Contributors to this thread:
Don't ignore symptoms
I just had a heart Cath due to asymptomatic heart pain. My family Dr. said it was nothing, the Dr. who performed the Cath expected to find nothing. Instead it was found I have 3 blockages and I'm slated for surgery more than likely next week.
I only post this to let you guys know that I was having minimal symptoms, but I knew something was not right. All the while this was going on I still continued to do my cardio and maintained normal activity. I then made my family Dr. send me for a stress test, which was normal. I then had her refer me to a cardiologist. He order an Echo an a CTA of the heart. CTA was inconclusive so it lead me to the Cath.
I'm going to miss my limited entry elk hunt in WY, but should be able to turn in my tag and hunt next year. The point of this whole thread is by knowing your body and not ignoring symptoms, I should have many more elk hunts in front of me.
Dang, Mark, so sorry to hear, buddy. Saying a prayer for you and know you'll do what it takes to come through stronger than before.
Wow! Good advice, Mark! Hope everything goes well with your surgery. Glad you caught it because as you know, it could've been much worse. We'll be praying for you.
Great advice and God bless. Hunt
Aw, well, I'm glad you caught it Mark. Postponing the hunt is bad but taking care of your health now is fortunate. Your kids need you to be around a while longer.
Dang Mark! I'm glad you caught it. You're to young for health issues.
Thanks for the heads-up! Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy and ignore what our body tells us...glad you did the smart thing! Prayers for a speedy recovery!
Good for you being smart. Prayers that all goes well.
Good catch.... but you're gonna have to drop your draw weight.....
Sorry to hear Mark, but happy you caught it! These days they can fix nearly anything if they can catch it in time. Great advice on the heads up.
Silver linings all over this..... like, maybe some riflehead won't kill your bull and he'll be bigger next year..... =D
Listen to the pros, do what they tell ya and GET WELL SOON!
Woah. Mark. Speedy recovery
Genetics, sitting in an office or in front of a TV all day, and diet often are major contributors. I see most of my heart attack patients are in their 40's and 50's. I've even seen some in their 20's and it wasn't drug related.
Just curious as to what guys have done to get back to drawing decent weight?
Wow, so sorry to hear this Mark, but definitely happier to hear this than for us to all of a sudden hear nothing from you at all! Best of luck on your surgery and recovery and we'll be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers as well. Take it easy brother, those elk will be there waiting for you next September!
Damn Mark, you're too young to have health issues! Take care of yourself bud!
Wishing you a quick recovery!! Good catch and pressing the issue.
Scary stuff for sure. Glad you caught it.
Wow- good deal you caught this! Good luck with the procedure and recovery.
Good Luck and wish you a speedy recovery. If you don't mind me asking how old are you?
Just saw this. So sorry Mark an will be praying for you buddy. Get well soon!
Get well and speedy recovery. What were your symptoms that made you keep pursuing a believable response? Seems like everyone had it wrong.
Glad you were persistent Mark! Concerns me the stress test didn't throw up a flag with three blockages....because I would have probably stopped there.
Curious if the CTA is the same or similar to a coronary calcium scan? Had one of the latter a year ago and they told me I was good for five years. Was planning to go back every other year regardless. Sounds like maybe I'm putting too much stock in those results? (To be clear, my scan was curiosity driven, no symptoms.)
my father died of a heart attack at 51 so I was always conchense of symptoms & at 48 had a necluar stress test done & no blockage was found. less than 6 months later on nov 10th 2010 after hunting all day came home had a few beers supper felt fine & in bed by 8:00 woke up @ 10:00 no pain but knew something was wrong chewed up 3 or 4 Bayer aspirin (just in case) drank some milk cause I thought maybe heart burn then started getting sweaty & clammy wife called ambulance they took my vitals gave me nitro & said we gotta go NOW got to the emergency room & my heart quit they got it going again with adrenaline & I woke up as they were fixin to shock me got 2 stints & a 3rd stint July 2013. I'm blessed to still be here. the aspirin & calling the ambulance saved my life. the positive side of the whole event was no work for 3 months doctors orders. I ended up killing 14 deer with a bow that season. if you have heart deseise in your genetics you need to be conchense of any symptoms no matter how small
First symptom was light headedness and headaches. Similar to inner ear issues. Then I started to get some chest pain, but it was mostly in the center of my chest and on the right side. Even though it wasn't near my heart this is when I started asking my Dr to refer me for a heart work up.
