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I felt it creeping up on me slowly at first. Thud-thud-thud inside my chest. Suddenly it stood up, lunging at me and becoming a huge monster, swinging a sharp ax trying to cut its way out by the middle of my chest. I did not realize what was happening and laid back on my bed and just absorbed the pain. A wild excruciating death trumpet blaring in my ears as the monster flailed its ax to chop its way out...I knew that I was in deep trouble. I mean I knew I was in deep shit.

I was then that I realized it was the grim reaper`s death signal that was fighting to climb into bed with me, a chilling time as I felt I could not take the pain any longer. I sounded the alarm.

My son transported me to ER early Wednesday morning and I was admitted at Aurora St lukes around 9:30 a.m. as it was quickly determined that I had signs of heart trouble.

Cardiac technicians confirmed after tests that indeed I had suffered a massive cardiac arrest.

I am now recuperating at home this Monday morning. It is sunny outside but inside of me it is so dark.  I am not the same Ole Texan you have come to know through the years I have been here. A new life was basically handed to me as I left the hospital. I do not know if I want to accept this new existence, one changing my whole lifestyle that includes what I eat, how I walk and breath are just a few of the reward nuggets I get for surviving.

It is now July 1st in the morning and I am in a rage with myself. I am struggling to type and decipher my own message. I have seen and read of so much pain and sufferings here at Daily Kos and I could not bring myself to add to that. It is my loyalty however, to the community that tells me to confide with you by telling what follows. Maybe some one here will learn from my mistake.

I arrived back home this past Friday around 6: 00 p.m., with a mountain of rules and regulations typed on booklets and memos that I must read and follow for the rest of my new life. Plus, take my medications for life -- or die....Just like that, in my face. I am fuming because in my whole life I never took an aspirin. Now I must take one for the rest of my life, every day without excuses -- or die.

In addition, I now have to take four different life-saving pills daily to accompany that aspirin. Does that suck, or what?

My family noticed my change immediately and tried to talk sense to me. They knew I was totally broken and I was trying to isolate myself from even the day light, relegating my time enclosed in my bedroom pretending to be reading or watching t.v...Brooding, feeling deep unhappiness of thought that my life was now slowly ebbing away.  Then I realized that my lovely wife knows me better than I know myself. She has now brought me back down from my high stupid and wobbly horse. I think I will be O.K. now.

Note the arrogant tone I use in my first paragraph above. I based that on my confusion when the pain was being dished out to me by the monster with the ax. I always had the wrong perception of a heart attack. If you are like me in this situation, please listen up.

When one thinks of a massive heart attack, the first thing that comes to mind is that attack that downs and kills a person before they hit the floor. At least that is how I always envisioned in my mind a massive heart attack striking a victim. That is not the case in all stricken patients as I have learned. I want to pass this along to those who do not understand the symptoms and the underlying factors of how this deadly monster strikes, with or without an ax.

I was transported in emergency mode freaked out completely on a wheel chair towards the Cardiac unit of the hospital last Wednesday morning. I was freaking out because the transporter driving the wheel chair was racing down the halls with my son in hot pursuit. I was not in pain. In fact I had felt no pain the whole way when I was being driven to the hospital by my son. To give you an idea of my past perception of a heart attack, at this point I did not know that I had indeed suffered a massive heart attack during the time I was laying on my bed taking that beating by the monster inside of my chest.

One of the first questions put to me by the Cardiologist who examined me on arrival was whether I was in pain. I told him the truth. I was not and in fact I told him that the pain was now gone.

Nonetheless, these people know things I did not. I was surrounded by nurses staff and strapped with heart monitors on my chest. An IV needle was injected into a vain in my hand with the tube line hooked to a hanging blood thinning solution bag and told to lie still on a bed.

Other nurses drew blood for further tests. I answered in the affirmative when asked if I had felt weak with a shortness of breath anytime near to when I felt my chest pains. Having taken the necessary blood and an xray of my chest (placing the cold slab) on my back for the xray, my son was told that I would be taken care of.

My son was worried and I could easily see that. I told him I would call as soon as I could. He left and I settled in for my stay at the hospital and wait for the results of the tests.  

I had been in the hospital several hours absent of any pain. The Cardiologist came into my room. He told me that I had suffered a heart attack. Now I really freaked out.

The tiredness and loss of breath troubles I experienced were signs of heart trouble known as Angina he told me. He would arrange for me to undergo an echocardiogram stress testing, or a nuclear scan that would show problems that occurred when my heart went into trouble.

On Thursday Cardiologists had already determined that I needed to undergo a Cardiac procedure called Cardiac Catheterization and subjected me to the appropriate medications for the job that would correct my blocked blood vessels in my heart.

The echocardiogram test on a heart involves a technique similar to a woman`s test when she looks into a monitor to see a fetus. In my case I could see my heart pumping and the technician developing areas of concern for the Cardiologist to use when he performed the upcoming Caridac Catherization at 2:00 p.m. that same Thursday.

At exactly 2:00 p.m. Thursday I was wheeled on a rolling bed from my 5th floor room down into what I perceived to be the basement of this now monumental hospital. Upon entering the Cardiac Catherization (Cath Lab) spacious room, I was wheeled aside where I was to wait for operations to begin. Talk about feeling freaked out! I just knew I would die that day.

As I was moved close to the large monitors that the Cardiologist has set up to see a patients heart during surgery I was totally overwhelmed by the size and cleanness of everything I saw. I was already aware and prepared for what was to follow here as I was placed on my back on an xray table that is used for this procedure.  I had been appropriately coached by nurses and hospital staff to what was expected. I had no choice.

Soon I saw the Cardiologist who I had met briefly on two occasion during my stay on the 5th floor. He explained what he was about to do.

The nursing staff working with him cleaned and shaved the area around my groin. It is here that the Cardiologist was to enter into my heart from my groin, up through a large vein and all around the heart. Some of my blood vessels were blocked and the heart was not getting sufficient oxygen and I was dying, slowly buy surely.

The areas in my heart that were blocked and blood not running smoothly, had to be cleared.

The doctor told me that he would numb the spot where he would insert a sheath into an artery in my groin. The only pain or discomfort I felt during all of this is when the sheath was inserted and slid up into the large vein through a small cut in my groin. When it was all in, several inches long and in the vein, a catherer is slid over a guide wire. The guide wire is then inserted into the sheath and threaded through the blood vessels to the heart.

Coronary Angiography is a way of taking x-ray pictures of the arteries in the heart. X-ray die is injected into the arteries through the catherer. This allows them to show up on x-rays. Several images showing the locations of any blockages.

In my case it was decided to unblock two arteries and place a stent on each location of blockage by sending a balloon into the arteries. The balloon is inflated and unflated one of more times to open the artery. This is followed by placement of a stent. As you may know, a stent is a meshed wire that fits inside a blocked vein. It is sent by way of the caterer in a small balloon inflated to correspond in size with the blocked artery. Once inside the artery the balloon is removed and the stents will remain inside of my arteries for as long as I live.

Basically, what transpired in this new Ole Texan`s story is that my blood clotted heart is now repaired, clean and churning like new once again, or so the Cardiologists assured me.

It has now been since this past Friday that I am unable to accept that it has come down to this for me. Aside from my required medications, I need to keep my blood pressure in check. I have had high blood pressure for as long as I can remember. It has now come home to roost also.

I have to keep my weigh in check on top of everything else. I have to look for a cheap digital scale soon. I also have to (as in emergency) locate and buy a Sphygmanometer! My blood pressure depends on me to continue on my voyage.

But I am good. Believe me. Ole Texan is going nowhere soon.

Despite feeling barren, brooding and feeling deep unhappiness of thought that my life is now slowly ebbing away. Everything is O.K. here at my home. I have a strong family who is supporting me. Because I know, that they know -- that only one ole Texan will ever live.

I cannot close this diary without acknowledging my great appreciation to the nursing staff that worked side by side with the Cardiologist to assure that I lived to write this. If I  felt it appropriate to name those folks I would gladly do so. I do not have permission as I never even thought I would get this far, so I did not ask.

P.S. I am pressing the publish button now. I may not be here to maintain this diary this evening as I feel a bit tired. I promise I will however as soon as I can.


