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Journey back - Trying to get fit again

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Hugh W Born and lived in Western Canada. I have worked across Canada and in parts of the eastern US. 2 children and married for 39 years Find out more about Hugh W
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  • Journey back - Trying to get fit again

    Thought I would post on my efforts to try and get fit again. After being diagnosed 2 years ago and told to back off on exercise and having complications with drugs I had gained a little over 25 lbs. Through dealing with the HOCM I did something I should not have and caused my heart to go to continuous a fib. The cardiologist does not think that treatment to stop the a fib would be successful however at the last check a month ago she gave me a clearance to start exercising. Just not the way I used to.

    Limits that were placed - no running, road biking in a group setting, gym training -- working out on my own not recommended in case of needing help, let people I work with and where I work out what my condition is in case I need help

    Personal motivation tools -- I signed onto Fitness Pal for diet and picked up a Jawbone to track activity & sleep levels

    As I work at a University I have access to good training facilities and decided to hire a personal trainer to set out a new plan based on the limits set for me. The cardiologist recommended finding a cardiac rehab kinesiologist and "Helga from the house of pain" is a cardiac nurse with kinesiology / rehab training.

    Day 1 -- Dressed for a gym work out and met the trainer. Agreed on a 1 morning per week session and I was to work on what she would layout for me through the following week. The first session was not a work out. The trainer ran through my full history - injuries, bad knee and hip (both candidates for replacement), lower back pain, torn Achilles, polio leg, repaired shoulder, asked for my cardiac reports. Said next week we would work out as she would lay out a program and that I needed target BP and HR from the cardiologist before we started. Asked what I was doing now - 1/2 hr per day on the bike plus walking 5 to 7 miles.

    Training Day 2 - My cardiologist had set up another echo and a exercise stress test that were to come. Gave a target HR of max 150. First exercise session the trainer outlined that we would be going through range of motion / flexibility to deal first with the back and a bit with the hip. I had a hour that started with cardio on the bike (HR went to high and had to back off so I knew the limits) and laid out a number of new floor exercises that I had never done. Instructions for the week to do the range of motion drills every day for the week.

    Training Day 3 -- Start with checks on BP, HR and oxygen levels - cardio on bike for 30 minutes checking BP, HR -- making sure I knew the limits. Then onto weight training using resistance bands. One of the limits put on me was no free weights. After resistance band training back onto range of motion targeting the lower back and core.

    Between Day 3 and 4 -- I had the echo which did or did not go well depending on your point of view. Afib was present and created difficulties for the team with one part of the test being done 3 times with limited success. Exercise stress test is scheduled for mid May.

    Training Day 4 -- Afib was acting up right at the start of the day and I had trouble catching my breath. Started a slow short cardio to see if I could settle in. Progressed onto range of motion adding in ball work. Full hour was range of motion and core exercise. Trainer felt that I know knew limits and could do the cardio at home in the evenings and she wanted to move me onto other activities. Added in additional range of motion for lower body targeting muscles around the bad knee. We both agreed the hip was the hip and we would leave this alone.

    Training Day 5 (today) -- 10 minute cardio warm up, onto range of motion mat exercises, afib was causing problems and I had some trouble with breathing so everything was slowed down, did new ball and 1/2 ball balancing exercises.

    Progress as of today - down 5 lbs, lower back is much better, increased range of motion around my bad shoulder --- soreness in joints yes but no pain, still having times where I have to back off due to breathing -- work out level compared to what I used to do probably less than 50% but I am working out.

    to be continued.
    Last edited by Hugh W; 05-01-2014, 11:48 PM. Reason: added inform
    Hugh

  • #2
    Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

    Learnings so far from 4 weeks of supervised workouts --- My mind has me working out at a level I can no longer go to. This is a change I have to manage and I think the disciplined approach is helping me get there.

    The benefit of the trainer has shown up with my knee on what I can and can not do. From the "house of pain" I can not do 1/2 ball balance work. The work out routines for my back are great. Setting a full program that I can use with a variety of excercises to break up sessions has been great and very useful for when I travel for work of vacation. Targeted excercises for the hip I know I can not manage.

    I have 5 more sessions with the trainer that will have increased separation of 2 weeks between sessions so time will tell if I can keep up with this and what the cardiologist says at the end of May.
    Hugh

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    • #3
      Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

      Hugh, I am curious about your statement "Through dealing with the HOCM I did something I should not have and caused my heart to go to continuous a fib." Whether there are truly identifiable triggers for afib is a bit controversial. There is an afib website where someone complied all the potential triggers that different people had identified and the list was several pages long and essentially covered so many foods and activities that you could never avoid them all. No offense, but I doubt you did anything to deserve or cause your afib. Having said that, I would look at getting out of permanent afib. I was in it from October 2013 to Feb 2014 and could attest it is no fun. Have your docs suggested cardioversion, ablation or AR drugs?

      Best of luck on your work out regime. I do light weights, a little cycling, yoga and dog walking along with a little tennis. I have been able to do these, albeit at a reduced paced, while in afib. But I would get on top of the afib as the longer you are in it, the harder it is to get out, and afib plus hocm is not a good combination. Again, best wishes.
      Jall

      Diagnosed with unobstructed HCM in 2004 after a bad experience playing tennis
      Graduated to obstructed HCM by Dec, 2008.

