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Did your heart attack change your motorcycling?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by ozboater, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Lying in the Ambulance, I thought back to an incredible ride up the Oxley Highway and back home down Waterfall Way last November, and thought that if I go now, at least I got that ride in.

    In early December 2015 I had a massive heart attack after a day's landscaping up in Qld, an hour from the nearest ambulance, and really thought I was a gonner. When the Ambos arrived to rescue me, they said they were giving me 'Draino' to clean out the plumbing.

    Well, the silly bastards forgot to use enough chlorine, and so I'm still alive and kicking, and you'll have to put up with me again. I love flying, so at least I got to enjoy SE Qld's brand new Rescue Helicopter. It was so new, nobody had spewed in it yet.

    I had a quadruple bypass in Brissie shortly before Christmas, and was out of hospital 5 days later with post surgical pain controlled by Panadol. To me, it is a miracle of modern medicine to have such extensive, invasive treatment, yet be out of hospital so quickly. The recovery is really tough as all heck, but at least you are not in hospital.

    The word MODERATION and the phrase No Motorcycling or Bike Riding Until April has echoed in my head since my release on bail. Coupled also with Your Life Will Be Different Now.

    My earnest questions are to all those motorcyclists who have survived a heart attack - how has your motorcycling changed ?

    Did you change bikes ?

    Do you ride differently ?

    Have you found new ways to enjoy motorcycling ?

    My gratitude to the Ambos and all of the incredible Hospital staff and Doctors who helped me get to where I now have a viable future, is completely immeasurable. I'm now really glad I paid all that tax and insurance over the decades. We have amazingly dedicated and hard-working people in our hospital systems.

    I'd love to hear anything about your experiences that you'd care to share.

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  2. Mate glad to see your have recovered, hoping April finds you free to ride :)
  3. Wow. Glad you came out the other side. Can't comment from a heart attack pov, but would think if you've been into super sports, now might be a time to get into tourers or even cruisrs.
  4. good onya mate
    ask your self this one

    if I didn't ride
    maybe I would of had that heart attack earlier

    maybe I would of gone postal if I didn't have a bike
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  5. I give myself heart attacks every time I ride o_O but still silly enough to get back on and do it again.

    What things do you have to change?
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  6. #6 Rus Ler, Mar 8, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
    ozboaterozboater, hope things are going well, dad had a quad bypass back in the '90s, hardest thing was keeping him on "light duties" as he was feeling heaps better, you've got a new lease on life, live it as best you can, just don't over do things, ride when you can, rest when you should
    You sayin' cruisers are for old buggers - I resemble that remark
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  7. I reckon you've dodged a bullet, do whatever makes you happy and keep that ticker ticking, whatever that takes!!!!
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  8. ozboaterozboater so very glad to hear you are back to your fighting weight;)
    Cardiology is not my field but my understanding is that 6 weeks no driving/riding post CABG is the norm....in VIC you are actually required to notifiy them of your MI and CABG. I am not aware that this is the case in NSW.
    Re bikes I wouldn't see that anything would need to change really.
    The challenges ahead may be more psychological rather than physical...
    You have had a lot happening healthwise over the last few years so it may be worthwhile to have a chat with a psychologist about how you are feeling and thinking about riding and other things you like to do and want to do.
    Everyone is different...at the extremes some people takeup free falling and some people become reclusive and scared to do anything much..but the majority of people go back to doing and enjoying everything they used to! :happy:
    Look forward to hearing how you are going! :)
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  9. One of our members (I won't name him) has heart issues and was either told he shouldn't ride a motorcycle, or didn't feel comfortable doing it (I can't remember which), so he sold his bike and bought a Can-Am instead.

    Chuck Jaeger, the test pilot, said in his autobiography words along the lines of, "there'll be a time when I'm too old to fly high performance jets. When that time comes, I'll do the next best thing, maybe fly smaller planes. Then when I can't do that, I'll do the next best thing again..." He loved taking 20 mile hiking trips into the mountains, but said he'd do the shorter trails around his home.... He didn't give up, he kept doing the next best thing.

    I admire the member who didn't stop riding - he did the next best thing, and is still enjoying being out on the roads.
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  10. ozboaterozboater I was only thinking the other day about posters that I hadn't seen for a while.................Hope you're doing okay.

    Take care mate, take it easy, come back slowly, come back methodically. Listen to OldmaidOldmaid , she may be old (ouch that hurt. she ain't really!) and a bit of a maid (who wouldn't want a maid?) but she has more experience in this field than moi. (moi - french for dickhead who knows nowt)
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  11. Glad to hear you're doing well ozboaterozboater. Having cardiac surgery is a hell of a big deal and you've done extremely well to be out of hospital so quickly, especially not on any narcotics. Like OldmaidOldmaid said, there is obviously a lot of psychological things to be mindful of in this situation. From a physical point of view, it takes a while for the sternum to achieve decent union after sternotomy, so this is the main reason why you're not allowed to drive -- hitting a steering wheel with your chest would be seriously not good.