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  •  Tip Jar (242+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zerelda, dov12348, k6007, marzook, Gooserock, 3goldens, FloridaSNMOM, cosette, AuntieRa, hayden, elmo, Publius2008, mkor7, Susan from 29, jfromga, psnyder, JFinNe, Wee Mama, Rileycat, maryabein, Polly Syllabic, Mr Robert, bartcopfan, Blue State 68, MKinTN, belinda ridgewood, second gen, Rusty SpikeFist 2, tom 47, mikeconwell, Catte Nappe, sodalis, on the cusp, One Pissed Off Liberal, venger, missLotus, tgypsy, texasmom, myboo, Lily O Lady, pdxteacher, 420 forever, Matt Z, No one gets out alive, Kitsap River, Youffraita, sunny skies, Ojibwa, gmats, gerard w, NYFM, xxdr zombiexx, flumptytail, Proud Mom and Grandma, kingneil, citisven, brentut5, lunachickie, jennyp, slowbutsure, vahana, edwardssl, jayb, Kevskos, Raggedy Ann, lexalou, Ekaterin, Steven D, nzanne, nyceve, cmoreNC, xynz, Little, sobermom, indubitably, dangoch, tardis10, 4Freedom, wonderful world, SteelerGrrl, Radiowalla, Blue Bell Bookworm, exNYinTX, Wonton Tom, scribeboy, savano66, CJB, luckylizard, DrLori, congenitalefty, earicicle, dewtx, GDbot, S F Hippie, Deep Harm, brook, gramofsam1, Its a New Day, Demeter Rising, TexMex, SaraBeth, temptxan, Ian S, wayoutinthestix, itzadryheat, Steveningen, doingbusinessas, trumpeter, bglv, chuco35, MarkInSanFran, Persiflage, Showman, kurious, greengemini, martini, jeanette0605, KayCeSF, Joieau, Sandy on Signal, Heavy Mettle, sow hat, T Maysle, cowchief, Regina in a Sears Kit House, marleycat, ArchTeryx, high uintas, cotterperson, cyncynical, houyhnhnm, thenekkidtruth, Naniboujou, FarWestGirl, weatherdude, MrSandman, PsychoSavannah, peachcreek, Yo Bubba, SadieSue, annan, Aunt Pat, quaoar, marina, PapaChach, Chun Yang, linkage, nuclear winter solstice, OldSoldier99, Actbriniel, Mlle L, 42, lgmcp, Tunk, Shrew in Shrewsbury, politik, klompendanser, SharonColeman, Mother Shipper, jeff in nyc, Siri, Miggles, kaliope, Just Bob, ItsaMathJoke, collardgreens, Brooke In Seattle, BRog, ruleoflaw, Ice Blue, ER Doc, BusyinCA, Libby Shaw, TheGreatLeapForward, verdeo, pvasileff, bakeneko, kathny, broths, historys mysteries, SueM1121, Onomastic, fumie, catly, lotlizard, qofdisks, wader, cantelow, cv lurking gf, worldlotus, RubDMC, roadbear, alrdouglas, bleeding blue, shopkeeper, murphy, Chinton, radical simplicity, Fury, ceebee7, dotdash2u, ladybug53, DebtorsPrison, kishik, TiaRachel, timewarp, BlueMississippi, flavor411, Dbug, greycat, expatjourno, Sara R, joynow, Lying eyes, Belle Ame, AaronInSanDiego, edrie, mofembot, northsylvania, Eileen B, HeyMikey, Bernie68, Lujane, lineatus, pfiore8, SneakySnu, nswalls, OleHippieChick, aravir, Pandoras Box, MuskokaGord, tommymet, ImpeachKingBushII, anodnhajo, Creosote, vtjim, Loudoun County Dem, Oh Mary Oh, Tinfoil Hat, Eowyn9, War on Error, BvueDem

    Old men tell same old stories

    by Ole Texan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:58:45 PM PDT

  •  Red pepper is good for the heart. (22+ / 0-)

    If you like it, increase the amount you add to your food.

    Cayenne, much the same.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:11:19 PM PDT

    •  loggersbrat..Lol --Red pepper (6+ / 0-)

      sounds great. It makes me crave for some yummy food right about now.

      Where do you live? Where did you learn this new attack for my condition? I love it.


      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:21:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I live in Portland, Oregon. (0+ / 0-)

        I got curious enough about a book title on Amazon that I actually bought the book (Left for Dead).

        Some of what I read was confirmed by my secondborn's father-in-law who was having trouble and found out that red pepper and garlic (which he loves) were both good for the heart and keeping cholesterol levels under control.  

        My own heart is fine, but I'm a great believer in the ounce of prevention.  

        Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

        by loggersbrat on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:18:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hey Ole Texan (23+ / 0-)

    Good to see you're still kickin'.

    "When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between these two." - Nisargadatta Maharaj.

    by mkor7 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:14:05 PM PDT

  •  Morbid curiosity: (13+ / 0-)

    being cleaned out, do you feel better cardio-wise than you did before the attack?  For instance, do you feel you could exercise harder now?  Just curious.

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:14:27 PM PDT

    •  I didn't... (15+ / 0-)

      and I went through stents then a in-stent thrombosis leading to a LAD MI 3.5 years after the stents (rare). I have the heart of a man my age and yes, I am lucky. Acting quickly is the best thing to do. Many men and women meet their maker because they blow off the signs of a MI. Believe me, it's not always the elephant on your chest feeling. A cardiologist at UVA told me if you have chest pain lasting more than a minute you should seek medical attention.

      "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis D. Brandeis

      by VA6thDem on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:48:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  VA6thDem you are so (9+ / 0-)

        correct with your description pointing out the importance of seeking help quickly as in my case. It is true many men and women meet their maker due to blowing off signs of a MI. As
        I pointed out in my diary, it was not the pain that told me I had a heart attack,

        I did not know until I was told by doctors. So like you say, it is not always the elephant on a chest feeling.

        Old men tell same old stories

        by Ole Texan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:30:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wonder why the pain did not make you think OMG (7+ / 0-)

          I'm having a heart attack!!  
          It just seemed like the first thing I'd think of and then it would turn out to be heartburn or gallstones instead. I understand you didn't have much ability to analyze it during the pain itself, but eventually it never occurred to you?

          We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

          by nuclear winter solstice on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:12:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  nuclear winter solstice hi. (5+ / 0-)

            You are so right. I was in a situation where I should have thought like you say I should have.

            My pain was brutal and quick. I have thought that my demon had come for me with one shot. He did not succeed because I was laying down and deflected his shots by thinking of more pleasant thoughts and it obviously helped. My pain went away but the damage was done without my knowing about it.

            You are right also in that I thought even at the hospital that I had suffered a mere heart burn episode when asked if I had pain in my chest and I said no.

            It did occur to me indeed that I might had been having a heart attack. eventually I went with my best option, my son and his car to get me to ER.

            Thank to whoever made it possible that I am writing today.

            Old men tell same old stories

            by Ole Texan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:40:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  amen. and I hope that wasn't a rude question as I (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              have had my own experiences with being so anemic that i needed blood transfusions, yet not understanding that there was something radically wrong with me, also.
                  I like the poetic way you look at the world. 25 years ago I had an angelic experience, sort of an other side of the coin to your 'demon.' The spirit of the universe 'told me', in the middle of the morning, to stop what I was doing and go lay down. Not sure why but I did. I just rested for about 10 minutes, feeling kinda pleasant. Then it was over and I sat up and I felt as if a giant invisible hand rested lightly on my back and that same spirit said to me, "congratulations, you just got pregnant." I laughed and decided I was going nuts and just engaging in wishful thinking, especially since it had been about a week since we.... So I forgot about it until a week or so later, the first time I reached for my morning coffee and had to put it down again so I wouldn't puke. I found out later that it does take a week or so to actually implant, and maybe I was experiencing, not imagining all that.
                   I told you (and everyone else of course) that story because it came back to me in a rush after thinking about your "demon." Good luck with the changes in your life, glad you're still here to make them. You escaped a black hole and should expect to be a little shaken up and depressed. Breathe deep. Namaste.

