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Despite the late Lewis Grizzard's warning that "if you ain't had your heart surgery, it's coming" and "they got country clubs you can't get into unless you've had your heart surgery", I never thought it would happen to me. Wrong ! There I was, an innocent bystander (the ones that get shot), minding my own business, when I mentioned having some increased shortness of breath. My blood pressure had always been normal, I didn't smoke, no family history of heart disease, no chest pain and at 77, prided myself on taking no prescription drugs. A flunked stress test was followed by a flunked cardiac cath. I flunked the cath so badly that they couldn't do stents. It seems that each of my coronary arteries had a Do Not Enter sign. Next thing I know, the cardiac surgeon and I were having a chat. Here I am now almost 8 weeks post-op and on my way this morning to cardiac rehab. That's where old men exercise, while reminiscing about cheeseburgers. I think I have done remarkably well and am grateful that the good Lord and my doctors have allowed me to live another day instead of keeling over in the driveway, while washing my car. My message to others is don't ignore warning signs. Have it checked out. You owe it to yourself and most of all your loved ones.
 
Posts: 1895 | Location: Central Virginia | Registered: July 20, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a stress test scheduled for this Wednesday. I'm not really looking forward to it.
Last doctor's appointment was my physical and blood work. My cholesterol is high and with history on my mother's side, the doctor wants some tests ran.
She had 2 bypass surgeries before she passed in 2006.


I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not.
 
Posts: 2414 | Location: The armpit of Ohio | Registered: August 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Page late and a dollar short
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NK402,

Got my emergency X3 January 3,1998. I was 45.

Difference here I had been under treatment for high BP and Cholesterol for several years before that day.

Diet, exercise,stress reduction.

Remember each day is a gift. Treat it as such.


Ignorance is a powerful tool if applied at the right time, even, usually, surpassing knowledge(E.J.Potter, A.K.A. The Michigan Madman)
 
Posts: 5989 | Location: Livingston County Michigan USA | Registered: August 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had a quad bypass in 2003. All 4 had blockage of 60% to 90% so like you no stents. Have done fine since then.

As shovelhead said so well.....

Remember each day is a gift. Treat it as such.
 
Posts: 1435 | Location: The Backyard of Nowhere | Registered: August 09, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
H.O.F.I.S
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I didn't realize how bad I felt until I had mine done. 3x for me.



"I'm sorry, did I break your concentration"?
 
Posts: 1304 | Location: Above water | Registered: September 16, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Some shortness of breath, did the cardiac cath, everyone was joking with me and suddenly all was quiet. Then the surgeon leaned down and said, "I'm so sorry, but you have to have open heart surgery."

A couple of weeks later, January 2nd of this year, I got the triple bypass. No fun at all. The docs, techs, nurses and others at Haley VA in Tampa were great but it still wasn't any fun. 8 days in the hospital, and a few months before I could do anything. All this in the middle of a fight to beat the aggressive type of prostate cancer and not terribly long after fighting throat cancer.

But, He saw me through all this, my wife was wonderful and I "think" I'm getting better overall.

Bob
 
Posts: 503 | Location: TampaBay | Registered: May 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Non-Miscreant
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Sounds like my experience in 2009. Just like I did. I even scheduled my stress test first thing so I could still get to work and tackle some things I needed to do. No go. Flunked all the tests and ended up getting my bypass surgery. Then last summer, I got a new valve. Stainless steel racing valve no less. The only family history was my mother back 72 years ago when she was pregnant with me. She just celebrated her 99th Bday Saturday. I'm guessing I get to die first.

A lot of us here with similar history. What others say is true. Every day is a gift, so do as you please, not what others want. About your diet...you'll soon be consuming so many pills you almost forget what food tastes like. Not sure any of them do any good, but they do deplete my bank account.

Be ready for some surprises. The cardiologist informed me I'd even had 2 heart attacks over the last couple of years (since the bypass, before the valve.) News to me.


Unhappy ammo seeker
 
Posts: 16639 | Location: Kentucky, USA | Registered: February 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'll add something else to my earlier post.

I went in initially for severe stomach pains. They quit as we pulled up to the ER. We went in, gave them the narrative, the input person asked if I was under any medical treatment. I said yes, high BP and high Cholesterol and BANG, right into a room I went, monitors, bloodwork and all. After a bit a doctor came in and said that I did not have a heart attack but most likely acid reflux. A quick test confirmed that. He then asked how long since I had a stress test and after my answer told me that he was ordering one and I was to be admitted pending the test.

OK, so I wait. Twelve hours until I got into the testing lab. One minute into it I developed the crushing chest pain. The tech is shoving Nitro under my tongue, administering O2 and calling for assistance I swear all at once. All the while as I'm laying on my back I got the feeling that I was floating towards the ceiling. Yeah, spooky to this date. Don't know what or why but I think I know at least to myself.

