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  #1  
Old 02-18-2013, 05:53 PM
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Default Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Guys, last Monday 2/11, I suffered a massive heart attack. Obviously, I survived. The doctor told me it was what the medical world refers to as "The Widowmaker". I am now at home resting comfortably and my cardiologist says I should be able to see a 100% recovery in time and can resume all the activites I was participating in before the attack...even drumming. I definately need to change my dietary habits (I have been eating like an 18 year old kid for many years now) to a more healthier diet with very reduced fats, trans fats, cholesterol and sodium. So for the past week now, I've been eating like a rabbit. I don't know how long I can keep that up but I do feel I can keep a much healthier diet in the future even if I don't "veg" out for too long. My questions to y'all on the forum is, has anyone here ever suffered a heart attack and resumed their drumming? If so, has your playing suffered? How long was it before you were able to resume playing and do you feel 100% again? Did you have to make any concessions or changes to your playing to allow you to continue?

Thanks,
Bobacwrd
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:13 PM
SkaaDee SkaaDee is offline
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Hi Bobacwrd

In my opinion, this question is too important and dire to ask on a message board.
If it was me, I would rely on the doctors. No offence intended to anyone on this message board, but everyone is different and we are talking about your health. I guess there is no harm in asking but your decision should be made relying on the people who have examined you.

cheers
Scott
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Wow Bob, sorry to hear of this.

I don't have any answers, as I have no experience in this matter.

Other than I can sympathize on the diet. I've been making some changes myself, abet for other reasons. Carrots and celery are my friends.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

I've had two heart attacks. One when I was 32 years old, and one, three years ago, when I was 65.

My lifestyle has always been a paradoxical combination of Keith Moon, Carlos Casteneda, and Andy Kaufman. Mystical, out of control, and totally in control via OCD, all at the same time, so I'm not sure that what I did will apply to others, but I can tell you this:

After my second heart attack, which was accompanied by a quintuple bypass, which for me was the most horrific experience in the world (but fortunately they no longer crack people open but do it endoscopically instead now) I was playing my drums, wildly and to my ear wonderfully, the first night home from the hospital.

Lots of pix, video footage, and sound recording to prove it. (Although I don't have any of it; one of my son-in-laws, who took it all, has it stashed away, probably to blackmail me about in the future.)

Actually, my second heart attack was inspirational to me. I needed exercise but felt as though I couldn't do much because of the chest pain caused by the surgery, so flailing around like Moonie was just the ticket for entry into cardiovascular fitness.

Not only did I lose nothing in terms of whatever skills I had, I've become much better in the years since the MI. Faster, better able to stay in a groove (but less willing to also). I was never able to grasp funk or polyrhythms; now both flow out of me.

For what it's worth, I use the time I spend at the drums (about an hour a day alone now, and two - five hours a week either gigging or rehearsing with a couple of groups) for meditation. I connect to my body, which in turn is connecting to the drums, which in turn are connecting to the spirits/universe/god/whatever-you-believe-in, and everything becomes one, united by the music.

The only experiences I've ever had that compare to that feeling, and its aftermath, have been exhausting physical activity and sex. And while playing the drums may not be quite as fulfilling as sex it's certainly easier on the rest of my body than doing calisthenics in the desert or trying to survive ice storms in the woods. (I know, not the kinds of experiences you expect to hear from a "Hollywood" type, but I've spent a hell of a lot of time living on Indian reservations - which is where I learned the drumming-spirit connection thing. But that's a whole other story.)

If you want to get into details regarding physical recovery, etc., just PM me. Happy to share what I learned and to listen to what you're going through.

All my best,

LB
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobacwrd View Post
Guys, last Monday 2/11, I suffered a massive heart attack. Obviously, I survived. The doctor told me it was what the medical world refers to as "The Widowmaker". I am now at home resting comfortably and my cardiologist says I should be able to see a 100% recovery in time and can resume all the activites I was participating in before the attack...even drumming. I definately need to change my dietary habits (I have been eating like an 18 year old kid for many years now) to a more healthier diet with very reduced fats, trans fats, cholesterol and sodium. So for the past week now, I've been eating like a rabbit. I don't know how long I can keep that up but I do feel I can keep a much healthier diet in the future even if I don't "veg" out for too long. My questions to y'all on the forum is, has anyone here ever suffered a heart attack and resumed their drumming? If so, has your playing suffered? How long was it before you were able to resume playing and do you feel 100% again? Did you have to make any concessions or changes to your playing to allow you to continue?

