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Old 05-29-2019, 03:13 PM   #1
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Heart attack, near miss

My wife, Cindy, and I had spent April on the east coast of Fl. from St.Augustine to Port St. Lucie. We were heading back to NJ on the morning of April 30. I told the DW that I didn't feel 'right'. Nothing I could put my finger on, just not right. We got into Ga. and decided to pull into the welcome center. I didn't have any of the 'classic' heart attack symptoms but I knew something wasn't right.
Got inside the welcome center, walked to the counter and asked the young lady to call me an ambulance. The EMT's were there within 5 minutes, had me wired for an EKG, told me I was having an heart attack. What do I want to do was the question, hospital was the answer.
Strapped to a gurney, loaded in the ambulance and off we went My wife got to ride shotgun (80-85 mph back to Jacksonville) They told me I was going to a teaching hospital (UF/Health) so the ER would be very busy, it was. Within 30 minutes of arrival I was getting a stent through my right wrist. The doctors told me I had a 'massive' heart attack. Had 100% blockage on the right side of my heart and 75% on my left. I got the second stent Thursday and was discharged Friday.
I'm passing this along as a heads up to all of us who are getting on in years, I'm 74. I had none of the classic sighs, I was VERY lucky. It would have been a mess had I had an issue at 60-65 mph. I'm a lucky guy.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:25 PM   #2
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Get well soon!
Thanks for posting this report and a heads-up to all of us. At the age of 72, I'm paying attention!
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:26 PM   #3
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Wow! Very glad to hear your "event" ended up the way it did. That was smart of you to decide to pull off the road when you did.

You still get to write more pages in your lifes book. Congratulations!
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:29 PM   #4
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Hope your recovery is swift and complete and you are able to get back to camping. Blessings to all.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:35 PM   #5
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Wow. Great you decided to seek help and it was available. Many tend to dismiss things as a bad day. Hope and prayers that you return to the "day prior" condition.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:38 PM   #6
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Glad you are ok. Out of curiosity, do you do annual physicals? Not sure if they would catch anything like this which is what I am concerned with. I do but since my mom has had heart attacks as well, I just went in for some heart ultrasound workups including stress tests. My family practice Dr says they are a waste of time for someone like me but I did them anyway since they were free for me. I am 60 and do long distance cycling so I am pretty fit but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have a problem due to genetics.

A teaching hospital is a great place to go to. When our friends retire and move away from CA or even within CA, we always advise them to try to live within an hour of a medical teaching university.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:29 PM   #7
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Glad to hear you caught it in time. Hope your recovery is quick and you're back on the road soon.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:13 PM   #8
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Super glad to hear you are OK.

I am a "Survivor" as well.

Unfortunately no stents, just a a quad bypass. I can thank my Dad for the genes that causes Coronary Artery Disease. Luckily I was at home which is only a dozen miles from a well recognized cardiac center in the local hospital.

Also luckily my problem was caught early. Only bad note on that is that due to an encounter with "V-Fib" while they were trying to insert a stent in my main artery I suddenly became "High Risk" and had to spend the next 8 days in the hospital. My surgery kept getting bumped and ended up being 4 days after I was admitted because others in worse shape were taking my slot in surgery.

In the end I was home 4 days after Surgery and have recovered beyond my Dr's expectations. I got the message from this that life is meant to be enjoyed and I intend to do so to the max.

Get out there and do the same.


Oh yeah, if you have any really bad habits it might be a good idea to lose them.

I had a guy working for me that smoked quite a bit, loved his food and drink. Wasn't really overweight but wasn't really active either. He had a mild attack and the Dr's installed a couple stents. He kept smoking and the rest.

After he quit and went into business for himself I was talking to him on the phone one day when he told me that he was "on the patch" trying to quit smoking. He found the patch annoying and would take it off, have a cigarette, then put the patch back on.

When I retired I lost track of him but then found from a mutual friend that his smoking finally won. He'd died from a massive heart attack.

You'd be amazed at the number of bad habits (according to the Dr's anyway) I've found less important than life. This fall is my second anniversary for the CABG and I intend to celebrate as many more as the creator gives me.

