Sep 17
Stubby
Stubby , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Full Cardiac Arrest

I am a 57 year old male whom has enjoyed cycling with my wife Charlette for the pat 6 years.   We have road in 2 100 mile rides and many 60 & 70 mile rides as well.  She was helping me get into shape for a 52 mile ride on 9-23-16.  I had been healing up from a torn shoulder and 2 severed tendons so this would have been my longest ride in 4 months.  On 8-31-16 we left for a 40 mile ride and about mile 12 I started to feel sick.  On mile 18 I threw up but made it to the 20 mile mark and stopped for about 5 minutes.  I told my wife I felt exausted and ws just going to ride back slow.  She waited for her dad and then she tried to catch up with me.  I had pulled into a train station for a potty break and she did not see me.  She got ahead of me.  At mile 37.7 I had just finished climbing up a small hill and was rolling up to the intersection to make a left hand turn.  I noticed 2 deputies making an stop and as I went to turn my head to check the intersection i got a hot flash and seen bright popping lights and that was it.  When I came to it was very hard to breath and my chest and shoulder were on fire.  I though a car had hit me but I was told my heart had stopped an I fell off my bike fracturing my clavicle.  I was told they seen me go down and though I would get back up but after 30 seconds and no movement they ran over.  There was no pulse and no heart beat.  CPR was done for 3 minutes then they used the defibulater to start the heart.  My chest hurt because I had 4 fractured ribs.  I was stabilized and taken to the hopital.  They found 2 closed arteries and placed stents in both.  I spent 2 days in ICU and then they let me go home to heal.  It has been 17 days and I am still very sore but out walking now.  Never had heart issues at all.  Me and my wife has been riding between 80 and 150 miles each week for years so I was pretty shocked.  Hoping to be back to work in 2 weeks and get back to my life.  This has scared me pretty bad and it has helped being able to talk about it.
Thanks,
Roger Bills
4 Comments
  • AHA Volunteer Moderator Michael C
    AHA Volunteer Moderator Michael C,
    Roger, yeah, it seems these things pop up out of nowhere sometimes. some people you'd swear would have a heart attack never do and then you have the active people who are in decent physical condition, such as yourself, have this happen. the walking is good but please, don't rush the recovery. is your job physically demanding? if it is you may have to take things slow and easy. speaking from experience here as I'm not a doctor. you didn't mention meds but they must have put you on some. take them, as much as you may hate to, as it's necessary. the ribs will probably hurt for a while. again, experience. just giving you my thoughts. I think we all hope you're back up and riding soon but just not too soon. slow and steady wins the race. take care. mike
  • ActiveLarry
    ActiveLarry,
    Roger: What about your diet ? How hard do you train ? Do you limit intense training days ? Do you use a heart rate monitor at all ? Not to offend , but many people use VERY outdated training rules and information, and essentially have no real clue, nor do their coaches. Modern training studies have revealed so much hearsay that goes back decades, and keeps getting passed forward by well-meaning, but totally uniformed of modern knowledge. Max heart rate is rarely 220 - age. Anaerobic threshold is rarely 80% of the above value. It can be higher or lower. Panting during exercise by humans indicates oxygen debt, a sign of excess CO2 in the blood. One may as well smoke for the damage potential to arteries. A few years ago I met a cyclist like you, and his whole club had decided anti-oxidants were worthless, as balance for ROS. Anti-oxidants prevent conversion of LDL to ox-LDL, which is absorbed by immune cells attached to arterial damage sites. Fattening blockages for years, until they cause a heart attack. So hard training cyclists are heart attacks waiting to happen if they are archaic in their knowledge. A know-it-all cyclist who retired from my company years ago died on a solo ride, about age 58. He had been bragging about his amazing fitness. Heart attack in the middle of nowhere, no one to help him. Fitness can aid the heart, or set it up for failure by the unwise. I need to finish my book which covers more of this, with background and research. And you need to read it. Take your time in recovery. In two months, I was only a shadow of my fitter self before bypass surgery. I was closer after 5 months, but still very limited. Fatigue in recovery is a sign of too much effort, exercise. Or any time. You will recover faster, better, by avoiding fatigue, carefully approaching your limits. Active Larry, Please see my survival story
  • Stubby
    Stubby,
    Thanks, Larry and Mike for the positive feedback. They have me taking 90 mg of Brilinta and 6.25 mg of Carvedilol twice a day. I am on heart healthy diet. My cardiologist met with me last week and said all the tests look good and to ease back into my workouts at 30 minutes a day not to exceed a heart rate of 130. He said I could increase it my 5 minutes each weeks bu to listen to my body and not overdue it. I was able to go out and ride my bike for 30 minutes but only made it 6.7 miles due to the heart rate, but it was good to get back out there. I am walking 1.8 to 2.3 miles on the days I don't ride. I supervise a manufacturing floor so its not really physical but I do walk between 8 to 10 miles in a 12.5 hour work day. As for bike training, I use the supplements advertised and drink the gatorade and add the electrolytes as called for. I make sure I get my proteins and carbs. Larry, I would love to read your book when finished. I am always looking for ideas and answers to make my rides more durable. Like i said, we don's compete, we just enjoy riding some of the events but we do a lot of small group riding on the routes we choose. Thanks again, Roger
  • ActiveLarry
    ActiveLarry,
    That is a lot of walking at work. My diet is very low fat, but not vegan. Salmon good for healthy fats, chicken breast for niacin and protein. Keep an eye on heart rate with exercise. If continuous rise starts, time to slow down for the day, or at least back off your pace. For good electrolytes, potassium is under appreciated. I prefer dilute orange or pomegranate juice. Go for far more anti-oxidants: red and blue fruits and berries, herbs and spices cooking. High thiamine foods for improved arterial health. Pomegranate for reducing arterial blockages. Even 1/4 avocado is too much for me. Four years ago that caused about 3 hours of chest pain.
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