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Old October 8, 2012, 08:31 PM   #1
jrhilde
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Medical question--

I'm currently recovering from a quadruple bypass--been home now for almost three weeks, it's healing well and the home nurse has been impressed with my good vital signs and bloodwork---the question is, have any of you been in a similar situation or know of someone who has and how many months of healing before sighting in my 30-06 ? I have one of the new brown laminated model 700's and just mounted a new Nikon Prostaff on it, the one that can be calibrated for the type of ammo used [ I like the Hornaday 150 grainers ]--
Tried asking the doctors, but they aren't shooters and are not familiar with recoil---I've got it bore sighted, but am getting antsy about a little range time--two months, three months--? Anybody got some good advice ? John
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Old October 8, 2012, 08:42 PM   #2
PetahW
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Everybody's different, and everybody also heals differently - in 6 months, you should have enough time to sell that -06, and get a rifle that slings less lead (recoil energy).

Remember what Clint said: "Every man has to come to terms with his limitations."


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Old October 8, 2012, 09:05 PM   #3
mySig229
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The recoil could pull/tear stitches, staples, etc...

If you're just sighting, why not get a good rifle rest and sight it in that way? My dad had open heart and was up and around 3 days later...but not healed. I would say based on my experience and medical training you have at least 2-3 months before you should be shouldering a high powered rifle.

Get a good rest that you can clamp the rifle to, bolt the rest to a table and you're set. Better sighting that way too...no worry about breathing and trigger pull. The rifle won't move
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Old October 8, 2012, 09:26 PM   #4
Rainbow Demon
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Take the old .22 RF out for some air. Most guys have one even if its been so long that they forgot where they stored it last.
I often find I've been neglecting my rimfires and one should keep in touch with all their firearms.

Air rifles are another option.

When I was all but laid up with a back injury I bought a fair low cost pneumatic air rifle and a about ten thousand Beeman-Webley wadcutters and put the 25 yards of open space in the backyard to good use.
Wasn't long before I was hitting flies on the wing like Jed clampett.

I ended up buying two CO2 handguns, restoring an old S&W 78g, and found two other pellet rifles at salvage stores along with a Daisy Red Rider.

I'm back to large bore centerfire now days, but still like to take the airguns and .22 rimfires out for a workout now and then.
I'd forgotten how much fun these were.


PS
Heavy recoil can mess up surgery anywhere around the chest or back. Wait several months to be on the safe side, and then take it slow.
Reduced loads are another option.
If you don't handload several cartridge companies market reduced recoil loads (.308 reduced recoil is one they sell a lot of ) intended for youngsters to get them acclimated before going to full power stuff.
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Old October 8, 2012, 09:45 PM   #5
jrhilde
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I've got a nice #1 in .204 and I'm sure that'll be a safe place to start here in another month or so but I should probabely shelve the 06's until next spring--
At present, I don't even have a .22, should have hung onto the CZ with the full length stock--------John
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Old October 8, 2012, 09:59 PM   #6
Major Dave (retired)
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I had a triple bypass ...

that involved the doctors splitting my chest bone, and it took 6 weeks for the bones to fuse back together.

But, that only enabled me to BEGIN rehab which included working out on various machines. One machine was like a bicycle that you "pedaled" with your hands, at chest level. Six weeks on the rehab machines, for a total of 12 weeks (3 months), then I could go back to work ( I was a paper pusher, i.e., a desk jockey). Nothing strenuous.

That was 15 years ago, and my most recent cardiac exam indicates my bypass grafts are "as good as they were when first completed", according to my cardiologist.

I would say after you finish your rehab (exercise) sessions, to your doctors satisfaction, you might try firing some lesser recoil rifles, but don't start out with the '06 for another month.

But, as other posters have noted, everybody heals at a different pace.