My face started tingling and sometimes might even feel slightly numb. I also had some tingling in my arms a few times on the cardio machine.
I'm lucky I didn't ignore. I'm lucky I have no damage and my heart muscle is strong. After the surgery my heart should be fine and I should be able to move on to a normal life.
Good luck with surgery and get well soon
Wow, glad that you caught without finding out the hard way! Prayers to you!
Dang. Sending prayers your way my friend. Glad you caught it.
Are you scheduled for bypass? Or another Cath for some stents?
Good to hear you caught it sooner rather than later! Wishing you a speedy recovery.
Good luck, buddy. We'll be sending muy positive vibes at you!
Good luck man, sounds like it will only be a minor set back.
I’m always leery especially since my grandfather had an unnecessary 3x bypass. I also know of unnecessary stents. Know your docs integrity and ability in the Cath lab, there are crooks on every front. On the other hand I know a doc who can stent patients whom otherwise would’ve gone for bypass.
Cardiologist told me stress tests have 10% false positives and 10% false negatives.
They are not the gold standard but will find most problems. Far better than nothing.
It was October 2010 for me...Beginning of bow season here in Pa...We went to a craft fair on a Sunday, stopped at Walmart on way home, and my wife and her god parents all checked our blood pressure and heart rate...Well, after 2 try’s and several minutes of me not getting any results, I insisted the machine was broke....I felt fine....My wife wasn’t buying that, so, the next day I showed up in my family Drs. Office..After a EKG, he said, I wasn’t going anywhere except across the street to the Cardiologist...They fitted me with a halter monitor, and within 24 hrs. I brought it back for the results...Long story short is this, my heart rate was down to 28 beats per minute...They didn’t understand how I was still walking upright, without felling dizzy or out of breath, etc...Told the Doctors I felt good , no symptoms of any sort...What they found was a “ bundle branch blockage “ to my heart...It wasn’t beating the way it was suppose to...I had a pacemaker installed, and that got me up and running again....The point here is this, in spite of the fact that I was felling ok, there was a very dangerous situation going on in my heart....I really never felt the symptoms....Get checked out, it could save your life, even if you don’t have any issues...
Gold standard doesn’t mean 100%, a nuclear stress test is considered the gold standard (though only about 80% accurate). Even physically looking at the native vessels aka Cath/angiogram is not 100%. There can still be spasms or small vessel disease which can still result in myocardial infarction. The human body is too dynamic to say anything is 100%, there will always be anomalies. When the risk factors are stacked against you always proceed with caution, but not knowing said factors doesn’t exclude them.
Furthermore, I think if $$ were not a factor test accuracy and correlation could be more accurate. There are docs running tests on severely dated equipment that easily turn a routine $2k test into a $20k payday in the Cath lab. Certainly not all, but something to consider.
Off topic and an example, my friend was just told his kidneys are at 25% and transplant is the only option. 2nd opinion said his kidneys are 45%+ and after some minor treatments/ therapies is now functioning near normal. Treatment pays more than the cure. Needless to say I’m callused.
So glad ya caught this ahead of any bad event to yourself.
Keep the Faith, Robb
Prayers for a speedy and complete recovery Mark! This reinforces that you just dont take what your GP says as gospel. When you know something isn’t right you persist until you get answers.
You got this brother.
This is a great example of how to handle your health. Docs see so many people with so many particular variables, a person would be crazy not to be proactive when they know something isn’t right. You got help them to help you.
Mark, participate in the cardio rehab program if available. It was essential for me in talking to others with similar heart cardio issues. Your workouts are monitored on ekg.
As for getting back to drawing full weight again, it was less than 6 months for me.
My stents were 2 yrs ago, I'm 54 now. Planning to hunt elk in colorado in sept.
Good Luck to you and I hope you recover fully.
Thanks everyone. I truly appreciate all of you guys and this site in general...I love this place.
