Wow Garry! You are doing great. Keep those workouts coming, they are really helping you. I can tell you mine have helped me incredibly. And then look at Barry and Travis. Run it, pump it, swim it, ride it. Keep the beat man -- DVB
Hey, Gerry. Wed I set out to do a 10 minute mile on the "dreadmill" and when the meter got to a mile I wondered why I'd only been running 7.5 minutes. ..wanted it to be true I'd done it in 7.5 minutes, knew it wasn't true, but puzzled for a while about it..so asked the tech to help old "pump head" with this puzzle...damn...forgot I had done a 5 min/1/4 mile warm-up and then realized I'd only run 3/4 mile at 6 mph/10 min mile pace. BUT TODAY I DID IT...had to ramp up the speed from 6 to about 7.5 near the end to make up for the treadmill picking up speed at the very beginning, but did it. Thanks to you for motivating me to do it. Now, to be strong enough to do a 10 min/mi pace for a whole 5 K. Did a 5 K event last Sunday evening with a temp between 95 and 100 degrees...boy was that a disaster..but already registered for another on July 17th to make up for it. Lookin' at what DVB wrote about 15 min at 7 mph at 2 incline..wow!...not even gonna try to do that..what a monster..! ...Barry on the mtn in NM
You and Barry are rockin! I've run 2 miles on the track and 7 mph at 2% incline on the treadmill for 15 min, that's my highwater mark. Hiking up to about 5 mi. Currently 8 wks post-op MV repair. Your 10 minute mile is fantastic Gerry. You're going to see that improve even more with consistent workouts, especially as you up the mileage (slowly).
And Barry, I hope to know how your 12 mile training run goes. I don't think I can even see that far! You are getting ever closer to the top of that hill. It will happen, and soon I'll bet. If I get the sense of what you are all about we'll be reading about another, bigger hill shortly after that!
My main challenge is getting back into ultimate frisbee. Right now I can only sustain about 5 minutes at a time in the game before I have to sit out for a spell. Trying to get back where I can play hours at a time and at a competitive level. It'll be a while.
Barry, considering your calf cramping. If it is really true that you are fine on the treadmill but not on the road, then there's a big clue there. The treadmill has a softer footfall. And the bike and elliptical have no footfall impact at all. The stretches are a good idea. You might consider experimenting with running more on the ball of your foot. It can seem a little awkward at first, but its actually a more natural gait evolution-wise since your long-ago ancestors ran barefoot. It prevents the heel strike from being as forceful so might help. Just do a little bit at a time and pay attention to what it feels like. Also be sure you are hydrated so your electrolyte balance is good. You guys are both inspiring. -- DVB
Congrats on your 9:59, Garry! YES...IMPRESSIVE. Now, I gotta try it on my next treadmill session...Today at rehab the rehab guy (the skinny guy with a resting heart rate of 40 BPM) came to check on me when I was doing a 3 min 6 mph/1 incline interval and ck my 02 and HR. Said he was impressed...but I don't know that I cold hold it for a whole 10 minutes...but gonna try, you have inspired me to give it a try. Our Marathon training program has a 12 mile run scheduled for tomorrow morning. Believe me I am whole, fully intimidated about doing the whole thing without any or much walking, even at the slowest pace...but goin' for it.
Garry, re your calves. To me, it sounds like tight calves, especially if you haven't done a lot of walking or haven't been running for a while. Probably calf stretches are in order. Here's a link to some. The wall stretch seems to be a very common one and there a place to click to watch a video of it being demonstrated at the right on the page. As it turns out the demonstrator is also easy on the eyes! ...Barry on the mtn in NM
You inspire me. I am a runner and I'm barely managing 5km 3 times a week - and 3 years ago my base was 70 mpw! I am worried about never being able to run again, particularly because I am a klutz and forget the primary rule of running: Left, Right, Repeat. With a mechanical valve and bloodthinners... well I just am concerned that my running again will be a non starter.
Garry, You better keep up the aerobics if you're gonna catch me. If you keep up the aerobics no doubt you will pass me, young fella! I only did three complete and one 3/4 mile of the 4 mile intervals scheduled (1/4 mile walk in between each) at the track workout Tuesday evening at somewhere between 90 and 100 degrees before I called it quits, and on the damn mile long hill Wed at 6 PM I got further than ever before, about 3/4's of it before I started the walking, again hot in upper 90s, maybe even 100 degrees.
