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Experiences while taking blood thinners and windsurfing.
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Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3848

PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catching a-fib in action is tough. When I had it, I was having two or 3 episodes a month, usually lasting a few hours. So all the testing you have gone through likely didn't see anything, because it wasn't happening during the tests. If you have an episode, get to an ECG asap to confirm. I had a-fib for 5 years before it was caught on an ECG. Dr. misdiagnosed my very irregular heart beat as the result of mitral valve prolapse. WRONG. For me, my pulse jumped from 50's to 180 during a-fib (pre meds) and was VERY easy for me to feel on my carotid pulse. For others, apparently not so obvious.

Good luck.
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Joined: 06 Nov 2008
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Location: Cedar Falls, IA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am on Eloquis as a blood thinner, about 18 months so far. My doctors and I are not concerned about injury risks from my windsurfing rig sailing because my particular sailing has never been high risk for open wounds. My worst "wounds" were only scrapes & sprains in my 34 seasons of windsurfing plus at least 10 of ice & hard packed snow sailing and about 8 of land sailing with various 4 wheeled boards. My highest risk is from my land sailing. But then I'mI wearing helmet, pads, bulky clothing and the parking lots where I sail are within 5 minutes of EMTs and within 15 minutes of two hospital emergency rooms. I have a first aid kit in my van and I carry a cell phone with me while land sailing.

My disease progression: pretty long term undiagnosed sleep apnea; added low pulse rate about 2 years ago which led to diagnosis of obstructive and central sleep apnea (once recorded 82 seconds of brain not telling my body to breathe) and use of bi-pap machine. Frequency of low pulse rate got worse, sometimes down to high 40s which lead to pacemaker installation. The hospital observation identified minor atrial fibrillation which led to Eloquis to hopesfully prevent a stroke.

I mention that medical history because the primary risk factor for atrial fibrillation is being over age 60 (been a geezer for a while). The only other A-Fib risk factor I have is sleep apnea. My blood pressure has never been high, no diabetes, no known cardiac problems.
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Joined: 12 Dec 1999
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ittiandro wrote:
1. It is not my intention to hijack this Forum by bringing in medical issues

2. I run 4-5 km three times a week and goes regularly to the gym... treadmill session Ö

3. Some people in this thread have expressed reserves about doctors being stubbornly ultra-conservative, if not incompetent and all too keen to unnecessarily prescribe medications Ö I had similar thoughts, but I wouldnít go as far as some have gone.

4. Ö a doctorís knowledge, no matter how incompetent he or she may be for some, is always vastly superior to the limited laymanís knowledge Ö

5. whose opinions, as KUDS, a windsurfer-cardiologist, has rightly pointed out in this thread regarding some of the statements made by members, are often ill-informed.

6. Being put unnecessarily on medication with its sometimes unpleasant consequences, like bleeding accidents, is after all only the lesser of the two evils, the greater one being death ensuing an untreated health condition.
Even if it were true that my doctor put me on medication unnecessarily, as a precaution, I cannot really blame him, because his decision may save my life.

7. The way I do windsurfing exposes me only minimally to accidents involving bleeding, not at least serious bleeding, because I donít race or jump or go offshore. I do have my fair share of falling, but with a helmet, booties and full body protective gear ( a wet suit or other light full body garments in the heart of summer) Ö Iíll also keep a medical emergency kit in my glove compartment, containing anti-hemorrhagic gauze and a pressure applicator.

8. I am sure this will make me feel more secure and rekindle my enthusiasm for this sport..

To shorten this by a few dozen pages (heaven forbid it gets too long Very Happy ), Iíll omit the scores of examples I could provide from just my own experience, let alone the literature. I apologize for stirring the pot belatedly, but this is nowhere near my top priority.

1. IMO, medical problems and treatments are relevant to WSing and WSers and thus to this forum if they impact our WSing.

2. I hope your running, whether on the road or a treadmill, is not the steady pace near an 8-minute-mile which tends to calcify our coronary arteries. For the sake of your heart, weight, blood pressure, and many other benefits, mix in some sprints and walks. Google HIIT and consider the preponderance of the evidence.

