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Old 05-18-07, 08:14 AM   #1
lmzimmer
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Who rides on coumadin?

A new type of doping? Yesterday I was diagnosed with DVT(Blood Clot in leg) , I am now typing from my hospital bed. Since my father and brother also have had clots a genetic predisposition is suspected. I am starting Coumadin (warfarin) today. I have already been advised to stop road riding because risk of injury. I would be somewhat inclined to ignore this except for the incident last year where I was hit by a car making a turn while driver was on cell phone. Obviously some risk does exist. However I love to ride and find riding trails boring and limited (usually less than 10 miles in my area. I am a nurse and know all about risks and frustration of warfarin but was wondering if any others have dealt with this issue and how. Also this throws a major monkey wrench in my wifes and my 25 wedding aniversary which was to be a week in California biking the wine country this fall. Mark
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Old 05-18-07, 09:18 AM   #2
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hi lmzimmer-
I ride with coumadin... I had a DVT which spread to my lungs in 2000. I was off the bike for a couple of months, but I ride regularly. I was on coumadin for about 6 months, then was allowed to get off ot it. I then got another clot following a cross-country air flight. Again I was on coumadin but this time for about a year. I was off it for a while and got a third clot... I am now on coumadin 'for the duration'...

Regarding biking, my doc basically said you have to not hit your head... I wear a helmet all the time, and am relatively cautious, but I go through life as if I was 'normal'. I have ridden an average of 9000 miles each of the last two years, I ride on the road, I ride on trails--I pretty much do it all. I am a little more leery on the mountain bike, as I really don't want to fall, but it works. I have found the biggest downside to riding on coumadin is that I can't take anti-inflammatories (like ibuprohen or aspirin), and when I do get headaches, they tend to last longer than before. Otherwise all is 'normal', or at least as normal as it can be.

train safe-
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Old 05-18-07, 11:26 AM   #3
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Thanks Buelito- basically what I hoped to hear -That I wasn't the only one to consider this. How long after the dvt before getting back on the bike? Another question- what does your spouse say about this?
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Old 05-18-07, 01:24 PM   #4
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about 2 months after the dvt I was back on the bike--may have been only 6 weeks (the first time). On the two subsequent times, I was off for only 2 weeks.

My spouse is very supportive, plus she's an ANP, and I actually listen to her more than to my doc... but being a nurse yourself, you can understand that

train safe-
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Old 05-18-07, 04:11 PM   #5
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Imzimmer, can't answere your question, but wishing you a speedy recovery and hoping you're back on the bike soon.
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Old 05-18-07, 05:05 PM   #6
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Likewise can not speak to your situation but hope you are getting 'back to normal' and can feel like the traffic is light enough in the wine country that there will be no problems. Taste one for me. ... ...peace
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Old 05-18-07, 05:59 PM   #7
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Thanks guys, I'm bored to tears right now , I appreciate your support.
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Old 05-18-07, 06:44 PM   #8
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Remember, you don't have to stop eating spinach, you just have to eat a consistent amount of green leafy vegetables every day. Yum!
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Old 05-18-07, 08:16 PM   #9
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As a show of support, my first episode, where I spent a week in the hospital (and 48 hours without being able to get out of bed--God that was bad...)-- my friends gave me Lance's book "It's not about the bike"... that helped some. Probably the thing that helped the most was that I was hospitalized right after the 2000 elections--so instead of lousy tv soaps, I had the whole 'chad' issue to watch. At least it was interesting... Also, my family was really important...phone calls, visite, everything was welcome.

I eat spinach and/or leafy vegetables in a salad almost every day--I try to be consistent, but lapse every now and then. I have been a semi-vegetarian for 25 years or so--no red meat, but I do eat seafood and fish. It gets boring, but I try to maintain a steady diet that is similar day to day to assure my levels are good. I get my blood checked every 4-5 weeks and my dosage is occasionaly 'tweaked'.

Riding-wise, it has not bothered me, except for the not being able to take anti-inflamatories. That is what I miss the most.