I am so glad I stumbled onto your journal this afternoon. My surgery is scheduled for July 11th and I'm more concerned about the rehab and being able to get back into doing my massages. I haven't read of anybody else dealing with the upper body strength issue except you.....so far. If you or anybody else can tell me more, I'd love it hear.
Congrats Garry, particularly on the running. I am 12 weeks post op and am running too, but I can only do a two mile walk/run route. Then again, I went back to work a month ago so I haven't had all the leisure time you've had. :-)
Seriously, glad to hear of your success! Keep running!
Congratulations, Garry. You're doin' super. Yeah, you're probably gonna catch and pass me soon....but maybe I can compete with you for a little while yet. At the beginning of last season, sometime in June 2010, I had a 9:23 mile and I think in Aug or Sept it was close to 9:08 or 9:10...before the heart valve issue was discovered. At the track workout last tuesday, for the warmup mile, my time was about 10:45. I'm sure it won't be long before you pass me. I'm thinking..maybe..to sign up for a tri in Western NY. My high school class reunion (50th) is in Frewsburg NY, really close to Jamestown, on Aug 27th, and I found there's a tri at Erie, PA as well as one at Dunkirk, NY that morning. Both have the Sprint (shorter) distance, and Dunkirk has an Olympic distance. Olympic distance requires a 1500 Meter swim, about 25 or 26 mile bike ride, and a 10 K (6.1 mile) run. If I can get confidence to be able to complete the swim, might sign up for the Olympic, but can't do that swim distance yet and I don't want to get in trouble swiming in Lake Erie. Keep working hard with the cardiac rehab. At this point, I'm about 6 or so wks into rehab doing it M W & F. It ends up being 1 1/2 to 2 hours of aerobic work on the "dreadmill" (mostly now doing intervals for 30 to 35 min after a 5 minute 3.2 to 3.5 speed warmup...last Monday I had been on the ..mill about 5 or 6 min and was getting bored with the steady run, closed my eys to deal with the mundane, and immediately stepped on the edge. I made a big noise as I recovered from the little stumble and I scared the hell out of the staff and other folks...the director said I would then do intervals and I would not get bored again. You don't get bored doing dreadmill intervals, believe me), then 30 to 35 min on the stationary bike at 70 or 75 watts (more and more interval work is being added), then hand cycle for from 15 to 20 or so min (last time started simulated hills), and that is followed by about an hour of weight training (I started with heavier weights and few reps but changed to 20 to 25 reps with lower weights...don't need to gain any muscle weight...already weigh more than I want to carry on a long run). The philosophy of this cardiac rehab program is that we work at the hard to very hard level, with some very, very hard work on the Borg scale of 1 to 20 in terms of easy to very, very hard. ...Barry on the mtn in NM
Hi Gary - I think we are on the exact same track. I will be at 7 weeks on Thursday - doing rehab and just started arms. I too have the same thing - every now and then I get just twinge as a reminder. hmmm...
I know what you are going through with the OSA. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get educated. Sadly, most doctors know very little about sleep medicine and those that think they do or they have a "board certification" in sleep medicine actually cause more harm than good. That's not a discussion for this forum--you can e-mail me for more info on OSA.
You are exactly right about the OSA putting a strain on the heart. It can cause damage if it is left undetected for too long. Once you get your xPAP machine, be sure to use it every night.
Garry, I'm sorta dealing with sleep apnea. Wife went with me to a routine cardiology follow-up once...damn, she tells the doc I stop breathing at night...study gets done...I lay on my back all night cuz of the damn mask...go for eval and..can't believe...what we in sales would call an assumptive close and I am gonna have this mach and mask, she says I gotta have it, that I couldn't tolerate for various reasons...they do a second study and use a different mach...still toleration issue with me. Its me and the mask that don't exist well together and then there's issue between me and the sleep study people who don't have all the info correct on the report they made. Just had another study done at another place. I know this is important for health. The tech uses one of those things like for oxygen to put in my nose, no mask, to do the study eval...I sleep on my side almost all the night. In the morning he, the tech doing the study, tells me I had no episodes while sleeping on my side and a few when I slept some on my back. What a difference...won't bore you with the rest of the story that involves me given false info by the company to sell me a mach...must be $$s in those machines, but bottom line is apparently my solution...that's just me...is to sleep on my side. Barry on the mtn in NM...where there's barely any rain, but lots of windy days...and a threat of a little snow on Thursday.
