Where I talk about my heart attack and the surgery

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Where I talk about my heart attack and the surgery


Post by Scuba » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:19 pm

The following is an excerpt of a blog article.  Read Full Article
Saturday April 15. Just a normal Saturday. Did the usual family stuff. Had lunch at Rudy's BBQ. Went home to cut the grass…
While cutting the grass I started having some pain in my left neck, shoulder and arm…nothing new for me I have a bad neck and muscle spasm are nothing new but this pain was a little different…. It wasn't the typical “crushing ” pain associated with a heart attack but it was different from my usual pain related to my neck issues…being a guy I sucked it up an moved on.
Throughout the day and evening the pain came ...

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Where I talk about my heart attack and the surgery


Post by UncleMJM » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:37 pm

Well written sir. I've been thinking about you lately and was actually on the verge of a PM when you posted this. We all make choices and all choices have consequences. We don't all get wake up calls. I'm glad you did and through yours, I'm waking a bit too. While I don't have the smoking history, I have been carrying an unhealthy amount of weight for too many years and am now making progress on changing that. Take some credit for inspiring me some my friend. I'm glad you're on the mend and I look forward to some campfire time as soon as we can get some. Stay strong on the wise choices. I'll continue to keep you in prayers.

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Re: Where I talk about my heart attack and the surgery


Post by GregD » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:25 pm

Major bummer.

I imagine you won't be shooting for a while either.

I know two people that managed to avoid the heart attack prior to their open-heart surgeries. One, a non-smoker of healthy weight that exercised regularly caught the problem on a stress test that his doc thought would be unnecessary. Another, a former smoker, overweight, that exercised not so much, got a second opinion about his angina. On the other hand one person (my brother) drove himself to the hospital during his heart attack (or so that is my understanding).

Whatever you have to tell yourself to quit smoking for good is probably worthwhile. Ain't no way around it; smoking is bad for your health in so many ways. After that, however, I would encourage you to give up the self-inflicted guilt trips. I am prone to guilt and stress; although I've got no objective evidence my impression is that those emotions impair my health. But for sure they diminish my quality of life.

None of my mother's brothers made to the age of 50. My oldest brother had his first heart attack and quintuple bypass in his late 40s and had a second heart attack last year in his late 60s. My other brother (older than me) had his first heart attack in his early 50s. I have been luckier then that, but odds are mine is coming. The one noticeable difference between myself and my brothers is that I am deliberately low-stress (they are both MDs).

Good decisions are sometimes hard to make, even when convinced like I am that my heart attack is coming. Loosing weight was about the hardest thing I've done. I hate exercise, so I got me a couple of truly PITA dogs that keep me moving as fast and as far for as long as I can. They are why I can't hike with Sarge; they need to burn far more energy and far faster then they can plodding along with Sarge. One of them wanted to rumble with your lab at Hurricane Cove last year, and that was after a 16 mile hike from PL#1; she needs more weight in her pack. I can't help but get lots of exercise trying to keep up with them; without them I just wouldn't exercise regularly.

Good attitude for the recovery.

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Where I talk about my heart attack and the surgery


Post by gmcpcs » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:55 pm

Glad to hear your story, Tom. Just keep on trucking. It's good to have life goals, and those sound like real good ones! Hope to see you later in July. I'm pretty stoked on my weight loss; I'm down about 30 lbs from last year. I follow a pretty lenient eating plan that includes high fat and low carbs. That definitely helps with my back mess. I'm doing, get this, water aerobics with the old people at the Pool complex two to three times a week. That sort of exercise gets the heart rate up, and it is low impact on the joints. I don't care if the company is 20+ years older than me, (Wife excepting) the exercise is fun, and I just have to look around and see the ones who are doing well up into their 80s with regular exercise. You know the spiel...

Take it easy,

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Re: Where I talk about my heart attack and the surgery


Post by kev137 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:25 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. Best wishes on your continuing recovery.I have been since the beginning of the year engaged in a lifestyle changing health kick. I've changed my diet, and increased my exercise. I have been able to lose about 40 lbs so far. I'm driving my family crazy at times trying to educate them about better nutrition, mainly the evils of sugar consumption. My wife is open to change, the kids not so much. For me most of my inspiration for change came from the realization that both my father and grandfather died much younger than they should have ( my grandfather in fact died before I was born). Like you I began to think about my children and my granddaughter. I want to see my kids graduate college and be healthy enough to enjoy time with my granddaughter ( she's a little over a year old now). While living healthy is much more difficult, the payouts are very much worth it. Stay strong and keep us posted on your progress please.
" No sympathy for the devil. You buy the ticket, you take the ride", Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Where I talk about my heart attack and the surgery


Post by BillyBob66 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:23 pm

Thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear you have been going through this, but glad to hear you are still alive and recovering!