              We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

              by nuclear winter solstice on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:48:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  nuclear winter solstice, it is (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nuclear winter solstice

                so nice that you share your own poetic experience with your
                "spirit of the universe" telling you to go lay down. It is truly
                perplexing how our universe and coupled with its inner forces
                tend to dictate our lives one way or another.

                In your case I see it as a good blessing and I am very happy
                for you, and of course for your angelic experience when it came back to congratulate you.. I do the same,


                Thank you

                Old men tell same old stories

                by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:29:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Hey Publius2008 (8+ / 0-)

      I like to think this early that I do feel much better, compared to the beating I took by the demon.

      About exercising, I am not sure I can answer that question as
      I have yet to try even walking stairs. But I never exercised to
      began with. You can paint me Lazy.

      But I feel good, thanks.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:26:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is nothing quite like the first realization (36+ / 0-)

    that we are mortal beings to set us back a pace. It seems like a steep hill, but it can be mounted.

    My husband had some stents put in and was placed on heart meds in addition to the Coumadin that he was taking for a St. Judes aortic heart valve. He hated the additional medications and was relieved when his cardiologist was able to first reduce and then eliminate a couple of them within a year. YMMV.

    Trust your wife. Not only does she know you best, she loves you. She'll be able to help you during your recovery as long as you let her.

    •  Hi Susan from 29. (5+ / 0-)

      it is good to hear from you. It is a steep hill and I am confident that I will eventually reach the top and feel much better than I feel now.

      For me at this time it is merely frustration and anger that this could happen to me. You know, "this can never happen to me" but it did. I will handle it. For the sake of those like you and my family...Those who really care.

      Thank you so much and I am so happy for you and your Mr. in his beating the crap out his tormentors ("pills") and being able to get off them. I am sure he is a totally happy new man.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:37:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ((hugs for Old Texan)) (22+ / 0-)

    Having to take meds and alter your lifestyle for the rest of your life is better than not having a 'rest of your life'. I'm sure your family would agree. Trust me, I understand about the difficulties in adjusting to a new reality of capabilities. I was diagnosed with COPD at 40, and though the life changes were gradual, they are permanent, even with meds. I'm glad you can afford your medication and medical treatment. Follow doctors orders and get yourself stronger please. Prevention is very important with myocardial infarction. All too often a second follows the first. YOU are the best person to prevent that from happening.

    Luckily sphygmanometers are relatively cheap, and the digital ones are VERY easy to use. You should also learn how to use a manual one, for emergencies. They aren't that difficult, and the nurse at your primary care doctor should be able to show you. If needs be, get the digital now, and the manual later as a backup.

    Don't feel bad that you didn't recognize the symptoms. Many people don't. It doesn't help that the pain and lack of blood/oxygen causes confusion and makes that recognition even harder. I've know health professionals who didn't recognize it when it was happening to them (and for women symptoms are often very different from the 'traditional' which only makes it even more difficult for us).

    For now, focus on your recovery and on implementing the changes you need to in your life.

    I wish you the best!

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:19:17 PM PDT

    •  FloridaSNMOM you are so (4+ / 0-)

      kind to come to my side with such powerful and meaningful words of wisdom and understanding. You speak with expertise. I can easily see that.

      Although I am unaware of you age today, to be diagnosed with COPD at 40 tells me that apparently you have learned from experience that although changes are gradual, they are permanent, something I surely have difficulties adapting too.

      But like I mentioned a moment ago up thread, its a steep hill I will have to climb, I trust myself and my family to help me reach the top and get to feeling much better.

      As for the sphygmanometers, my daughter is a registered nurse I believe I have mentioned that in one or some of my diaries. We found a digital one that needed new batteries and I found that I need training to use it. My daughter will come to our house soon to teach me how to use it..I turn it on and the number flash and go crazy on me. I cannot tell whats what.

      My only real concern as I write this is my blood pressure. I do not remember where my blood pressure number was supposed to be as it showed while at the hospital. I think it was a bit over 100 but I don`t recall exactly.

      Thank you so much for your extensive advise.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:52:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I suffered a heart attack when i was 20. (29+ / 0-)

    Yeah. Count that. 20.

    Presuming a bit of clear sailing thereafter, it gets better. It'd be a hard person that could just take an event like yours and  be all "WASSUP! SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS!" immediately thereafter.

  •  Glad at least (15+ / 0-)

    that you got the "shot across the bow" as opposed to the "1-2-KO." Feel better, and thanks for sharing your experience.

    I've been vegetarian/vegan for over a year now. I did this partly for heart health reasons, though I've never had anything serious beyond stress palpitations. Here's Bill Clinton on his conversion after having his triple bypass. It was helpful to me, and maybe it will be to you.

    •  Hello mrblifil, Yes I too am (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bakeneko, ladybug53, worldlotus

      glad I got that "shot across the bow" as opposed to a quick K.O. I am feeling better now that I am interacting with my family here in the community.

      I am on the verge of joining you as a vegetarian/vegan. I have always liked vegetables to start with so that is a done deal.

      To be honest with you. I really do not have appetite to see the Big Dog talking about having his triple bypass. I do not intend to go there, not in this life anyhow.

      But thank you for sharing.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:47:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My mom had to have 2 stents put in (12+ / 0-)

    last year.  She spent Mother's Day in the hospital.  Fortunately they caught her issue before she had a heart attack, but it was still very scary for all of us.

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:35:54 PM PDT

    •  sleipner, it is scary indeed. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bakeneko, Fury, ladybug53

      I`m telling you, I was freaking out big time myself on my way to the operating room. I felt like I was walking to the death chamber somewhere deep in a basement of a hospital.

      yes, your mom was very lucky they caught her problem before it turned out into a heart attack. Lucky for you too sleipner. continue with you happiness that she is alright.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:53:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Glad you pulled through Ole Texan. (22+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the diary. That's about as lyrical a description of a massive heart attacks as I've ever seen. Nice job. Hang in there. Hope you're feeling much better soon.

  •  Sudden cardiac events (24+ / 0-)

    do turn your world upside down.  My husband, at age 57, had a serious clot block an artery on a Sunday evening in November, 1997, which culminated approximately 48 hours later in cardiovascular surgery. He came out of that with five coronary artery bypass grafts.  I just want you to know as one who has been there with him that it's perfectly normal to be feeling as though your world has spun out of control but it WILL get better for you as your mind works its way through all that you've been through.  Nobody prepares us for sudden cardiac events and they have a such a powerful impact on a patient physically and mentally-----your life changes in an instant and while it won't be the same again, it can and will be so much better because you'll have a healthy heart.

    It's been 15+ years since my spouse's surgery, and so I can attest that it's rough initially, but if you make the dietary changes recommended and follow the other guidelines, you will have a much better future ahead of you.  IF you've been given an exercise regimen, I strongly encourage you to follow it and never stop.  My spouse and I walk 45 - 55 minutes, 7 days a week at a nearby mall.  It's now as routine for us as brushing our teeth or eating breakfast every morning.  We've also met so many really great friends over the years thanks to that daily walking.

    My very best wishes to you for a full and complete recovery, Ole Texan.  It sounds as if you're well on your way.  Thanks for sharing your story!  And all my best to your family----they'll help you get through this and I think you'll find that you and they will appreciate each other more deeply than you all might have had this cardiac event not happened.  We can tend at times to take others in our lives for granted.  People we care about are precious and it's a good thing when we realize that and remember it.  Cheers!

    "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

    by 3goldens on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:43:53 PM PDT

    •  Right on target! n/t (6+ / 0-)

      "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verite et de la dire" Jean Jaures

      by Chico David RN on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:01:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. I wanted to give back what (7+ / 0-)

        others gave me during and after my spouse's CABG surgery.  The Cardiology unit in the hospital where he had his surgery  did an outstanding job of educating me one-on-one on what to expect, what to watch for, and what to do in the weeks and months after my spouse was discharged.  In addition, that Unit provided a series of classes for caregivers and patients after discharge covering diet, exercise, and stress management.  I learned a lot from those people!  We also had an individual (caregiver and patient) meeting with a dietitian, a social worker, and an exercise physiologist.  And thanks to a friend, who is an RN, who cued me in to the importance of not stopping daily exercise after the rehab sessions ended.  We (I used to work in that hospital) had a quality improvement project going on in that very unit at the time focusing on outcomes from CABG surgery patients.  In fact, she said that was one of the biggest problems uncovered----that once cardiac rehab exercise was over, people thought they didn't need to exercise any longer.  I took that to heart and now if there's bad weather or one of us has a bad cold, we miss our daily walking and always pick up again asap.  I also learned to change the way I prepared food and we've done pretty well over these 15 years in learning to eat differently than we had previously.  All in all, I owe that cardiovascular surgeon and his team, and all the people in the ER, ICU, the cardiovascular unit, and the other specialists who taught us and guided us an incredible debt of thanks.  I will NEVER forget them.