Thanks,
Bobacwrd
hey Bob,

There aren't too many more important things than health, even drumming. I'm glad you survived, and it's very very promising that your doctor has you back at 100% eventually.

Good health is strongly connected to lifestyle. Lifestyle includes Diet, exercise, daily activities, hobbies, etc. I'm not a physician, and I don't have any experience in these matters. However, extreme health is a priority for me. Now I don't eat like a rabbit, but I minimize bad fats, red meat, etc. Check with a dietician, because you really are what you eat. Get that under control and you've taken a big leap.

IMO, physical exercise (easy at first) walking, stretching would definitely be a high priority and serve you well. Lifestyle changes / concessions would put you in a great position so you wouldn't have to do any drumming concessions.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

buddy rich had a heart attack and recovered and went on to drum for years. his story is encouraging.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

All you have to do is resist the temptation to put garbage in your body. That's it. Don't eat fatty animals every day, make sure you get less salt, and drink enough water. What's worse? Being vegetarian and living longer, or faltering back to your old habits, and potentially not being able to drum?

When I was 27, my doc told me I was in "pre-hypertension". All I could tell him is that I eat "like everyone else I know". Lots of dining out, and meat/salt for literally every meal. I didn't feel like I had actually eaten a meal unless it included a hunk of animal. He said "people never want to hear this, and you're likely not going to listen, but you're doing it wrong".

The more I thought about it, the more I realized he's right. Our bodies aren't made for this. We aren't meant to have easy access to animal flesh for every meal of every day. If it weren't for mass farming and trucking routes, I'd be eating mostly veggies and fruits; maybe meat when I could get my hands on it.

Shortly after that, I switched to a more vegetarian lifestyle, but not completely. I still eat a few steaks in a year, I probably eat some meat about once or twice in a month, I tend to stick to seafood because it's simple and easy to digest. Now I'm almost 31, and at last check, my numbers were "right where they should be". The less I eat meat, the less I want it. My digestion is literally better than I thought it could be, since I grew up with meat and taters on every plate, I never knew that you didn't have to feel heavy after a good meal.

"Food" for thought. You don't have to even be a "real" vegetarian. I'm sure you could take it far less extreme than I did and be both happy and feel better. A simple start would be to only eat animals for say, half of each week. The other half, check the menus for something different, hell, even just getting a veggie pizza is tons better for you than the processed meat pies that get pushed. If you're anything like me, you'll start to notice that you feel better for half of each week, and your "meat days" will become fewer. Our bodies naturally crave things that are only good for us in slight moderation, because these are also things that during most of our evolution were both somewhat essential, and also very hard to obtain.

It's really not that bad to be healthier, and I say that coming from the standpoint of someone who still loves a good cheeseburger or prime steak... It's just that they're once-in-a-while treats now, like a milk-shake or something.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

I've had two and I play more now than I ever did. It takes a while to recover but, once you do, it's good exercise. Follow doctors order and LIVE a healthier and you will be fine. It keeps you young.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2013, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Wow Bob, sorry to hear of this.

I don't have any answers, as I have no experience in this matter.
+1.

Wish I had an answer for you that offered more than just pure speculation. But if your doc is suggesting a full recovery.....including reinvigorated skin duties, I see no reason to doubt him.

Wishing you much luck on your journey back to good health. Glad you're still here to tell us the tale, mate. Rest up, continue 'fueling the temple' with all the right things and above all, keep swattin' my friend. I'm sure you'll be chipper again in no time!!
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

I have a different kind of experience in this matter (I'm a cardiologist).
I can't and won't diagnose and treat anyone over the internet. I can tell you that the goal in general is to get people back to usual activitities,exercising, etc after heart attacks (slowly). Your eventual activity level will depend upon how much damage was done, ie what the heart function is when you finally recover, your general health, and how much you exercise to get / stay in shape. I have 2 or 3 patients who are drummers, one is a pro and still working, one was gigging part time until recently, years after his event. For some people, a heart attack is a "wake up call" and they actually feel better after because they lose weight, take care of themselves, quit smoking, and exercise. Not sure if any of this applies to you, but just throwing it out there.

