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Old 07-12-2012, 12:10 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Gypsy Jo View Post
Please anybody that thinks they are having a bad gas attack as Chuck describes go to the doctor or emergency room.
My best friend, S.O. past away on Saturday from an apparent heart attack .
He had had symptoms but he had always had gas problems . I even told him about Chucks experience He did not take it seriously.Now he's gone.

So PLEASE if you have the symptoms it is better to go to the Dr. even if it turns out to be a gas attack better save than gone.
Jo
I am so sorry Jo. We men seem to be a very stubborn breed of animal that refuses to listen to what our friends or our body is telling us. You tried though, and that is all you can do.

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I had a very similar experience, including the $10,000 15 mile helicopter ride (and the $600 3 mile ambulance ride). I've never smoked, don't drink, a little overweight but not obese, blood pressure on the high side of normal, exercised fairly regularly for years, yet I had a major lower left descending artery heart attack at age 56. Two important lessons I learned: 1) the number one risk factor for heart disease is heredity. If it runs in your family you're going to get it; the best you can do with diet and exercise is to delay the onset. If it runs in your family, you're in your 50's and you're NOT taking Plavix and Lipitor you need to ask your doctor why he hasn't prescribed them. 2) if you're walking uphill in San Francisco and having chest discomfort and running out of breath, and you look around and realize that no one else is having a problem, that should be a clue to get to the doctor BEFORE you have a heart attack and lose 25% of your heart muscle like I did.
Chest discomfort and running out of breath. Exactly what I felt just walking from my truck to the office. No hills. Why the heck do we ignore this killer?

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I saw that movie and almost had a heart attack myself! Keep away from those movies and take care!
Disney on Ice is as scary as I will watch from here on out!
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:46 PM   #44
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Chuck, thanks for posting this. Your message to pay attention to your body and get in to see a doctor when things are amiss is spot on. Growing up in the 50's in a military family with two brothers, one of the worst things in the world was to be labeled a "sissy". Men were to be men and complaining was left to the girly girls. It was a mindset that has not served many of us well. I have had three set backs and had I not gone in early, things could have been much worse.

1. At 45 I had spent a busy day gutting the basement rec room, tearing out walls and carrying buckets of lath and plaster outside. That night I was sore and noticed a lump under my arm pit. Since this was a new thing I went in to the doctor to have it checked and Bingo, it was breast cancer. Yep, I am one of the 1 percent of cases reserved to men. Because I acted so fast, I was able to avoid chemo and radiation although I did have to have surgery. That was 15 years ago.

2. After a great winter vacation and a big day of skiing, I returned to work on a Monday (Y2K) and could barely make it to my classroom without panting. I figured I had overdone the vacation and needed to rest. The next day wasn't any better and by Wednesday I figured I had some kind of cold since my lungs were not working so well. I had no pain, no fever or aches though. By Thursday I couldn't sleep laying down so spent the night in a recliner and decided that I would go to the doc after work on Friday. Well, my mitral valve had stopped working. The tethers holding it had broken and my blood wasn't really pumping, it was more like sloshing around. My lungs were filled with fluid and I didn't even have a pulse. You should have seen the look in the eyes of the doctor. Open heart surgery fixed that and I probably should have gone in earlier. I can't imagine what would have happened if I tried to wait this out.

3. My hearing has been bad for years and I have been wearing hearing aids. My right ear stopped working all of a sudden and I guessed that it was the aid that had malfunctioned. I went in to have it checked and they found a tumor growing in my head. It was large enough to be pressing up against my brain so we had to do something. If I had waited much longer, the consequences would have been more dire.

So....put the macho stuff on the shelf. When you experience something new, have it looked at. It doesn't matter what it is, things out of the normal are warning signs. Don't put this stuff off.

Thanks again Chuck and all that have posted. I lost a favorite uncle because he ignored his heart symptoms. He said he felt fine when he sat down so it couldn't have been that big a deal. Well it was and we don't have him at the family reunions any more.
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:17 PM   #45
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Chuck, my father had 2 "massive" coronaries when he was 57. He told me "I guess those pains were angina". The irony is he was a doctor. He didn't want to eat veggies but loved meat. He was always stressed and never exercised.