Good luck with it.
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Old October 8, 2012, 10:25 PM   #7
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I had a triple bypass and left the hospital on the sixth day after surgery, drank my first glass of wine on the seventh day and was back to shooting after two months and back to car racing the sixth month but had to wear a protective chest protector(custom made vest)for a short period. The recoil from the pistols was no problem but the smell of the gun powder was a big problem for me, caused me to hyper ventilate on my first two or three trips to the indoor range. Fourteen years later I had two stints inserted with no additional problems to date. I elected to not go through rehab........
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Old October 8, 2012, 11:45 PM   #8
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Sight in using a "lead sled". That should be safe. Doesn't take long for that surgery to heal up (dad had 4 bypasses) but if you need it sighted in for this deer season (which is almost upon us rifle shooters) I'd go with the lead sled.
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Old October 9, 2012, 01:11 AM   #9
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JRHilde - which type of surgery did you have? Laparoscopic or split-open-ribcage type? After just three weeks, my two friends who had the latter couldn't even think about something like recoil without wincing.

Like the others here, I'd give it a good long wait. The price of screwing up could be way too high, especially for something that is a hobby.
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:01 AM   #10
rebs
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As I have had by-pass surgery myself, I would say 6 months before shooting a 30-06. The last thing you want to do is cause any problems that could possibly lengthen your full recovery time. Go to rehab, it was the best thing I did, it strengthened me and gave me back my confidence that I could do everything I used to do.
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:28 AM   #11
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Thanks to all of you, this is the kind of info I was hoping for---I've talked to many who have had this same procedure and the full recovery rate is outstanding---this was the split the breast bone thing, very invasive surgery.
My wife has a life long friend with a farm in mississippi, plenty of hogs, but they aren't going anywhere and will still be there by the time we get moved down there to Louisiana---so I'm thinking that will be at least another two or three months before I'd even get a chance to get over there, should be pretty well healed up by then, plus will have completed rehab---thanks again guys, very useful info--------John
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:45 AM   #12
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4 months minimum I'd say. Being a roofer, it was about that long before I was allowed to climb again. I then fell 14' the 1st. day back at work! Didn't re-break the chest again, but the cumadin caused significant bruising to appear. Mine was open heart surgery for a rare tumor inside the heart.
You'll know you're healing, but not healed, when you can laugh, sneeze, cough, etc. without wincing. Even bigger than shooting is upper body exertion which can really tear you apart. If taht happens, it can't be fixed. I met many others in the heart unit at the VA that did not heed the warnings about that!
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:05 AM   #13
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With such an important decision, you're
gonna ask us not your cardiologist?
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Tried asking the doctors, but they aren't shooters and are not familiar with recoil---I've got it bore sighted, but am getting antsy about a little range time--two months, three months--? Anybody got some good advice ? John
Quote:
Sight in using a "lead sled". That should be safe.
YES! No recoil on you. You can shoot it without shouldering it.

Despite the great recovery stories mentioned here, each case is different. Maybe you are fine to shoot right now. Maybe you NEED the full 3 months to properly heal before the docs are sure things won't come apart inside you. While other people may have had their surgeries and recovered quickly and fine, they didn't have your surgery and were not in your particular condition with your particular level of health, genetic traits, etc.

Unlike joint injuries, say you had shoulder surgery instead, if you tear something in our healing shoulder, you aren't apt to die, but your heart is rather critical to your survival and if you tear something on it, such as some of the repairs they did, then the quickness at which you likely will bleed out means that the injury could be fatal. There isn't any good reason to die because you wanted to sight in a gun. Buy the lead sled. You can still sight it and pull the trigger, but you won't need to shoulder the gun. Plus, there is a chance you may do a better job of it as well using the sled.
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:43 AM   #15
jrhilde
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I do fully understand the seriousness of any possible damage to the repairs that were made to my heart and that's the reason for the original question--as I stated earlier, the two surgeons I asked had no idea --- they both suggested at least 6 months or more before any shooting but admitted that as non-shooters, they really didn't understand the forces of recoil. The answers from those of you who have been through this or know of another that has and what seemed to be a reasonable healing period, are what I'm looking for---John
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Old October 9, 2012, 02:06 PM   #16
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All those I have known who have had by-pass surgery still hunted and went to the ranges. I never asked them about how long they waited until restarting their shooting. I have noticed one thing however, their mobility is much more limited than before. No more long hunts or hill scaling. They hunt closer to camp and in a less rugged terrain. They also use natural blinds. I wouldn't dispose of the ol' 06 yet. At least not until you have taken her hunting once.
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
The answers from those of you who have been through this or know of another that has and what seemed to be a reasonable healing period, are what I'm looking for---John
But they didn't have YOUR surgery, your history, complications, etc.