Sounds like you're on the right track.
My advice in general is listen to your doctor, listen to your body, do what you can do, don't do you can't do, increase activity slowly, and have some patience. Also, if you go to a cardiac rehab program mention drumming to the people there. they will be able to give you more specific advice to your situation.

Good luck!

Last edited by stormyrider; 02-19-2013 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Glad you're still here with us Bob and my prayers and thoughts are with you. I preach a lot here about nutrition and I don't discourage meat eaters their rights, but basically if you stayed away from anything animal-based you'd be a million times better off. I've been a vegetarian for 20 years. I do enjoy a good cheese or ice cream too but I could easily be a vegan. People today dig their graves with their teeth. In my opinion many in conventional medicine know very little about proper nutrition and would rather you be on drugs for an unspecified period of time than be 100% healthy and never have to pay a hospital visit... Your best consultant is your own self. Everything you consume is a conscious decision. Just make the right one more often than not. Best advice is to buy a juicer and juice carrots, apples, lettuce at least once a day. Exercise 30 minutes a day. The more cardio the better. walking and drumming are great. And educate yourself relentlessly about nutrition. Good place to start is www.mercola.com and what DocWatson said is also good advice. Thanks for sharing your story :)
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

I'm very glad you survived and are recovering. I also have no experience with heart attacks myself.. all I can say is that there are many activities that are more physically demanding than drumming. Think of the "If you can climb a flight of stairs, you are ready to have sex" tip from the movie "Something's gotta give" with Jack Nicholson. Start slow, set realistic exercise goals, listen to your doctor, and eat healthy balanced meals. You'll know when you are ready.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Sorry to hear about your heart attack but glad your still with us to talk about it. Looks like I can't add anything that's not been said already. Some great advice that I too should take.

I wish you all the best in your recovery. Thanks for the wake up post.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

a good friend and fellow drummer had triple bypass 2 years ago and has been back gigging full time for over a year

he changed his diet, exercises more and no longer smokes or drinks

I have faith that you will recover fully
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

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Originally Posted by bobacwrd View Post
.... my cardiologist says I should be able to see a 100% recovery in time and can resume all the activites I was participating in before the attack...even drumming.
I think if your cardiologist gave you a green light ...... that's advice worth following. Best of luck in your recovery.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Wow Bob, big stuff, & a big wakeup! I'm sorry to hear of this. I have no direct experience that relates specifically to heart attack, but I do have experience of drumming after life threatening illness. So long as you're physically somewhere close to functioning, the rest is all mindset. Any slight deficiencies can be corrected through finding different ways to do things. Drumming helped me avoid slipping into that dark space that all who have been there know about.

Positive vibes coming your way Bob :)
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

I've never had a heart attack, but two years ago I had a quadrouple by-pass, the kind where they split you wide open. You have to make the right changes in your diet and exercise and follow your Doctor's advice. The most important thing I can add to this is to stay with your changes. Once you start to feel better don't go back to your old habits. You don't change your eating habits and exercise habits, you have to change your life style. Good luck. John
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormyrider View Post
I have a different kind of experience in this matter (I'm a cardiologist).
I can't and won't diagnose and treat anyone over the internet. I can tell you that the goal in general is to get people back to usual activitities,exercising, etc after heart attacks (slowly). Your eventual activity level will depend upon how much damage was done, ie what the heart function is when you finally recover, your general health, and how much you exercise to get / stay in shape. I have 2 or 3 patients who are drummers, one is a pro and still working, one was gigging part time until recently, years after his event. For some people, a heart attack is a "wake up call" and they actually feel better after because they lose weight, take care of themselves, quit smoking, and exercise. Not sure if any of this applies to you, but just throwing it out there.

