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Sailing after a heart attack
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richhotdog



Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:33 am    Post subject: Sailing after a heart attack Reply with quote

I recently 6/25 had a mild heart attack and had 2 stents put in.I am feeling much better now and am getting the urge to sail. My doctor has given me a standard answer as to when to start normal activities. I would like to hear from someone who has been through the same ordeal and what they did. I am 60 in good shape besides the heart and a pretty good sailor.
Thanks,
Rich
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 5029
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you feel physically fit I would go now. I would have a sailer mate to be watchful, ideal someone on the beach to watch 100%.First several sessions , keep short. If given a choice I would go to a location thatís not dangerous itself. Trust your body , you know it best
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SeaDawg



Joined: 12 Sep 2002
Posts: 384

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very personal choice as to what to do. U2 has good advice. Basically your looking at a plumbing issue. Once a blocked pipe is cleared the water(blood)......flows again. My good friend in his early 70's has had 2 by pass ops. and had his 13th stent put in last summer. He spent the 4th playing golf all day this year.

He's wanted me to lend him lite wind gear and take him sailing.......I started sailing with him in the early 80's so it's been a long term friendship. I just can't be the one to get him out there.
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dvCali



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 1024

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Sailing after a heart attack Reply with quote

richhotdog wrote:
I recently 6/25 had a mild heart attack and had 2 stents put in.I am feeling much better now and am getting the urge to sail. My doctor has given me a standard answer as to when to start normal activities. I would like to hear from someone who has been through the same ordeal and what they did. I am 60 in good shape besides the heart and a pretty good sailor.
Thanks,
Rich

Hi Rich, sorry to hear that, it is a traumatic experience. When to go back depends on the severity of the heart attack. I had a serious heart attack about four years ago and I was forbidden any physical activity for a week (not even washing dishes for the first few days), followed by light walking and than biking after four weeks. Just to put things in perspective: after a week from the MI walking two blocks was exhausting. Windsurf was off until a stress test about 3 months after the MI. Three months after the MI I was windsurfing (lightly).

Ask again your doctor. My suggestion would be to start with mild aerobic conditioning at the gym or walking/biking around town. When you feel more or less back to normal (well ... that might be hard to judge: I never went back to pre-MI normality!) it might be time to Windsurf.

PS Seadwawg: a heart attack is not at all like plumbing. A MI involves a 100% block of an artery, and it damages the heart, when it does not kill you outright. Many, if not most, stent procedures or even bypass are done to prevent a MI, and recovery in those case is generally quick and more than 100% (you feel better than before the procedure because blood flow to the heart is not restricted any longer). After a MI your physical capability is impaired, and it generally never recovers 100%, you literally have scars in your heart!
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SeaDawg



Joined: 12 Sep 2002
Posts: 384

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it. I assumed mild indicated minimal tissue damage.
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 4420
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Common sense says moderation and at a site that is safe and non threatening if things go wrong.
Shallows, downwind catch, conservative rigging, bigger board.
Not Waddell at 6', not Crissy Field.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2239
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And probably a PFD that will keep your head above water.

-Craig
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 9412

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had two heart attacks since 2004, and each resulted in the addition of a stint in my right coronary artery. Generally, I recovered quickly and got back into windsurfing again not very long afterward, but dvCali in correct in pointing out that a MI does irreparable damage your heart to some degree depending on your situation.

My first heart attack happened overnight on a windsurfing vacation in Hood River, and I had no idea that I had a heart attack. While the original pain in my chest quickly passed (30 minutes to an hour afterward), I didn't feel well all the next day, and I was left with an unending discomfort in my forearms. I went over 20 hours after my heart attack before finally going to the hospital. Once diagnosed, I stayed four days in the hospital in Hood River before being transferred to Portland for an angioplasty and stint installation. I think that the long duration before having the procedure definitely resulted in some irreparable heart damage. Yet, like I pointed out earlier, I recovered quite quickly. In fact, I went windsurfing four days after my angioplasty. It took a lot out of me, but I was determined get back into shape. By another week afterward, I was much improved and able to put in some good regular sessions. I should also say that I started a dedicated program of walking daily, and I'm convinced that kind of activity really helped.

My second heart attack occurred at the beach right after a good solo windsurfing session in 2013. In hindsight, I'm totally convinced that the root cause for my second heart attack was the fact that I stopped taking Plavix (75mg clopidogrel bisulfate) about a year or so before at the direction of my cardiologist. In the end, I made the firm decision to take Plavix religiously for the rest of my life. So far, it's been working well for me, and I would highly recommend sticking with a blood thinner like Plavix. Plavix does have some negative downsides, like easy bruising and slower blood coagulation when cut or hurt, but I find the affects reasonably tolerable.

Lastly, I would highly recommend reading 'Before the Heart Attacks' by H. Robert Superko. It's an outstanding book that's easy to read and understand that will offer a wealth of background and information that will serve you well into the future. Ultimately, I ended up getting a sophisticated blood test at the Berkeley Heart Lab to learn more about my blood chemistry and the specific genetic factors that makes a person like me prone to heart disease.
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richhotdog



Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did not realize I was having a heart attack for a few days. I thought I had pinched nerves in my neck. Both my arms went numb and I had pain in my jaw,but it would only last for 10 minutes to an hour.
I was told my heart looks strong and had minor damage if any. I go to the doctor 7/17 and hope he answers most of my questions.
I plan on sailing in flat shallow water for a while and plan on having friends keep an eye on me.
Thanks,Rich
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19116

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too many doctors spew poor advice, whether it's about nutrition*, exercise, or even their own specialties. Many say our hard exercise days end with that first heart attack. The published studies prove just the opposite, however. Do some homework and you'll find that hard and surprisingly early exercise, especially HIIT**, can quickly bring life and strength back to damaged hearts and the bodies they serve.

* A bud was airlifted off a ski slope 20 years ago into an immediate quad bypass. I'm surprised that he still sails in gales, considering that his idiot doctor has him eating ONLY the one macronutient we don't need to consume at all. The two we MUST consume are forbidden and/or nearly forbidden to him. The one his cardiologist makes him almost exclusively eat drives our triglycerides to dangerous levels (his are extreme) and encourages diabetes, heart disease, and much more.

He's denied all fat, allowed just barely enough protein to survive (and can't understand why his muscles -- including his heart, presumably -- are atrophying towards non-existence.) He's 135# @ 6'2" and lives ... so far ... on just empty carbs, aka SUGAR.

** Two of HIIT's many advantages for virtually ANYONE are decreased blood pressure and development of new blood vessels, vital in prevention or survival of that next heart attack.


Last edited by isobars on Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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