This is what's odd....I have been able to continue my typical cardio workout regimen all through this. I always had nitro in my pocket, all the doctors involved were of the mindset that this was on the side of being very overprotective. If anyone knew I had blockages to this extent, I obviously wouldn't have been doing this and would already be fairly far along in recovery. I didn't get shortness of breath with activity, heart palpitations or much of anything other than some asymptomatic chest pain. I basically have had no noticeable degradation in cardio ability. I'm sure there is some slow fade loss now, but I wouldn't have noticed before. I would assume this had to do with the fact that I maintain cardio fitness as if am hunting elk every year and also the fact that my heart had started rerouting blood supply.
I can't even begin to list all of the things that just led to me believing I must persist. Some of you may not believe this, but I know this was definitely the hand of God. So many things have happened along the way that I know looking back it was God redirecting me and focusing me on what was going on.
There were so many things that I won't bore you by listing them all, but I'll mention this significant one. Just last weekend I hurt my lower back. Ironically, I think I actually hurt it pulling an errant arrow from an elk target(I was shooting at 100 yards and hit in a real hard spot where the neck attaches to the body). When the pain started it was just like the pain I had that led me to back surgery 12 years ago. Same location, same symptoms, same everything and it was the first sign of pain in that region since I had the surgery. It scared me as it was so debilitating before, so it grounded me. It was probably the only thing within reason that would have grounded me. I did nothing. No mowing, no shooting, no workouts. I didn't even use stairs at work this week or carry out garbage. I started feeling better the morning before my cath. Knowing I had a cath scheduled I just decided it would be smart to not do anything again until i had the cath.
I was soon on the way home from my procedure knowing that my bypass surgery would be sometime the following week. I received a text from a friend who was checking on me. She worked for many years with one of the best cardiologists in the country and was very familiar with all of the doctors in the area. She actually coordinated the guy who did my cath. I told her I was set for bypass surgery and who the doctor was. She said, No.....you want this guy. The doctor they gave you is very good, but this guy is on a different level. She told me she would call me back after she personally called the surgeon she recommended. A few minutes later she called me back and said...it's all set. He is doing your surgery. He is on vacation right now, but will be back next week. While I was on the phone with her, his office called me to tell me it will be Thursday morning.
God has put so many things and people in place for me that I am certain that He has bigger plans for me. I am of course worried about having surgery but I faithfully believe that all of this stuff didn't happen by coincidence. I believe I am supposed to stick around for some reason and just like my salvation, I didn't do anything to earn it.
Glad to hear you have someone on the “in” looking out for you.
I'm glad you caught this, Mark.
The thread title says it all...but "Symptoms" aren't always classic, especially with physical people. By the time they get crushing chest pain, it's usually too late.
It could be something as simple as indigestion, getting winded easier than usual, lack of energy, a "lump in your throat", back pain, or nearly passing out on several occasions. Or maybe just that gut feeling that "something ain't right" !
If your Mother or Father ever had blocked arteries...you should get a Cardiologist consult. After doing Nuclear Cardiology testing for 30 years, It's become pretty obvious that genetics are the number one factor in heart disease.
Mark, I'm guessing you'll have more than enough energy to get up those mountains, once they get the pipes flowing again!
Best Wishes and Godspeed, Jeff
as I said previously my heart STOPPED in the er. my left ventricule was 100% blocked on one side & 90% on the other I survived the widow maker. the fact that my heart stopped put me in an entire different Category of care to keep my medical card required for my cdl I must pass a full psyicle every year & a stress test every 2 years.... take this for what ever it's worth but I had a massive heart attack & was bowhunting 20' in trees with a 70# compound within 2 weeks. I was told (by the therapist) not to pick up nothing more than what would fit in a 1 gallon can or no more than a gallon of milk for 3 months. my 2nd day home I went for a walk & couldn't make it back home my son hat to come get me & within 2 weeks was useing a climber & shooting 70#s compound I've been doing psyicle work my entire life no office job for me ever. I'm not claiming to be a hard ass but a tuff old bird you bet... after 3 months of no work docs orders... my cardiologist suggested I started rehab therapy .... I didn't tell him I just had my best bow hunting season ever I just told him that if I didn't get back to work I was going on welfare & he wasn't getting paid. he promptly signed my release papers
I'm setting an appointment up on Tuesday. My father passed at 57 because of heart disease. As Jeff said above, genetics are the biggest contributing factor. I need to heed that as well.
Hope you're doing well, Mark.
