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 Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion 
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Joined: April 11th, 2011, 3:28 pm
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Location: Wichita Kansas
Post Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
I know you Aussies and Tasmaniacs (sp?) are getting into summertime soon, but it's getting colder here in the northern climes. I am a newbie at some of this heart stuff. My MI was in January and SCA's in February, but I didn't venture ouitside very much last winter. This year I am out in it a bit and wonder how much I should be.

I still walk a lot because I still have 2 months left on my driving restriction. This morning I walked 30 minutes, about a mile and a half. The temp was in the 20's with a stiff breeze. It will get colder. Clothing is not really an issue, but I wonder about breathing in a lot of cold air. I might need to shovel a little snow occasionally, also. We don't get a lot of snow here, but do get some. Shoveling should be light.

I am probably only CHF Class 1, lots of symptoms, but none really seriously affecting me. The worst is fatigue and sometimes cold extremeties. I was wondering if any of you had any good rules of thumb to go by.

Suggestions?

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MI 1/21/11; SCA's 2/3/11 and 2/4/11
I have a Boston Scientific Teligen ICD and a Boston Scientific Promus stent,
I guess my cardiologist is sort of a BS kind of guy.

Two rules to live by:
1) Don't sweat the small stuff!
2) It's all small stuff!


My Intro is on this page: http://www.icdsupportgroup.org/board/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=3&p=74917#p74917


December 5th, 2011, 12:27 pm
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Joined: May 29th, 2011, 4:15 am
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Location: Scotland, UK
Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
Jim, funnily enough we had our first snow here in Glasgow today and I was out running in it, rather carefully as I don't want to fall and cut myself whilst I'm on Warfarin, or land on my ICD either. For running I always do a few minutes of walking down the road to warm up slightly but I don't do anything like the amount the cardiac rehab nurse wanted me to do - they recommend about 15 minutes of gradual warm up which is tough if its cold outside, it runs the risk of just making you colder. I did a bit of snow clearing with a brush on the door steps before going out but if there is a lot of shovelling then I would recommend building up very gently, diving into it full pelt after just stepping out the front door is not a good thing.

Ulric

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December 5th, 2011, 1:05 pm
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Joined: February 10th, 2009, 5:56 pm
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Location: Malmstrom AFB, Silo 4, Great Falls, MT
Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
I believe the general rule of thumb for heart patients and cold weather is: don't. If I remember correctly, my doctor told me last year as far as shoveling snow goes that I'd be a 'f***in idiot' to even try it. I think he was trying to make a point. I will though "push" light snow around, but never scoop or lift it anymore. Resistance or straining seems to be the key thing to avoid. As for walking in cold, going to the shopping mall might be a better idea although I'd probably do some outside walking with proper attire and a scarf over my mouth. We use the phrase here a lot, but it's best if you check with your doctor on your condition, if only a phone discussion. Basically, cold causes blood vessel constriction and we all know what can happen if they constrict too much ;-)


December 5th, 2011, 1:10 pm
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Joined: August 18th, 2008, 11:25 pm
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Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
Everyone is too different for us to be able to answer this question. I think you need to ask your cardiologist, since it is based on your specific heart issues. I bet you can do more than you think, but it's always best to double check if you have a doubt.
Mike


December 5th, 2011, 3:10 pm
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Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
Jim,

Your concern looking forward is legitimate. Heck, living here in New Hampshire where I get at least a dozen, maybe more days below zero, I was very concerned about whether I'd have to move to a more moderate climate. This was of particular concern to me because I didn't do well at all in the extreme heat of the summer .... only four and five months after my MI.

By the time my first winter got here, I'm pleased to report that even the coldest day of the winter represented no problem for me .... not even the slightest. That said, I do understand the mechanics of cold. When breathing, cold constricts the lungs and the blood vessels flowing through the lungs. And when the lungs are constricted, the blood flowing through them is restricted. Rather obviously, that puts an additional pumping strain on the heart. So when exerting yourself .... OMG ! .... shoveling snow, it's like the "Double Whammy" on the heart.

Like Mrag said, "The rule of thumb is: don't." I'll second that thought. Jim, the snow will eventually melt. If it must be moved, get out the wallet and pay some young buck with a good heart and a good back to do the shoveling. Even if you ARE capable .... and you probably are .... what are you trying to prove ? If you want to prove to everyone that you're dumb, heck, I'd recommend just taking "stupid pills." They're easier on the heart than shoveling.