His cardiologist told him to retire and he did. He improved his diet a little and took walks and lived another 25 years.

Everyone I know of on that side of my family dies of heart attacks or strokes or both. I am a prime candidate.

I changed my diet radically nearly 40 years ago, exercise regularly, still am somewhat stressed (that's a family addiction). Tests always show a strong heart.

My conclusion is to watch your body carefully, avoid meat and eat fruit and veggies more, exercise and have more fun. It has worked for me. Even moderate changes worked for my father for a quarter century.

Exercise brings me muscle pain, sometimes in the chest. Asthma makes me short of breath at times. Self awareness is very necessary for me. The chest pain is on the surface, on top of my ribs, but I worry about whether it is underneath the ribs. I'd rather have a heart attack than cancer and may fear a stroke more than either. My wife has the heart of a 15 year old and people in her family live a very long time, so I'll have to work to keep up with her.

So, Chuck, you can live a long, long time with cardiovascular disease, and my father made it despite his terrible family history and poor eating and living practices.

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Old 07-12-2012, 06:14 PM   #46
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Fellow Streamers, Let me say that I appreciate you allowing me to share and I also appreciate reading your posts in return. It is cathartic. It is also the exact oppsite of what I would normally do. I joke and kid on here all the time, but rarely offer up insights to who I really am. I am a very private person so this is an odd situation I have placed myself in. I don't share, yet I am. I started this thread, I thought, to warn others. To make you aware of what my symptoms were and how easily they can be mis-interpreted. Mis-interpretation led me to inaction, and nearly led me to death. Cardiologist told my wife another half hour would have been too long. 30 minutes folks. So while I still feel like I am trying to warn others so you can avoid making the same stupid mistake (and yes, it was stupid), I also feel like it is helping me "Get a weight off my chest" (pun definitely intended!) Take care dear Streamers, and thanks for listening.
Chuck - Your entire thread is very good information. Thanks for taking us on your journey so we can learn too. I now have 7 stints, so I pay very close attention to what my body is telling me. I found the above paragraph a mirror reflection of myself. Thanks!! So gald to know you are on the mend!! You are lucky to have such a great nurse living there in your own home too!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:59 PM   #47
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So many others

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So....put the macho stuff on the shelf. When you experience something new, have it looked at. It doesn't matter what it is, things out of the normal are warning signs. Don't put this stuff off.

Thanks again Chuck and all that have posted. I lost a favorite uncle because he ignored his heart symptoms. He said he felt fine when he sat down so it couldn't have been that big a deal. Well it was and we don't have him at the family reunions any more.
Aftermath, great share. And I think this is what is all about. We need to change our attitude towards what is right when it comes to our health. Macho mentality does not apply to this! So sorry about your Uncle. That same thing is what was fooling me. When I sat down it went away.

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Everyone I know of on that side of my family dies of heart attacks or strokes or both. I am a prime candidate.

I changed my diet radically nearly 40 years ago, exercise regularly, still am somewhat stressed (that's a family addiction). Tests always show a strong heart.

My conclusion is to watch your body carefully, avoid meat and eat fruit and veggies more, exercise and have more fun. It has worked for me. Even moderate changes worked for my father for a quarter century.

So, Chuck, you can live a long, long time with cardiovascular disease, and my father made it despite his terrible family history and poor eating and living practices.

Gene
Gene, Did you just call me fat? (Kidding) Totally agree with you. In fact, I had started exercising and eating healthy about a month and a half before the first heart attack. Funny right? (Funny ironic, not funny ha ha) I had lost 11 pounds. (Now 17) The heart attacks simply emphasized what I already knew. I had let myself get way out of shape. But at least it is no hard task to change my diet since I had already done that anyway. I think your conclusion is spot on.