    In terms of lifestyle changes: I don't know of anything specific to riding a motorcycle, however you do have to look after your grafts and so on. Things like your risk factors for cardiac disease (smoking, obesity, not exercising and so on) are arguably even more relevant now than they were beforehand, although I'm sure you've already been told this.

    I can't really say if and/or when its safe to get back on and if there's any precautions you should take. I'd strongly suggest waiting until whenever they told you (April) and when you do get back on, take it carefully!

    Best of luck, very glad you're still here with us! :)
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  12. Everyone reading this thread........... you've gotta love it on NR when two people in the healthcare game give you advice. Cheers.
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  13. I say, if you want to carry on riding, do it.
    If you ride a sportsbike, maybe think about getting something more laid back. Instead of elbows in, chin on the tank and ya arse in the air get some wind in your armpits and enjoy the scenery around you.

    My favourite saying is, "I can't add years to my life but I can add life to my years"
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  14. Just about to celebrate 6 years with the scar. I was riding 6 weeks after my open heart surgery. A light weight ZZR600 was the ride, something that perhaps wouldn't strain the chest repair, if dropped. It was three months before I took my 1000GTR for a run. Got booked enjoying that too. LOL A could of years back, I took on the challenge of riding an IBA 50CC (Coogee to Scarborough).and pulled that off without drama. I'm still planning, setting myself challenges.

    Yes I did change bikes, retired the GTR, to a ZRX1200S, about 4 years ago, and again a lighter ride last month, a Tiger800.

    The surgeon jokingly guaranteed the surgery for 10 years, so I'm I'm riding my ass off. Heading to the alps in April for some fun. Usually monthly rides with groups, one with a sportsbike group that keeps my skills up.

    Uncle Greg has good advice.
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  15. I had a heart attack on new years eve (bad timing huh?) i was lucky and didnt require major surgery,just a handful of metal inserted through the groin. The major change for me has been a lack of stamina. Where once i could easily do 1000k days on my ST1100, i now find 300/400ks very tiring. I also found the old bike very heavy,so the VFR is now the main ride. I havnt done a long ride or overnighter since the heart fart,and have confined myself to day rides up to Tenterfield etc.my interest in riding hasnt diminished,and i still take every opportunity to ride. Eventually i will get my strength back and do some longer trips. I will be riding the Canadian Rockies with my Son in August, a good incentive to keep working on recovery and strength....
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  16. Good on you mate. Keep riding and living.
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  17. glad things are working out. I had my attack 10 years ago this year followed by emergency triple bypass. recovery was slow and uncomfortable. to be honest, it hasn't changed a thing. no revelations, no big changes in lifestyle, no new outlook on life EXCEPT, after a 20 year break from riding, I am now back on a cruiser and riding again. it was much worse for the wife than for me despite the pain. now I am a member of the zipper club but life just goes on. it did take at least 2 years before i could put any strain on my chest so dropping the bike would have required me to get help to pick it up..DO NOT ATTEMPT to lift your bike up for 2 years - my guess is it will hurt like hell even if you don't do any damage. it was about 4 years before the nerves around the wound stopped being numb and feeling strange. my advice is to get on with things you enjoy, eat well, watch your weight, don't to alcohol and drugs and don't smoke (that is still my weak spot - idiotic, i know). I sincerely hope there's more than a 10 year guarantee on my bypass otherwise i may be screwed !!!
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  18. #18 ozboater, Mar 9, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2016
    The initial limitations are temporary - 6 weeks with a 1 kg max lifting limit, and now up to 15 kg for next 6 weeks.
    Biggest challenge is you can't put in much effort as you've got to restrict your heart rate. Currently I'm limited to just 105 bpm until end of June, then can max out at 128 bpm. This limits the amount of physical effort you can do. So you wouldn't want to be pushing a 350 kg Harley, or a big RT BMW around the garage.

    For normal healthy people, your max heart rate is 220 - your age. so for 40 yo, is 220 - 40 = 180 max bpm, and 60 yo is 220 - 60 = 160bpm. Medications reduce the safe levels eg Metoprolol = 20% reduction in max HR.

    So, you've apparently got to approach tasks differently, and be prepared to take longer. Hence the much repeated brain pounding the staff gave me about moderation.

    Still, whatever happens, I'm just bloody glad to be around and keep motorcycling.

    Fighting weight - I wish. Doing not very much saw a few kg going on, and the fighting is now getting it off again.

    I'm glad to say that psychological issues have been rapidly vapourising, as yesterday, after 2 years of quietly shitting myself I got the ALL CLEAR from cancer That worry was a real dog, and now it is no longer.

    It's good that all this medical stuff has happened while I'm young, and now I expect many years of motorcycling. Actually, I have been sneaking out on the Burgman as it is not much different than sitting in an armchair. Haven't been arrested by the physio's yet.

    Thanks for your valued input.

    Thanks. Just love that image. Now you've got me thinking of an XDiavel !

    Love that sentiment, too.
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  19. Change heart rate to revs and it sounds like you have to run yourself in... Now that's a pain :D My bike hasn't had it's first service yet.
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  20. One of the best quotes I've heard for a long long time.
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