Sounds like you're on the right track.
My advice in general is listen to your doctor, listen to your body, do what you can do, don't do you can't do, increase activity slowly, and have some patience. Also, if you go to a cardiac rehab program mention drumming to the people there. they will be able to give you more specific advice to your situation.

Good luck!


Thanks for the very beneficial response. My cardiologist says that the heart works at approximately 60% efficiency (If I heard him right). He said after the heart attack mine was working at about 40-45%. I have since the attack started walking around the neighborhood and even took a very abrieviated bike ride of about 4 blocks. I did not become winded in any way. I have not yet sat down behind my drums because the doctor said to give it at least a week (Which will be tomorrow from the day he told me that advise). I have been eating a lot of salads which do produce gas and bloated stomach feeling which cause more breathing discomfort than any of the small exercises I have done recently. I am not a smoker but do have very bad dietary habits which I have since revised to eat more foods like fruits and greens and no red meat. I feel much better and understand that this will also improve even more in the very near months ahead if I maintain the better dietary habits and cardio-type exercise. I have since lost 7 lbs in a week and look to lose another 20 in the next couple of months.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

I want to thank all who replied to this thread for thier well wishes and inciteful responses. I welcome any and all information, opinions or ideas reagrding this life-altering experience.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Great news Bob, my thoughts go out to you.

I'm by no means a paragon of health myself but I will recommend that if you're losing weight, the difficult part is not the first few weeks - it'll be keeping up the sustained loss for months later. Losing a lot of weight over a short period is relatively easy but you'll find yourself hitting a 'wall' and becoming frustrated. Stick with it.

Also, becoming a vegetarian is no guarantee of weight loss. I can definitely attest to that from personal experience!
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:49 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

I don't like to talk about it, but I had one in 2007. The main reason was my old cardiologist is an idiot. Before the heart attack I went to him because I wasn't feeling well, plus I had an EKG printout from a $350 tabletop EKG machine that said clearly "Borderline EKG" right on it. He did a nuclear stress test (which I don't trust at all now that I know how it works) and he told me to stop drinking so much. Ten months later, I had the heart attack. If I had an angioplasty when I first went in, I never would have had it. I now have 4 stents in my coronary arteries.

Since then, I did quit drinking and I have run 4 marathons, finishing the most recent one in 4:24. My primary doctor took me off my blood pressure meds, and my resting pulse rate is in the low 40's (due to the running). I run, on average, 30 to 50 miles per week, I haul my drums up and down from my basement, and I gig at least once a month. What your doctor was telling you about is called EF (Ejection Fraction) which is a measurement of the ratio of the contracted to the at rest volume of your left ventricle as measured in an Echocardiogram. Don't pay any attention to it; it doesn't mean a damn thing. Mine has been measured anywhere from 35 to 65 depending on who did it. I doubt that with a heart rate of about 42, I have a problem with heart pumping function.

Don't let this stop you and don't let anyone tell you you can't fully recover - you can. Granted, the fact that I was so PO'ed by my original cardiologist, did drive me to do things a lot of people don't do. At least it taught me to choose my doctors carefully and do whatever I can by myself. Good luck and let me know how you're doing. Drop me an email if you like.

Last edited by B-squared; 02-20-2013 at 02:49 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:24 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobacwrd View Post
Thanks for the very beneficial response. My cardiologist says that the heart works at approximately 60% efficiency (If I heard him right). He said after the heart attack mine was working at about 40-45%. I have since the attack started walking around the neighborhood and even took a very abrieviated bike ride of about 4 blocks. I did not become winded in any way. I have not yet sat down behind my drums because the doctor said to give it at least a week (Which will be tomorrow from the day he told me that advise). I have been eating a lot of salads which do produce gas and bloated stomach feeling which cause more breathing discomfort than any of the small exercises I have done recently. I am not a smoker but do have very bad dietary habits which I have since revised to eat more foods like fruits and greens and no red meat. I feel much better and understand that this will also improve even more in the very near months ahead if I maintain the better dietary habits and cardio-type exercise. I have since lost 7 lbs in a week and look to lose another 20 in the next couple of months.
Sounds like you're doing great, keep it up!
60% is a perfectly normal EF. It's a sign that your heart is beating normally.

