Warning It can happen to you

  • islander24

    Posts: 161

    Sep 27, 2009 11:51 PM GMT
    Last Thursday, I started my day like most. Light breakfast and off to work. After opening up the business I ran up and down the stairs a couple of times . My office is on second floor. Getting ready for inventory and all, seemed like a lot of stress, but nothing out of the ordinary. Felt a little tightness in my chest - no big deal. Off to the bank and post office a walk of maybe 6 blocks, I ran back up the stairs . More tightness and now short of breath. No big deal. A few more times up and down the stairs and I really noticed some squeezing between my ribs and more shortness of breath. Okay, I give I called the doctor. Instead it was off to emergency room for five hours. I was on the verge of a heart attack. Well Friday the hospital ran stress tests and the works and I was sure they were going to release me. I am afraid not. Besides giving a pint of blood for testing and numerous pills and shots to lower blood pressure and prevent clotting and the rest I am now scheduled for more tests on Tuesday in Miami and then immediate surgery. My lower artery has a liitle or a lot of blockage...the amount is yet to be determined.
    My point, I work out, run steps daily and try to eat lean. It can happen to anyone at any age. One of my ER nurses told me he had had a heart attack at 31. Please have annual check ups and learn from me.

    Two bright spots, the doctor says the 4 sets of stairs I run daily ( 3 at home and 1 at work) actually saved my life and 2 after surgery with increased blood flow I should be better than I have been in years.
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    Sep 28, 2009 12:11 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advice and I hope everything goes ok for you.
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    Sep 28, 2009 12:18 AM GMT
    Great advice and I'm glad you caught this in time. Best of luck with the surgery.
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    Sep 28, 2009 12:21 AM GMT
    Glad your feeling better! Stay well.
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    Sep 28, 2009 12:29 AM GMT
    Good luck to you !!! Looks like I better get my ticker checked out too !!!!!
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    Sep 28, 2009 12:40 AM GMT
    Congrats on catching it, and I wish you the very best of luck!
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    Sep 28, 2009 1:09 AM GMT
    Your a very lucky person, however it is a good idea to get checkups once every year just to avoid even the "squeeze" you felt that was easy to ignore at first.

    A GP should be able to give the right tests to see what your chances of heart problem are so you can avoid that annoying little tightness.

    I'm not just talking checkups when you hit 40 or 50, I truly believe everyone should get one from 25 up. I had a friend who nearly died because of a genetic defect in his heart that he was totally unaware of (Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome, you end up with an extra nerve across the heart that can irregularity in the heart beat causing heart attacks)

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16412

    Sep 28, 2009 1:33 AM GMT
    Excellent advice, everyone should heed a "once a year checkup", especially those with high blood pressure and family histories.
    Sometimes even that isn't enough.

    Glad to hear you are feeling better! Be careful

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    Sep 28, 2009 3:52 AM GMT
    now i feel like shit for having had that burger a few mins ago. will take the advice and good luck to you. hope you are better fast!
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    Sep 28, 2009 4:58 AM GMT
    I wish you well in the hospital with surgery.
    No one ever thinks it will happen to them...I guess we all want to believe in our own immortality, right up to the bitter end and then hope that we are asleep when it happens....Thanks for sharing your wake up call with us. We all take our health for granted until we don't have it any more. Even the best looking, strongest, fastest and most enduring will have their day of reckoning...lets all just make sure it as far out in the future as possible by doing the "right things" and the "preventive things".
    Take Care and let us know what happens.
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    Sep 28, 2009 5:10 AM GMT
    They say that you should avoid strenuous activity for like the first four hours after you wake up. This is when you are most likely to have a heart attack. And the best time to work out is like 2 pm - 4pm. Enough time after lunch to digest, and before your body starts to enter the wind on down cycle.