3. I hope you arenít referring to my personal experiences, the peer-reviewed research, and the authoritative books supporting everything Iíve posted on this and similar topics. Many, maybe most, people wonít go as far as Iíve gone, for many reasons including misplaced awe of doctors, less experience with them (Iíve been treated and/or advised by well > 100 of them and my medical file stack is well over a foot high plus many CDs), not doing their own homework, political correctness, even fear of doctors. Iím aware of only one misstatement Iíve made in those regards -- a weight loss number and the name of a hospital -- and I openly corrected it the minute someone brought it to my attention.

4. That is extremely naÔve, completely untrue, and way too often life-threatening. Sure, physicians know much more ďstuffĒ in greater depth than most of their patients do, but that doesnít make them infallible, even on some major issues. Besides, every patient knows -- or should know -- some things his doctor doesnít know about his own relevant circumstances*. Whole books on exactly that topic list many examples, and by major cancer centersí own admission Iíd be dead now if I had ignorantly kowtowed to their (and the governmentís) treatment demands. Instead, Iím still WSing in gale force winds. Doctors 0, me ≥3 in just that game alone. Add "severely crippled" or endangered to the impacts and my win column gets much longer.

* Thereís no way a pt can tell his doctor everything in a few minutes; MOST doctors still believe far too many disproved old wivesí tales estimated to have killed millions of people world-wide; many doctors, nurses, professional gym trainers, and other providers have told me they learned something new and valuable from me; and many doctors completely lack the time, interest, and/or respect to pay attention to their patients or keep up to date with emerging facts. MOST doctors still believe often-fatal BS based on one manís (Ancel Keys) deliberately falsified ďdataĒ from the 1950s.

5. Of COURSE many pts are misinformed, but so are many thousands of doctors. Itís up to each patient to learn, as best as s/he can, to distinguish among the sound advice, the human errors, the bad advice, and the total BS. We can and absolutely should question and verify their instructions. I alone have caught dozens of cases of debatable advice, indisputable errors, and some outright and extremely grave lies in their medical directions to me, and there are billions of ďmesĒ in the world. It could be argued that this implies billions of errors -- millions with grave consequences -- around the world. After all, according to a recent study by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 people in the United States alone die every year because of medical mistakes, making them the third leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer).

6. Doctorsí decisions can -- and hundreds of thousands (millions?) of times per year WILL -- negatively impact or even unnecessarily end our lives in just the U.S. alone. The hell we CANíT blame many of them, because many of them lack or refuse to take the time or interest to do THEIR homework. The mere suggestion to many of them that the biggest names in their field, backed up by dozens to hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, say theyíre badly out of date pisses them off rather than motivating them to do more homework.

7. Iím on blood thinners to offset some of my clot-inducing cancer meds. Even modest windsurfing can be a contact sport, often risking bruising (aka internal bleeding) just from falling onto one's own gear, even when slogging. My visibly bloodiest WSing fall was a mast whack to my scalp when underpowered on a 6.x sail, but internal bleeds (or clots) can be much more life-threatening and are impervious to gauze in oneís glove box. (Are ya listening, Del?)
He wrote:
My doctors and I are not concerned about injury risks from my windsurfing.

8. Armoring up clearly bolsters my confidence, and I choose to do it even in midsummer for many reasons including the fact that my extensive armor is cooler than neoprene.

7 years ago but still relevant, vikingsail wrote:
I do take 3 cans of low sodium v8 and a banana every day to boost potassium, this has been a big help.

It takes a dozen bananas to supply our daily minimum quota of potassium, and more than a dozen very common foods have more potassium than bananas. And research continues to show that most of us need MORE salt in our diets than the often-misguided advice of < 2 gms per day. That's even more important for keto followers.

dvCali wrote:
... a windsurfing forum is a pretty bad place to get medical advise. The format guarantees that some ignorant prick will show up and pontificate about matters upon which he or she has at most a superficial understanding. And the pricks will always tell you that the real experts (physicians in this case) know nothing ...

