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.
came back in a day or so, I dropped everything I was doing, went to the walk in at my hospital. They sent me to ER, where for 6 hours and 2 EKG and blood tests etc, found nothing...
Onto the stress and dye test, and a physician assistant, looked at me, and said your on your way to catherization, There I was told I needed heart surgery. I said how about a stent, the doctor said, nope, we are going to fix this right
At Frodert in Milwaukee, heart transplant doctors, who did not have a heart to put in, from the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Nat Heart Institue, did a double by pass on me.
They kept me for a week, and than 22 weeks of rehab,,,, My check up as of May 9th was to keep doing what I am doing, diet and exercise, everything looks great and so does the blood tests, seen you next year.
Before surgery and going under, the surgeon said to me, "your wife said your a swimmer", good for you swimmers survive,,,,, this is what you were born with, and you saved your own life,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I am very blessed
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!
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 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.
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.
They are not the gold standard but will find most problems. Far better than nothing.
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.
Keep the Faith, Robb
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.
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.
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.
Was in no hurry..... working out after rehab was no big deal, since it was part of my routine,,,,,,,,,
Now I am going to tell you something,,,, and it was not the drugs inside of me........
Every night a male nurse, would come in at his shift, and sit with me at about 11pm and we would talk, for about a half hour. He said he does this as he makes his rounds, but there was something about him, very comforting.....
Having a hard time, getting rid of the afib, after surgery, they failed to shock it out of me. The head surgeon said it happens to about 30 percent of his paitents, and he will get it out later, but I was walking slow, on my daily routine, with my nurse, taking baby steps every day.
One day I am in the hallway, and a female doctor, was with medical students from the medical college there. However, I remember her face, before I was put out, for my surgery. Now she sees me, and comes over, and takes my hand,,,,, she says, "you will be all right for quite awhile"
When she did this a force went thru me, hard to explain, but she looked right thru me, the comfort to my being, was something I could not explain.
I know she was an angel, no doubt in my mind,,,,,,,
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
Hope you're doing well, Mark.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Glad you seem to be recovering well.
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.