Racing after Heart Attack

Racing after Heart Attack

Post by Sk8Shri » Wed, 08 Sep 1999 04:00:00


About 2 months ago I had a heart attack. My doc says I'm recovering well and
that I should be able to resume my normal routine. Obviously, I'm a little
nervous about every really "pushing it" again. Is anybody aware of cyclists who
have had heart attacks (treated with angioplasty & stents), who have resumed
competition. Thanks in advance.
Steve Dannenbaum
 
 
 

Racing after Heart Attack

Post by J » Wed, 08 Sep 1999 04:00:00


Quote:
>About 2 months ago I had a heart attack. My doc says I'm recovering well and
>that I should be able to resume my normal routine. Obviously, I'm a little
>nervous about every really "pushing it" again. Is anybody aware of cyclists who
>have had heart attacks (treated with angioplasty & stents), who have resumed
>competition. Thanks in advance.
>Steve Dannenbaum

I had a heart attack in March of this year, followed by angioplasty
and a stent.  Mine was perhaps a little different, in that I dissected
a coronary artery when I neglected to breath while doing leg presses
with big weights (I was a track sprinter)(Important moral--always
breath out during the contraction phase of weight lifting!!!).  

It's now about six months after the event, and I have been doing 1
minute all out intervals in rehab.  My problem is that for some
reason, I have recently had a bout of atrial tachycardia.  In talking
to my cardiologist, he points out that even if the plumbing aspects of
the heart come back well, the scar tissue in the heart can change some
of the electrical characteristics, which may then lead to arrythmia.
If you are not enrolled in a cardiac rehab program, talk to your
doctor about it.  In my rehab, they let me go all out as long as I am
monitored.  This did wonders for me psychologically, as I could push
hard without the fear that comes normally.  In rehab, you can find
your limits.  You will also be limited somewhat by the *** you are
on.  For example, if you are taking a beta blocker, your heart rate
will be depressed, and you just won't be able to get it up to
pre-attack levels.

Competition is another question. My ejection fraction is .65, which is
higher than normal for a person who didn't have a heart attack.
During my last echocardiogram, the tech kept asking me if I was sure I
had a heart attack, since my wall motion was normal.  Even the EKG
computer classifies me as normal.  A week later I had the atrial
tachycardia.  I thought I would be able to get back to competing, but
the arrythmia problem may prevent that.  You just never know.  

I know other cyclists, however, who compete with pacemakers and
defribillationrs.  I even know one who won a crit in a sprint, and
when he next when to his doc, the doc told him that upon reviewing the
printout from his defibrilator that it had gone off on a certain day
and time, a day a time that correlates perfectly with his sprint win.
He never felt the defib go off, although it normally feels like you
are getting kicked by a mule!

Talk to your cardiologist, and if you don't get the information you
need, talk to another one.  Beating the mental part is the toughest
part of the recovery, and you can't do it if you don't get answers to
your questions.  

Good luck,

John Fitzgerald

 
 
 

Racing after Heart Attack

Post by Paul Alma » Wed, 08 Sep 1999 04:00:00

Excellent summary...
Pretty much what my cardiologist has told me.

Paul Alman

Quote:


>>About 2 months ago I had a heart attack. My doc says I'm recovering well
and
>>that I should be able to resume my normal routine. Obviously, I'm a little
>>nervous about every really "pushing it" again. Is anybody aware of
cyclists who
>>have had heart attacks (treated with angioplasty & stents), who have
resumed
>>competition. Thanks in advance.
>>Steve Dannenbaum

>I had a heart attack in March of this year, followed by angioplasty
>and a stent.  Mine was perhaps a little different, in that I dissected
>a coronary artery when I neglected to breath while doing leg presses
>with big weights (I was a track sprinter)(Important moral--always
>breath out during the contraction phase of weight lifting!!!).

>It's now about six months after the event, and I have been doing 1
>minute all out intervals in rehab.  My problem is that for some
>reason, I have recently had a bout of atrial tachycardia.  In talking
>to my cardiologist, he points out that even if the plumbing aspects of
>the heart come back well, the scar tissue in the heart can change some
>of the electrical characteristics, which may then lead to arrythmia.
>If you are not enrolled in a cardiac rehab program, talk to your
>doctor about it.  In my rehab, they let me go all out as long as I am
>monitored.  This did wonders for me psychologically, as I could push
>hard without the fear that comes normally.  In rehab, you can find
>your limits.  You will also be limited somewhat by the *** you are
>on.  For example, if you are taking a beta blocker, your heart rate
>will be depressed, and you just won't be able to get it up to
>pre-attack levels.

>Competition is another question. My ejection fraction is .65, which is
>higher than normal for a person who didn't have a heart attack.
>During my last echocardiogram, the tech kept asking me if I was sure I
>had a heart attack, since my wall motion was normal.  Even the EKG
>computer classifies me as normal.  A week later I had the atrial
>tachycardia.  I thought I would be able to get back to competing, but
>the arrythmia problem may prevent that.  You just never know.

>I know other cyclists, however, who compete with pacemakers and
>defribillationrs.  I even know one who won a crit in a sprint, and
>when he next when to his doc, the doc told him that upon reviewing the
>printout from his defibrilator that it had gone off on a certain day
>and time, a day a time that correlates perfectly with his sprint win.
>He never felt the defib go off, although it normally feels like you
>are getting kicked by a mule!

>Talk to your cardiologist, and if you don't get the information you
>need, talk to another one.  Beating the mental part is the toughest
>part of the recovery, and you can't do it if you don't get answers to
>your questions.

>Good luck,

>John Fitzgerald