Returning to riding after heart angioplasty and stent

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by MotorcycleWriter, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Hootowl

    Hootowl Long timer

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    This!
    #21
  2. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer Supporter

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    Stroke, Double Bypass, Ablation.
    Take 6 week off and let the wrist heal... then keep riding.
    You might sell the dirt bike, get a WR250 (or so) and go exploring.

    Got off warfarin and onto Xarelto. IMHO: much better.
    #22
  3. Granitic

    Granitic Backcountry rider

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    This is a good discussion by a physician / rider:

    https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/ask-the-doc-does-taking-blood-thinners-mean-i-shouldnt-ride

    Seems like there are two levels of risk.

    Impacts on the street are rare but tend to be more serious: "I frequently care for trauma patients on blood thinners. Higher speed crashes where you hit your head or rupture your spleen (on blood thinners) are essentially a death sentence, if not worse" as the doc says.

    Impacts on the trail are more common but can be limited by your own behavior. Rocks and trees don't text or drive impaired.

    So on Warfarin I ride relatively easy singletrack at speeds not exceeding 10 mph. I avoid strong cross slopes where I could take a big fall. So it is pretty much normal singletrack riding -- and very fun. I also wear lots of hard armor. Typically I flop over at 2 mph and have not observed any bruising whatsoever.

    I use Warfarin because it can be reversed. Internal bleeding with Xarelto is currently a "death sentence" but a reversing agent is on the way. My understanding is that many hospitals don't have it yet.

    So I think the risk is "high speed impacts" and I choose to keep riding single track.
    #23
  4. Granitic

    Granitic Backcountry rider

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    Define better. If you have serious internal bleeding with Xarelto, you die. But a reversing agent is coming.
    #24
  5. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer Supporter

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    >"Define better. If you have serious internal bleeding with Xarelto, you die. But a reversing agent is coming."

    Better is = I guess, a personal definition. When I went off Warfarin... I simply felt better.
    Now, Warfarin is not supposed to have any 'side effects', but I realized a short while
    after I went 'off' of it... I was feeling better, more energy (?), better mental clarity (?), better spirits (?).
    I was surprised. When I discontinued warfarin I wasn't really expecting the above... but it (for me anyway) it was real.

    I'm 65 years old... quality, er... 'good living' time is getting pretty restricted.
    #25
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  6. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Vis ad locum

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    I'm actually on Prasugrel. For a year. It is a platelet inhibitor as opposed to a blood thinner. Different mechanism of action. I've not noticed that I bleed any worse when scraped or cut. Don't really know how it compares to Warfarin or Xeralto. Reading pretty much anything on the internet about any drug will have you shaking in terror by the first paragraph.

    I did think about street crashes vs trail crashes in the same context you had mentioned and came up with the same risks. I'll ride some easy single track. I'll continue to be very careful on the street as I always am.

    In the past year or so I've had friends about my age die suddenly from leukemia and heart attack. Had another buddy diagnosed with a bad-ass lung cancer. Non-smoker. Looks like he's beating it at the moment. Haven't known anyone who died on a bike and I'm getting more moto-friends all the time. I know it happens but it seems like the biggest risk is just being alive.

    What it comes down to for me is managing the risk, which is how I've always lived anyway. I've not missed out on much and the few things I refused to do, I don't regret not doing them. Mostly jumping off of really high stuff into water or doing foolhardy things on a wheeled vehicle of some kind. The biggest problem, for offroad riding that is, is that there is very, very little of it within two hours of where I live. Everything within an hour is really hard stuff. No fire roads. No national forest roads. We have seemingly limitless forested hills in North Alabama and almost every square inch is leased to a hunt club or Posted. That's why I'm leaving.
    #26
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  7. Granitic

    Granitic Backcountry rider

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    Really interesting, thanks for sharing that observation. I will bring this up with my physician. He did remark in passing that while internal bleeding with Xarelto is bad, it is less likely to occur. He is an expert and I want to hear more about this.
    #27
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  8. Granitic

    Granitic Backcountry rider

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    Great post, well said.

    In the '80s hunting clubs in the east saw the threat to their lifestyle / hobby and got themselves together . They started leasing and buying up land. Been real successful.

    The west has its problems, but there is a lot of public land. And most of it is still utterly deserted.
    #28
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  9. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer Supporter

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    I talked to my cardiologist about this and is opinion on the statistics around this is that stents are almost magic for the patient in that they very quickly (pretty much instantly) resolve the issue with a very low recovery time and pain associated with that recovery. This typically results in fewer permanent lifestyle changes for the patients who receive them when compared to patients who undergo bypass surgery and the pain and recovery time associated with it. He surmised that bypass surgery is much more of a wakeup call for the patient than stents are.
    #29
  10. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Vis ad locum

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    I reached the same conclusion as your doctor though am probably an outlier in this regard. I'm already in excellent condition. I exercise 5-6 times a week an have a good diet. The only real changes I think I'll have to make are taking a cholesterol and a blood pressure med. I'd known my numbers weren't great and attempted to manage with diet and lifestyle. So this was actually a huge wakeup call. However, I can see it from the other side. If it took 52 years to get to this level of blockage (one spot) and it is this easy to fix, why should I bother with medication. I'll get checked every five years and if there's a problem, get it fixed. I'm not opting for door number two, but I understand the thinking of someone who might.