One comes here for support, share experiences, a cheer up, but for real advise is better go somewhere else ...

I agree with your first and last sentences. HOWEVER, you demonstrate either a memory or reading comprehension failure (i.e., your problem), or youíre trolling (everyone elseís problem), as this was asked and answered in the fourth and tenth posts at .

One last chance, in case youíre not deliberately trolling:
Thatís why I cite and refer posters to authoritative sources. I donít give medical advice even in my online and flesh and blood cancer forums (or in my 1990ís health and fitness column). Instead, I offer ďheads-upsĒ (usually with sources, sometimes by the hundreds), constantly refer to my posts as parroting the research, and VERY often advise doing one's own homework. Very evidently, many people (> half of the country and of this forum, apparently) canít handle opinions or facts opposing their own, and prefer attacking the messenger and putting words in his mouth* rather than studying the topic and debating the message directly.

* I have never seen anyone state that physicians know "nothing" or anything close to that, but no physician can come even close to knowing everything, even within their own field. That's why they disagree so often even on such giant issues as the very root causes of heart disease and cancer, often despite overwhelming proof for one hypothesis vs none for its popular opposition.

wernerhickey wrote:
dvCali - holly cr@p is that necessary? I don't think anyone was actually asking or actually giving medical advice, just their perspective on a take it or leave it basis.

My medical, physiology, nutritional, etc. comments are almost never just my own perspective. Unless specified otherwise, they are evidence-based (i.e. based on large scale statistics) and intended to motivate and help steer others' own homework. I much prefer windsurfing to dying (or being crippled) unnecessarily, and (maybe falsely) presume most people feel the same way. Just think: In various instances, I've provably and very significantly extended the quality and sometimes even the very length of my life many times simply by doing my own damned homework rather than assuming that a white coat transforms any individual human into an infallible or omniscient god. Don't forget that 50% of our physicians graduated in the bottom half of their class.

techno900 wrote:
1. All this means is that you should do your own research, talk to your Doctors and learn as much as possible to guide you...

2. And again, chances are, bleeding will not be a serious issue if you crash a lot. Some of the newer blood thinner have reversal agents that can be given by the ER if necessary. That's something you should research and check with your doctors.

1. Be careful. Thatís all Iíve advised, and it attracts mostly strong criticism, personal attacks, and endless misattribution.

2. Very few Gorge launch sites have an ER. Besides, how many of us are astute enough to go to an ER when thereís no visible blood? What if weíre encamped for a few days, when a liver bleed from a boom impact could kill us overnight?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough isobars, comprehensively put. I have many stories of my own, personal and close family, of misdiagnosis and poor doctoring - eventually fixed by a good one, there is something to learn in that. I have doctor friends that will only see certain specialists for their issues - supports what you are saying. Keep loving life and living each day to the fullest Mike.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Werner. I might briefly add to it my experiences with a whole 'nuther treatment paradigm too many doctors criticize or even outright discourage: deep tissue massage by experts such as kinesiologists. Local orthopedists typically remove half the scapula of pts with a frozen shoulder and the literature claims that resolving crippling piriformis syndrome takes at least 4-6 weeks.

My guy released my frozen shoulder in two very effective 20-30-minute sessions and relieved my piriformis syndrome in two comparable sessions. Sure, deep tissue therapy hurts like hell during the treatment, but it feels great within minutes and beats the hell out of surgery and its aftermath. I and my wife have had similar results with many musculoskeletal problems surgeons couldn't wait to operate on unnecessarily.
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Location: Cedar Falls, IA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isobars, yes, as always, I am listening. I agree my windsurfing is not free from some risk of bruising and nearly any level of bruising could create a dangerous blot clot. That is also true of my bicycle riding which in the summer sometimes gets up to 15-20 miles as often as once a week; and my pickle ball playing has similar frequency & risks. And walking trails in the Candadian Rockies near Banff & Jasper the first two weeks in September had even more risk of falling.