PS: my mini-rant is directed more to the smokers out there. Smoking was a major factor in my wife's passing as well as my former employee (and friend).

I'm sure some flames will be coming my way but I won't be using them to light up.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:21 PM   #9
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Yep..............


Left Anterior Descending Myocardial Infarction, July 14, 2004............almost 15 years ago. This cool sounding name is otherwise known as "The Widowmaker". Only 4% of those who have it, live. I lived.


Two stents. Didn't have bypass, it would not have worked.....the damage was in the part of heart where the artery is largest, and bypass wouldn't have re-routed blood flow.....just laws of physics. So they put in 2 stents.


And I'm chasing Mama, and living well. In fact, it's 49 years for us, tomorrow. Every day is a gift.


It DOES start "funny". I worked at home, and sat down to sign on to computer, eat my cereal.....at 8:00 a.m. Cereal tasted funny. Bad. Soon, an elephant was pounding on my chest.


Do the rehab. And don't live like I do afterwards. Do what they tell you.



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We spent winter in Melbourne. Drove to Jupiter for a few Cardinal games. Great area.


OH....one "sign".....I'd had almost perfect B/P all my life. But that whole spring, it kept going up. Got to around 160/110. (Now with medicine it's 115/68 most of the time). So do monitor your B/P.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:28 PM   #10
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Mr. RVPP,


Sincerely glad this life event had the best possible outcome. My mother was a cardiac train wreck, my father completely the opposite. No clue yet which genes I got but I worry about this daily. My biggest fear is having something like this happen at 65MPH pulling the 5er. I don't have any real bad habits other than my Red Wine commitment (Napa Valley depends on me) so your experience is encouraging that maybe I'll get the yellow flag also. Full and speedy recovery, thanks for the heads up.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:47 PM   #11
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Having just gone through an emergency with my wife, (luckily at home and the EMTs caught on to what was happening before I did), I understand how lucky you (and we) are.

She was complaining her knee gave out and I was trying to get her on her feet, but with my issues, she was too heavy for me. I finally (over her protests) called 911 for some help getting her into bed, and they immediately transported her to the stroke center here. Once they started talking to her it was obvious.

She recovered great and has most of her strength on her left side back and has no permanent damage.

She was very lucky.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TitanMike;2106939PS
: my mini-rant is directed more to the smokers out there. Smoking was a major factor in my wife's passing as well as my former employee (and friend).

I'm sure some flames will be coming my way but I won't be using them to light up.
Totally agree. Too many of my friends smoke and are gone now. I have one friend who is just over 40, smokes, had a heart attack and started smoking again!

I try to ride my bike over 100 miles per week. Walk 11K to 15K steps a day with my fitbit monitor and do tons of hiking. I want to be riding my bike when I am 80.

My brother died at 53 from a stroke because of diabetes. My dad got dementia at 80. I retired in my late 50s because of them.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:20 PM   #13
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Thank you for sharing this, it's a good thing you were able to get to proper care in time.
I have a good friend with a family history of cholesterol problems, and he was no exception. Even though his GP and cardio specialist (both exceptional docs) were able to keep his numbers in check, he still had problems after feeling "not right" one day. He went to the ER, and they scheduled him for quadruple bypass the next morning. He was in good shape and generally healthy, and only 50 years old, but nearly died.
To those that have the means, don't play guessing games with health care, especially in the later years. I know it goes against the unwritten male code of "there's nothing wrong with me", but our innards know better. I have the same docs as my still alive and kicking friend and they take good care of me, getting my hypertension and cholesterol under control. I have annual physicals and 6 month labs and follow-ups, my DW is an RN and keeps on me about it.
Controlling my affinity for fine food (I'm an above-average cook) and even finer microbrews? Well, that's up to me!
Thanks again for sharing your story, hopefully your experience will have a positive affect on others.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:11 PM   #14
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Mr. RVPP,


Sincerely glad this life event had the best possible outcome. My mother was a cardiac train wreck, my father completely the opposite. No clue yet which genes I got but I worry about this daily. My biggest fear is having something like this happen at 65MPH pulling the 5er. I don't have any real bad habits other than my Red Wine commitment (Napa Valley depends on me) so your experience is encouraging that maybe I'll get the yellow flag also. Full and speedy recovery, thanks for the heads up.
If you're driving down the road at the FIRST indication you arent feeling well.