Wow, Garry, what a difference in rehab philosophies from place to place. Where I go the philosophy is to work on a RPE (rate of perceived exertion scale) scale at in the range of hard to very hard. We do it 3X/wk.
Hi Garry - I started Rehab on Wednesday - same thing - no baseline - so they went real slow with me. If felt good to move - but I have to admit - I was really tired the rest of the day. When I went back today they said that is pretty normal. I can't wait to get my full energy level back. Take Care, Randa G
Garry, ...think Polar and Timex have perfectly fine HR monitors. The Precor brand treadmill will pick up the Polar signal, apparently. I have a Garmin 310XT, so when on the rehab treadmill watch my HR on my wrist device, but my device, when I'm out running or biking, has a GPS and tracks distance and even elevation as well as HR and % Max HR. Hope your rehab goes as well for you as it seems to be going for me. Today will finish the 3rd wk of rehab for and it seems I'm on a plateau, working hard, but not getting any better. The philosophy here with this group is to let the heart work as hard as it can and they monitor on their video screen how it is doing, but not really concerned so much about the rate. I had cardiac rehab with a different place two and a half years ago with a different group and they didn't want my HR above 130 or 135 and I would have lost fitness if I had not gradually learned I could do more. They were really, unintentionally, holding me back. They were not working with the latest science like this group is that I am with now. Now, I'm typically, running on the treadmill, with the HR in the 150s and even some in the 170s. But on the stationary bike trying to work at the same perceived effort the HR is lower, sometimes not getting much more than into the 120s. On my own I've started the Marathon training. Last Monday at the track workout, at the begginning the HR hit into the 170s by the end of the running intervals doing a couple sets of 400s and then a run the straights and walk the curves. By the time of the last sets there wasn't as much steam and I'd only get the HR to barely 150. Barry on the mtn in NM
Rehab is Good, Garry. Hope the weather has turned in Western NY. It actually snowed all day on the mtn here on Sunday. I'm in the 3rd week of rehab and it seems it has grown from an hour of solid aerobics to an hour and a half. Hard, but good for the body. The trainer has us work at the hard to very hard area on a rate of perceived effort scale.
So glad to hear your doctor liked what he saw. Did you talk to the doctor about coughing? My cardiologist didn't want me to cough, so he told me to take Mucinex DM for a few days and to keep some on hand just in case. It worked. Maybe you could ask your doctor about that. Mine said the pill was less dangerous than coughing. Other than that, keep that heart pillow handy for coughs or sneezes. Hold it TIGHT! Also, a lozenge helps. Even a Life Saver to keep your throat lubricated works. My doctor told me that after having all those tubes down your throat, you can have a dry cough for awhile. He said to keep my throat lubricated as a first defense against a cough starting.
So glad you've made it this far. It gets better all the time.
Hi Garry, the hospital I was in was not short staffed. I had my own nurse 24/7 the entire time I was in ICU. They either charted on the computer in my room or right outside my door. It drove me nuts!
I have this terrible dry cough, if I talk I cough, if I breath deeply I cough. I see the surgeon on Friday. Other than that I feel pretty good. You got to drive already, that's great, I'm still not driving.
Garry, thanks for the words of wisdom. My only complication was that my BP was real high so they kept me in ICU on a drip for 5 days. I was in a military hospital so they can do what they want. The nurses kept saying I wasn't sick enough to be in ICU that long. And ICU caused me much angst! with all the bells going off!
Hi Garry! I had a valve replacement 3 months ago. Regarding your boredom, I'm also unable to sit and play video games. But....a friend of mine bought me all 7 seasons of the TV show -- The Shield. I literally watched 88 episodes in 10 days. It was the most excellent show and I was hooked quickly. It really helped pass the time. In the weeks thereafter I also watched on disc both seasons of Rome (HBO), The Tudors (HBO) and 5 seasons of 24. I have never been one to watch tv all day but these shows really helped me to pass the time enjoyably. Good luck!
Guess I really forgot how that Western NY State weather can be in April. Is it still true that in summer in Western NY, on that day, everyone goes to the beach?