B squared, congrats to you also on your accomplishments. Too bad about the circumstances that led up to it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

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I don't like to talk about it, but I had one in 2007. The main reason was my old cardiologist is an idiot. Before the heart attack I went to him because I wasn't feeling well, plus I had an EKG printout from a $350 tabletop EKG machine that said clearly "Borderline EKG" right on it. He did a nuclear stress test (which I don't trust at all now that I know how it works) and he told me to stop drinking so much. Ten months later, I had the heart attack. If I had an angioplasty when I first went in, I never would have had it. I now have 4 stents in my coronary arteries.

Since then, I did quit drinking and I have run 4 marathons, finishing the most recent one in 4:24. My primary doctor took me off my blood pressure meds, and my resting pulse rate is in the low 40's (due to the running). I run, on average, 30 to 50 miles per week, I haul my drums up and down from my basement, and I gig at least once a month. What your doctor was telling you about is called EF (Ejection Fraction) which is a measurement of the ratio of the contracted to the at rest volume of your left ventricle as measured in an Echocardiogram. Don't pay any attention to it; it doesn't mean a damn thing. Mine has been measured anywhere from 35 to 65 depending on who did it. I doubt that with a heart rate of about 42, I have a problem with heart pumping function.

Don't let this stop you and don't let anyone tell you you can't fully recover - you can. Granted, the fact that I was so PO'ed by my original cardiologist, did drive me to do things a lot of people don't do. At least it taught me to choose my doctors carefully and do whatever I can by myself. Good luck and let me know how you're doing. Drop me an email if you like.

One of my biggest concerns is that I live alone. If I had a re-occurence, would i survive, even if I called 911. I was lucky the first time because my brother was visiting from out of town and he was able to get me to the hospital in time. I know if I stick to the healthier diet and get plenty of cardio exercise, I should be able to minimize the chance of a re-occurance but there is no doctor that will give you the credence of "you're clear and you won't have another one." Also, I am now taking so much medication I constantly feel like I'm in a fog at times. I wonder how long that will last? Will I ever be able to get off the medication? I know it will take time but is it for the rest of my life? Let's face it, doctors are also afforded royalties from the pharmaceutical companies when they prescribe their products. Will good diet and exercise eventually rid me of the need to have to take, Lipitor, blood pressure meds, blood thinner meds, etc? If the heart attack doesn't kill you, the meds will in time. During some times in the day I still feel some very small chest pains (Its hard to call them pains) or when gassy, able to take a complete breath. Is this normal? Of course I will consult with my doctor but wonder if any who have also suffered an attack had these type of things. I go today for my first follow up. I hope he gives me something positive.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Can I recommend two books to you? If you read them with an open mind, I really think you may enjoy them. They are "Why We Get Fat", by Gary Taubes and Protein Power: The High-Protein/Low-Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health written by two doctors.

I have been in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years as a personal fitness trainer and I think we are going to see a lot of changes in terms of dietary recommendations in the future. I read as many books as I can in order to stay up to date with the latest trends, but these two books really opened my eyes to the other side of the discussion. You will understand why most health advocates now recommend the low Glycemic carbohydrates.

I hope you see a full recovery and are able to get back on your feet. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bobacwrd View Post
One of my biggest concerns is that I live alone. If I had a re-occurence, would i survive, even if I called 911. I was lucky the first time because my brother was visiting from out of town and he was able to get me to the hospital in time. I know if I stick to the healthier diet and get plenty of cardio exercise, I should be able to minimize the chance of a re-occurance but there is no doctor that will give you the credence of "you're clear and you won't have another one." Also, I am now taking so much medication I constantly feel like I'm in a fog at times. I wonder how long that will last? Will I ever be able to get off the medication? I know it will take time but is it for the rest of my life? Let's face it, doctors are also afforded royalties from the pharmaceutical companies when they prescribe their products. Will good diet and exercise eventually rid me of the need to have to take, Lipitor, blood pressure meds, blood thinner meds, etc? If the heart attack doesn't kill you, the meds will in time. During some times in the day I still feel some very small chest pains (Its hard to call them pains) or when gassy, able to take a complete breath. Is this normal? Of course I will consult with my doctor but wonder if any who have also suffered an attack had these type of things. I go today for my first follow up. I hope he gives me something positive.
some general comments
-if you have a cardiac rehab or support group, it might be a good idea to join and be with other people who have been through it

-it is perfectly normal for people to "focus" on symptoms that may be related to an injured body part. soon you will learn what is "normal for you"

-contrary to what many people believe, doctors do NOT get royalties from industry for prescribing drugs. It's illegal. Lipitor is now generic, probably most of what you are taking is, so there isn't really anyone to get involved with a shady back room deal anyway.