Mine started out with some major sweating and a feeling at the lower part of my sternum like I'd had too much coffee or the pizza I'd had for lunch was "repeating". That was the very first sign and it got worse from there.

In my case I was having an ischemic(pronounced "iss-KEY-mic) event which is a lot like a "Charley Horse" only in the heart muscle instead of your leg muscles.

Even if you arent sure, call 911. The EMT's and Paramedics would rather get to their patients sooner than later. Even if it's not a cardiac event they won't chew you out.

Also, if they suggest you go with them to the ER, DO IT.

Also, I was home alone when mine hit. When i decided it was the real deal unlocked front door and grabbed wallet (ID and Medicare Card) while dialing 911.

When you call 911 they're coming in regardless of locked door or not. Less to repair if unlocked
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:19 PM   #15
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Totally agree. Too many of my friends smoke and are gone now. I have one friend who is just over 40, smokes, had a heart attack and started smoking again!

I try to ride my bike over 100 miles per week. Walk 11K to 15K steps a day with my fitbit monitor and do tons of hiking. I want to be riding my bike when I am 80.

My brother died at 53 from a stroke because of diabetes. My dad got dementia at 80. I retired in my late 50s because of them.
My Dad died at 58, when I was 19. I'm 4 years short of 80 and have no plans to quit then. Gave up smoking long ago and only 20 lbs heavier than when I got out of the Army.

Maybe the "jumper cables" they added to my "pump" will get me closer to the age my mother lived to. She died in 2015 at 99, just short of her 100th birthday.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:23 PM   #16
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Been there, done that and age doesn't matter. Had my first heart attack at 43. My L.A.D
was 100% blocked. 4 more over the next 5 years and none had identical symptoms. Glad you're okay
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:47 AM   #17
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Heart Attack

I'm glad my post had the desired affect.

An aside, my dad forgot to wake up ten days short of 66. I retired at 55, now 74 and hopefully I've got a few more.

One more thing, if you don't have a dog is it still ok to take an afternoon nap?
Be well my friends.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:13 AM   #18
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Congratulations from (another) survivor

I'm so happy things turned out well for you.

Five years ago, at the end of a cycling season with 1,300 miles YTD and 13 summits hiked (including Mt Washington), I felt a burning pain in the middle of a 20-mile ride - heart attack. I waited for it to pass, then rode the last 10 miles. Not the smartest thing I've ever done.

Two weeks later, I had 6 bypass - my arteries were so blocked that an attempt to install stents was unsuccessful.

I never smoked, my blood pressure is normal and so is my cholesterol level… never saw it coming.

I've seen two types of reaction after a heart attack - depression and panic attacks, or a rush desire to live every day to the fullest. You're clearly going for the latter, enjoy!
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:44 AM   #19
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It is fantastic that you were able to get medical help. I have a kidney transplant, so get routine checkups, including cardiac checks. Imagine my surprise when I went in recently and the tests showed "small cardiac infarction in left medial area." Apparently, a "silent" heart attack is also a thing. The problem is that having one heart attack is correlated with having more!

The word I'm getting from my doctors is pay attention to potential symptoms-- then act if something seems off.
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:41 PM   #20
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Also, I was home alone when mine hit. When i decided it was the real deal unlocked front door and grabbed wallet (ID and Medicare Card) while dialing 911.

When you call 911 they're coming in regardless of locked door or not. Less to repair if unlocked
When I did my first aid class, the instructor told us to basically the same if you're ever alone and choking. He said dial 911 and leave it off the hook (i.e. don't hang up). Then go outside and lay down on the porch because you'll surely pass out before they get there.

As for RVPP, what an amazing story. Good for you listening to your body! I can only imagine the lady's reaction when you told her to call you an ambulance.

I'm glad you've come out the other side with a good outcome!
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