Devastated! Heart Attack at 59. Former fitness gone forever?

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Re: Devastated! Heart Attack at 59. Former fitness gone fore

Postby TonyR » 11 Jan 2015, 8:12am

Martin P wrote:As the terminator said ....I'll be back!,

Just be a little cautious - listen to your body and listen to your consultant. Some people go into denial of what has happened and try to ride harder and faster than before to prove they're just as good as they were. Things will have changed and its just a case of feeling out what they are and adapting to them.

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Re: Devastated! Heart Attack at 59. Former fitness gone fore

Postby georgew » 11 Jan 2015, 11:24am

I'm sorry to hear about your heart attack but try not to lose hope.
I've had two heart attacks, three years apart and both happened on the bike. Each warranted a stent and I was back on the bike cycling in a couple of weeks after the first with no ill-effects but soon developed severe lack of breath at any increased gradient. As I had lost a third of one of the large heart muscles, I put the problem down to that. It was no fun panting and sweating behind my friends on a hill and hear them arguing who had dibs on my bikes after I popped off. :(
Again at seventy-five, it's difficult to determine whether it's increasing age, the side-effects of the various medicines one takes, or the damage to the heart which is responsible for the difficulty and that doesn't help.
Now just to cheer you up, about three weeks after my second stent was fitted and I wanted to see just how I was on hill climbs I went full-out on my usual run which includes some steep climbs. No problems at all and I scooted up with no difficulty and I realised that I'd forgotten how it was to be able to breath normally while cycling.
I do know how difficult it is to maintain a positive attitude and particularly so if like me, cycling has been your life, but it's important that you do so.
It may be worth noting that the advice given by cardiac consultants following heart attacks do seem to differ, and in my case I was told to resume my normal cycling activity as soon as possible.
Best wishes.

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Re: Devastated! Heart Attack at 59. Former fitness gone fore

Postby albert » 13 Jan 2015, 11:05pm

I too d a massive heart attack aged 59 and sustained permanent damage. I was a sedentary smoker who's work entailed no physically active element. Nearly 8 years on, I have covered 26,000 miles with the best part of a million and a half feet of climbing thrown in. I do the odd Audax and Sportive and can keep up with my age group. During these years I have had operations for enlarged prostate and skin cancer (part of my nose needed rebuilding) + pneumonia which resulted in a prolonged stay in hospital.
My advice - don't lose (err) heart, build yourself up steadily and enjoy the fact that you aren't unduly incapacitated. You may not regain your previous levels, but if there is no serious underlying condition, you will make progress from where you are now. :)

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Re: Devastated! Heart Attack at 59. Former fitness gone fore

Postby Audax67 » 14 Jan 2015, 11:11am

All my sympathy, first for the horrible bombshell that's been dropped into your life and secondly for the drug régime. As others have said, sit back and concentrate on healing before trying to get back in form.

I was caught before I had a heart attack, but they told me that it was due in 2008. The cardiologist who put my stent in also told me that if I hadn't been cycling I'd have been there 10 years earlier, so it's at least a comfort that everything you've done up until now has been keeping you out of trouble. Also, the physical condition and mindset acquired from concentrated endurance exercise will continue to protect you to a great extent, even though you're up on blocks just now. When they do let you get back to something serious you should find your condition returning much more quickly than someone who's never exercised would take to build form.

So don't fret. You'll be back.

Re the beta blockers: cardiologists love them because they depress the heart's response to exercise and adrenalin surges. They'll keep you on them for the rest of your life if they can, because they don't just protect you they protect the cardio's ass. But even though they may be necessary now they quite possibly won't be for ever, so once everything has been running nominally for a few months I'd see if you can't get your cardio to taper them off. I'd still be on them if I hadn't forgotten to take my (minimal) dose before a 200k Audax in 2011.

NB just stopping BBs dead can be very dangerous; keywords are tachycardia and death. If my dosage hadn't been close to homoeopathic I'd have been in trouble.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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Re: Devastated! Heart Attack at 59. Former fitness gone fore

Postby MartinP » 14 Jan 2015, 4:21pm

Good advice chaps, and very helpful. This last week I've been out cycling and feeling much better for it. Keeping heart rate below 120 (12.5 mph average!)on Tuesday I did 50 miles with a tea break half way. Taking your advice I've listened to my body and things are progressing. Today I had enough after 15 miles - too cold, and I am considering a turbo, for the first time in my life, to enable me to cover 'miles' in the relative warmth of my garage! (Quite fancy the Tacx smart Vortex, virtual Tour de France!). I can hear you all saying 'don't overdo it' and I am careful not to. Thank you all again for the really enlightening insights.

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Re: Devastated! Heart Attack at 59. Former fitness gone fore

Postby durhambiker » 22 Jan 2015, 9:44am

I had a heart attack 2years ago aged 50.had two stents knocked my confidence more than can't help worrying about every little twinge.I try to have the attitude to get on with life.last year I cycled the uists Harris gold road and Skye etc...with 4 panniers and lived to tell the happy.good luck.