-with the lifestyle changes you are making and the meds you are on, you are at lower risk of dying suddenly then you were 1 month ago.

-I'm betting your doc is going to give you some good news.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:31 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

These are fantastic answers.

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  #27  
Old 02-21-2013, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

No. Of course there isn't. It's over.
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  #28  
Old 02-21-2013, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobacwrd View Post
One of my biggest concerns is that I live alone. If I had a re-occurence, would i survive, even if I called 911. I was lucky the first time because my brother was visiting from out of town and he was able to get me to the hospital in time. I know if I stick to the healthier diet and get plenty of cardio exercise, I should be able to minimize the chance of a re-occurance but there is no doctor that will give you the credence of "you're clear and you won't have another one." Also, I am now taking so much medication I constantly feel like I'm in a fog at times. I wonder how long that will last? Will I ever be able to get off the medication? I know it will take time but is it for the rest of my life? Let's face it, doctors are also afforded royalties from the pharmaceutical companies when they prescribe their products. Will good diet and exercise eventually rid me of the need to have to take, Lipitor, blood pressure meds, blood thinner meds, etc? If the heart attack doesn't kill you, the meds will in time. During some times in the day I still feel some very small chest pains (Its hard to call them pains) or when gassy, able to take a complete breath. Is this normal? Of course I will consult with my doctor but wonder if any who have also suffered an attack had these type of things. I go today for my first follow up. I hope he gives me something positive.
You should have your medications decrease as time goes on. Coumadin and Spirolactone were the two worst and I got off of both of them relatively soon. after. Plavix and Lipitor are generic and shouldn't bother you. As a matter of fact, the Lipitor will really help your cholesterol. Mine is 115 with a 56 LDL and a 51 HDL. The generic Coreg is a problem because I have naturally low blood pressure. I'm down to the smallest dosage there is and I still have to skip it on runs over 20 miles. The pains you're feeling are normal. Read some internet threads from more survivors and you will learn that almost everyone has those. There is a bit of an adjustment period where you need to put trust in your judgement. Carry a cell phone and be patient. You recover a little each day, and if you stick with it, over time you can amaze yourself Relax, it sounds like you are right where you should be.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

I'm glad to hear you're on your road to recovery. What you can and can't do should be up to you and the specialist actually treating you. And if you don't like what they're saying, you can get another opinion from another specialist who examines you and your specific situation.

I can say that I know of two drummers who had open heart surgery. On the same day, in the same hospital and with the same surgeon. Which is a really odd coincidence since one of them was originally going someplace else and ended up there. One of them, Ron E. Beck (ex Tower of Power) was out jamming a month later and gigging after a couple months. The other was a bit heavier and had a valve replaced. He took about 5 or 6 months to be out gigging again. Now almost a year later, both have full calendars and no issues. So there can be life and drumming after heart problems. How much in your case is between you and your cardiologist. But if you're doing mild exercise already, my layperson view is that you have a really good chance of getting most if not all of it back.

Maybe show your cardiologist some of the stick workouts you do and have him evaluate how it affects you. You should be able to bring a pad and sticks to his office and let him watch you do rudiments for a few minutes. Similar to a treadmill stress test. If he clears you to do that, think of it as an opportunity to clean up your hand technique for awhile before he releases you back to the kit.
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  #30  
Old 02-21-2013, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Wow, I'm overwhelmed with the positive responses and well wishes. The information those have posted is knowledgable and sincere. I thank all of you drummers in our community known as DW. I was given the clearance from my cardiologist yesterday that I can resume playing my drums....
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  #31  
Old 02-21-2013, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Wow Bob, big stuff, & a big wakeup! I'm sorry to hear of this. I have no direct experience that relates specifically to heart attack, but I do have experience of drumming after life threatening illness. So long as you're physically somewhere close to functioning, the rest is all mindset. Any slight deficiencies can be corrected through finding different ways to do things. Drumming helped me avoid slipping into that dark space that all who have been there know about.

