@bakerwise– Great topic! As for me, I suffered a major HA back in 2014 and although I was eating the right foods & exercising 3x a week the only thing we could come up with is that genetics played a roll in all of this. I learned that my grandfather on my mothers side had had a HA back in the early 60's at the age of 66 and back then they just treated him mostly with diuretic's and he lived into his late seventies.
I think the biggest thing for me was the mental aspects of all this! I went through cardiac rehab soon after my HA and that went well and moved right back into exercising again as before, but I struggled with what I called "damaged goods" syndrome. After my HA my EF (ejection fraction) was about 35% (normal would be somewhere between 65-75%). I was told that often within the 1st year HA patients will grow additional blood vessels into the damaged area of the heart and the EF usually improves. Well after exercising and continued good eating habits, I was pumped for my 1 year appt. and the results of the upcoming Echo. Well, bottom line was no difference! I had set myself up for some real positive news only to hear in my opinion the opposite! I hit bottom for days and decided I was not going to let this control me and so I continued my exercising, etc. I felt great physically, but in the back of my mind was this haunting!
Last year on our regular trip down to Tucson in April I decided earlier in the year to make an appt. at the Scottsdale Mayo on the tail end of our vacation. I was scheduled for about 5 tests throughout the day with a Stress Echo as the last test of the day. I was seeing a wonderful cardiologist there named Dr. Lynch. He was a hands on doc who was a great listener and was in on just about every phase of even the simple tests that day. When it came to the Stess Echo, he stayed in the darkened room throughout the entire test and while I was up on the treadmill he was right behind me like a coach encouraging me all the way. I had not be able to get my heart rate much past 138 in my cardio sessions at the gym even though I pushed myself, but this day as Dr. Lynch was monitoring me he said "can you go more"?
I felt great and answered yes. He pushed 2 levels past and we ended with a speed of 8 and an elevation of 16. My heart rate got to 155 and I felt like I was running up a mountain! As they had me pop down on the bed for the "stress side of the echo" between Dr. Lynch and the tech they were really excited and kept saying wow, great pictures, good work! Well, as we met in his office soon after this test, he told me that he estimates that my EF was now more like 50+%! I was so… exzillerated by this news and asked how could this change come 3 yrs. later? Dr. Lynch said "well, either the earlier echo's were wrong or more likely you just took longer to grow those new blood vessels".
That was the best experience I ever went through! That experience made me want to continue to work harder and my outlook has totally changed! We must stay optimistic! I knew more than ever that God was not done with me and each day I'm Thankful!