Me, many years ago, I converted religions and joined "The Inter-denominational Church of Frosty the Snow Man," so that now I can tell folks with a straight face, "Shoveling snow is against my religious principals." I think this will be my 24th year without shoveling snow. I just pay some guy with a pick up truck to plow.

But the bigger, larger, more overall guidance .... like about everything else .... is, take is slow, take it easy .... until you see how your body responds.


December 5th, 2011, 3:34 pm
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Joined: February 22nd, 2010, 9:52 pm
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Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
I know that some of our guys are willing to go out and cut wood by the chord... but even they don't do it in freezing temperatures. I'm with the ones who are telling you to take it step by step and not rush into trouble.

In fact, that's the number 1 rule of safe trucking: when you see lots of tail lights, flashers, or even people running around up the road ahead of you, slow down and find out what's going on. Only a fool maintains his speed and waits until he's on top of the scene to discover he needs to stop 80,000 pounds of truck and cargo on a dime!
nononono

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TruckerRon -- Assimilated into the Zap! Collective Sept 17, 2009

Non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
Medtronic Maximo II
No shocks yet...
My intro is at: http://www.icdsupportgroup.org/board/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=3&p=57099#p57099


December 5th, 2011, 6:24 pm
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Joined: April 18th, 2009, 8:19 pm
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Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
Agree that we are all different. I am one who finds it harder to breathe in cold weather or in some cool windy days. I was told not to exert myself if it got below 40 F or above 80 F. Usually my Warden will not let me go even to the gym on real cold days, like today. It was 7 F this morning and expected to be below zero in the morning. I do have an EP appointment tomorrow but won't be out shoveling any snow. wavhi

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Bob

Medtronic-Virtuoso™ VR implanted 2-4-09
6947 Sprint Quattro Secure lead
Major heart attack, carcinogenic shock and quad bypass 10-13-08
Syndrome, post myocardial infarction, old inferior MI complicated by shock and CHF
Heart failure, combined, Atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic Aneurysm 2.9 cm infrarenal,
Seroma 7 cm, left leg from bypass surgery

My "Wardens" are my bride of 50+ years and my eldest daughter.


December 5th, 2011, 7:16 pm
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Joined: August 3rd, 2011, 7:17 pm
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Location: Mole Creek, Tasmania, Australia
Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
Sadly, summer is being very elusive here in Tasmania at the moment - we had a frost yesterday morning for some ridiculous reason only known to Mother Nature.

Since starting on my medication for NCC (Coversyl and Metrol) my extemities get very cold - even on a cool day my hands turn blue and its really not a good look. Sometimes they even go so far as to go white which isn't pleasant at all. Hence I have taken to making sure I have gloves with me everywhere and I wouldn't dream of wearing open shoes on a cool evening. Other than that, perhaps it never gets cold enough here to affect me in any other way, but I am fairly non-symptomatic anyhow.

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Karen x

St Jude ICD implanted July 2011
Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy, Dilated Cardiomyopthay & family history of Sudden Cardiac Death
On Coversyl, Metrol
Lives in Tasmania, Australia


December 5th, 2011, 8:01 pm
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Joined: July 14th, 2011, 8:28 pm
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Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
I for one can not stand cold or really hot weather and more. It has been below 32deg here for the last few mornings and I can only stand about 30min outside even dressed warm. I am around CHF-3 and cold bothers me alot. As others have said talk to your DR. My DR has told me to stay away from my chainsaw and to not shovel any snow.

Bob

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BOB
ischemic cardiomyopathy NSVT, stent 1 left side 4/5 &1 right side on 6/9 2011
MI Heart attack unknown when it happened 20% dead muscle
CHF-3, PVD, CAD, CKD-3 & EF 35 now 55 12-19-11
ICD ST JUDE 6/29/11, CD2215-36Q, RVA LEAD, RA-LEAD
Med's
AMLODIPINE 7.5MG AM 5MG PM,ISOSORBIDE MONO. ER 120MG, PLAVIX 75MG
ASPIRIN 81MG,HYDRALAZINE 50MG X4,CARVEDILOL 50MG AM/PM, LIPITOR 80MG
Spironolactone 25mg am/pm,FUROSEMIDE 40MG, Calcitriol .25mg mon,wed,fri
ZANTAC 150MG

I welcome my ICD he is Electron a transformer


December 5th, 2011, 8:44 pm
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Joined: April 11th, 2011, 3:28 pm
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Location: Wichita Kansas
Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
Well, I thought I could get a reaction from Karen by using the term "Tasmaniacs", but maybe I was too subtle, (or it was just too nerdy and dumb). Oh well.