My riding tends to be on a fixie--for just about everythng--it is my commuter of choice, and I ride my 46 mile round trip commute 3-5 days a week depending on the weather. Today was ride-to-work day...it was a zoo. It threatened to rain, but it still brought out the masses. At Freedom Plaza, in downtown DC, there was a 'rally', with speakers and raffles and free food (bagels/donuts/coffee/tea). There were about 15 people from my building there, so we posed for pictures and hung out for a while. It started to get chilly, and I went to work--about 5 blocks away. Traffic was pretty bad on the streets, as the 'cagers' really don't like bikes, and there were a whole lot more of them than normal.

As far as biking is concerned, I have done centuries, the "Nightmare Tour" twice (perimeter of Lancaster County, PA--about 180 miles), an ironman triathlon, "Ride the Rockies" in 2002, an off-road century (Shenendoah Mountain 100) and averaged about 8000 miles a year since 2000. What I'm trying to say here is that you are only limited by yourself. If you are careful and cycle smart, you can do just about anything. Probably the only thng I won't even attempt, which I used to do, is mountaineering and rock climbing--only because altitude doesn't go well with DVT.

As they say, friends are the family you choose...and it seems you have chosen us, in the 50+ forum to at least be acquaintances...

hope you get better soon and that you're out on the bike in no time--it really is good therapy

train safe-
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Old 08-25-07, 03:44 PM   #10
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Fellow Coumadin Patients; Precautions or Advice for a newbie?

I've just started riding (for recreation, not racing - nothing hard core), and wondered if those of you on Coumadin had any advice that I should keep in mind?

I'm on Coumadin for a year due to Factor V Leiden and a DVT in my calf 2 months ago.

Here are the precautions I am already taking. Am I missing anything?
  • I've let my doctors know of my increase in activity, so they are watching my INR levels more closely.
  • I (obviously) will wear a helmet whenever I ride.
  • I wear a medic alert tag around my ankle.
  • I carry a first aid kit containing another medic alert card, some UrgentQR, band-aids, an ace bandage, tylenol, cell phone.

I have yet to cut or bruise myself while on the blood thinners, so I'm not sure yet what will happen if/when I take a spill. I'm a little nervous, but I'm not going to let it stop me. I figure as long as I'm careful and prepared I'll be fine, right?
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Old 08-25-07, 04:27 PM   #11
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I'm coming up on 19 years on Coumadin, and I've run, ridden, kayaked and done everything else I used to do except play football for all that time. I've had two big-time falls (one over the bars with a separated shoulder) and a few smaller ones. No serious problems with any of it, except of course for spectacular bruising from things that wouldn't normally be a big deal.
This is with my doctor's blessing and encouragement, by the way--I didn't decide on my own that I knew better than those sissies.
Your condition may be different, of course, but briefly, I went into full-time atrial fib when I was 43. Chemical and electro conversion failed, and the cardiologist recommended Coumadin to prevent clots (it was still unproven and a little controversial at that time; the benefit is well-established now). Been on it constantly since. The fibrillation slows me down (I went from running a 40-minute 10K to around 52 minutes almost literally overnight), but there's nothing I can do about that. Only changes in my life have been that I quit playing in an over-40 flag football league, which I would have done by now anyway, and I quit pushing my wife to let me get a motorcycle (part of our deal when we got married was that I wouldn't ride until the kids were grown up; they're 26 and 22 now).
Check with your doctor, of course, because your situation may be different. But if you get an answer you don't like, think about a second opinion.
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Old 08-25-07, 08:51 PM   #12
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HI, I'm a rat poison lifer too! My first DVT was about 7 years ago, I was on Coumadin for 2years as part of a study, then on low dosage aspirin. Had my 2nd clot for no reason 2 years ago, this one damaged some vein valves, so now my leg swells when I'm standing a lot. (biking doesns't seem to bother it) It appears I have a genetic blood disorder, I have a cousin who's had multiple clots too.
There seems to be quite a difference in treatment techniques. I was told at the time of my first clot that if it had happened a year earlier, I would have been in hospital for a week. The last one, I even injected myself with hepbarin for the first week of my treatment.
I also play ice hockey, I try not to get hurt, haven't had any major problems. I find dosage makes a big difference, when I was on the study they varied dosage quite a bit, sometimes if I looked at something wrong, I'd get a bruise. My INR stays around 2.5 now, I bruise easier than normal, but not significantly.

I found the biggest difference was in talking to the doctor. My first clot he said avoid contact sports, so I didn't play hockey. The 2nd one, I asked him about playing hockey, he said go ahead, but avoid injuries.
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