      Life outside of HCM: Law, Photography, Tennis, Music, raising kids and camping

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      • #4
        Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

        Update on progress -- I have been able to slowly drop my weight and make my work out program more effective (less time sitting). Currently I average 45 minutes in the gym every morning before heading off to the office. 20 to 30 minutes on the bike, 15 weights and the remainder stretching. Range of motion has increased and less problems with hip and lower back. There are some things I cannot do, like the elliptical. 20 minutes on this and I had to stop as I was very dizzy, to the point of people asking if I needed help.

        My exercise stress test resulted in having to back off a bit on HR from 150 / 160 to 120 / 130. Evening walks and hikes continue. Generally feeling much better and the journey has been worth the effort. Having the cardiac rehab trainer has been a significant benefit.
        Hugh

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        • #5
          Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

          duplicate post
          Last edited by Hugh W; 06-13-2014, 06:49 PM. Reason: duplicate post
          Hugh

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          • #6
            Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

            Thanks for this thread Hugh. Very motivating. Good luck with your program.
            Angus Campbell
            Golden Isles Region, Southeast Georgia, USA

            Dx'd HOCM at St Luke's Roosevelt, New York City, 2005
            Myectomy Jan 9th 2014 at Cleveland Clinic
            Drs Lever and Smedira

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            • #7
              Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

              Angus thanks for the kind words. I know a year ago we had to cancel family camping as I could not handle the process for the set up of the trailer. The physical work was to exhausting It has taken time and changes to meds but this year we were able to head out, Sometimes taking a look in the rear view mirror can help keep you to stay on track.
              Hugh

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              • #8
                Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

                Thanks of the update. With HCM, what works today, may not tomorrow. It pays to keep trying and you've seen the results of that effort. Congrats.
                Marc
                Diagnosed @ 48
                Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
                Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
                AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
                After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
                Quietly going insane . . .

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                • #9
                  Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

                  Well I was just handed a three month gym membership for Father's Day. I don't have human kids so I guess our brood of dogs and cats dipped into their pool of allowance for kibble and vet expense. Now they just have to push me out the door...
                  Angus Campbell
                  Golden Isles Region, Southeast Georgia, USA

                  Dx'd HOCM at St Luke's Roosevelt, New York City, 2005
                  Myectomy Jan 9th 2014 at Cleveland Clinic
                  Drs Lever and Smedira

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

                    Angus, Once you become a certified gym rat, we want an updated picture of you on this forum with your 6 pack abs As for myself....yesterday I dusted and vacuumed my one bedroom apartment AND took a 30 minute walk!! Priceless in my world.
                    After years of symptoms:
                    Officially Diagnosed HOCM 2006
                    Myectomy 3/11/13 at non-COE
                    Extended Myectomy 7/23/14
                    At Mayo with Dr. Joseph Dearani

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                    • #11
                      Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

                      Originally posted by JillC View Post
                      Angus, Once you become a certified gym rat, we want an updated picture of you on this forum with your 6 pack abs As for myself....yesterday I dusted and vacuumed my one bedroom apartment AND took a 30 minute walk!! Priceless in my world.
                      Good on you Jill. I have learned to take the little wins and build on them and you are headed the same way. As Marc noted what works today may not work tomorrow and not to get discouraged when this occurs. My bike work on Sunday was at resistance level 6 Monday I had to drop to a 4 to keep the HR under control. So go with how you feel and build slowly.

                      Good luck and all the best
                      Hugh

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                      • #12
                        Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

                        A short update on the exercise program and also a little set back. I have been able to stick with a 5 day a week program and gradually build up my endurance. I have one day a week now that I try for a personal best sustained speed on the bike. The other days are endurance, stretching and weights. Weights and some stretching will now be put on hold for several months as I tore a bicep tendon working at a friends cabin. Nor real reason for the incident as I had done similar work 100's of times This one is due to long term wear and tear.

                        For the tendon tear I thought I would share some information and pictures. Due to Afib I am on xarelto. On going to the emergency I found out that this is a complex drug that cannot be easily reversed when a significant trauma occurs. Typical for a torn bicep tendon bruising does not show immediately. Bleeding in my arm started to show about 24 hours after the tear. I felt the arm pain Friday morning and saw bruising on Saturday morning at which point I went to the hospital. Attached are two pictures, one for Saturday with bruising advancing into the elbow and one for Monday morning when I headed back in for ultrasound tests.



                        The doctors asked if I was on Coumadin as they could reverse the thinning. With xarelto the only thing they could do was stop me taking it and wait the 2 to 3 days for it to work its way through my system.

                        The impact of the injury with my med's is now I have to switch to Coumadin for the full recovery period to provide for easy treatment in case there is a re-tear.

                        Just another curve in the lane of life.
                        Hugh

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                        • #13
                          Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

                          I will pray for you and take care!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Journey back - Trying to get fit again

                            There is a verse in the bible tha says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. That is so true on so many levels... Keep pushing through brother...


                            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                            Joel

                            Born 1955 in USA, DX'd w/HCM 1996, in United Kingdom
                            2011, 2013, 2014 ablations for Afib and flutter in UK, INOVA Fairfax, VA, and Johns Hopkins
                            June 2014 DX HOCM at Johns Hopkins
                            October 2014 Myectomy and Cryomaze at Mayo Clinic

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