        "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

        by 3goldens on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:27:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People like you make the job fun. (6+ / 0-)

          Thanks again.  I do both inpatient and outpatient rehab.  The inpatient part is the education you describe.  Sadly, a fair number of people aren't interested in learning anything that might require them to change.  But enough are to keep the excitement there after 31 years.

          "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verite et de la dire" Jean Jaures

          by Chico David RN on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:13:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Chico David RN hello. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, dotdash2u

            I too think like you when reading 3goldens comments. It appears expertise naturally flows out of this poster. I have read the  comments and all have given me ammunition to keep my path forward more compelling.

            Thank you Chico David RN, you too inspire me with your knowledge on this issue of the heart.

            Old men tell same old stories

            by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:09:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  3goldens, I am very (5+ / 0-)

      happy to read your nice and extensive comment about your own experiences similar to what I went through this past week. True, my recent experience has indeed turned my life upside down and inside out, just like a sock. It feel a bit frustrating. But people like you sharing experiences is what I have always known make this community so great, like no other.

      What you share with me about your husband`s five coronary artery bypass grafts is frightful to even think about. I am so glad for you and him that things have changed for the better for both of you. I have just started to get the nerve to walk out on the street as I went to the same store around the corner where my shortness of breath really called for my attention. I feel great and I will now walk further in another direction tomorrow.

      Thank you for wishing me a fast recovery. I will surely follow your advise and that of others here by doing what any sensible person should do in my situation. Bless you and your Mr. and hope that good things always come your way.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 07:11:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  3goldens, last evening (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, dotdash2u

      I close shop here due to being a tab mentally exhausted. I promised myself I would come back this morning to thank you and those who continued to relay support for me.

      reading about your own experiences last evening compelled me to at least acknowledge your own past problems with this nasty decease that is heart trouble.

      Down thread you will find another comment to yours I made and I am doing this one to remind you that I do appreciate any thing you add. I see others agreeing that you know what you talk about.

      Thank you so much 3goldens...

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:37:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're welcome, honey. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Just take things one day at a time, slow and easy, and you WILL see and feel so much better and at ease with your diagnosis.  Heart disease isn't the end of anything----when treated, it's the beginning of a new and better life.

        "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

        by 3goldens on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:08:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Your experience reminds me of my husband's. (24+ / 0-)

    Based on what happened to my husband I know that you have a lot of good life ahead of you.

    He had a massive cardiac arrest the year before I met him, he was actually in Emergency admitting when his heart attack began - you could see his signature on the admitting papers trail off when it started happening.

    His heart stopped 30 times in 24 hours.  His right descending artery was completely occluded and, like you, everything in his life changed - meds, food, blood pressure, doctor's visits, etc.

    The best part of all this?

    He and I got to share 26 years wonderful years together, he survived on 2/3 of his heart muscle until the age of 84.

    Hang in there, I'm pulling for you.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead -

    by FlamingoGrrl on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:43:57 PM PDT

    •  FlamingoGrrl, it amazes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      me how my heath situation has opened the flood gates to such personal comments from folks who have read my diary.

      Your own experience blows my mind:

      "His heart stopped 30 times in 24 hours", wow!!

      I think what is more amazing is finding out as I did, that no matter how tough we think we are, nothing can hold back a heart attack if one does not take care it him/herself.

      I am happy that you were rewarded by sharing 26 wonderful years together despite his downfall.

      84 ???...I will work to beat that record. I only need 7 more years for a tie....

      Good luck Flamingogrrl

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:17:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Listen to Bill Clinton (17+ / 0-)

    there are videos around (try YouTube) of Clinton explaining that it took him a quadruple by-pass and then a stent to get serious about the lifestyle changes. He's now in fabulous shape and hopefully has many more years ahead of him.

    If there is some sort of support group through the hospital, join it. It will help to see that you're not the only one struggling with the same issues.

    I too hate taking medication -- I don't know whether it will be possible for you to taper some of those down, once you have the blood pressure and weight and whatever else under better control.

    Take care of yourself and keep posting.

    •  Except for the tremor in his hands. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, bakeneko

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:11:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  rugbymom, I have indeed (0+ / 0-)

      seen Big Dog on several occasion talking about his own heart problems. I also remember following his treatment when Hilary first talked about it on tv...But that was before he corrected all his troubles in his chest.

      At this point in time I am slowly getting a feel of how I am going to deal with this. I called the hospital this morning asking how high or low my blood pressure was supposed to be in order for me to handle my situation safely. (gulp!), I forgot. having seen it written on the board the whole time I was there.

      It should be 120 over 60 I was told according to records of my stay there. My digital pressure tester is an old one and I do not know how it works. I am working on that, plus I am relying on meta-blocker pill that is part of my new life now. I feel great this morning.

      rugbymom, you too hate taking medication? I understand. I still don`t know if my feelings about medications are justified as apposed to not taking them. I surely will not drop any of them, for now

      It is good to see you rugbymom thank you

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:28:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh! I know you didn't write any diaries last (15+ / 0-)

    month, but I didn't know this would be the one you would come back with. What a difficult time you have had! I'm glad you are doing better. You sound good even if you don't feel good. I understand how you must feel about the pills. I hate taking them too, but when I had to, I did.

    Feel free to vent here any time. It can lift some of the burden you are feeling. Hope things will continue to improve.

    •  Lorikeet, oh my dear mentor. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is so nice to see you Lorikeet. I guess not writing diaries last month should give me away, that I was not well, or something similar.

      I was not feeling like myself, confused, groggy, and getting tired and feeling lazy. In fact I have a started unpublished draft in my quequ that I entitled "I Really Don`t Mind Dying, But It`s So inconvenient".

      I started writing that diary in one of those days when I was really down with depression and confusion as to what laid ahead for me as my health worsened.

      But I do feel good, like you say, even if I do not feel good.

      Lorikeet I will be forever grateful to you. I think that I do not have to remind you that I have always seen you as my mentor. Who else would pull my ear when I struggled to write my first diary here...You did.

      Thank you, and Oh, you sound like you do not take pills any longer. congrats if that is the case. I really don`t mind now that I have read how others who do make my case on taking pills sound like I am a whiner, a wimp. And I would agree.

      I am good Lorikeet.

      Sorry for coming on only until this morning to write to you.
      I got a little tired last evening after going through some difficult moments as I wrote the diary..

      Please stay well dear mentor, and may you have a wonderful day today.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:50:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A big gentle hug to you Ole Texan. I'm sorry (17+ / 0-)

    this happened to you. (You certainly are a good writer, even after all this.) I'm glad you're planning to stick around. I hope you feel better every day.

    •  Hi flumptytail, hi, hi, hi there. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is so good to see you here. I saw your comment last evening but as I just wrote to Lorikeet just above your comment I became a tad tired and shut it down for the nite.

      I made sure to be here this morning to say this to you:

      You have been an inspiration to me and that is why I always save a piece of me to come and say hello to you at Gus whenever I see you having fun with folks there.

      You inspire me for your honesty and good heart type of person.

      Oh I will stick around, at least until I reach one hundred. After that, well, I can`t promise you anything..

      Peace flumptytail..Oh and stop smoking!!! even those elec` thingys.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:57:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you Ole Texan, that is such a nice (0+ / 0-)

        compliment. I like you a lot too. You are kind and smart and I love hearing from you. If you're going to live to 100, then I guess I will too. I'll try to stop smoking the e-cigarette soon.

  •  I'm glad you're still with us (17+ / 0-)

    and can empathize with your all of a sudden having to take medication. It sucks. I agree with you. It can be a hard thing to get used to, and you have a right to gripe about it. Your life has indeed been turned upside down - but it's been turned upside down for the better.