The doctors may not have understood shooting and recoil, and the people unknown to you that you are polling over the internet don't know anything about your surgery.

If you do fully understand, as you say you do, then you will seek advice from a proper medical professional.
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Old October 9, 2012, 05:47 PM   #18
jrhilde
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You are right, strangers on the net don't know me or about my particular situation, but I have gotten a good over-all feel for what to expect---we have a move coming up soon and it'll be at least another two or three months before we are settled in and I would be in a position to set up a hunt so I'll not be hauling out the cannons anytime soon---I'm not taking this lightly, but I also get a lot of usefull info from this forum---I'll be seeing the doc that actually did the surgery in about two weeks for the final testing and full release---I'll check with him at that time---for now though, thanks all of you for some good advice-------John
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:48 PM   #19
buckhorn_cortez
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Double bypass, heart valve, pacemaker. My doctors advised me that shooting pistols was fine after 4-6 weeks depending upon how I felt. They advised not shooting heavy recoiling rifles or shotguns for 6 months as the "breast bone" area is held together with cartilege and that takes longer than bones to heal.

Following their advice, I had the surgery in August. I started shooting pistols in October, shot my .223 rifle in mid-December, and shot my first 25 shot round of trap in late January.

As pointed out, everyone is different. If I were you, I would not be in a hurry. As my surgeon pointed out during our conversation on the subject of shooting - "You really don't want me going back in and having to wire your breast bone together." I would be cautious, and err on the side being conservative.
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:59 PM   #20
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After a double bypass the surgeon said "your body will pretty much tell you what you can do". I did wait 5 or 6 months before going back to trap shooting buon ess than three months to go handgun shooting.
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Old October 9, 2012, 08:56 PM   #21
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"I have noticed one thing however, their mobility is much more limited than before. No more long hunts or hill scaling. They hunt closer to camp and in a less rugged terrain. They also use natural blinds."

I think it's mental, not physical. Some people that have this kind of trauma for the first time in their life let it get to them. I know of people like myself that just continue on after open heart, triple bypass, hernia, back and other surgery.
I know some that have sat on the porch waiting years to drop dead from it and are otherwise healthy. If I get to that point, life has truly ended for me.
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Old October 9, 2012, 09:01 PM   #22
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Please don't take that the wrong way. I'm on A-fib and have a damaged heart valve. I still climb 40' + to get on roofs most every day. I cut trees down and clear land almost by hand. Do your therapy to get back in shape and live once the injury has healed. Flesh and blood heal nicely and completely.
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Last edited by Tinner666; October 9, 2012 at 09:55 PM.
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Old October 9, 2012, 09:47 PM   #23
jrhilde
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Frank, your a hoot and an inspiration---I've met several men out at the range who had mentioned a bypass or whatever, but of course I didn't give it much thought til it happened to me---now I understand their pleasure at being back to the range---as I've said, I've got the .204 in a nice heavy Ruger #1 [ very little recoil ],and that will do nicely for awhile--I'm even going to wait a few more weeks before shooting that one----John
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:35 AM   #24
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Age and your personal health condition are big factors.
If over 50, at least 16 weeks, if over 70, wait six months.
As we get older we damage easier and heal slower.
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Old October 10, 2012, 07:15 PM   #25
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I'm 55 and I had bypass surgery in June. I have fired pistols but it still hurts to cough and hurts like bloody hell to sneeze. I went back to work in August but those first two weeks like to have killed me. I'm stronger now, a lot stronger but I put on a lot of weight after surgery and quit smoking too so it wears me out to walk very far. I'm not even thinking of firing a rifle yet. Not even a no kicker like a 30-30.
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