonso45] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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Don't forget, you have nothing to prove to anyone other than yourself. Learn to enjoy what you can still do and don't ruin it by overdoing it.

Geeez, dude, you're only 37. Many of us out here are 20 years beyond that and find true happiness everytime we get out, regardless of the numbers.


markup


Mar 6, 2014, 4:15 PM
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Re: [jorgegonzalez] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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Well had an echo and an electro, the dr says that my heart is in better condition than before and he couldn't find anything wrong with it, the look in his face was priceless, he was puzzled and trying to find something wrong so he checked me twice and gave me the all clear, next is an endurance and oxigen intake test to train accordingly, thanks for the reply's in the post


Partner robdotcalm


Mar 6, 2014, 8:51 PM
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Re: [markup] Heart Surgery [In reply to]
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markup wrote:
Well had an echo and an electro, the dr says that my heart is in better condition than before and he couldn't find anything wrong with it, the look in his face was priceless, he was puzzled and trying to find something wrong so he checked me twice and gave me the all clear, next is an endurance and oxigen intake test to train accordingly, thanks for the reply's in the post

Glad to hear that it's going well.

Rob.calm


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