Seriously, my classmate from highschoo, an anesthetist, told me he knew the Chief of Anesthiology at Cleveland Clinic, and spoke to him about me before I got to Cleveland, Steve told me their drugs they use are so good I wouldn't remember anything, including Cleveland winter...and he was right. Hope the weather clears for you soon and you can get out and enjoy some sun. ...Barry on the mtn in NM.
It sounds like you are doing well for just under 2 weeks postop. The pain and sleep can be frustrating. I am lucky to be a back sleeper. I had to talk to my dr. regarding med changes for pain. I do have some chronic pain anyway. The cardiac rehab is definitely a good thing. I began April 1, just over 1 month after my surgery. It has been challenging for me but definitely very good to help me build my strength and stamina while the nurses keep a eye on my heart and BP. I wish you all the best.
Garry, Besides getting your walks and gym time in, just sayin', hope you have a formal cardiac rehab program available to you and you use it. See Adam Pick's book. He has good comments why it is important. He's right for all the reasons he lists, and then some more. I didn't see any mention of cardiac rehab in your journal,so just mentioning it. I was thinking the other day I'm back on my horse, so to speak, so maybe I don't need to really go to rehab, but when I went to the first session yesterday, I found out how much stronger those rehab experts are gonna make me...well worth it. ...Barry on the mtn in New Mexico.
Hey, Garry, The time does go by fast, and the strength builds and builds more and more as the time builds. And, what a beautiful time of year in Western New York is the Spring season, as I recall from growing up near Jamestown. My minimally invasive procedure was March 11th, and already cardiac rehab started today. The best to you as you move forward with your recovery. ....Barry on the Mtn in New Mexico
Good luck and hang in there. It's almost over. I know what you mean about feeling nauseous with nerves. I think a massage will help greatly. I plan to try to get one in before I leave for my surgery. Best of luck to you.
You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go into surgery. It has got to be comforting to know, trust, and have worked with your surgical team. They will take great care of you.
I had my bicuspid aortic valve repaired and my aneurysm removed and part of the aortic root replaced on Feb. 28, and all went very well. I am sure all will go very well for you. You are blessed to have such a wonderful girlfriend.
Oh Terry C.....WELL SAID!!!!! I just don't get why all these men want to push it and refuse to give themselves time to recovery. You're so right, if they only knew they might end up with another surgery they might calm down a bit.
I have a tissue valve and was cautioned by my cardiologist that while your heart has been REPAIRED, it doesn't yet know it. He also said that there's no real reason for pushing your heart rate to its max when keeping it at a more reasonable level will get you there just as well. Your heart needs time to heal. Eventually you may be able to do all that macho athletic stuff, but give your heart time to find out that it has been fixed and give it time to get back to normal. That takes months, but don't despair, it doesn't take forever. Best of luck with your surgery. Read the journals done my the mother of the 20 year old kid who persisted in doing heavy exercise and sports and had to go back to have his surgery redone. Then decide how hard you want to exercise. You've got a long life ahead of you. There's no rush for pushing your heartbeat too soon.
Hi Garry, welcome to HVJ. Your story sounds so familiar. Two years ago, in the spring of 2009, I also started losing the vision in my right eye. I had few episodes lasting 15-30 seconds but the last one probably close to 45 minutes. I thought it was all stress related since I had just been given double the workload and felt overwhelmed. I got scared so I went to the clinic (no family doc) where they saw I had high blood pressure (170/120) and high bad cholesterol. The doc suspected Amaurosis Fugax and said they were ministrokes; she told me to quit smoking as the next episode could be either paralysing or fatal. I did on May 07th 2009. I also had a doppler test on my carotid arteries which were clean so the clinic doc then referred me to a cardiologist. The transient monocular blindness incidents never returned since I went on medication for the high blood pressure. In April 2010, I had a heart attack where they stented the 90% blocked right coronary artery. They saw my valve was heavily calcified and said I would be needing the valve replaced in the near future. My aortic valve went from 1.6 cm2 in June 2009 to 1.1 in July 2010 and was 0.77 cm2 on Jan.17th at my last angiogram. I am now waiting for the call from my surgeon to fix my enlarged aortic root with the Bentall procedure and replace the aortic valve with the Medtronics ATS 3f stentless equine (horse) pericardial tissue valve. My surgery should be early to mid April. Good luck with your's on the 5th.... Eric Brenie