    So ease into your days.
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    Sep 28, 2009 5:57 AM GMT
    I am glad you are ok... I have had friends that were not as lucky. I will take your advice. Run my steps, and get my check-ups thanx.
  • baldone

    Posts: 826

    Sep 28, 2009 6:10 AM GMT
    hang in there an get better soon...glad was caught in time..i had heart attack at age 40.....no blockage, just passed a clot....this perhaps wake up call for me...am in far worse shape right now than then.....feel better soon...
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    Sep 28, 2009 7:09 AM GMT
    Congratulations and best of everything to you for catching this and tackling your problem right away. Many thanks for sharing this with us.........you'll never know how many guys you have helped. Getting annual physicals is key to good health. I myself just discovered something in my own annual physical that is life threatening ..... so I was able to get to a specialist and get started fighting to stay healthy. Good luck to you!!
  • cg220

    Posts: 208

    Sep 28, 2009 8:15 AM GMT
    Glad they caught that early mate! Good on ya. Best of luck for a speedy recovery!
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    Sep 28, 2009 12:36 PM GMT
    Doesn't sound like you're an idiot that smokes. Diet, endocrinology, exercise, and genetics, all play a factor. The first three are easy to effect. The latter, you can't do much about.

    If you're over 30, and, if you aren't on HRT, use should probably be. Testosterone protects the heart. It's a much better modality than gulping down handfuls of pills every day.

    If you exercise, but, still eat greasy crap, you may well still have clogged plumbing. You have to keep the fried stuff out of the diet. Poly and mono fats should be part of a good eating program.

    If you want to avoid diabetes, it's a real good idea to avoid lots of sweets / fast sugars. While some simple sugars are good post workout and pre workout, too much simple sugars lead to insulin tolerance, and being fat.

    It goes without saying that if you use tobacco you're an idiot. The evidence has been in on that for years.

    About a month ago I had a sonogram done. It's a fascinating technology that's non-invasive, and very telling. I'm fine.

    Visceral fat KILLS. While lean muscle mass burns calories, and the activities that lead to it strengthen bones, if you're fat, you're asking for a world of trouble. The obesity pandemic is by far, and far above, the leading cause of health problems and premature death.
  • speedoguy53

    Posts: 124

    Sep 28, 2009 12:47 PM GMT
    Thanks for sharing your story......its something we can all learn from....and the best of luck for a speedy recovery!
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Sep 28, 2009 1:17 PM GMT
    I have a same experience. Once I was so overweight I start to feel chest pain, difficulties breathing. But I thought is must be other things, muscle cramp, ordinary out of breath after hard work.

    I finally, go and see the doctor. They do an xray on my heart. It was SWOLLEN, bigger that it suppose to be.
    I take a thru check up. ECG test, a blood pressure. Luckily I have no block artery, but the swollen heart is because of sleep apnea. I was told I really need to loss weight. Thats was wake up call for me, to do something about my weight.

  • islander24

    Posts: 161

    Sep 28, 2009 1:31 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the support, thoughts, prayers and letters. Nice to know the circle of cyber friends.
    I am seeing the local heart specialist one more time than off to Miami - about 175 miles to the hospital, Those doctors do these procedures every 30 minutes or so so they are experienced. I was amazed at all the high tech toys in the hospital. The sticky tabs ripped off the chest hair I had, but they were attached to a monitor that hung around my neck and i was Wified to ICU.
    I am afraid its genes on my part that cause some of the problems as my mom died at 67 of a massive heart attack. I had had a phyiscal at the end of July and they saw I had high blood pressure , but were "watching" it. You are right I have not smoked in 50 years- not since I was a little kid showing off with my peers. Dumb. The alcohol consumption is also pretty low.
    So like I said it can hit anyone .
  • islander24

    Posts: 161

    Oct 01, 2009 1:00 AM GMT

    Happy to report all went well. The Key west doc did not want to alarm me. Upon arrival in Miami, those doctors informed me they had been waiting on me. Obe nurse shaving right hand for iv, one nurse shaving my left hand amd a third nurse shaving off the pubs. Looked like a comedy skit. Then into OR where I was informed all the arteries wre blocked and either they were doing multiple stints or passby surgery. Apparent the surgery opened all the arteries with multiple stints and literally saved my life. Three cheers for modern medicine. Mine is most genetic - mother, brother, sister, aunt all with hjeart problems. So please , if your family has a history, get yourself checked out.

