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Experiences while taking blood thinners and windsurfing.
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vikingsail



Joined: 12 May 1998
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanx for all the replies.

For the record I've always worn a helmet once I'm sailing my 6.6 fully powered, so that's not an issue but I'm going to have to see how things go at the hospital in March, after that hopefully no more wayward heart rthyms which I've had since late 2005. I should be thankful I've been able to sail since then.
I suspect I'll shelve the 8.0, 4.8 , 4.2 and 3.6 for the season and may ask the doctor in the fall to let me take a holiday from the meds and sail on my 6.6 and 5.6.
It is fustrating but if everything works out I'll be back in '13. I just do not want to loose my muscle memory which I just got back for my planing jibes.
I may have to buy a video camera and lend out my gopro and spend the summer making videos for other surfers.

PS I'm a doctor's son so I'm pretty hip to doctor issues. Bedside manner, malpractice affects on practice etc.

again thanx.
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1324
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As one with CAD (for over 6 years now) I can speak to it a little. I discovered it while training for mountain climbing. They put a few stints in me and I did a makeover on my diet and blood chemistry to solve my Cholesterol problem. For the first couple of years after the proceedure I was on Plavix and 81mg aspirin. 6 months after the proceedure, I fell rock climbing and shattered my heel. I still remember the comment of the doctor in the emergency room in Yosemite saying something about "commiting suicide". My doctor and cardiologist also were not happy since I had to come off the Plavix for a week prior to surgery and a week after.

Well after the surgery and rehab (over 6 months) I was back out. No longer climbing, but still windsurfing. What I discovered is the small cuts and scrapes that you take for granted in windsurfing take MUCH longer to clot. Also simple falls can end up with quite a bit of bruising. And these are just the external signs.

About 2 1/2 years later they finally pulled me off Plavix and I'm just on Aspirn. I still clot a little slow but not too bad.

For me it came down to a decision on how I wanted to live MY life and what constituted "living" for me. As an outdoor enthusiast living for me is being outside doing the things I love. So it was an easy choice for me. Doctors will present a diferrent picture.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19268

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hurt my ribs in the usual spot (bottom ribs, on the side, hitting the boom). I could tell they weren't broken, but went to the ER anyway because the boom also dug in just below the ribs, at my liver and/or kidney area. Doc ran two simple checks to make sure neither my kidneys nor liver were bleeding, and said, "Let pain be your guide".

"Did I overreact in coming to the ER?", I asked.

"Absolutely not! A bleeding liver can kill overnight." ... and I have no clotting issues.

I had a custom vest made ASAP to cover my entire torso. I've already lost too much time to rib injuries, and surely don't need any damaged internal organs.

This will sound strange, John, but I hope your cholesterol was seriously high. I'm becoming quite convinced that doctors overreact very significantly to lipids, especially total cholesterol and certain LDL factions.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 9477

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"This will sound strange, John, but I hope your cholesterol was seriously high. I'm becoming quite convinced that doctors overreact very significantly to lipids, especially total cholesterol and certain LDL factions."


What's the above comment all about? If you have high LDL cholesterol, and evidence of heart problems, reducing high LDL cholesterol is a notable key to a better outcome. Statins, in concert with niacin or other similar approaches will promote lower LDL levels, and it will ultimately stimulate higher HDL levels. Moreover, when higher exercise regiments are introduced too, the patient will certainly benefit. Optimum liver function is a core element to good heart health.

Overall, you are better off sticking with strong scientific data and the associated learning from the results. For anyone facing heart issues, I would strongly recommend reading, 'Before the Heart Attacks', by H. Robert Superko. A must read in my view. It presents everything simply, with a practical plan and diet regimen for the layman.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3469

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vikingsail,

Atrial fibrillation, correct? I had afib for 11 years, the first five undiagnosed. After diagnosis, My Dr. put me on Plavix, plus two other meds. Plavix is not the normal blood thinner used for afib, but due to the risk of bleeding and my active life style, she felt that coumadin was too risky. I think pradaxa is in the same catagory as coumadin.

I did bruise more than normal and bleeding took a bit longer to stop while on the Plavix, but no real issues for the 6 years I was on it. With pradaxa, it may be a lot more risky.

If you have lone afib (no other heart issues), the risk of stroke is really low and you probably don't need the pradaxa (there will be various opinions on this). If you are seeing a cardiologist, you better find an electrophysiologist and take his/her advice.

It sounds like you are having an ablation in March and I hope it goes well. I had mine 5 years ago and it was 100% successful, but many are not and go back for "touch ups". The skill and experience of the Dr. is CRITICAL. There aren't many really good afib surgeons.

There are some good afib web sites with forums if you haven't looked that will help. New information suggests that a diet rich in potassium and magnesium can minimize afib episodes.

