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I'm laying in the cardiac section of the hospital in Traverse City. I had minor chest pains for a couple of weeks but they got strong enough last Saturday that I figured it was time to get checked. It turned out that I had a 99% blocked artery on my heart but hadn't had a heart attack yet. Got lucky on that one. Had a heart catheter and a stent put in so I guess I'm good to go for a while longer. Pay attention to your body, people.
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I'm laying in the cardiac section of the hospital in Traverse City. I had minor chest pains for a couple of weeks but they got strong enough last Saturday that I figured it was time to get checked. It turned out that I had a 99% blocked artery on my heart but hadn't had a heart attack yet. Got lucky on that one. Had a heart catheter and a stent put in so I guess I'm good to go for a while longer. Pay attention to your body, people.
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Whew!

Last spring I started experiencing some weird heartbeats and a little dizziness, I finally went to the doctor. Apparently after many years of drinking nearly a pot of coffee in the morning followed by (usually) 2 each 1-liter bottles of Diet Pepsi in the afternoon, we decided that wasn't a good idea anymore! Cut back and now back to normal, well as normal as I can be!

So, do what Tirebiter has mentioned, "Pay attention to your body, people".
 

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Wow brother George!! Glad you are ok bro!! Hope you are up and running 100% soon, please keep us posted.

I've already had a heart attack and a small stroke, you are lucky brother. It took a lot out of me. I could hardly walk down the alley with the dog after mine. It took about 2 years to finally feel better, but it will never be the same as it was before. God bless you brother George!!
 

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George -

Here's to a speedy recovered. I agree with you 100%.

Similar thing happened to me a few years back but without the pain. I woke up in the middle of a winter night sweating, minor ache in my neck and feeling odd. Never any history of heart issues and I did not expect that at all. After about an hour checking the Internet for symptoms I drove myself to the ER.

BP was pushing 200. Major blockage in the main artery. Same as you - a catheter and stent. Home 36 hours later and felt increasingly better over the next 6 weeks. Was walking 5 miles a day within 10 days out of the hospital. The worst part of the ordeal was the recovery room nurse applying constant pressure to the incision in my groin to stop the bleeding. I think she enjoyed watching me wince in pain.

Since then I've returned to the ER four more times and in each case felt something was amiss and drove myself: Kidney failure, heart valve replacement, double bypass, internal hemorrhage. I'm by no means a hypochondriac. Prior to my first heart event I had not been in a hospital since I had an appendectomy at 12.

Anticipating health issues likely saved me from serious permanent damage. I really did not have any bad habits; quit smoking 40 years ago, only drink an occasional beer or wine since, did not eat a lot of red meat or fried foods. Sometimes it is just genetic, but then again my mom just celebrated her 90th birthday and lives in her own home unassisted.

Take care and get back on you feet asap. This was just a wake-up call, not a life sentence. I did not choose the hospital recommended physical therapy, but did my own; walking, bike riding, kayaking. My TW came later and I'm getting a little soft.
 

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George, thankfully YOU listened to your body, and got in there before something worse happened.

PLEASE....take care of that OLD body, and keep riding...that will keep you young.

If anyone in Moab had a problem next March, I will bring along several feet of clear fuel line, and we can install a stent, while laying on one of the picnic tables. Should be able to ride the next day.

:p
And I think a few of us will have a gun in case the picnic table treatment doesn't work and you come up lame!:p

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the well wishes guys. I was reluctant to bring this back up to the top because I'm a bit of a recluse and don't thrive on attention but I do appreciate your concerns. I'm back at the bunker and managing very well within some limits for a while. Most of the restrictions are to prevent bleeding from the procedure site since I'm on blood thinners. A person can bleed out pretty quick through a femoral artery.

Toyer, I agree with the 15 minutes of groin pressure thing but the worst for me was lying flat on my back without being able to move anything but my arms for 12 hours following the procedure. I have osteoarthritis in my back and am still recovering from that part. But otherwise feel so much better already and am looking forward to quite a few more active years.

They said a heart attack was inevitable and I'm far enough out in the woods that I probably wouldn't have made it to medical help without dying, or at the minimum, extensive damage to my heart. Living alone has it's drawbacks. When I can drive and get around, I'm going into town to see if I can set up some sort of address that puts me in the system so if I need 911 service in the future they can find me.

Anyway, enough about me but again, thanks to you all for your support and thanks to God for the mortality reminder.
 

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Praying for you brother George. We love you around here, hang in there!! :D
 
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I am glad you made it. I think you are wise to consider some means of emergency contact for 911 service.
i suggest you ask the people who would be coming to help you, the EMT/Paramedic/ambulance service for their recommendations. They would know what system works best in your area.
 