So I get stabilized. Transferred to the 4th hospital they called that did caths, it was late on Friday afternoon. The 4th one, doctor there said he would wait (he's now my Cardiologist!) and transferred by ambulance. First time I had ridden on the gurney, I was an EMT from 82-88 out west.

So into the cath lab I go. The cath device into my leg and into the heart. Next thing I hear is a voice saying "Stop right there, he gets the big one" meaning surgery. They scheduled me first thing the next morning for my surgery.

And that's the story.


Ignorance is a powerful tool if applied at the right time, even, usually, surpassing knowledge(E.J.Potter, A.K.A. The Michigan Madman)
 
Posts: 5989 | Location: Livingston County Michigan USA | Registered: August 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Walking into the donut shop 2003, squeezing sensation in the chest. Felt pain in left arm. Drove the 1/2 mile to the ER. Never treated for cholesterol or high blood pressure . Cardiologist comes. Good news your alive, bad news we are doing a tripple bypass. 10 days in hospital. Never smoked after i got out. 2 packs a day before. Got a couple stents later. Hard way to quit smoking

This message has been edited. Last edited by: elmer,
 
Posts: 339 | Location: Dothan, Alabama | Registered: August 27, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
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I guess I'm lucky. I have had chest pains twice.

Both times it turned out to be costochondritis -- inflamed cartilage around the ribs, nothing to do with heart.

First time, I was already in the hospital for something totally unrelated.

Second time, I walked into my primary care doc's office, told them I had chest pains, thought it might be costochondritis again but better safe than sorry. My doc's office suite is upstairs, in the office wing of the hospital. As soon as I said "chest pain," they told me to get my kosher ass downstairs to the ER. I guess they made a phone call, because the ER people were expecting me. Immediate EKG, admitted overnight for stress test, no problem found.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 21868 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My wife and I belong to a gym. We do the treadmills on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We do weight machines on Tuesday and Thursday.

In 2016, I started to have gas when I was on the treadmill. I would slow down, belch, and then speed back up. My wife convinced me to see the doctor.

I expected to get a prescription for an antacid. The doctor recommended I get a stress test just to be sure.

The stress test showed I needed an angiogram. When I woke up from the angiogram, I was in the hospital for a quadruple bypass.


U.S. Army, Retired
 
Posts: 3585 | Location: Northwest Oregon | Registered: June 12, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Mensch
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Here's some great advice from my cardiologist. I had AFIB due to undiagnosed Sleep Apnea (now controlled, so no AFIB). My family history has lots of cardiac issues, parents notwithstanding. I got a Calcium Cardiac Cat scan. Not covered by insurance, but it only cost me $100. It assigns a value of the calcium buildup in cardiac arteries, 0 being clear & 400 "you're fucked". I scored 0 on all but 1 artery, which was a 1.4. A really cheap non invasive way to get in front of what might happen in the future.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Yidn, shreibt un fershreibt"

"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."
-Bomber Harris
 
Posts: 15183 | Location: Ivorydale | Registered: January 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A fib (v tach) was the symptom that led to the diagnosis of a bad mitral valve. Put in a mechanical valve in May 2016. On my second pacemaker now which is probably going to be replaced by a defibrillator by years end. I feel pretty well but it seems like there's always something else that needs fixed or tweaked. I'm grateful for my health but I also get discouraged. Also making deductible 3 years in a row hasn't helped my budget. I guess the end game is the same regardless.


When you're dead, you don't know you're dead. The pain is only felt by others. The same thing happens when you're stupid.
 
Posts: 3641 | Location: Ohio | Registered: December 27, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
goodheart
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You guys can see how after 30 years of practicing cardiology—the last 20 of which we could really help people!—I left behind a lot of very grateful patients, many of whom became friends. Also great friends with many nurses, techs, and even a few doctors. Wink
It was a great ride, but I’d done it long enough.


_________________________
“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”--Adam Smith, born June 16, 1723
 
Posts: 15389 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sjtill:
You guys can see how after 30 years of practicing cardiology—the last 20 of which we could really help people!—I left behind a lot of very grateful patients, many of whom became friends. Also great friends with many nurses, techs, and even a few doctors. Wink
It was a great ride, but I’d done it long enough.

It was over 30 years ago, that I was taking a history from a female patient and when I asked about previous surgeries, she named a few and then said, "Oh and I had a heart transplant." I was dumbstruck ! I said, "You had a WHAT?" I felt like I was sitting across from a bionic woman. It had a special significance for me because several years before, I had met Christian Barnard, who had performed the first heart transplant. He had visited my medical school to learn more about transplantation of other organs before attempting the heart. Years later, when I saw his photo in Time magazine, I thought, "I think I've met that guy." It is amazing the changes that have occured in all areas of medicine since then, with myself being one of the latest beneficiaries. Let's hope it continues despite the politicians.
 
