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Sat, Aug 1 1:39pm · About to start Remicade infusions in Digestive Health

@skolotilin– It's been nearly 20 years now that my wife has had Crohns and has been on Remicaid. She has really done well on it and rarely has any issues related to Crohns. She eats well and does not stay away from spicey foods on occasion. No one can really say what the long term effects of being on this drug will be, but now at age 63 she is continueing to do very well.
If you have any specific questions about her experiences, please don't hesitate to ask. Jim @thankful

Thu, Jul 30 2:44pm · Klonopin taper in Depression & Anxiety

@helenfrances– I am on the sidelines applausing you, but it seems with all the info we've had from so many your titration from 1 pill a day to half still seems larger than is recommended? Jim @thankful

Wed, Jul 22 11:09am · What does it take to moving from low self-esteem - to self acceptance in Depression & Anxiety

@hopeful33250– I never give up hope on that! My brother who is the next oldest & I have a decent relationship and do talk or text frequently. He has decided to stay out of all of this and is very content with his own life and seems to not care about relationships with his siblings? For me the toughest part of all this is that my mom, who turns 90 this October and lives by herself about 2 hrs. from where I live is in the middle of all this. She is a peacemaker and try's to look on the bright side, but I know all this makes her weary.
We FaceTime nearly every other day especially during this virus and we have gone to see her and stay for 2 days on 2 occasions being very sensitive to somewhat distincing. We just spent last weekend with her and had a fantastic time together. She is in relatively good health and my wife & I decided to treat her to meals she often would never make herself, but that she loves.
Homemade pizza one night and grilled burgers the next. Yum!!
As I said I never will give up on rebuilding relationships with my siblings. I text them on occasion and always wish them Happy Birthday's or greetings on other holidays, etc. It is rare that I receive a response, but that is OK. I'm committed to continue.
Jim @thankful

Tue, Jul 21 12:17pm · What does it take to moving from low self-esteem - to self acceptance in Depression & Anxiety

@hopeful33250, @johnbishop– Being the oldest of five I have always read that helped a lot with self esteem. In my situation I have always felt that to be very true. Not that I felt I received special treatment, but being the 1st seems to always have given me a healthy outlook. Years later as all us siblings would often gather for holidays, etc. I started hearing stories from my siblings that were so very different than my recolections? For awhile I would think "Oh that must have happened when I had left for college", but then be told, no, that was when you were barely a teenager? It was as if I lived in another world!
I have always felt loved by my parents, but never to the point of unfairness.
I enjoyed doing jobs around the house whether it was keeping a clean room to helping with lawn cutting, leave raking, snow shoveling, etc. I took pride in doing a good job and was not seeking praise (although it was always nice to hear that I did a nice job).
So many of our friends years later couldn't believe that we as siblings would often vacation together and then it happened. The 1st divorce , then another and then my youngest brother who had really done well in his career got divorced and it relly split up us siblings. There were taking sides, etc. Now sadly we rarely speak. Such a shame!!
Fast forward to retirement for me. I had owned my own contracting business for over 40 years. Contact with clients and subs and running crews for me was always (mostly) very enjoyable.
I always remember my dad telling me to work on my hobbies so when I retire I have things to fall back on. That was not a problem in that I had many, but the one thing I never really thought of was how important all those interactions I would have every day played such a big part of who I am. Many of those interactions are gone now and I have realized how important they were in my life.
Fortunately we have 3 very close couple friends that we've known for about 40 years. We all met in a young marrieds class at the church we were going to at that time. Now we seem to have found different churches, but have continud to get together weekly for bible study, dinner outings and often vacations.
I feel very blessed, but am always reaching out to my siblings hoping we can restablish our friendships once again.
I'm determined to continue to write them often whether I ever hear from them.
Perhaps one day I will be surprised!
Jim @thankful

Sat, Jul 18 8:26pm · Post-CABG Exercise in Heart & Blood Health

@danab– Thanks Dana! I have also made lifelong friends there. It seems when we go through tramatic times and converse regularly we tend to let our hair down and actually get to know each other real well. Two of the guys still go to cardiac rehab and pay a small fee because of the comradery of the group and they figure if anything was ever going to happen they are in the right place!
I participate back at the gym I've gone to for many years, but when ever I find myself out near the hospital before 11:00 AM I always stop by to say hello. Jim @thankful

