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Diving after Heart Attack

Discussion in 'Special Needs' started by Footslogger, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Dr. Doug Ebersole

    Dr. Doug Ebersole Instructor, Scuba

    1,759
    334
    Best of luck. If I can be of any help to you, please let me know.

    And, Lynne (TSandM) -- sorry to beat you to the punch! When are you heading back to cave country? Next time we have to both "dine" and "dive" together!

    Doug
     
  2. Footslogger

    Footslogger Divemaster

    925
    1
    Just about 4 months since my heart attack now. Cardiologist is pleased with my progress. Finished 2 months of supervised rehab and now continuing the routine on my own.

    So far so good. No dysrythmias, heart racing or shortness of breath. Exercise tolerance is noticeably better. Knocking out 3.5mph at 10 degrees on the treadmill 3 - 4 times a week along with an assortment of resistance work ...not to mention all the walks my wife and I take.

    Still too soon to begin even thinking seriously about planning a dive trip but, being the optomist I am ...not a day goes by that I don't see myself on a dive trip as soon as possible. Was going to sell off all my gear and u/w photo stuff at first but now have decided to hold on to all of it for at least a year.

    Any other "success" or come back stories from heart attack that anyone can share just to feed my optomism ??

    All the best ...
     
  3. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    36,349
    13,624
    Sounds as though you are doing splendidly! Are they planning another echo to reevaluate the LV function?
     
  4. Footslogger

    Footslogger Divemaster

    925
    1
    ====================================

    Well ...I feel like am doing well. Hope it's a true indicator. I was in pretty darn good shape when I had the attack and I am certain that is a big factor (along with my attitude and rehab discipline) in my recovery.

    Had an echo last week actually. Results were marginally better than the first echo done in March but the Cardiologist indicated that the ultrasound typically lags a bit and what's more important is how I feel and my improvement in terms of exercise tolerance. Next check-up is in October and he anticipates seeing measurable increase in LV ejection fraction.

    Appreciate your reply ...now back to work. Oh, and did I mention that I was cleared to return to work in MRI. I work at an orthopedic/sports med clinic and operate a 0.2 Tesla extremity magnet. The biomed people came and did measurments which showed that my ICD did not sense magnetic interference unless I was within about 6" of the magnet.

    All in all I am a pretty lucky guy.

    Mark J
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  5. Dr. Doug Ebersole

    Dr. Doug Ebersole Instructor, Scuba

    1,759
    334
    Glad to hear you are doing well. Please keep us informed.

    Doug
     
  6. Miguel Vidal

    Miguel Vidal Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Venezuela
    6
    0
    Hello, OK please do not scold on me. I am 45 years old. I know smoking is a bad habit, and worst for divers... I have been smoking almost a package daily, for 20 years now. I recently quit to try to get back to diving. I know how bad is smoking, and also had a bad case of asthma that has been under control for years now. As I was a diver before commiting the stupidity to let sedentary life took control of me, I opened my eyes and want to get back. I walk a lot every day and want to start a planned recovery fitness program.

    Now, what are your suggestion to take diving easy. I live in Venezuela, whicha has great dive places, wonderful weather year round...

    Even though I have read that it is not recommended to dive this way I have no planms of doing it heavily, There is plenty to see over 40' deep.

    What is your advise? Any help would be great....
     
  7. JCR

    JCR Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sierra Foothills, Near Sacramento
    90
    0
    I am just returning to diving after a 13 year hiatus. I dove intensively from 1967-1974 mostly in cold water open ocean settings in the North Pacific. It was not fun.

    In the early 90's my wife wanted to learn diving and we were both PADI certified and did a hundred or so dives between 1992-1996 all in warm water. Then life became too busy and diving took a back seat. I worked way too much and did too little exercise. In 2006 I had a heart attack and angioplasty that resulted in 2 stents.

    My diet and exercise patterns have changed and my stress tests seem to be fine. I still take a cocktail of meds including lisinopril, coreg, and plavix. Now, my wife would like to resume diving (warm water only) and I realized there is some medical stuff to attend to about diving and heart disease.

    I have the PADI medical statement form to give to my cardiologist at the end of the month after my next stress echo. My assumption is that all should be ok based on past performance, although I don't know what he will say about the coreg med and its exercise effects.

    I am curious about the original OP and if you are diving again?
     
  8. Dr. Doug Ebersole

    Dr. Doug Ebersole Instructor, Scuba

    1,759
    334
    JCR:

    Assuming you have normal heart muscle function and good exercise tolerance -- on or off your meds -- you should be able to safely resume diving.

    Doug
     
  9. JCR

    JCR Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sierra Foothills, Near Sacramento
    90
    0
    Thanks! The only issue of concern to me is Coreg. It does affect the effort it takes to get my heart rate up and I still get some of the side effects, but i think those issues are manageable for safe diving.
     
  10. Dr. Doug Ebersole

    Dr. Doug Ebersole Instructor, Scuba

    1,759
    334
    There is a theoretical concern that beta blockers can blunt your exercise capacity and this does happen in some people. However, if you have good exercise tolerance on a treadmill while taking the Coreg, it is not a concern for safe diving.
     

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