Positive vibes coming your way Bob :)
Thanks for the kind word Andy.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

While my heart is supposedly healthy as can be, I did recently have major surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my esophogus. While they didn't need to "crack me open", they did need to access two points - one in the abdomen and one through the neck. So I have major incision scars in both areas. While in general and on the surface everything is healing well, it still will take a few months before I will completely heal internally. I recently went back to practicing and playing with my church band, but the effort and stamina needed for this is much less than in my rock band (only six songs per night). I'm going to stick with these efforts for now and see how it goes - so far so good. My rock band does have a gig at the end of March, and I've agreed to sit in on a few songs. There is no way I could be ready for three 45 minute sets, along with singing lead and background vocals. So I'm glad they have a fill-in drummer until I'm ready to come back full time. While I want to dive in with both feet, I have to learn to control myself and take this one step at a time.

Regarding your situation, you want to make sure playing drums is part of the healthy solution moving forward. So as others have mentioned, diet is a huge part of that. Also, listening to your doctor and body are crucial. If you feel you are straining or pushing too hard, definitely cut back. I would assume, like me, you need to go back to the doc for regular testing and observation, which should give you a good indication of how your overall health is.

I am so glad you are still with us and that you've been given a second chance (or third). I pray that you have continued health and the happiness that comes with playing drums for a long time to come. ROCK ON!
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by inneedofgrace View Post
While my heart is supposedly healthy as can be, I did recently have major surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my esophogus. While they didn't need to "crack me open", they did need to access two points - one in the abdomen and one through the neck. So I have major incision scars in both areas. While in general and on the surface everything is healing well, it still will take a few months before I will completely heal internally. I recently went back to practicing and playing with my church band, but the effort and stamina needed for this is much less than in my rock band (only six songs per night). I'm going to stick with these efforts for now and see how it goes - so far so good. My rock band does have a gig at the end of March, and I've agreed to sit in on a few songs. There is no way I could be ready for three 45 minute sets, along with singing lead and background vocals. So I'm glad they have a fill-in drummer until I'm ready to come back full time. While I want to dive in with both feet, I have to learn to control myself and take this one step at a time.

Regarding your situation, you want to make sure playing drums is part of the healthy solution moving forward. So as others have mentioned, diet is a huge part of that. Also, listening to your doctor and body are crucial. If you feel you are straining or pushing too hard, definitely cut back. I would assume, like me, you need to go back to the doc for regular testing and observation, which should give you a good indication of how your overall health is.

I am so glad you are still with us and that you've been given a second chance (or third). I pray that you have continued health and the happiness that comes with playing drums for a long time to come. ROCK ON!
this is my second chance. I don't plan on getting a thrid. Major diet chages have already begun as well as daily exercises. I will need to go for periodic observations too. thanks for the kind response and I hope you will feel better and continue on your journey to recovery.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:31 AM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Some years ago I went out with a heart attack survivor. He was fine apart from a tender sternum. Good luck with the new diet and lifestyle, As they say, everything in moderation.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

Bob - very sorry to read of your situation but more than glad to hear of your ongoing recovery efforts.

I read this in great interest as I'm now on the unhealthy levels of blood pressure concerns. Trying holistically to get them under control myself. Exercise, stopping the junk food intake and reducing coffee intake has been first.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Is there still drumming life after a heart attack?

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Originally Posted by dmacc View Post
Bob - very sorry to read of your situation but more than glad to hear of your ongoing recovery efforts.

I read this in great interest as I'm now on the unhealthy levels of blood pressure concerns. Trying holistically to get them under control myself. Exercise, stopping the junk food intake and reducing coffee intake has been first.

That's where it started for me...elevated blood pressure. Your change in diet will most definately help with lowering your blood pressure, good luck!
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