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Sep 19, 2018 · Surgery in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

A typical hospital stay is 5-6 days. Some people stay in the area for another day or two…it depends on how fast a healer he is and what kind of overall condition is he is in. I'm 55 and a good healer — I had a myectomy on July 23 and flew home to Dallas on July 28. It's nice to have a direct flight to keep the travel time down, but the flying wasn't a big deal….just a little awkward since you can't carry more than 5 pounds!

Mar 29, 2018 · HCM-ers: Introduce yourself or just say hi in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

I have an appt this afternoon and will reply as soon as possible.

Thanks, Mark

Mar 2, 2018 · Heart Rhythm Conditions – Welcome to the group in Heart Rhythm Conditions

 Hi, I I'm traveling this morning but should be able to respond to your message early afternoon.

Thanks, Mark

Feb 15, 2018 · Heart Rhythm Conditions – Welcome to the group in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Hi I'm Mark, I'm 54 and live in Plano, TX (near Dallas)…I guess I'm here because I want to know about pacemakers, but I might be the only one of the group that has no arrhythmia issues whatsoever. I'm considering a surgical myectomy to correct my hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The kicker is that this surgery typically gives you left bundle branch block, and I am so lucky to already have right bundle branch block! So unless my heart's electrical system gets real creative, I'll have a permanent pacemaker after surgery. That freaks me out a little because pacemakers and other devices are typically part of the "negative" outcomes for corrective procedures for HCM, but in my case it would just be expected. My cardiologist still says myectomy is the best course and I do believe him, but since the decision is irreversible, it's weighing heavily on me.

I don't know anyone with a pacemaker and I'm talking to people to understand how it would affect my quality of life. So far the feedback is very positive. I'm very active physically, play tennis, snow ski, etc. Hoping to get back to running after surgery. Thanks for any feedback!

Feb 26, 2018 · HCM-ers: Introduce yourself or just say hi in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

 Hi, I I'm traveling this morning but should be able to respond to your message early afternoon.

Thanks, Mark

Feb 15, 2018 · Heart Rhythm Conditions – Welcome to the group in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Hi Teresa,
I just wrote my introduction a moment ago — in a nutshell i don\'t have arrhythmia but may need a pacemaker as a result of heart surgery that I\'m considering. But for my condition, caffeine is disastrous on my heart, so I can certainly vouch for the fact that caffeine can have a dramatic impact on how the heart works….for some people, at least.

I also work for a cosmetic company and I can\'t tell you everything you need to know about caffeine in skin products, but I can dispel some myths about cosmetic ingredients:

Myth #1: The manufacturers of skin care products have done research on all the ingredients and fully understand all their effects on humans. FALSE — the only research they have done, is a) is the ingredient legal, b) are people getting sued over it, and c) will it make my product more marketable. Oh, and what will it cost, but see Myth #2:

Myth #2: If it\'s on the ingredient list, then the concentration is significant. FALSE — we often put ingredients in the formula at what\'s called a \"claim amount\" — so small that it probably has no impact on the product, but it shows up in the ingredient list — i.e. just there for marketing purposes. Caffeine is definitely one of those ingredients that MAY exist only at a claim amount. Ingredients are listed in order of weight percent, down to 2% or 1% (depending on what markets they sell into). All the ingredients below that magic 2 or 1% can then be listed in any order. Most cosmetic and beauty products have several ingredients above 2%…I can\'t say for sure, but ours typically have 4-8 ingredients above the threshold and then a large number of ingredients (usually more than half) at below the threshold. So caffeine could appear about 1/3 down the list and still not have a significant amount. Shocking, I know!

Myth #3: Caffeine on the skin is the same as drinking it. FALSE – your skin can absorb caffeine into the bloodstream, although the amount is debatable; what few legitimate studies have been conducted suggest that it isn\'t very much. Interestingly, caffeine may have lots of benefits that don\'t have anything to do with its stimulant effects…studies show that it may kill some cancer-causing cells and that\'s why some sunscreens include it. One researcher found that the amount one would have to use topically, in order to have the same efficacy on the skin as drinking coffee, would an enormous amount. One could argue that for someone who can\'t drink coffee and get the skin benefits would actually be the best candidate to use in a lotion because that\'s the only safe way to deliver it to the skin. And that\'s an example of how complex the question of ingredients in skin products can be. (see myth #4)

Myth #4: If a lot of websites say an ingredient is good or bad, then it\'s probably true. FALSE – there is an entire industry based on people with no scientific data making science-y sounding claims — they write articles that appear in major new sources, host blog sites, speak at consumer product forums, have Youtube videos, etc.. If you want to know if a product meets certain claims (moisturizing, color improving, non-greasy, etc.) those websites might of LIMITED usefulness — look for negative reviews to balance the positive ones. But if you want to know something that only scientific research can tell you, STAY AWAY from those websites. They need to quote research studies to talk about scientific stuff. I am frequently HORRIFIED with flatly false statements these people routinely say about ingredients — both good and bad — using \"science\" to support their statements, but having no real science behind it. A funny example is one blogger who said sulfates are harmful but sulPHates (with a \"ph\" instead of an \"f\") are completely safe. The actual truth is that British typically spell it with the PH and Americans use an F — they are the same thing!

My personal opinion is that if you don\'t drink caffeine, and therefore don\'t have any tollerance built up, that any skin care product that cause you to absorb enough caffeine to affect your heart would probably cause you to stay awake at night. If you found that on nights after using the product were consistently more sleepless than nights not using the product, that might be convincing that the product could be dangerous. But I doubt that vast majority of products that use caffeine would actually cause that.

Well, sorry that was so long — I\'ve never written that out before! Hope it helps!

Jan 23, 2018 · Pacemaker recipients. in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Thank you both! I am a little freaked out at the thought that my heart won’t beat at all without some little device directing it. I don’t know if the experience is different for someone that is “totally blocked” vs. one that kicks in when needed. I don’t understand how they respond to different conditions and what fine tuning is needed.

Jan 22, 2018 · Pacemaker recipients. in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Thank you, Teresa! Hello to you all. I don’t know a lot about how pacemakers work and how they respond to different conditions to manage the body’s blood flow needs. It’s not the procedure itself or questioning the need for it that is my dilemma, but simply understanding what a pacemaker for life means from a day to day standpoint as compared to a heart that doesn’t require a pacemaker. If you have any thougths to share I’d greatly appreciate them! Perhaps better to reply to my original post just a little above so that the background is included for anyone else reading. Thanks!!