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After more than 20 years of weighing between 275 and 280 pounds, (BTW I' 6' 5" tall), and taking increasingly more blood pressure control drugs and diabetic medicine, ( the doctors wanted to try some different type of drugs), My body said, " screw this!" I started to eat less and exercise more. I began this about the end of Feb. As I lost 20 pounds I stopped the gliburide, diabetic medicine.
Shortly after I stopped the nifedapine pills,( one of my BP medicines). As I lost a few more pounds, I cut my consumption of lisinopril by half. By the time I had lost 35 pounds I cut that by half.
When I had lost 45 pounds I stopped the last of the lisinopril. I no longer take any pills. My blood pressure last night was 102 over 60 with a pulse of 63. These numbers are better than what I had when I was in my twenties. I am capable of doing chinups, pushups, and yesterday morning i started my day with 500 crunches. I am 71 years old and in a wheelchair because of leg neuropathy.
My legs don't work but I have arms and shoulders like a viking warrior. I feel a lot better and am glad I listened when my body said screw the prescription medicine.
 

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Very good on the health changes Phelonius!! Good for you brother!!:)
 
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Phelonius you are one of the fortunate ones of us that is in tune with their body's functions and have the drive to stick to a plan. You must have a great feeling of accomplishment. I hope people look to your story as an example of what's possible for them.

I'm not quite in the shape you are but have always eaten well, exercised regularly, and am very active. If my lifestyle needs modifying I'm up for it. I'm already missing my TW rides but it won't be long til I'm back in the saddle.

By the way, after reading your description of yourself, I'm guessing your profile pic isn't really you;)
 

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We have many folks in remote sites here.
The local EMS system is sent out by a common dispatcher with the police department. Here, one can summon help by marine radio (which may bring in the Coast Guard), a satellite based system (like a Spot or EPIRb), plus of course the phone system, either satellite, land,or cell.
We also have a welfare check radio system that is monitored by the hospital with a short range radio signal, but that is just for in town.

I think each community EMS system will come up with their own scheme to use what is working well, so it will vary.

Some folks in remote areas here talk to closest neighbors by either VHF or CB radio, and make it a habit to do a regular contact a certain time each day just to check in, or more than once a day for some. That way if somebody misses a call in, their neighbor goes over to check. Here that usually means to get in a boat and come over, but you see how you can rig this up amongst your neighbors to support each other. That way somebody else will at least be able to call for help too.
It also creates good social bonds. I hear people on the radio visiting well beyond simple contact. I heard a guy talking his neighbor through a chainsaw rebuild one day as part of their morning chat....
 

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Phelonius - I congratulate you on taking charge of your own health issues and I too believe there is an over-eagerness for health care professionals to prescribe multiple medications "to cover all the bases." The Lisinopril probably led to my kidney failure 6 months later - no one would actually say that, but it is a known side effect and it was stopped immediately. At the same time the mix of prescription and over the counter medications is like walking a tightrope and there are other benefits than just lowering blood pressure so I hope you keep your physician and pharmacist apprised of what you are doing.

George - If you are not already familiar with term The Golden Hour it explains both your survival and your future. Before your incident you were functioning with a severely diminished blood supply. Going forward you should work your way back to the best condition you have been in years. I'm 70, and after my first surgery 5 years ago returned to work full time (I'm a self employed renovation carpenter) in about 3 weeks and continued until last year. I'm still up to it, but don't really need the money, and have other things I prefer to be doing, albeit just as strenuous.

My ten year younger brother had similar warnings a couple of years after mine. He ignored them and at work the next day stepped out for a smoke (he had a multiple pack per day habit and drank a lot of soft drinks). No one missed him for several hours and by that time he was deceased.

Doc - I was about your age when I had an similar experience, but did not realize the implications right away. I was a corporate comptroller / accountant then and my daily routine involved breakfast at McDonalds, caffeine, smoking, lunch at McDonald's, working late, cocktails on the way home, late dinner, and collapsing on the couch, etc.

Sneaking off to work one Sunday morning while the family was at church I starting feeling faint on the freeway and managed to pull over before completely blacking out. I don't know how long until a police officer was rapping on my window, assuming he had a drunk passed out or sleeping it off. When he realized that was not the case paramedics were called. They administered oxygen, checked my vitals, and could find nothing wrong but said I needed a complete check up right away. Never got around to it but later came to believe I had an stress related anxiety attack where the muscles cramp and momentarily cut off breathing. That is when I started to rearrange my priorities, although admittedly there was some backsliding in the fast food department, I did give up smoking, drinking to excess, and probably the most important, gave up the corporate world and taught myself a trade.
 
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