    However, five medications a day and needing to take your blood pressure is a very, very small amount to deal with. Be glad your medication burden is that light. I'm serious: try mine on for size. I take 20 separate medications up to four times a day. One of them is an injection that I have to give myself. I have to check my blood glucose at least twice every day, which means getting poking a needle through my skin to get some blood out of myself to feed the glucometer, one to be done as soon as I awaken. I need to get labs done every six weeks, which include both a urine sample and a blood draw with multiple tubes. And there are seven more medications I give myself if necessary. This is not number of pills a day: this is number of prescriptions a day. One of them is for high blood pressure. Another one is an aspirin. I, like you, also need to use a sphymomanometer daily, after I've been up and around for a bit, to determine my blood pressure for the day. The cuff causes me quite a bit of pain and inflates my blood pressure due to pain stress, so the reading's always higher than my actual blood pressure. Some people are like that.

    At least I don't have to poke two immense (15-gauge) needles in my arm every night, and I don't have to spend several hours setting up a dialysis machine. That need was eliminated by my kidney transplant, and I take several medications to ensure it doesn't reject, one of them a steroid that has ballooned up my weight, and has likewise ballooned up my abdominal girth all out of proportion to my weight. But that, too, could be worse. At least my diabetes is well-controlled, despite being on a steroid. At least I'm not on the immunosuppressant medication that makes women grow facial hair and men grow breasts. I could be. I know I'm lucky.

    So are you. You've gotten good care and you know what you need to modify about your lifestyle, including diet, to ensure you don't incur another heart attack. Every single one of us who has lived through something catastrophic and come out the other side is lucky, because every one of us has dodged the bullet that had our names on it. I've dodged at least two by this point in my life. Believe me, no matter what I need to go through to stay alive, including a medication regimen that requires me to use a mediset as large and deep as a ream of paper, I'm lucky, and SO ARE YOU. Thank everyone and everything you believe in, if any, for your luck, because you are still here.

    An organ donor saved my life!

    EVERYTHING that is wrong with America starts with the Republican party, who have been strip-mining the middle class and blaming it on black people since Lee Atwater.


    by Kitsap River on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:04:56 PM PDT

    •  Kitsap River, thanks and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      reading your comment and comparison between my pill taking and yours keeps confirming what I have learned here. After reading how others with heart problems in their history have managed their own pill taking and other requirement in order to say alive makes my whining sound silly.

      Again I will say to you like I just wrote in reply to a comment. Comparing your burden of taking pills as you agree that it sucks, I feel like a wimp. I only take four pills and an aspirin so what burden it that compared to what you take and what you have and are going through?

      Yours is a comment that really tells me to relax. I am trying hard to do just that. I am also lucky that I am not a diabetic or have to take as many medications as you do. I agree that my five medications a day and needing to take my blood pressure is a very, very small amount to deal with, compared to your situation. Reading your comment and description of your situation overwhelms me. I am so sorry for you bad luck Kitsap River. It is so hard for me to even imaging how you do this. I can tell you though that I will always think of you when ever I even think of bitching about my situation. Please take care of yourself as I would love to continue interacting with you, somehow.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:17:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hang in there, Ole Texan! (10+ / 0-)

    Glad you've got good caregivers and stents and meds and you have family to be there with you and help you out and give you love. That's surely another set of blessings besides the obvious one--your surviving to tell us all about this! Get well soon :)

    •  lunachickie hi. (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, I am lucky I guess for the good care I was given by those who do that for a living. The Cardiologist and his staff that worked on me were great indeed. I am grateful for the magic invention of the stent. It does wonders and I was very impressed when the Cardiologist told me:

      " O.K. we`re finished here. We opened the arteries and the blood is now flowing in a normal pace. everything is normal now, I placed two stents to open those veins"

      Those were the words, as close as I remember them, that the doctor told me as he finished his cardiac cad work.

      Thank you lunachickie for your nice words. I can assure you that I will take better care of myself from here on out.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:27:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am so glad you are okay.... (13+ / 0-)

    And you will be Ole Texan.

    My husband had two stents put in three years ago and he was kind of down at first. That has now passed. Like you, he needs to take some prescription medicine along with Omega 3. He eats so much better with lots of vegetables, chicken, fish and a bit of red meat only once a month. This from a meat and potato sort of guy LOL. As a truck driver, the exercise aspect can be challenging, but he goes for walks when he is at a truck stop, and when he has time off, he and I walk.

    It will get better and you will be around for your family, and for your family here as well. I'm so glad you got the help you needed.

    •  Proud Mom and Grandma hello. (0+ / 0-)

      Your comment is yet another encouraging piece of advise I got last evening. As I wrote earlier this morning, I am sorry that I did not tell you this late evening, I got tired and shut my computer and went to bed to rest.

      It gives me more push and hope to regain my confidence just reading about a meat and potatoes guy who underwent the same procedure I just experienced. I guess it must be standard requirement to take meds, like your husband and I have to take.

      I am just getting a hang of what I have to eat in order to stay good in there (the heart). I have a booklet that has a list of the things to eat and not eat. But honestly I just glanced through it and have not made a pact with myself on how to initiate my eating program. But I will get there soon.

      I think I can understand how important it is to walk. I came home Friday evening and next morning I went for a short walk around the corner to a convenient store. I have not walked again since due to trying to read and memorize everything I have to do. Today without fail..I will walk. promise.

      Thank you Proud Mom and Grandma. It is good to be grandparents. That I can attest to.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:39:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good to hear (10+ / 0-)

    that the cardiologists were so competent.

    •  yes BobNJ. I do (0+ / 0-)

      not get tired repeating how good my Cardiologist and his staff
      performed during my freak out on a surgery table, knowing that a long steath was about to be forced up my gut.

      competent, even if a tad acknowledged.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:43:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey Ole Texan, you gotta hang in there! (13+ / 0-)

    You've got a whole lot of family history to uncover yet.  That'll keep you busy for decades, at least ;-)

    Wow, I sure am happy you decided to stick around for a while longer, grasshopper.

    •  I second this, Ole Texan! (6+ / 0-)

      You've been missed in our little genealogical corner of the world. edwardssl and the rest of us need you! There are some wonderous diaries for you to peruse as you rest -and then lend us your voice, okay?

      I know first hand about our hearts landing us in the ER and the mad activity that signals that the experts are on it -while we wonder what the heck's going on. And coming home with a half-dozen bottles of meds, a trusty BP machine and more questions, fears and confusion than we think we can handle.

       As others here have assured you, it does get sorted out and life's little joys take on a whole new dimension.

      "You're barking up the wrong tree. There's no cat up there." -Stella Adler via Holland Taylor

      by brook on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 04:23:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  brook, your words are those (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edwardssl, brook

        of wisdom. I am sorry for having neglected to return to our genealogical corner as you put it. As edwardssl will tell you, my genealogical case is very complicated to unravel.

        I have realized that things in my overall existence on this planet took a very mysterious turn since my childhood that hid from me exactly who I am, totally, as a man.

        It would required a diary for me to explain this to you, as I do not recall interacting with you while I was writing there. I think mildly, your name sound familiar but I am not sure.

        You are right on with your description about what goes on in the ER and the mad activity signals you write about. I am having a little difficulty adapting to designing a route I want to take with my blood pressure checking and so forth. I will get their eventually. With a daughter who is an RN I know she is on top of my situation. Yesterday evening while on the phone we discussed my pills. Just my mentioning the names of each pill, she would tell me what they were for. I have good support on this issue. She will be around to teach me how to use a digital blood pressure tester my wife found in one of her dressers that my daughter no doubt used some time ago. The issue will be whether it still works properly, or buy a new one...

        I am good, thank you brook. I will see you soon at our haunt at geneology`s corner.

        Old men tell same old stories

        by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:05:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds good, Ole Texan. (0+ / 0-)

          Having a daughter who will always be on top of all that's in your best interest is excellent. I know - I have one of those too. ;-)

          Take good care!

          "You're barking up the wrong tree. There's no cat up there." -Stella Adler via Holland Taylor

          by brook on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:34:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Master, grasshopper is alive! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Hello my dear friend edwardssl. I can see you recall that nice
      grasshopper (me!!).

