When You Just Don't Have a Choice

Discussion in 'Health' started by Runs with Scissors, May 4, 2019.



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  1. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    An update, in case some of you may have noticed a lessening in participation on my part. I’m working through the fact that I have to dial back on how hard I can push it on the bike. For those who don’t know, I have a bicuspid aortic valve; something I was born with and can’t do anything about. Found out about it in 2016.

    Not trying to be mysterious – had the overdue followup with the cardiologist. On the plus side, he said to keep riding, it’s the best thing I can be doing. No intervention needed at this time. He even said I’m the healthiest patient he has.

    The first time I saw him three years ago he told me “don’t overdo it.” I failed to ask him what he meant then. This time, when I went through my usual cycling activity and said that, on occasion and for short spurts, my heart rate might hit 170, his response was “don’t do that.”

    Another plus, he saw no reason to do another stress echocardiogram before November. No real change in conditions since 3 years ago, but it’s not going away. It will, at some point, require open heart surgery for the valve job. That’s really not something I want to do until it’s absolutely necessary.

    He sternly recommended keeping the heart rate at 150 or less.

    Bottom line, I can still ride wherever I want, but I’ll be slower than before. I’ll be judiciously walking steeper parts that I may have bulled my way through in past rides.

    I don’t really want to subject anyone else to having to wait. I still love riding, and I’m not going to stop. I just figure I’ll be doing a lot more solo rides because it’s not fair to others to make them wait.

    Anyway, not looking for sympathy; just letting all y’all know why I’m not participating as much.
     
  2. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    :thumbsup::thumbsup: Keep on ridin'
     
  3. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    While in the hospital with a pulmonary embolism I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. That was 10 years ago. Like you I was given many restrictions because of my "condition". After going through a couple of cardiologists I found one that was on my side so to speak. Cardio to an extent is good for the heart. Stress and weightlifting is not. I was also given the 150 max heart rate. Not knowing the severity of your condition I would just keep doing what you've been doing. Just do as the cardiologist says and keep your heart rate down.

    I was scared to death when first diagnosed but soon realized I was born with this hereditary heart disease and have made it this far so I eased back into what I was doing and so far so good.
     
    Tom the Bomb, ~JB~, ricke24 and 14 others like this.
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Thanks for the skinny on this Mark. Glad you are keeping tabs on it.
    I have absolutely no wisdom for you on this one. Just going to keep you in my prayers, Buddy!
     
  5. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Thanks for the update, but there's really no need to skip participation, because you might hold back a ride by a few minutes... You know my favorite Maple-Motorway loop. I've done it anywhere between 2 hours and 4+ hours, and every one of those was a good time!

    Get your butt out there. :thumbsup:
     
  6. buggravy

    buggravy iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Calabasas
    Name:
    Matt
    Current Bike:
    GG The Smash, Ibis DV9
    Hey, we slow guys need riding partners too ;-). While not all heart conditions are created equal, and doc's orders are prudent, if you haven't read or listened to David Goggins' book, Can't Hurt Me, (*spoiler alert) you might be amazed at the insane amount of output possible on a compromised ticker.
     
  7. Danimal

    Danimal iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    GG Trail Pistol!
    Glad you're looking to stay healthy and safe! however....
    Some of the best group rides I've had are with those that are riding slower and walking sections. They also typically have the most stoke and it's infectious. So, keep on riding and don't stop going with others just 'cause you "might" slow them down a bit.
     
  8. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    Thanks for sharing your story, @Runs with Scissors. I cannot imagine how scary it is to be told that your ticker is in danger. That said, slowing down on climbs is something that may be difficult for you to dial back, but will still not make you slower than some of us who have not been diagnosed with anything in particular. :whistling: :oops: Keep going, good sir!
     
  9. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    PV3 & FEX
    Sounds like the road bike should be the bike of choice for you. Pedal on my friend. :thumbsup:
     
  10. -ROCKY-

    -ROCKY- Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lakewood, CA
    Name:
    Rocky
    Hang in there RWS!!! :) We know you'll keep pedaling, but yes, please keep us slower riders in mind who'd jump at the opportunity to to ride with you!!! :thumbsup:
     
  11. Grego

    Grego iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Fullerton
    Name:
    joe
    Current Bike:
    WFO9
    Nothing wrong with slowing it down a notch. You might even find yourself riding more miles at a slower pace. Tortoise beats the hare. Take it easy my friend. Keep on riding.
     
  12. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Vendetta/Smash
    Thanks for the scoop, Mark.

    So I guess your ride times might cut into your IMTB time, got it. ;):) No worries with that; we all find our balance.