Thu, Jul 16 12:02am · Post-CABG Exercise in Heart & Blood Health

@jaguar737– Thanks for your kind words!
I too was 100% blocked in my LAD which they referred to the "widow maker". I don't think I ever realized how serious that was at the time. In fact I really didn't consider calling an ambulance, but decided to have my wife drive me to the ER. NOT VERY SMART!
I was the 1st one in my family even going back to great grandfathers that has had a heart attack. Non-smoker, exersice 3x week, active lifestyle and for the most part eat healthy. My job as a contractor was stressful and my cholesterol was a bit higher than it should have been, I'm sure that had something to do with it, but all in all feel very fortunate!
Jim @thankful

Wed, Jul 15 3:21pm · Post-CABG Exercise in Heart & Blood Health

@imccray, @amandaburnett– I can't say enough from my experience with Cardiac Rehab.
I had been regularly working out in a gym (Fitness Over Fifty) on a regular basis back prior to my heart attack in 2014 and was still working.
I had not the slightest signal that a HA was coming and that day I had just finished my regular workout and returned home to grab a quick bite before retuning back to my office. After getting cleaned up my wife had put out a lunch for me and as I was about to sit down a bit of dizziness then flushness came over me and decided to take a seat in the LR. My wife followd me in and knew something was up and asked was I alright. I said as crazy as this sounds I believe I was having a HA. In the end I had a stent placed in my LAD and was literally leaving the hospital a day later.
I started up Cardiac Rehab about 2 weeks later and because I was accustomed to much of the equipement they had it was relatively easy to get started.
The interns and other help made me feel very welcome! Several weeks earlier I wouldn't have given much thought of jumping on a Eliptical Trainer and going all out for 30 minutes getting my heart rate up to 160 and now I found myself very concerned if I might have another HA. Everyone wears a monitor and has a intern assigned to them. That monitor really helped me because after going through what I had I realized just the slightest little pain would cause me concern, but the intern was right there to assure me that things were fine. I was going 3x a week and began to see the regulars during those times and many of them became friends as we shared our stories together. They also had a Nutrictionist on site that we each met with to go over what our current diet was and how we could make changes that would really make a difference. The Nutrictionist recommended a book called Good Food, Great Medicene written by a Cardiologist and his sister internist Miles Hassell MD and Mea Hassell. A Mediterranean Diet & Lifestyle Guide for heart disease, stroke,type 2 diabetes and weight loss that is my go to book for wisdom and great recipes. (Available on Amazon). I highly recommend Cardio Rehab! It will give you the confidence we all need after going through what we have and hopefully spur each of us on to new diciplines that will add many more years of good health for us.
Jim @thankful

Wed, Jul 15 1:36pm · Research Progam involving repairing a heart valve with a Clip in Heart & Blood Health

@nw945, @amandabyrnett- Not sure How much I can add to this discussion. My experience was more from a widow maker type heart attack I suffered back in 2014. I had a 100% blockage in my LAD (left anterior decending) artery. A stent was used to open that artery, but I did as a result have heart tissue damage from the 100% blockage which was a diminished EF (Ejection Fraction).
I've been able to make some changes inmy diet and continue to exercise regularly and was still being told by my cardiologist that there wasn't much change in my EF (I was about 30%). I refused to let that get me down although I did spend a season feeling like "damaged goods", but continued exercising and eating right. After the 2nd annual Echo told my cardiologist there was still no change I decided to get a 2nd opinion at the Mayo in Scottsdale, AZ. After a full day of tests I finished with my cardiologist in the room with the Echo Tech to do a Stress Echo. The experience was tough, but after all was complete and we met in his office later that day he told me thatat my EF was probably more in the mid 40's and would get back to me once he was able to go over everything.
To my delight I heard back within 2 weeks and the results showed an EF that was more like 47%. I was elated!!
If I had any other medical issues I would not hesitate to get on a plane to the Mayo. Absolutely the best!!
@nw945, I wish you all the best as you continue to advocate for yourself. Jim @thankful