      Yes, I agree that I have much to search for in grave yards and tombs to find history of why I am here, at least, eh??

      edwardssl thank you so much for thinking of a way to uplift my spirit at my time of depression and uncertainty. I am now feeling completely different than I felt last evening when I went to bed around 9.

      You made me smile. Thank you

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:50:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Revel in the fact you are alive. (16+ / 0-)

    My poor dear husband dropped dead of a heart attack at 52.  No rides to the ER for him.  It was all over at work.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:13:25 PM PDT

    •  Hello Raggedy Ann. (0+ / 0-)

      It is good and sad at the same time to see you again. Sad due to what you tell me about your poor dear husband`s unlucky heart attack, at 52...that was really a shame believe me.

      What I would give for having been there for him when he needed assistance. At work? wow, and no one to help, unbelievable. But that is how our unlucky stars work I guess.

      I am so sorry Raggedy Ann. I hope that you have fully recovered from that shock and that you are well in heath yourself.

      I am glad to hear from you because you seem to come into my diary with some frequency when I post one up there.

      Please take care

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:13:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't know if you'll read this cuz (0+ / 0-)

        it's late in the week from 7/2, but, indeed, I'm recovered - as well as one can be from suffering pure trauma.  It was 1987 when it happened.  I was only 34.

        I'm since remarried, happily for 19 years.  My current husband is a recovering Texan (HAHA - just kidding!).  You must post diaries that speak to me.  Thanks for that.

        being mindful and keepin' it real

        by Raggedy Ann on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:13:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ole Texan, I'm glad we could hear from you! (15+ / 0-)

    Lifestyle changes aren't easy, but you can do it and you'll get used to it, and your joy of living will return. So glad you had good care, and that you have a loving family to help your recovery!

    •  Ekaterin, yes it will (0+ / 0-)

      difficult to change lifestyle. But like you say, I can do it.
      I do have a very strong family who is now treating me like a child, really.

      I will be alright Ekaterin, I know I will. So much has been said since yesterday in this diary that I cannot help but agree with those who know from their own experiences that I will be good.

      Thank you so much for your words.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:17:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You can do it. (11+ / 0-)

    As a triple bypass survivor for four years now, it took me awhile to get serious about the changes. I attended a cardiac rehab program, which I strongly recommend, made the diet changes (which I acknowledge wasn't easy ), and like you have do deal on a philosophical level that I am dependent on pills for the rest of my life. But with my cholesterol numbers vastly lower thanks to a vegan diet, I may just see my granddaughter graduate from high school. Watch for mood swings and be quick to talk to your spouse for any support you feel you need. Our wives DO usually know us better than we know ourselves.

    Facts don't stop being facts just because no one listens to them. - Aldous Huxley

    by bisleybum on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:38:10 PM PDT

    •  bisleybum, you are so (0+ / 0-)

      wise to understand how much our wives know us. I know mine does know me pretty well after being with me over 35 years.

      It was recommend at the hospital shorty before I was discharged that I should attend cardiac rehab program. It is a good advise and I am currently having a bit of static with my kids on that. First, my daughter knows how that works and can teach me to do it here at home.

      I understand that my heath through participation overrides any other issue that may prevent me from doing so because my kids jobs and own lives make it difficult for them to take me to the program. My car keys have been confiscated by my wife who does not want me to drive any more.

      But I am working on developing a program on my own that would equal the one at the hospital. I have to call back to the nurse who called yesterday to suggest that I enroll with them.

      I do not know how this will work out. So yes, changing lifestyles is a rather pesky situation.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:30:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are tough (11+ / 0-)

    and you will soon adapt and eventually wonder what all the fuss was about.  Life is good even in the slow lane.

    Best wishes on your recovery.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:39:22 PM PDT

    •  Radiowalla, yours is (0+ / 0-)

      the encouragement that makes me keep on ticking. I like your
      "you are tough" message. I used to think I was.

      And yes, I now have to agree that life is good even in the slow lane.

      You got that right. Thanks for this comment. I needed that.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:34:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, I've experienced it, Ole Texan, (0+ / 0-)

        and can guarantee you that toughness comes in all forms.  It can be in the form of daily acts of perseverance,  resolve to show gratitude to others, openness to new experiences and new ways of thinking of yourself.   You are going to surprise yourself, believe me!

        Keep on writing, by the way.  You've got a knack!

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:31:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hugs ole Texan (7+ / 0-)

    and I know what is bugging you the most.. Not being able to eat the Texas Mesquite BBQ smothered in Hickory sauce.
    Truth husband suffered a heart attack last year and I can barely get him to modify much.   I have high BP and I am pretty stubborn myself but you know what...I understand.   I don't get why I can't just eat what I want and do like I did and yet facing my own mortality terrifes me.   Not so much for me but our little girl.   Getting older is tough and as the 20 year old said... You don't have to be older but it is expected for things to start malfunctioning after a certain age.   I think I have youth eternal but I know deep down that is delusional.   Weight comes on and stress is also a factor.   Stop a while smell the flowers and push that BBQ away...I find little peace in having to give up cokes, pepsi, and carbs.  I find little peace in that.   it is easy for folks to act old if they aren't vibrant in the mind and most here are vibrant.  

    I get depressed every single time I hear about these things.   We are all a heartbeat or breath away from the grim reaper and that is the hardest pill of all to swallow.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:43:48 PM PDT

    •  Vetwife, hello my friend (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Yes right about now I could use some of those Texas Mesquite BBQ smothered in Hickory sauce. I have to remind you vetwife though, that I have lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for it seems like forever. And I still miss that BBQ that I recall so well.

      Texas is in my heart and will always be. Half of me mentally is always with my childhood family there. That is why I am ole Texas..and always will be.

      I have to settle for these obnoxious Brutworst, or whatever is the name I of these Polish wennies that masquerade as Hot Dogs around here. I really like them however and ate them. Sorry I have to let them go too from now on.

      I find it so amazing how so many folks here are on health situations, or have been in the past -- that make mine look like just a mild case of heart burn. That your husband suffered a heart attack last year is just another example of how hard he finds it to modify his new lifestyle. I do not blame him. He should be real mad for what happened. It just isn`t fair vetwife I am telling you. But no one said life would be fair, right?

      But I guess you as his wife must guide him to the changes that will keep him with you forever. You have always inspired me with your sense of knowledge to the things around you and what makes us tick. You are so true in your view about how we must mangage of diets. I am working on that, hmm, with uncertainty as to whether I should continue having my daily beer with my meals..I have already decided to let that lone beer in my fridge stay lonely there, and I will keep it there as a reminder.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:59:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you darlin and (0+ / 0-)

        it is damn with the changes of age creeping .
        I am glad you spoke your heart in that comment.  I know you miss Texas.   I never met a Texan that didn't long to be in the lone star state.   Nobody puts food on a table like a Texan.  I know.. I lived there once.   Had a former Mother in law in Texas and some cousins who still are around El Paso.   I was in Ft. Worth.
        For all really isn't BBQ if not from Texas.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 03:30:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hugs to you. It's an awful shock when (6+ / 0-)

    something like this happens (and this is gonna sound like a cliché), but it could have been so much worse.  You got the treatment you needed, your son got you to the hospital where you could be taken care of, they managed to treat you without major surgery, and you have a recovery phase to look forward to.  Already you're feeling better, or you wouldn't have written this diary.

    I'm really glad you did.  I'm glad your son got you where you needed to be, your cardiologist was spot-on and the nursing staff terrific, and you're already home.  After this brush with mortality, may every day you wake up be an excuse for rejoicing.  You have all your people around you.  You have friends here.

    You, sir, are a wealthy man.

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:47:11 PM PDT

    •  Dear DrLori. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As always it is a pleasant pleasure to read the wisdom that flows our of your mind. The cliché you mention illustrates what I mean because it could have indeed been worse. I am very thankful that life has given me a pass this time around. I think of my family in this situation. If it was only me involved I think I would not mind so much.

      Yes, and again you are right. I was, and am, feeling better or I would not have written this diary. Evidenced by my absence prior to my mishap when I could not even think straight what I wanted to write. I am good DrLori. I really am.

      Now all I need is a bit of strength I lost while being laid out for days on my back with needles in both of my arms, and monitors stuck all over my chest.