    Riding for time, distance, speed, elevation, etc. is not where it’s at. Riding and enjoying the experience is where it’s at. As often or infrequently as one cares to. You’re still on the program – congrats on that and best wishes going forward. I’ll ride with you anytime I’m around, go not fast, and enjoy the hell out of it.

    Cheers :thumbsup:
     
  13. MrGreedom

    MrGreedom Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Name:
    Ryan
    Current Bike:
    BH Lynx6
    Best wishes, thanks for sharing
     
    ricke24, Faust29, mike and 5 others like this.
  14. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cypress, Ca
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    SC OG Hightower 29'r
    @Runs with Scissors praying you forever get to keep pedaling. Speed is irrelevant, just keep turning those circles.
     
    ricke24, Faust29, mike and 7 others like this.
  15. jimbowho

    jimbowho Member

    Location:
    acton
    Name:
    james jim jimmy
    Current Bike:
    GT sensor 29r
    Now you can just not have to make it up that nasty punchy tricky uphill and feel your heart ready to explode, and sometimes not make it, and rest at the top anyway. You could be more like me now,o_O "Ooh look, it's a pine cone, time for a break". OR, hay look how that embankment is shaped like a barkalounger, time for a nap.
     
    ricke24, Faust29, mike and 9 others like this.
  16. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Addict

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    I bet you’re still faster than some of us up the mountain. I know an Albanian cardiologist (trained in San Diego, and also Tirana) who changed direction and became a child psychiatrist. Get your surgery while you are insured, and consider California doctors. The scene brings in the talent, kinda like free agent athletes. Otherwise, I might be able to get you a discount with my Albanian guy (his practice is in Chicago these days). Good luck Mark; keep riding!
     
    ricke24, Faust29, mike and 9 others like this.
  17. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone. I'm not gonna stop riding, I'm just gonna have to adapt. If I see you out there say howdy!!

    EDIT: As a PSA, know that this particular condition (Bicuspid Aortic Valve) is found in about 2% of the population, and is much more prevalent in males than in females. It's typically found after age 50. If your doctor is listening to your heart, demand that they tell you what they hear. I was pretty pissed that my GP didn't tell me that she'd heard a murmur when she referred me to the cardiologist.

    On another note, I also always require that they tell me what my BP is. I have a serious case of white-coat hypertension. My blood pressure is almost normal when I check it at home, but it's hit insane levels at the doctor's office.

    Make your annual physical a thing. Make them tell you what's going on. :thumbsup: Or not - you're each capable of deciding what's best for you. :whistling:
     
    ricke24, Faust29, mike and 8 others like this.
  18. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    Mark I just read thru this entire thread and there seems to be an echoing "all for one and one for all" vibe going on here. Sounds like there's a bunch of people myself included that don't mind backing it off a half a notch if necessary to enjoy your company. My guess is with your fitness a 150 max HR is still a pretty darn good pace by most peoples standards. Last time I checked you and I still owe each other a sampling of the local goods. I've got several good rides around here I know you would enjoy. The last several weekends have been a focus on getting ready for Kokopelli and putting it in LSD mode(long slow distance). Rather than looking for the gnar every weekend we've been mapping routes that we haven't done and loading em on the Garmin and just seeing what happens and I gotta say it's been a lot of fun just exploring. Good on you for listening to your body and the docs and then doing what you feel is best. Life is a deck of cards and you gotta play with what you were dealt.
     
    ricke24, Faust29, mike and 8 others like this.
  19. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Thanks, VT. I'm gonna hold you to the Old Ridge Route ride. :thumbsup:
     
    ricke24, Faust29, mike and 6 others like this.
  20. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    Deal...:thumbsup: and the ride we did yesterday up fish creek canyon was really incredible and could be adjusted to varying lengths. You’d love that one trust me.
     
    ricke24, Faust29, mike and 6 others like this.
  21. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Yeah man, just dial it back a little. After my helicopter - extraction and hospitalization, I reassessed my priorities and started taking it easier. On the climbs I like to keep it conversational and on my solo rides I really go easy on the techy stuff. Funny, but I can rail it harder when the time comes.
    There's a lot of great fireroad stuff in the San Gabes besides Monroe TT.
    Get some!
     
    ricke24, Faust29, mike and 7 others like this.
  22. da big hills

    da big hills Well-Known Member

    Location:
    pearl harbor
    Name:
    cagey
    Current Bike:
    enduro 29
    Mikie was right, youre not heartless
    happy trails
     
    ricke24, Faust29, mike and 5 others like this.



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