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6 days ago · Terrified: Soon to have open heart surgery, so many questions in Heart & Blood Health

@harriethodgson1– Harriet, so happy for you! Nice to read a good outcome. Jim@thankful

Dec 31, 2019 · Coronary Calcium Score (Heart Scan) in Heart & Blood Health

@skypigg– Welcome aboard and so glad you found us! Quite the roller coaster you've been on! @bluesdoc– also been following you in your journey and would welcome any feedback you have on any of this.
All this CAC score posts have got me interested in getting mine done very soon. Back in 2014 I suffered a major HA w/o any real warning. I was eating well and exercising 1.5 hrs. 3x a week at the time. I was still working and would work out from 12:30 – 2:00 and after working out would come home to clean up and have a light lunch. This day was no different than any of the past and as I arrived home and was about to sit down for lunch I began to feel flush and a bit uneasy. I told my wife I wasn't feeling well and took a seat in the LR. Things progressed quickly with all the typical signs you read about when youre having a HA. I decided to chew on several low dose aspirins and we decided to drive up to the ER about a 20 min. drive. That was a real mistake! About a 1/3 of the way I was experiencing extreme pain and felt like I was going to pass out any moment. Once we arrived even though I went directly to the ER they started asking me all about billing questions until I finally in tears & incredible pain told the person I was having a HA!
They rushed me into a room right away and after the nurses tried to attend to my pain and make me comfortable a cardiologist entered and administered several tests. For some strange reason I was not "presenting" any real signs that I was having a HA?
The Dr. told my wife that they planned on admitting me and would probably do a stress test in the morning. I had now been there over 2 hrs. My wife decided to go home so she could grab a few things and text some friends about what was up and to pray!
Soon after a Echo Tech arrived and began to administer the procedure and after about 15 minutes he left the room and returned with the Cardiologist. Things moved rather quickly at this point and I barely had time to get a call off to my wife to let her know they were wheeling me off to the Cath Lab. After now being there for 4 hrs. I received a single stent for a 100% blockage in my LAD.
I was soon wheeled into a room and one of the accompanying Drs. told me how fortunate I was because I had survived the "Widow Maker"! I tell you this story only to say that I never had any warning signs other than high cholesterol that I was taking a 40 mg generic for Lipitor. No family history of HA's. One of the consequences of this was a low EF (ejection fraction) of 35.
My Cardiologist told me that often we grow added blood vessels over the next year and that the EF improves.
Since I went through Cardiac rehab and then back to my workouts I planned to do everything I could to improve upon my EF.
A year later they did another Echo and the Cardiologist told me there was no improvement. I was totally bumed!
2 years later this was still weighing on me. I felt great and continued to eat well and exercise. Since I was on the Mayo site I decided to make a appt. in Scottsdale AZ. that spring of 17 for a 2nd opinion. I was scheduled for a whole series of tests which ended with a Stress Echo. The Cardiologist that I was working with was there for all the tests and in the room the whole time the Echo was being administered. It was like having a coach on my side encouraginging me to push myself while he looked at 2 monitors.
In my cardio at the gym I could never break 137 bpm mostly because being on a Beta Blocker, but the Dr. was asking can I go higher and I pushed my self even harder. We ended with the tredmill at a incline of 14 and a speed of about 6. something and 155 bpm.
They got excellent pictures and I met with the Cardiolgist about a hr. later. He told me he would need to do some more work, but he felt based on what he saw that my EF was more in the mid 40's. 2 weeks later I received a personal email from him saying that I was at a EF of 47. I was elated!! He put me on Rosuvastatin 20 mg. in hopes to bring my LDL down below 70. I was at 87 at that time.
Six months later I had new blood work and my LDL was a 65.
I plan to return to the Mayo this spring for a CAC test and am hoping for the best!
Jim @thankful

Dec 28, 2019 · Meditation for anxiety in Depression & Anxiety

@artscaping– Thank you Chris! I would be fine with that and hope I can find something such as you describe!
Much Joy and Good Health in the New Year. Jim @thankful

Dec 28, 2019 · What is your anxiety like? in Depression & Anxiety

@nancyrc– Sorry to hear about your dilemma! That does sound wonderful, but I can understand. I've dealt with anxiety issues for many years and have been on 1 mg. of Clonazepam for most of those years which has helped me immensely!
I find that whenever we leave home even for a welcomed vacation or even a holiday visit as we are on now to see our kids/grandkids, that I'm always a bit uneasy or worse. Being home I find is always settling for me. I have my routines and even though I really enjoy seeing are kids it is clearly not the same.
I hope you are able to find just the right medium and scrip that you tolerate well and enjoy the many beautiful sites we have hear in the good ole USA. Jim @thankful

Dec 28, 2019 · Meditation for anxiety in Depression & Anxiety

@artscaping, @mostlybill– I appreciate your comments on restorative yoga. My wife participates in the same at our local fitness center and has encouraged me to also participate in the men's class. I've been somewhat turned off from what my my wife has shared with me in what the philosophies that seem to be promoted in these classes where as she seems to be able to tune those things out and focus on the restorative aspects of yoga. She is very different in that way than me, but perhaps there is hope as in both your posts I'm not hearing that yours promotes eastern philosophies but more the restorative aspects of yoga?
I'd be very open to hear your recommendations as I consider finding a yoga class to participate in. Thanks much! Jim@thankful

Nov 23, 2019 · Encouraging others by letting them know I’ve made it: Meet @johnhans in About Connect: Who, What & Why

@johnhans– Thank you Johnhans. Here's one of my favorite vs. John 14:27 NIV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
I have always cherished knowing He is near and knows what is befalling us. Just as a child loves to hear their farther's (parents) voice I take real joy knowing He hears us and comforts us. May His Peace be over you today and always.
Jim @thankful

Nov 23, 2019 · Encouraging others by letting them know I’ve made it: Meet @johnhans in About Connect: Who, What & Why

@johnhans– Thankyou for giving us a glimpse of another side of you. It's been clear to me for the last few years that that you add so much to our conversations with a very sincere empathy for others. I would agree with you that we are stronger together as a community and when one falters we are here for each other to lift them up. Pretzels are my weakness! My wife insists that I grab a small bowl and leave the bag in the pantry 🙂
Thank you for being part of the Connect community. Jim@thankful

Nov 15, 2019 · 100% blocked artery in Heart & Blood Health

@capper– Back in 2014 I had a HA which came out of nowhere. I was working out 3x a week and still working. I came home from a typical workout ready to cleanup, eat a late lunch and head back to work. I started feeling somewhat faint and then all the typical side effects with pain radiating down my left arm and then across my chest. Even though I would say I was certain I was having a HA that seemed so far fetched that my wife & I decided to take the 20 mim. drive
up to the ER to get checked out. Bad idea! Halfway up there my pain was at a high 10 and I felt very sick. After getting admitted, I was given several typical tests and for some strange reason I was not registering as though I was having a HA. The ER Dr. told my wife they would admit me and schedule a stress test in the morning. My wife headed home to grab a few things and meanwhile a Echo Tech came in and got started and about 10 min. in walked out of the room and returned with the Cardiologist. Things moved along swiftly from that point. Within the next hr. I had 1 stent placed in my LAD (left anterior descending artery). I was told I was very fortunate because although I was in very good shape I had just had what they called "The Widow Maker" with 100% blockage in my LAD.
I would highly recommend a stress echo because they are far more conclusive of blocked arteries. Don't Delay on this @capper! Jim @thankful