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Setback to canoeing career

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Narol, Manitoba
Hi everyone, I don't post here much, but visit frequently, and have learned a lot about canoeing, paddling efficiency, canoe design, canoe building, and camping. Also, I have learned a lot about the North American continent and the tripping realities and styles in the different parts of this vast land mass. I thought that I would share about my recent heart incident as I am recovering. The doctors told me that there is a 5% survival rate for what I went through, and an even lower number for those who come out physically and mentally "normal" (my word, not theirs), so I am grateful for being here. Apparently, my heart came out with a "low normal" rate of function. (That means full bore once I get the green light to stress my body again).

I hope this doesn't upset anyone, it is just reality, and I thought that I would let you good folks who so generously share your knowledge know.

This is a copy of an email that I sent to family and friends once I returned home from the ICU, with a few pics from former trips. (It is slightly edited.)

Check out the song, it is worth it.

I will plagiarize Robin: I would rather be tripping !!!!!!!!!!!


Hello everyone,
This is LF_tripper, and I just want to thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and visits.

No one was more surprised than me to find myself going through a heart failure and all that went with that episode. I and the doctors have more questions than answers about what triggered the fibrillation that caused my heart to stop circulating blood necessary for life - in the early hours of that Monday morning, October 26, 1015. My wife somehow noticed my breathing distress, called 911, and heroically followed the directions of the operator, and performed CPR for over 20 minutes until the paramedics arrived. They shocked my heart back to a rhythm that pumps properly, and took me to the ICU at Concordia hospital where the staff made sure I pulled through. Apparently, I was less than fully cooperative, but they did their jobs anyway.

This is where I am from a medical perspective:

My cognitive functions have returned to about normal.

I had a 40-50-% blockage in one coronary artery only, and the doctor installed a stent “because I was there anyway”. This blockage would not have caused the deadly heart rhythm.

I have had an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) installed in my chest, which will keep a record of my heart rhythm and administer a shock or shocks if the heart goes into a dangerous rhythm.

It will take about 3 months to recover from the trauma of the event and the operation, and my driver’s licence is suspended for 6 months.

I am feeling better today and was able to sleep most of the night.



Anyway, the intention of this email was to thank you for being there. I think art can say more than words, so here is a song for you. There is a message in this song for you from me. “I Searched for You” by Martyn Joseph https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIVA5_k6rfo&feature=youtu.be


And of course, pictures.

With gratitude and love,


LF_tripper

 

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Good for your wife for noticing something was wrong and doing the right thing. You look pretty young in the picture. You'd like to think things like this don't happen unless you're old or very out of shape and it's scary when a reminder comes along that we're not immune, just lucky.

Glad to hear you're recovering. I hope you continue to improve and can get back out there again soon.

Take care,

Alan
 
It's mind boggling what they can do in the medical field anymore !

Glad you are still here with us !

Also noticed you have a Home built Kevlar in the background of your walleye pic.

Hang in there !

Jim
 
Interesting story, Thanks for sharing with us. Enjoyed the song and pictures.

Here's hoping things get back to normal for you and maybe you can take up where you left off. I too congratulate your wife for stepping up when the pressure was on, Amazing what people can do.

See ya on the trail.
 
LF,
Phew!! That was a close call, glad to hear that prognosis is good and you seem to have retained all previous cognitive functions.
You're a lucky guy with a caring, dedicated wife.
Often, these brushes with the inevitable are seen as something to put behind you...Having been in serious peril myself (an entirely different story) I encourage you to embrace the event and capture all that life has to offer going forward.
None of us knows when we will reach that final campsite, but living each day to the fullest, with joy in your heart and compassion for others, makes the journey worth the effort.

Once again, you're a lucky guy!!
 
hey, LF; don't sweat it! but take your time and get over this thing completely before pushing yourself again. I had a full blown AMI about five years ago, I was down for over 2 minutes and took almost a year to come back, but I did! Things'll be different now though; I don't push as hard and stop to smell the coffee now. I double my portages and enjoy the sights and sounds on the way back after the first pass, and see things I've never noticed before. I leave later and stop earlier and take more breaks, but you know what? that's ok! I don't come back tired from trips anymore, I come back feeling energized, having relaxed and de-stressed instead of having to push to make that site before dark.
Just take it easy, listen to the Drs. and rethink how you trip. Drop out of the race and take the slow roads, and enjoy the ride!
 
Thanks for posting. A reminder to us all that we need to make the most of the days we have been given.

A friend, who I have come to know as a super outdoor athlete, paddler skier etc., recently suffered a stroke. He had enough self awareness to let his wife know what was happening and make it to the hospital in time so hopefully he will come through fine but again a reminder that the time we have is precious.

Well done to your wife for doing the CPR. Did they tell her to drag you on to the floor? CPR on a bed is pretty funny to watch as both participants start to bounce in rhythm!
 
Good to hear your getting better, one step at a time. As we get older we all share stories, one day I will tell you mine. Just take it easy and don't overdo things.
 
Thanks for posting. A reminder to us all that we need to make the most of the days we have been given.

A friend, who I have come to know as a super outdoor athlete, paddler skier etc., recently suffered a stroke. He had enough self awareness to let his wife know what was happening and make it to the hospital in time so hopefully he will come through fine but again a reminder that the time we have is precious.

Well done to your wife for doing the CPR. Did they tell her to drag you on to the floor? CPR on a bed is pretty funny to watch as both participants start to bounce in rhythm!


She was told to drag me onto the floor. "Don't worry about hurting him, get him on the floor". Maybe that is why my sternum is still sore!
 
Good for your wife for noticing something was wrong and doing the right thing. You look pretty young in the picture. You'd like to think things like this don't happen unless you're old or very out of shape and it's scary when a reminder comes along that we're not immune, just lucky.

Glad to hear you're recovering. I hope you continue to improve and can get back out there again soon.

Take care,

Alan

My wife is a hero! I am 53, which is young to me now, ha, ha, but a long time ago 53 would have been old. I do not fit the profile of a heart attack candidate at all, so everyone who knows me was surprised. I hope I will be back out this spring!!
 
Thanks for all of the support, everyone, it means a lot to me. And a big thanks to Robin for keeping the site up and running. I am trying to take it easy, but it is not my nature, so it has been quite hard now that I am feeling better.
 
Take your time to recover, thankfully you have all Winter. Since you cannot drive I guess coming by the house and shop for a visit is out. Or we just come get you...
 
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I think I could wrangle a visit, one way or another.... A bit too soon right now, but if that is an invite, I will take you up on the offer. Thanks
 
I hate to say it but....welcome to the club. It's like Scouter Grizz says, take your time, it will be a while before you can manage any sort of pace at all. I was ok this summer but tired out fast. That is getting better. DON'T push it. High five to momma bear ....that is tough work for 20 minutes.

You have an open invite any time you want to saunter by...we are always up for company.
 
LF - Continued good healing and in making progress to paddling again. I was diagnosed with A-fib about 5 years ago; it was discovered in a routine physical. Wore the external heart monitor, took numerous stress tests, had the camera make the amazing journey up my femoral artery to the heart, etc. all to find no blockages yet still issues. No one seems to know why but I'm still working on making it all better; as will you. It sounds like you're on the right track so continue doing what you're doing and take it at a reasonable pace. Your patience and perseverance will be rewarded when you get out paddling again next year.

That's all for now. Best of luck and until next time...be well.

snapper
 
Hey LF, good to hear that you are back on track and that you are doing well! It can certainly happen to any of us! Take care!
 
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