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Chuck - Your entire thread is very good information. Thanks for taking us on your journey so we can learn too. I now have 7 stints, so I pay very close attention to what my body is telling me. I found the above paragraph a mirror reflection of myself. Thanks!! So gald to know you are on the mend!! You are lucky to have such a great nurse living there in your own home too!!
Jim!, Holy mackeral! 7 stents? Amazing. A testament to modern medicine and your personal strength I guess. Sure are a lot of folks that have much worse experiences than I have. And yep, I have a very good nurse/counselor. Hope to see you soon.

So,
Got back from the cardiologist an hour or two ago. All good news. Backing off on some of the meds, sending me back to work (again). They are not real sure what happened with the last event but a spasm in an artery is a good bet. Kind of like a charley-horse in the heart. But the one little vein that was about 99% blocked is now only 80, so it got better.
Fellow Streamers, wouldn't it be nice to have it on the news in a couple years that "Those Airstreamers sure are a healthy bunch of folks!" So lets adjust diets a bit, walk a little more often, step it up some and plan on streaming that extra 25 years!

Oh, and it is good I am feeling better because it seems my neighbors are getting tired of my Airstream being in their driveway!
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:13 PM   #48
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Chuck - Your entire thread is very good information. Thanks for taking us on your journey so we can learn too. I now have 7 stints, so I pay very close attention to what my body is telling me. I found the above paragraph a mirror reflection of myself. Thanks!! So gald to know you are on the mend!! You are lucky to have such a great nurse living there in your own home too!!
Jim,

The only other problem is-You haven't quit smoking. You needled me about my cpap.... I followed through. The way I see it, you're up, bud
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:17 PM   #49
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Oh, and it is good I am feeling better because it seems my neighbors are getting tired of my Airstream being in their driveway! [/QUOTE]

Hey Chuck,

I'll give ya $100 bucks a foot for the trailer. After all, it DOES have some soft spots in the floor
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:49 PM   #50
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Dude, that is one good-looking dog!
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:58 PM   #51
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Hey Chuck,

I'll give ya $100 bucks a foot for the trailer. After all, it DOES have some soft spots in the floor
Soft spots, no way...you must have stepped in those places where Skye stores the sponges...
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:25 PM   #52
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I am an analyst by profession, so I love charts and numbers. (data to be more precise)

Sounds like you were data rich and information poor when it came to you heart.

Heres my story;
Watching the races on TV and started having chest pains DW looked at me and asked "are you OK ? you look pale. "NO I'm fine". Go into the bedroom and lay down to do a test. Nest time I have the pain I will raise my arms and move around see what happens, pain comes and as soon as it goes away I raise my arms and wiggle around and the pain comes back, I tell myself that was a dumb test I have to come up with something better to prove to myself I am not having a heart attack. Next pain came and was worse so I find DW and say take me to the hospital. Turned out to be acid reflux.
I decided I was lucky I should have assumed I was having a heart attack and gone to the hospital instead of trying to prove it wasn't.

If your post just gets one of us dumb/stupid men to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us and does the right thing you may have just saved a life.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:14 PM   #53
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Chick, diet changes are hard! Our bodies get used to a weight after a couple of years at that weight. When we cut back on foods, our metabolism slows down to keep the weight up. We are designed to eat when we can get food and keep weight on when we can't.

About a dozen years ago my weight started creeping up after a lifetime of eating anything I wanted and what I wanted was no meat and lots of veggies and fruit (and ice cream, cookies, potato chips, cake, beer….).

Finally, last Sept. I decided to do something and cut back on bread (Barb's suggestion) and some other foods, eliminate ice cream almost entirely and no more potato chips in the house. It has to be done gradually because hunger will drive anyone crazy. I've gradually cut back on cheese and eat smaller portions—it doesn't have to be much, but 10-15% less helps. Restaurants give so much food that we are making a point of bringing a lot home. I also love Diet Pepsi, but there is evidence the aspertame causes weight gain. I went from one/day to 2-3/week. I've lost 17 lbs. in 9 months and still losing gradually. This is the best way to lose weight as it is relatively painless, but, of course, some have to lose quickly for health reasons that are more urgent. We eat few processed foods and simple sugars as they don't fill us up and only add pounds.