    The surgery is done by cutting a hole in the femorial artry in your groin so the down side , It looks like I got hit with a hockey puck in the groin, but glad to be back to laugh at your forums.icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif
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    Oct 01, 2009 1:04 AM GMT
    Glad to hear the procedure went well. Good luck with the recovery and I hope you are back at'tem shortly.
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    Oct 01, 2009 1:14 AM GMT
    Congrats!! I hope for a speedy recovery!! You are fortunate to be on the type to realize there is an issue and seek medical attention, there are a large number of people who just ignore all the symptoms and just expire =(

    Im a type 1 diabetic, with that said i've turned in somewhat of an hypochondriac, I want to live haha!
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    Oct 01, 2009 3:07 AM GMT
    I am glad you started this thread and hope it encourages at least a few guys to get a check up. I know many think they are doing everything right and it could never happen to them. I just wish there were more views to this thread. Maybe you should have called it 'Beyonce Had A Heart Attack' and there would have been thousands of guys looking at this.

    Two years ago at the age of 41 after a routine physical, my doctor noticed something a little odd on an ECG. She didn't know if it was anything, but sent me to a cardiologist anyway. It turned out it was something- cardiomyopathy. A few weeks later, after some more tests, I had defibrillator implanted into my chest. Forty-one seems kind of young for a serious heart problem, but it turned out I probably had this much earlier. About a year ago, my mother was cleaning out her attic and found a box of old school and medical records of mine. She discovered the results of a physical I had had before having surgery when I was a teenager. There was an ECG in there that had the same results as the one I had a couple years ago. The doctor had even written a note- 'slight arrythmia detected'. The doctor never said anything about it to me or my parents and I can't ask him now- he's dead. So I really don't know the cause. The doctor says it could have just been a flu I had at some point that was hard on my heart. Like civicevolution, I am also a type 1 diabetic and have been most of my life, so that could have been a cause.

    I just hope, that people pay attention to your words of wisdom that it could happen to anyone. It's never to early to be checked for heart problems.

    bjw21, now that you have a diagnosis, you can begin proper treatment. You started this with your surgery and in just weeks will probably feel better than you have for a long time. Sometimes you don't realize you were feeling that bad since it comes on so slowly and you have have unknowingly adjusted to it. You have a wonderful attitude and I know you will doing great very soon. Good Luck.
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    Oct 01, 2009 3:19 AM GMT


    Thank you for sharing your experience. I wish you a speedy and uneventful recovery. Many people claim that after recuperating from angioplasty/stent implant surgery, they feel better than they have for years. I hope you will be among them.

    Your story came at an ironic time for me. I am genetically at very high risk for coronary artery disease. Few men in my family live past 55 and they all die from heart disease. With that knowledge I have tried to tilt as many lifestyle factors as I can in my favor.

    Purely as a precaution my (totally fantastic) cardiologist wants me to spend a night in the hospital next month to run a series of tests looking for possible occlusions, calcification, etc. I was supposed to call his PA last week to set things up and remembered it today. Until I read your post I had decided to wait a while as I have a completely of the chart phobia of hospitals and needles and have a lot of stuff on my plate right now.

    But, thanks to you, tomorrow morning I will bite the bullet and call for an appointment. Thank you again

    And get well soon.

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    Oct 01, 2009 3:25 AM GMT
    bjw21, we're both saying thanks for your topic and posts.

    It's been good therapy, as my (Doug's) sister called. Her best friend down here on the coast passed away suddenly a few days ago, at 53. All we can find out is massive coronary.

    We really wish she had done as you have! She didn't, taking an outlook of 'oh well' instead of going in for any kind of check-up.

    You made us real happy to see someone did!

    Next Thursday I'll read a letter from my sister at the 'celebration of life' taking place.

    You'd think, in a place where care is so easily accessible, she'd have done so.


    PS apologies; grieving.