      As I have said repeatedly, I have a very strong family here with me. I am lucky that my son works two blocks from where I sit. He was here in a hurry when I called. He is one of my heroes. But the strength that keeps things rolling here is the Mrs. What she says goes around here.

      Thank you so much as usual DrLori. I will remember your words and follow your advise. I do have friends here I know that. I will let you know of my progress in days ahead.

      Peace my friend.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:29:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Symptoms (7+ / 0-)

    It does surprise me sometimes the misconceptions people have about heart trouble.

    These are the criteria we were asked to use starting last year for suspected MI:

    Any one of: Chest pain, syncope or near syncope (that means passing out), sudden weakness, palpitations, left arm numbness or pain.

    Along with any one of these risk factors: history of cardiac disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or over 60 years of age.

    Women and diabetics especially can have some really strange symptoms, or no symptoms at all.

    The best thing to do is to call 911. Do not delay getting treatment, as the paramedics will be able to do some things immediately that can lessen the damage to your cardiac muscle. A 12 lead EKG can be done in the field, though the lack of ST elevation doesn't rule out a heart attack. Still, if its there, a call ahead to the ER gets things moving and gets you into the cath lab quicker. IV can be done in the field so there is no delay in getting blood work and IV meds at the hospital (Nitro drip, heparin). Plus you will get aspirin and, if appropriate, Nitroglycerin to dilate your arteries.

    Our protocols have us send 12 lead results electronically to the hospital. If the EKG confirms STEMI, often times the patient will bypass the ED and go straight to the cath lab.

    Time is tissue.

    “Birds…scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth. They know the truth. Screaming bloody murder all over the world in our ears, but sadly we don’t speak bird.” Kurt Cobain

    by RadicalParrot on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:47:51 PM PDT

    •  RadicalParrot, I read your (0+ / 0-)

      comment with much interest. Symptoms and the underlying factors many people have with misconceptions about heart trouble that you point out is right on.

      The problems that arose with me actually occurred because I simply refused to believe that any of those symptoms you mention applied to me. You see, I thought that I was invincible as I wrote in my diary. You see, I had never been sick in my life. I had never even taken an aspirin, so how could any of these symptoms apply to me when I felt that demon trying to take over my bed?

      To me it was just a bad case of heart burn, or something of that nature. I really do not remember just what I thought until I panicked, and sounded the alarm.

      But I know for a fact, that what you write here is true and those who read your words must listen, or suffer the consequences like I did.

      Thank you RadicalParrot for the heads up.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:40:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You made it! (5+ / 0-)

    Glad that you're still with us, Ole Texan.  

    As for the fallout?  The gauntlet has been thrown down.  Pick it up.  Take the challenge.  The pills and the diet and the blood pressure - those are things that you can "have" to do, or they're things that you can use to punch death back on its heals over and over again.  Every evening that you can say, "I'm still here!" is a day that you won!

    Good luck.  Fight back!

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:49:31 PM PDT

    •  CJB, your words sound (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      clear and true. I will indeed pick up the gauntlet and learn to fight back. I am working of the issues you mention that I must make to get better.

      I have to admit that I am slowly realizing that I have to do these things to able to say each day that "I am still here". I will do that from this day forward.

      Thank you CJB

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:44:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Glad to hear of your recovery (6+ / 0-)

    For everyone else, the Cleveland Clinic has some advice.

    At the first signs of a heart attack, call for emergency treatment (911). Do not wait for your symptoms to “go away.” Early recognition and treatment of heart attack symptoms can reduce the risk of heart damage and allow treatment to be started immediately. Even if you’re not sure your symptoms are those of a heart attack, you should still be evaluated.
    Use of aspirin with unstable chest pain:
    After calling 911, emergency personnel may tell you to chew one full (325 mg) aspirin slowly, if you do not have a history of aspirin allergy or bleeding. Aspirin is especially effective if taken within 30 minutes after the start of symptoms. Do NOT take an aspirin for symptoms of stroke.  
  •  You're doing' OK...Great (5+ / 0-)

    Would it be better advice in most cases to use the ambulance with paramedics, drugs, and monitors, in addition to their red lights and siren and immediate entry to the ER rather than be driven in a private car?  In almost every case, I think so.

    •  Agreed, I have read the same thing (0+ / 0-)

      They can begin treatment on the ambulance itself, which could delay or prevent damage to the heart.  And its a suspected heart attack, they're not going to lolly-gag, the paramedics will get there fast.

      "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

      by Brian A on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:25:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  MarEng, true what you say (0+ / 0-)

      in my case I did not think of that. To me at that moment it depended on quick action to get me to the hospital. My son was a call away and I did not even think about paramedics due to my confusion and panic.

      But you are right, yes it is better to call 911 in a case like mine. Hopefully no more calls.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:07:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OK.... take a deep breath. (5+ / 0-)

    You are less than a week our from a major medical crisis with a surgical intervention and it's PERFECTLY NORMAL for you to be feeling overwhelmed, angry and confused.

    And yes, there are going to be a ton of suggestions from your medical providers about medications, lifestyle changes, stress management, exercise, etc.... etc.....

    Over time, with the support of your family, friends and the medical folks you can little by slow change things in your life to help you be more healthy. I'm sure right now it seems overwhelming and impossible but if you give yourself some time, you can tackle these changes bit by bit.

    Lisa :)

    All Kossacks are my allies, but if you can't express your thoughts in a civil and kind manner, I won't be engaging in a conversation with you.

    by Boston to Salem on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 04:07:22 PM PDT

    •  Boston to Salem: Lisa (0+ / 0-)

      thank you for your kind words. I am now calm and thinking of what I went through.

      I know things will come gradually and I will be able to cope with changes I must make in my lifestyle.

      What you suggest is only one of the many good things people here want for me. I am really touched by such good thoughts being relayed to me.

      I will be fine Lisa, I really will. I just know it and feel it in my bones.

      For my family and those who have written on this diary giving me strength and encouragement. I can feel the vibes.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:13:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Glad to hear that you're good Viejo. (5+ / 0-)

    We want you around these parts alive and kicking for like siempre.

    “I’m able to fly, do what I want, essentially. I guess that’s what freedom is — no limits.” Marybeth Onyeukwu -- Brooklyn DREAMer.

    by chuco35 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 04:11:56 PM PDT

  •  My mother suffered a massive attack (7+ / 0-)

    About 2 weeks ago.  Thankfully she survived (with 3 stints) and is recovering but it has been shock to everyone.  I so thank you for posting this and giving me a look at some of the thoughts that have to be going through her mind, even if she isn't quite ready to discuss them yet.

    Why should we trust anyone who "lies for the Lord"?

    by Blue Bell Bookworm on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 04:17:24 PM PDT

    •  Blue Bell Bookworm hi (0+ / 0-)

      I am glad your mom survived her terrible ordeal. I can vouch for her that her situation apart from being grave is scary. I am glad she will be around with you for a long time.

      I can understand why she isn`t ready to discuss her situation just yet. It was my pleasure to share my own experience. It has always been my view that on this website people come forward to uplift or give advise like the ones I have been getting since yesterday.

      Your mom will be alright, just like I will.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:44:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are in my thoughts. nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, bakeneko, ladybug53, worldlotus
  •  Sounds familiar. (8+ / 0-)

    The good part is - you get better.

    One of my brothers had a massive coronary about 12 years ago, age 50.  His daughter (who had just gotten her driver's license) came home and found him sitting in his easy chair, looking blue about the lips and quite pale, an bullied him into getting up and into the car and took him to the hospital.  Saved her dad's life.  He was pretty well shaken for a while after that, but at age 56 went on the road for 4 years with a rock band (never mind that spending his 20's and 30's and early 40's on the road are what nearly killed him), and is doing great now.

    I had a 'cardiac event' at 52.  I now take my aspirin and fish oil and such every morning.  Have gotten quite used to it, and am off the blood thinners.  And it's way less intrusive than being dead.  I'm on a better diet now, get better exercise (hard with my what passes for knees, but...), and appreciate life more.


    You've read all of the comments above.  We're with you.  Now just accept that change has happened, and make the best of it.  Not hard, if you let it happen.