BUT, the level of risk of bruising or wounding I take in my "absolutely, never ever go-for-broke" approach is very tiny compared with what I understand as the "go for it" approach you and many other windsurfers have. Instinctively my body has always known I don't have the speed of muscle or prowess or coordination to pull off risky moves if I do go for broke. So I don't.

By the way my wife & I got a charge out of your remark that 50% of doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DelCarpenter wrote:
BUT, the level of risk of bruising or wounding I take in my "absolutely, never ever go-for-broke" approach is very tiny compared with what I understand as the "go for it" approach you and many other windsurfers have. Instinctively my body has always known I don't have the speed of muscle or prowess or coordination to pull off risky moves if I do go for broke. So I don't.

Ditto here. Due to aging, drug-induced fatigue, and the really crappy quality of our wind this season, my WSing has been severely limited. I remain cognizant of the risk of mixing blood thinners with active sports, but that just means I'll get my butt ashore sooner after a worrisome impact. My larger deterrent is that I flat don't WANT to risk the long swims, bumps and bruises, extreme winds, and extreme fatigue once part of this game for me. I've dropped several of the worst drugs in that regard, but the #1 such drug is also my #1 most effective life-preserving drug.

It all strongly reinforces my decision to retire long ago, about the time I realized it would all come down to something like this some year.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a way, reasonable non radical windsurfing should be a safe sport for those on blood thinning medication, and who would be in danger of serious internal bleeding from heavy knocks and blows. A relatively soft landing or plop into the water when it goes wrong should, assuming adequate protection, surely be non life threatening.

We had a sad death three years ago when a keen 73 year old fellow windsurfer and cyclist who was on medication from a previous mini-stroke, crashed while riding his road bike in a group outing. he was rushed to hospital but, sadly, the blood thinning medication he was on had resulted in bleeding of the brain. There was no chance of a successful operation. He would have been permanently brain damaged had it actually kept him alive.

It was a shame in the sense that he had apparently backed off from risking windsurfing out on the sea, in that he would have been unable to safely get back in if he suffered any attack. He presumably had calculated that on the bike, he would at least have a brief enough warning giving him time to brake and stop, on safe solid ground. It didn't work that way. he lost control in an instant with a fatal fall. There are no soft landings on tarmac.

One of the sad things in life is that bad things often enough happen to those who least deserve it. Although we were not real friends, just fellow windsurfers, I often think kindly of him, and recall how he once came to my aid when I'd hurt myself and needed a bit of help. Life can be depressing at times, for those of us who are not religious. We are continually made aware that it is just a random series of events to which no apparent purpose can be given.
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Joined: 10 Apr 2006
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Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not entirely random, old friend, nature can slap us down at any time, but
we do what we can to stand and face her. Life would be so unfulfilling without risk.


p.s. purpose is over rated

. Life can be depressing at times, for those of us who are not religious. We are continually made aware that it is just a random series of events to which no apparent purpose can be given.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if the same applies in the Gorge Craig, but most sailing or surfing beaches have their core of regulars which often results in a form of tribalism. They share phone numbers, and usually sail or surf as arranged, not usually aggressively towards outsiders (unless they 'drop in' on them or boss about) But the 'tribe' do often enough misunderstand the motive of those of us who are loners by nature, and choose to maintain our independence of action, while simply joining in the day's action.

I'm making the point because windsurfing on what was 10/20 years ago a very crowded windsurfing beach has now totally 'lost' the old guard (or clique)leaving me, the loner by choice, the only windsurfer among a sea of kiters. (A new younger set in the main.)

I(n wondering why this has happened it occurs to me that the tribalism thing may have worked against them. With two accidental deaths over the last few years (one 65 year old windsurfer drowned, and the other biking accident I mentioned) perhaps the others , being of the group mentality, have 'worried' themselves out of taking risks (as they see it) in being out on the open sea. It does figure in that one or two switched to reservoir sailing, and another, who was close friends with both the fatalities, now exclusively 'sails' a beach buggy.

I agree with you Craig that with increasing age doubt needs to be firmly put in its place by determination to do that which we KNOW we have always been able to do, and still need to! And if it does go wrong - well, as you say, what IS the purpose of life!
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