Good luck.
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kuds



Joined: 13 Mar 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a cardiologist. There are a number of uninformed opinions and advice in the above posts that I suggest you ignore. Sounds like you have a. fib. and the concern is a risk of a blood clot forming in the left atrium and breaking off and potentially causing a stroke. The magnitude of the risks depends on multiple factors, such as your age, other cardiac issues, diabetes, etc. Coumadin, pradaxa, and xarelto have all been shown to lower this risk and the benefit outweighs the risk; plavix, fish oil, etc. has not been shown to have a benefit. The main concern is that by inhibiting clotting, you will not have the normal ability to stop bleeding if you have an injury, with the obvious dangers if you have an accident, especially if you are away from land. The advantage of pradaxa is that its effect is relatively short lived (half life of 13 hours), but there is no good way to reverse its effect. Therefore it might be reasonable to skip 1-2 dosages prior to a situation in which you might sustain an injury. (assuming kidney function is normal and not very good advice if you are sailing frequently) Protective gear would also be useful. I'd discuss this with your physician.
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vikingsail



Joined: 12 May 1998
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Up until the solar flare on Jan 27th, I was having 1 episode every 2 months or so. then a couple in one week. I do take 3 cans of low sodium v8 and a banana every day to boost potasium, this has been a big help.

Kuds thanx for the input, If I do sail I'm going to have to change my methods, I am usually one who goes out a mile then jibes.

I think most of all I just want to be able to go out maybe 5 times this next season, just to keep my sanity and to keep my muscle memory from going away completely. That happened in 2006 when I first got hit with this. At this point I'm still processing the news but every comment has made me feel more positive, even if I don't sail in 2012. thanx.
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ittiandro



Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 251

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not my intention to hijack this Forum by bringing in medical issues, but I am, too, a windsurfer and at the same time, as explained below, a heart patient as of ..last week. So Iíll make a few comments.

I am a not-so-young windsurfer( 77 ) who runs, though, 4-5 km three times a week and goes regularly to the gym, so I never thought that I would become, on such a short notice, a heart patient and a windsurfer with clipped wings, as it were....

The reason is that, last week, while at home and completely at rest, my heart suddenly started racing at 185 bpm.( it is normally 65 bpm at rest, at wake-up). I had absolutely no symptoms and I found it out only because I was about to go jogging and I had put on my cardio watch, otherwise it would have gone unnoticed.

I went immediately to the ER, where I was kept under observation overnight and given a few E.K.Gís , a blood test and other tests.
By the time the cardiologist saw me the next morning, the pulse had become normal. However, since something similar had happened one year ago at the gym, even before starting the treadmill session, the same cardiologist didnít want to take chances and put me on medication (Eliquis, a blood thinner, and Metoprolol), for non-ventricular atrial fibrillation.

This has shaken me a bit and dampened my enthusiasm for windsurfing, because, from now on, every time I go windsurfing or engage in physical activities ( even biking!) the Damoclesí sword of bleeding accidents will loom large over my head.

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, if anything to play it safe, in order to avoid malpractice suits.. I had similar thoughts, but I wouldnít go as far as some have gone.

For doctors, evaluating the risk and prescribing medication accordingly is often more of an art, with a subjective component than a clear cut matter, obeying to objective criteria. In my case, I do wonder if my condition, clinically, was really so much worse this year from last year to the point of justifying this time an official diagnosis of A.F. and consequent medication,( which, at least in one case( the blood thinner) is potentially dangerous in itself...

True, some doctors may unnecessarily prescribe medication or even be flatly incompetent, but in the end, a doctorís knowledge, no matter how incompetent he or she may be for some, is always vastly superior to the limited laymanís knowledge, 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.

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.

From this perspective, 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..

Personally, I think that 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) I donít think that I risk much, even though an unavoidable worry or anxiety will dampen the joy of windsurfing..
Iíll also keep a medical emergency kit in my glove compartment, containing anti-hemorrhagic gauze and a pressure applicator. It has been developed by the Israeli army and is available from Amazon for under $ 10.

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

Ittiandro
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 5065
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iím pleased to read your post, as I havenít seen you posting for quite some time.
Iím sorry to read of your heart issues.
I might have started a new thread since this on is from 2012.

Take Care.

_________________
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4Boards....May the fours be with you

http://www.k4fins.com/fins.html
http://4boards.co.uk/
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3469

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, see a Electrophysiologist, not a Cardiologist. A-fib is an electrical issue and that's what Electrophysiologist's specialize in. Many Cardiologist and regular Dr.'s just don't know much about A-fib.

You will need a blood thinner or you risk a stroke. My a-fib began in 1995 and I was ablated in 2006, which, so far has been successful. My use of Plavix instead of Coumadin back in the day was a bit unusual, but Plavix (less bleeding risk) was prescribed for patients with a CHAD score of 0-1 (low risk of other health issues). It's not likely that Plavix will be prescribed much today. You can look up "CHAD score" to see what it's about. I didn't have a bleeding issue for the 6 years I was on Plavix. If you want a lot if a-fib info, go to:

http://www.afibbers.org/forum/list.php?9
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