    When looking at statistics we need to remember that they are gathered based on the general population. That means, overweight, sedentary, bad diet, no exercise, etc. We riders probably don't fall into that sample space too well. In my case, genetics is to blame. Of course, I have some very good genes too, so it isn't all bad.
    #30
  11. Shooter1

    Shooter1 Been here awhile

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    I'm 62, eight years ago I got to where I could not climb one flight of stairs w/o being gassed. Saw Doc and right coronary was plugged 70% and left plugged 95%, I was a walking heart attack waiting to happen. Have three stents now and feel good. They were placed via my femoral arteries. I take anti-platelets and blood thinners. I asked the doc if I can still ride dirt bikes and he said no problem, live your life, just take care, (no matter what activity you're engaged in), not to suffer a large cut or laceration as you could bleed out quicker. I've scaled back how aggressively I ride off-road and am careful around sharp objects LOL!, but I'm still going to ride.
    Good luck.
    #31
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  12. Mark G

    Mark G Been here awhile

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    I had a atent placed in the LAD (widowmaker) through the femoral artery in mid June 2011 (age 59 at the time). In the recovery room, my wife said to my cardiologist, " Will you tell him NOW to eat his fruits and vegetables?". He said, "Nah, it's mostly genetic anyway." I wanted to take my annual trip to Laguna Seca for MotoGP in mid July (mostly through the twisties). He said " sure, just be careful". I love this guy. I was on Effient and aspirin, so I bought a couple of those quick clotting sponges, and showed my riding buddy how to use them. I dropped my Bandit in the parking lot of the hotel heading home Monday morning, and was rewarded with a huge bruise on my leg. It freaked me out, and we took the easy way home. I'm still on the asprin, off the effient, but still carry clotting sponges in my first aid kit.
    Be careful, be reasonable, and be prepared.
    #32
  13. Hootowl

    Hootowl Long timer

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    Listen to your wife.
    arterial disease is lifestyle related more than genetic related
    #33
  14. Mark G

    Mark G Been here awhile

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    My brother (the healthy one) is almost but not quite a vegetarian. Runs triathalons, bicycles a lot, etc. He just had two stents put in. His doctor told him the same thing my doctor did. Small sample size, I know. I don't go crazy. I'm 5'10", weigh 180. I do vigorous exercise 3-5 times a week. I watch my cholesterol and bp. But I don't obsess over what I eat. I just eat as much as anything as I'd sometimes like. But I can't stand fruits and vegetables.
    #34
  15. Hootowl

    Hootowl Long timer

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    your brother is not the "healthy one" if he needed stents!

    read this if you want the real reasons for heart & arterial disease. written by a cardiac surgeon
    https://www.healthnutnews.com/heart-surgeon-speaks-out-about-the-true-cause-of-heart-disease/
    #35
  16. Mark G

    Mark G Been here awhile

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    That was kinda my point - he eats pretty much like the article you quoted (interesting, thanks for the link), and he ended up with stents anyway.

    to the OP: Sorry for the minihijack, I'm done now. When you think you're ready, go ride. Dial it back when you think you should.
    #36
  17. Hootowl

    Hootowl Long timer

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    I to apologize to the OP for the hijack but its important to make the point that your brother, Mark G , is probably eating carbohydrates & sugar which is the cause of increased systemic inflammation (easily checked via C-RP blood test). heart & arterial disease follow.
    #37
  18. pagomichaelh

    pagomichaelh Been here awhile

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    I was used by my VA heart doc as a teaching example to a bunch of interns.

    Two weeks before my heart attack, we were caught on a lee shore in a blow, and I rowed a heavy pulling dinghy for over two hours to get to the boat through a heavy surf. Had I not snapped the starboard oar in two when I caught a crab on a wave, would have been in sooner instead of trying to row with one good oar and the stub of another.

    He had me stand (5'7", 140#, 17" neck, 46" chest, 30" waist) in front of the class, and read off my chart.

    Drinker, smoker, BP 125/62, pulse 65, lungs clear, one main cardiac artery 95% occluded, the other two clinically clear, 6 out of 9 of my parent's generation died of cardiac related problems before age 70 (youngest 22).

    First wunderkind said, "Oh, it's the drinking, the smoking, and the bad diet"

    My doc said "Don't be an idiot jumping to conclusions, look at the family history" :) :) :)

    Still drink (lightly as before), still smoke (about a pack/week, as before), run about 4 miles/week, 450-500 pushups/week, similar number of sit-ups, etc., etc. etc..

    Some of us have just lost the genetic lottery when it comes to hearts. Knowing I can be screwed at any second, I just enjoy each minute of my life that I can.
    #38
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  19. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Are/were your cholesterol values high from diet or is it a hereditary condition?
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  20. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Vis ad locum

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    High cholesterol with low good and high bad. Triglycerides were okay. Never treated it. Family history is mixed. Some heart problems but usually when older. This one was kind of weird, I thought. One artery almost completely blocked. All the others okay. Heart muscle excellent. Normal EKG. Just one of those things.

    I’m treating the cholesterol now with Crestor. No side effects for me!
    #40