How many obese people do you see who are over 70? Or maybe even 60?

So I don't know whether anyone is fat, but I know where it leads except for a rare few.

Gene
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:15 PM   #54
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Somewhat related - my father always told me that one of the few good things about being short is that you live longer - as he pointed out, you hardly ever see a tall old person.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:37 PM   #55
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Chuck, Outstanding discussion.

August 10, 2011 - Mowed the grass from 10-11:00am. Stopped the mower and walked up a little hill to the garage. Short of breath, tightness in the chest. A friend visited and we sat and talked for 15 minutes. He left and I put the mower away and walked up the same little hill with the same results.
My wife gave me two aspirins and I sat in the house a/c until the tightness went away. Called my doctor and he saw me the next am.

Blood thinners, stress test, read by cardiologist, & catherization all within the next 10 days.

Bad News - three blockages on the top and back of the heart. NO STENTS - referred to surgeon, office visit, surgery scheduled for August 31th. Four bypasses.

Good News - no heart attack. I received a very clear warning which I did not ignore. Surgery was successful. I am so much improved. Can do whatever I want.

Hindsight - shortness of breath walking up the same little hill in 2006, breathing had been my weakest body part. Legs and arms were strong enough to get me in oxygen debt. Stress test did not show up a major problem? Earlier had ultra sound test of various arteries in neck, legs, etc, all seemed fine. Should have had nuclear stress test!!!!!!

Analysis - Mother had bypasses at 74 (HEREDITY), overweight (222 LBS), 230 total cholesterol, 130 ldl, cannot take statins due to nerve problems, Eating a diet with 50-70grams of fat per day, 70 years old. IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF TIME.

Today - Weight 172lbs, 20 grams of fat per day, exercise to improve hdl, total chol 130, ldl 90, hdl 40, no red meat, fruits, veggies, grains, cereals (if it tastes good, spit it out)

Info - Heredity (heart trouble) on one side of family is important, on both sides it is critical. Weight (overweight), Diet, Exercise follow close behind.
Google "Dr. Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic". He has a 40 minute program on the net. Very informative for those who have had heart problems. I doubt other will be motivated enough to change to his life style.

BLOCKED ARTERIES ARE REVERSABLE WITHIN 3 YEARS TIME.

Sorry folks, need to get off my soapbox.
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:19 AM   #56
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Exercise

All of these stories point out to us that to live a long life (with good quality of life) will require a bit of due diligence on our part. I definitely believe that trying to make massive lifestyle changes all at once is hard and will often fail. I agree with Gene, slow and steady is the way to go if you do not have to make it for immediate medical concerns. Check out a free app for your phone called My Fitness Pal. It worked for me and gave me the info I needed to get started.
Garry, I had a similar experience a couple years back and it turned out to be acid reflux. That may have been what made me react so slowly this time. Dumb move on my part.
Wingfoot, I appreciate your soapbox. I tend to stand on them quite often, according to my DW. (She even has a pic of me in Old Williamsburg doing just that!) Thanks for sharing, and the cholesterol #'s are something I need to address as well. Bad one is good, good one is low. Exercise seems to be the only way to get that good cholesterol number up so, I am. (easier to do without frequent trips to the ER)

This makes me think of our rallys. At the last one I went to for our unit, one of our members had heart trouble and had to go in and be checked. Another of our members gave a heart talk to the group. And then the pot-lucks had every fat, sugary, salty food you could cook. It was awesome! But now I see, also not so smart.

So from now on our contributions to the rally pot-lucks will be much more in tune with what my heart requires. Bicycles may have to be added to the trips, and maybe those old walking sticks can come out of the closet a bit more often! I found another thread on here a while back about heathy dishes for the road. I need to look that back up again too.

So, the Silver Lining? My Airstream of course.
Less time sitting in my Zip Dee chair and more time hiking around is in my future. And the future looks bright!
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