I sure would love to know what your Calcium Scoring Scan score was. (just as a matter of curiosity, about if there was any warning from that test- no matter now, you have had the pipes replaced! ) This is noninvasive and relatively cheap, and it seems to me the info we get from this is way more useful than anything we get from cholesterol testing. My doc- who has a slight natural bent- told me that anyone else would already have me on statins based on my recently worsened cholesterol testing, even though I had zero symptons on the back pack up a steep hill test, and no family history of heart disease.

But in order to convince me that I should be on them, he talked me into having this test. Fortunately for me, I scored zero on the scale where 101-400 = moderate Coronary Heart Disease, while 400+ = extensive CAD. So I side stepped the statins so far.But I don't know why these tests are not more common, a simple picture of how much blockage there is in your heart. Seems like that could be VERY useful info for most of us.

Do you know what your cholesterol and triglyceride numbers were? I am just wondering if you had any warning from those.

I hope your recovery is going great!

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/HeartDisea ... d=14334633
Off Topic
The procedure, called coronary artery calcium scoring -- or CAC -- checks for calcium buildup in the arteries. It rates heart attack risk and gauges the benefit of certain heart treatments, such as statins.

"It's quick, painless and an indicator of heart attack," Leahy said Dr. Wiliam O'Neill, her cardiologist and chief medical officer at the University of Miami Health System, told her at the time.

Doctors generally use a blood test to check for high levels of C-reactive protein, which can signal artery inflammation and is a potential predictor of a heart attack.

But Leahy's doctor went straight to the CAC scan as his first line of defense.

A study published Thursday in the Lancet now throws some data on O'Neill's confidence. The study suggests that screening for calcium buildup in coronary arteries, called atherosclerosis, may be a better method than a C-reactive protein test, which measures the amount of C-reactive protein in the blood, for not only predicting heart attack risk but whether a patient might benefit from statin therapy.

Researchers looked at 950 patients with no symptoms of heart disease and found that patients with the presence of calcium -– even those with low cholesterol levels -- had twice the risk for heart attack or stroke and four times the risk for heart disease than those with a calcium score of zero.
. There are also contrarian views in this article on whether this test should be done.

Off Topic
We finally got a real glimpse of the future of calcium scoring during a session at the American College of Cardiology 2014 Scientific Sessions . It seems it's been the right thing to do, but there are lingering questions. I found the comments provided by the panel that consisted of Drs Kim Williams, David May, and Harvey Hecht as compelling as the data. I hope more front-line providers, family practitioners, internists, and others will embrace it as well.

First, we learned from a Houston Methodist Hospital study that testing of asymptomatic individuals really has worth. Nearly 1000 patients deemed low risk by the Framingham calculator and a plain treadmill exam were tracked for seven years. Coronary calcium proved a far better predictor of risk. May then said, "Calcium scores are better predictors than routine exercise evaluation," and Hecht even more emphatically stated, "If you've thought about doing a stress test on someone with no symptoms, do a calcium score first. There is no such thing as a false-positive calcium score. It is 100% accurate for coronary atherosclerosis."

From Los Angeles BioMed at Harbour UCLA Medical Center came a fantastic 20-year study of nearly 5600 subjects. Mortality data was presented on no-, low-, moderate-, and high-calcium scores of those otherwise considered to be at low risk for heart disease. With an average follow-up period of 10 years, even patients with low calcium scores (1–99) were 50% more likely to die than patients with a calcium score of zero. Moderate scores (100–399) were associated with an 80% greater likelihood of dying, and high scores (above 400) were associated with a three-times-greater risk of dying as compared with patients with zero calcium. These patients had zero to one risk factor, including diabetes, hypertension, current smoking, family history, or diabetes. Ten percent of these "low-risk" patients had a severe burden of coronary artery calcium >400.

Again, the panel drove several points home. May said, "The significance of that observation period cannot be overstated. Should they have been tested with stress testing? Coronary artery calcium gives us a real measure of individuals they should be focusing on."

Hecht replied, "You can have zero or one risk factor and still have significant atherosclerosis. . . . and you are just as dead if you have five or zero risk factors. The key is to start therapy based on the amount of plaque you have."
I think you will soon be hiking with renewed vigor and teaching the grandkids important outdoorsy stuff! God bless you, Scuba!
Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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Re: Where I talk about my heart attack and the surgery


Post by robislookin » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:02 pm

just read your blog post...glad to have you still with us. i quit smoking a few years ago and i was a heavy smoker, 30+ yrs. 2 pack a day habit. so i know how you feel about still wanting one even after 10+ yrs i still get the cravings. just not as often. keep up the good work and i'll keep praying for you.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
~Albert Einstein

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Re: Where I talk about my heart attack and the surgery


Post by Paw_Paw_Drew » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:00 am

Could not read article for some reason but get the jest part of it was about quitting smoking Congratulations. Having also been a heavy smoker I finally quit 3 years ago. Took me 4 heart attacks and 8 stents to finally quit and I crave them every day,

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