Thanks for the responses though. Perhaps I should be a little more careful, but then again I am relatively healthy and I don't mind pushing the envelope a bit. I just don't want to get too carried away knowing that cold weather and heart conditions don't match up very well with each other. And I have tried to become a better listener to my body and how it reacts to weather and exercise. That is probably the key.

Actually I might be aiming for sympathy. Someday I can tell the grandkids that I had to walk 10 miles every day, up hill both ways, with a severely debilitating heart condition, in blinding snowstorms, and searing heat, just to get to the bus stop so I could get to work. Think that would work?

_________________
MI 1/21/11; SCA's 2/3/11 and 2/4/11
I have a Boston Scientific Teligen ICD and a Boston Scientific Promus stent,
I guess my cardiologist is sort of a BS kind of guy.

Two rules to live by:
1) Don't sweat the small stuff!
2) It's all small stuff!


My Intro is on this page: http://www.icdsupportgroup.org/board/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=3&p=74917#p74917


December 6th, 2011, 12:12 am
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Joined: August 28th, 2010, 1:13 pm
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Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
Jim and Sparky wrote:
Think that would work?



Hey .... truth is stranger than fiction. Be careful what you wish for my friend. Winter isn't here yet !


December 6th, 2011, 1:06 am
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Joined: August 3rd, 2011, 7:17 pm
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Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
Jim and Sparky wrote:
Well, I thought I could get a reaction from Karen by using the term "Tasmaniacs", but maybe I was too subtle, (or it was just too nerdy and dumb). Oh well.



Holy crap, how did I miss that???????? :mutt:

_________________
Karen x

St Jude ICD implanted July 2011
Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy, Dilated Cardiomyopthay & family history of Sudden Cardiac Death
On Coversyl, Metrol
Lives in Tasmania, Australia


December 6th, 2011, 3:03 am
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Joined: December 19th, 2005, 9:12 am
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Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
It's really a matter of how you feel. I'm in Little Rock, so not quite as cold as you. Just got back from taking the dog for a walk, 1.23 miles by the Nike GPS app. Started sleeting on the way back so it's low thirties at any rate. I currently don't have any problems with the cold air or the heat either. Usually do 3-4 miles in the morning. When I was in A-Fib last spring it was more difficult and in the summer I took more breaks from the heat. With the new BiV and not being in A-Fib, I haven't had any problems with the cold or heat.


December 6th, 2011, 10:49 pm
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Joined: August 5th, 2010, 11:25 pm
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Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
I know a thing or 2 about cold weather.

Take your meds,eat right,avoid alcohol and stay active and you shouldn't have any problems with cold weather at all

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so I thought of something,that's my daughter in the pic with me....i'm not a creepy old guy (:


December 10th, 2011, 10:53 pm
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Joined: July 29th, 2009, 7:50 pm
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Location: New Jersey
Post Re: Seeking Advice: Cold Weather Exertion
I have never asked my cardiologist about this. I wonder what he would say. I have never had a heart attack or any symptoms from cardiomyopathy. I love cold weather, love shoveling snow and think skiing (which I have been doing for over 40 years) is the most fun a person can have with their clothes on. My brother thinks I am crazy to still be skiing at the ripe old age of 54 (today is my birthday!!) but I think he is crazy to have ever stopped.

By the way, shoveling snow is where I draw the line. I pay someone to mow the lawn and rake up the leaves. That is way too much like work.

_________________
Evan

Cardiomyopathy, LBBB, St. Jude Promote Plus CRT-D Installed Nov 9, 2009, QRS Duration - 180, EF - 25-30, EF NOW IS 50+!!!!!!


December 11th, 2011, 2:47 am
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