Great news you stayed with it and found your problem before it got real bad. It sounds like you have a great Doc so I suspect your procedure will go smoothly.
After playing the cancer game, I stay very alert to any issues that might signal something is amiss. For me early on...it was night sweats, low grade temps, chronic, violent coughing, quit eating/rapid weight loss, shallow breathing, lethargic. During the chemo the only thing that snuck up on me was blood clots in my legs and lungs....never knew I had them....my cancer Doc figured it out.
My two cents and this sounds cliche' but it's the truth learned from having BTDT....if you have something going on, however slight and you're not sure about it...go see the Doc. Don't try to tough it out or ignore it hoping it will go away....you may compound the problem and regret it. I did that and was very close to the pearly gates.
Good luck hoping for a speedy recovery Lewis
Glad you got it in time and hope you have a steady recovery and are hunting soon.
Good for you posting this Mark and best of luck with the guiding hands of the medical people. A thorough annual physical is a must over age 40. Much is fixable if addressed early.
Hey Mark just curious whether you had any risk factors for CAD. High cholesterol, hypertension, smoking history, diabetes etc. Also you may have mentioned above but how old are you? Thanks, Mike
just figured I'd add this. it has really surprised me how many people don't even understand a heart attack. but basically the small arterys that supply the heart mussel itself with blood (oxygen) get blocked & the heart mussel has a cramp & if that cramp is severe enough or last long enough your dead. so many folks think it's the main arteries in the top of the heart that get blocked I know this is a poor analogy but you get the basic idea
A cramp goes away, necrotic tissue does not... hence the term infarction.. as in MI; aka heart attack.
Mark is almost finished with his surgery. Everything is going great.
Surgery complete and in recovery!
Bowfreak, I'll be praying for you and your family that all goes well and that you have a speedy recovery.
I hadn't clicked on this thread until today and the timing is really amazing. I had a stent placed in my LAD(widowmaker) artery one year ago on this very day. I was 43 years old early last year when I started having occasional dull, achy chest pain, light headedness/dizziness, and SOB. I also was doing a lot of cardio at the time with little to no problems. All tests were normal, but my PCP sent me for a cardiac consult because of the symptoms and my very unfavorable family history of heart disease(my genetics suck). Still to this day I have never had a stress test. The cardiologist saw me and wasn't impressed at all but offered to order a CTA of the heart for my piece of mind. It was abnormal showing 2 potential blockages in the proximal LAD, so I obviously had to have a heart cath and they were thinking a bypass might be necessary. The cath showed only an 80% mid LAD blockage which they stented on May 30th 2018. They said I was lucky and that it was only a matter of time before I had a major HA which likely would've killed me.
My symptoms went away for the most part but gradually I started having the same chest pain. Fast forward to September 27 and while jogging I had a pretty severe attack of chest pain, SOB, and nausea. Back to hospital that morning for another cath and they put another stent in the LAD just before the first one.
I still continued to have chest pain and eventually got referred to Barnes in St. Louis and after seeing a different group of cardiologists and having another cath I was told I was fine, even though I knew I wasn't. Finally in Jan. this year I was referred to yet another cardiologist who specializes in atypical chest pain and he diagnosed me immediately with 2 types of microvascular heart disease, slow flow phenomenon and coronary vasospasm disorder. He has me on the right combo of drugs that keep me pain free 95% of the time.
I put all of this out there to echo your original post-DON'T ignore symptoms! Especially if you have any family history of heart disease. Also, don't let some MD tell you that you are fine if you KNOW that you aren't. I work in the medical field and I have lost some faith in medical care in the past year. I have received some excellent care, but I have also been treated worse than a dog. You have to be your own advocate.
Bowfreak, when you are up to it send me a PM if you'd like. I don't want to intrude but I'd be more than happy to give you my cell number if you'd like to chat. I'm sure you have good support, but some of this stuff gets a little hard to deal with at times and I've found that having someone to vent to (especially not family or close friends) is very helpful. God Bless!
Mark, great news about the successful surgery and best wishes for recovery. We're praying for you, buddy!
He's got this in the bag....just don't go peekin' at any BB bull pics for a bit.... =D
Hoping for a fast recovery . You got this Mark!! Hunt
Thanks for the update Nick. Great news!