Posts: 1895 | Location: Central Virginia | Registered: July 20, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hoping for better pharmaceuticals
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Glad the hear you are doing better.




Getting shot is no achievement. Hitting your enemy is. FFL(01) NRA Endowment Member
 
Posts: 8501 | Location: Peoria, Arizona | Registered: April 02, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am a Train Wreck. But I am a surprisingly Fit Train Wreck. Had a Mitral Valve repair and a Triple Bypass on Oct. 9, 2018. I also have COPD from 37 years of smoking 1 1/2 packs a day. BTW, quit the Cancer sticks Jan 25, 2012 and took up exercising for fitness May 15, 2015.

Prior to the heart surgery I was a bit of a nut about exercising, was up at 4:30 AM so I could get at least 10,000 steps in before going in to work. Averaged about 180 Intensity Minutes per day.

After the surgery I was told to exercise every other day and to be a bit more sensible for at least 6 months. Came to realize that there is more to life than spending 2 hours a day doing Cardio. So, I've kept up the every other day routine and last Saturday I decided to test myself a bit on an Elliptical Trainer. While not quite as fit as I was before the surgery I came pretty close to matching my pre-surgery pace. BTW, 57 minutes at a 144 Step per Minute pace aint too bad when compared to 152 SPM for the same time prior to the surgery.

The bad news is that Vein grafts will clog up within 10 years, so at some point I will need stenting for two of the grafts, as for the widowmaker (LAD) that was done with a Mammary Artery and that is good for life. IT also means that I get to go in for a Nuclear Stress test every year from now on. So, this week I have the Stress Test and a Chest CT to check on a speculated nodule in my right upper lung that is "probably scar tissue but cannot rule out Cancer".

Now a tip for anyone who has had a bypass or a stent. That repair is only temporary unless you were born with 4 or 5 breasts. When you were released from the hospital you were given instructions about changing your diet to minimize Sodium and Fat intake. Start paying attention and live by those recommendations. BTW, this means that you have to give up Bacon for life. Your new goal for a cholesterol test is a score under 130. Obviously you will also have to commit to doing a moderate amount of Cardio every single week.


I've stopped counting.
 
Posts: 4349 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great cardiologists like sjtill saved me from a bypass by a hair in 1999. Scooter123’s comments are concerns I’ve pondered. I’m 71. Heart cath in my late 30s showed 30% blockage in LAD. I figured at that rate of plaque deposit I didn't have to worry. Doesn’t work like that. Cardiac diet and meds since late 20s due to lousy genes both sides of family.

Just over 10 years later at age 50 I had 95%+ block in LAD.Plaque build up rates had accelerated. Great docs at St Lukes, Houston fixed me. During cath they said opening too small to thread angioplasty. We discussed right there on table and agreed to try creating larger opening with Rotorblater. It worked. They did angioplasty and intalled a stent. Backside heart needed one too although not as bad. Interesting too as I watched it all unfold on the TV screen during the procedure.

21 yrs later I often wonder how much plaque has built back. After all it had only taken 10 years to go from 30% blockage to danger level during my 40s. My cardiologist tells me statins make the difference.I only began taking Lipitor less than a year before incident. It was a new class of drugs then. I had 50 years to plug things up without statins. The statins must indeed be a miracle drug.

It helped being married to a cath lab nurse. One of my early “dates” with her in my early 30s (about 1981) was to observe a heart cath from an observation room at Methodist Houston. She was working with a dynamic young Australian cardiologist along with some other outstanding folks. Listening to her at night describe various things she saw during her day I think took most of the fear out of my own procedure years later.

It’s amazing what can be done at the end of a wire threaded into an artery. At the time I had my procedure, I wondered if the cath technology had involved engineers familiar with “downhole technology” developed in the oil industry. Many of the principles are very similar, just on a diffent scale.
 
Posts: 1151 | Location: Texas Hill Country | Registered: April 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^^
You had to have been observing Dr. Gerald Lawrie.



"If you’re a leader, you lead the way. Not just on the easy ones; you take the tough ones too…” – MAJ Richard D. Winters (1918-2011), E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil... Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 5:20,24
 
Posts: 6572 | Location: NW Houston | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes she did work with Lawrie who was an excellent surgeon she says. I was referring to Chris Wyndom from Adalaide who was an electrophysiologist.

Both were known to be excellent MDs. I’m thankful that medical science has progressed like it has and folks like these and others are in the game.

Wife says that other than surgeons in cardiology, there are the plumbers and electricians (cardiologists and electrophysiologists). Guess that’s medical jargon.
 
Posts: 1151 | Location: Texas Hill Country | Registered: April 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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