I appreciate all of the prayers and kind words. Bowsite is awesome!
I rested really well last night so I was hoping I was going to make some significant progress. I could feel one of those pillow hugging coughs coming. I braced myself and started hacking. When I completed my cough I heard the heart monitor go off. Lucky me....the coughing fit set me into A-fib. I was freaking out as it was a pretty uncomfortable feeling. I had never had my heart rate elevated like that and out of rhythm too. After a few different meds and a few hours, they got my heart to flip back to a normal rhythm.
I've had a few little hiccups but overall everything is going well.
I'm not sure if it is a medical necessity or these people are just freaks, but I had more body hair when I was an infant than I do now.
Hang in there, Mark. Other friends who've had similar surgeries report a few ups and downs before things stabilize. You'll get there. Oodles of prayers and positive thoughts coming your way.
As for the shaving, when I had my vasectomy a cute little 24 year old intern shaved my nether region, and she seemed to be enjoying it a little too much.. Now I'll only be concerned if they want to shave me before a colonoscopy.
Tell em to throw in a bleaching..... not a problem..... do it in late August and you'll be all set for elk season!
I was told that if I had to have a bypass that they would basically shave everything but my head. With most of my hair migrating to my back, I would’ve been nearly hairless!
Bowfreak- I wish you a speedy recovery. It’s good that guys talk about this stuff openly. My dad had 2 stents 15 years ago. His #1 symptom was denial. Listen to your body and go to the doctor if there is any question.
Glad you are in recovery Mark! Just had rotator cuff surgery so I'm out too.
Mark's wife, Nicki, posted this on fb yesterday. :-)
Glad to hear all is well! Rest up and heal up!
Mark, so glad to hear you are on the road to recovery. Just to let you know that your not alone. I had a stent put in yesterday. I am 57, work out 5 times a week, try to eat right, but have a family history of heart disease. I started having very mild chest pain about a month ago. I went to our family Doctor and he sent me for a cardiac calcium scan. That test came back with a high reading, and because of my job, I was sent for a nuclear stress test. That led to the angiogram yesterday and a stint being put into one of my small branch arteries. Good news is a lot of people have gone before us on this, and the prognosis is great. I hope to hunt Montana this fall, and I am sure you will be back in short order. Best of luck to you for a speedy recovery!
I'm so glad people are sharing and others now are more aware to be aware. We men are our own worst enemy when it come to 'just working thru it'
I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to post. So many good posts for others to read. You never know.... something said here could possibly save a life in the future.
I'm currently waiting to see my surgeon for my 4 week follow-up. Hoping I'm released to drive and mow grass.
I can only watch so much TV and I've watched more in 4 weeks than I have in probably the last 4 years.
Take time in recovery, don't rush things... probably hard for a fella like yourself, but it will pay off. Prayers for you.
My doctor says everything is going great other than the bottom part of my sternum is moving. He said in some instances it will take up to 3 month total for it to fuse properly. In the event it doesn't, I will have a metal plate installed to hold everything in place. It is not a major deal, but definitely something I would hope is not needed.
So, here's the important question: Does that alter your draw length so that you need to buy a new bow? Some Hoyt dealer in KY is very interested in the answer. :)
Glad you seem to be recovering well.
Good question Kevin.
My pro shop actually sent a bow to my house by a friend last week for me to check out. It was really comical when my wife walked in and I was fondling a new bow with tags still hanging.
I know a good hand surgeon in case she breaks some fingers getting the bow out of your hands.
Good luck MARK, a speedy recover.
Hang in there. Prayers for a full recovery!
After reading this entire post I have to add this . A good friend of mine had surgery yesterday for a 90% blocked carotid artery. The first indication of a problem was a vision problem. He was looking at a bird when he lost site of the top part of the bird. He thought he might have a detacted retina so he went to an optometrist. the Dr. couldn't find anything wrong with his eyes but suggested he have a ultra sound done as the vision problem could be caused by a blocked carotid artery. That test showed maybe a 70% blockage that led him to the vascular surgeon. He ran some aditional tests and scheduled him for surgery the next day. I was there when the surgeon came out and talked to my friends wife. Blockage was over 90% and doctor said he could have had a stroke at any time. What started out as a minor eye issue saved his life. Moral : Always get health issues checked out.