    Hang in there.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 04:22:24 PM PDT

    •  trumpeter, your comment (0+ / 0-)

      after reading it makes me go, What? Your brother suffering a heart attack at 50 twelve years ago. At fifty four after his heart attack just decides to join a rock band is mind bogging to me...but who am I to judge him on that.

      I am just a newbie eh? on the issue of recovery and stepping into a brand new life. I just came home from the hospital so I cannot know what lies ahead for me. Hey maybe my new life will reward me with something it rewarded your brother with.

      Although I do not qualify to be a rock band member, so I will have to take what comes then.

      What I note is the calmness his daughter must have embraced when she found him slumped on his chair and being able to bully him into a car. I can bet that your brother is in great appreciation for the second chance his daughter gave him.

      Yes your comment is eye opening. Thank you for sharing.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:58:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At times like that, (0+ / 0-)

        a change in perspective has already happened,  But sometimes it needs a bit of experience to learn how to deal with the new view.

        My brother went on the road at age 15 playing in rock bands.  Made a good living at it, and did all of the stuff you expect of a rock and roll musician - which contributed to his heart problem later on.  One of the first bands he toured with has but 3 members left alive - the rest all succumbed to drugs.  In his late-30s he became a father and gave everything up to be a dad.

        My niece talked him into going back into music, and is a fine musician herself.  She now has a son herself, and they all adore my brother, who, after his last stint on the road, has gone into mostly teaching and doing studio work.  He has grown into a person who would have astonished him at age 20.  His family made a great difference.

        The funny part is to hear them each tell the story.  He is very calm about it, and she talks like someone who was panicked and didn't know what to do - which we all know is not true.  She half-carried him to the car, drove like a maniac, and dealt with all of the paperwork while the doctors stabilized him.

        I hope your world grows as much as his did.  Like all things in life, it's an opportunity to see from a new angle and become a bigger and more aware person.

        Hang in there!

        I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

        by trumpeter on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 12:08:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  trumpeter what a marvelous (0+ / 0-)

          story about your brother. I mean at 15 and going on the road
          in itself is awesome. Trying to do the math to this story I come up with the notion that you write about a story your brother lived many years ago, eh?

          But regardless, it is awesome what you say. True like I said earlier, I do not qualify to have been in his business in music but I learned by watching and listening back in the days of rock and roll that drugs ran rampant among those guys. Many OD`d as you know. Take that dude who was so popular with the band "The doors". Of course I talk about the movie. He is shown in the movie to have died from booze, which of course played some role in his death. But those guys were all on drugs as well...At least that is what I have read and heard I really do not know the facts of his death.

          As for your niece being a fine musician herself that`s great. I mean what a story to write about these people, your brother and niece. The way she saved his life might have been an omen for him to pull up and change his ways.

          What a story trumpeter. Thank you for sharing it with me. I agree with your perception that a change has already happened, and I certainly will work to embrace what is next.


          Old men tell same old stories

          by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:23:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  (((OldTexan))) (9+ / 0-)

    I am so glad you're still here with us! What an incredible account of your experience, thank you for sharing it.

    I'm going to put on my RN cap for just a moment and share a few resources on the link between a major cardiac event and clinical depression.


    American Heart Association:

    Cleveland Clinic:

    I've also personally suffered multiple bouts of major depression, and always experienced it as a pervasive numbness rather than sadness. "Barren to life's feelings" sounds pretty close.

    Please consider checking in with your primary physician so s/he can formally evaluate and refer you to a specialist if need be. I know the last thing you want is another's doctor's appointment, diagnosis, and pill. But if you are aware of a change for the worse in your thought process, that is as worthy of medical attention as your coronary arteries (and usually much easier to fix!)

    Also, if you have coverage for cardiac rehab, it can help ease the anxiety of starting or resuming an exercise program after a heart attack. Feel free to reply or km me if you have any questions, and take care!

     I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by SteelerGrrl on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 04:25:56 PM PDT

    •  SteelerGrrl, it is so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      nice of you to comment and offer support by linking me to stories that are of interest to me for health sake.

      When I wrote that quote you repeat here I did so at a time I
      was very down on myself. I am now calmed down but at the time I was really angry with the whole world around me at large.

      I was afraid for my wife and family. I had reluctantly kept my secret pain and heart attack from my wife and those around me. It never occurred to me that I needed a shrink or doctor to tell me things would be alright.

      I think we each handle situations as this differently I guess. I nonetheless am touched by your concern.

      SteelerGrrl, ole Texan grew up as a child feeding in pain and physical abuse, so this episode while scary and painful as it was, I have taken it as one day at time issue.

      I am O.K. Grrl. I really am

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:17:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Glad you're OK, Ole Texan (0+ / 0-)

        It's completely normal to feel mentally traumatized after surviving a life-threatening event but it sounds like you've got it under control. I'm so glad you're doing better!

        You raised a lot of awareness and discussion with this diary, thank you again for sharing it. I hope the links were helpful, I wanted to put them out there for the community since, sadly, so many Americans are living with heart disease and its complications. Take care and be well :)

         I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by SteelerGrrl on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:06:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  SteelerGrrl, you have (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          been great here on my space today and yesterday. I really appreciate your knowledge and your sharing it with us.

          True, so many Americans go around with heart and other maladies and woefully, some do not have insurance on top of that.

          I hope Obama-Care is successful once it kicks in next year

          Old men tell same old stories

          by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:20:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Glad you're feeling better (8+ / 0-)

    So sorry you had to go through that experience.  Hang in there and feel free to share or vent when you need.  You have friends here.

    "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being in DC."

    by Betty Pinson on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 04:26:47 PM PDT

    •  Betty Pinson, thanks (0+ / 0-)

      I am doing alright now. Yes the experience scared me there for a while. I will remember to come in and report any changes when I find the time to write.

      I am here now because I cannot simply abandon my diary with all these comments being made. I would really be rude if I did  that. I refuse to be rude.

      I am feeling better Betty Pinson, thank you.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:21:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bless your heart. (4+ / 0-)

    And bless you!  I pray for your healing and a long, happy life!  

    ((((Ole Texan))))

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 04:29:54 PM PDT

    •  KayCeSF, it is so nice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of you to come into my diary to say such pleasant things.
      Thank you for your hugs and blessings.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:22:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  YW! And more hugs and blessings, today. (0+ / 0-)


        Be well X3!  I lit a candle for you and your "name" is now added to others who have been ill or in crisis.  The universe knows you!

        I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

        by KayCeSF on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:56:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry that you've experienced such a... (6+ / 0-)

    sudden, dramatic, and life-changing event, but I'm very glad that you survived.  I know your family must be so thankful that you are still with them.

    These types of physical traumas can also affect us emotionally and mentally, and

    "...These feelings are common, and openly discussing them with your doctor, a family member or a friend may help you better cope..."

    It's very early days in your recovery process, please take care of yourself and give yourself time to heal.  

    •  kurious, yes (0+ / 0-)

      it`s still very early in my recovery process. I will take care of myself. I have full support here at home.

      My wife is stronger than I am, I have suspected that for a long time. Stronger in mind as I will ever be.

      Thank you kurious

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:25:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Three near deaths in 3 years. (9+ / 0-)

    When I say "near death', I'm not exaggerating in the least. What has saved me so far is walking. One of my many, many physicians told me, at near death number one, to "walk, walk, walk. It has slowly gotten me stronger, not just physically but mentally as well. I have deep family problems. My family accused my wife of poisoning me at near death number one. So that has been too much to deal with. But, the walks help clear my head.

    I highly recommend (with physicians approval!) a daily walking regimen. If it's too hot in Texas, go to the mall like I do.

    Good luck to you.

    •  So right! - my little saying to patients: (9+ / 0-)

      When I do discharge teaching with patients after heart attack or heart surgery, I have a little half-joking, but totally true thing I say:
      "I've been doing this work over 30 years, and I've yet to see a patient come back to the hospital from walking too much."

      Sitting too much?  Smoking too much? Eating too much? lots of times - but never walking too much.

      "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verite et de la dire" Jean Jaures

      by Chico David RN on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:05:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  matador, yours is (0+ / 0-)

      another very interesting comment laced with WTF? when you mention "near death".

      I was told to walk, walk by my doctor and am sitting here now on account of my obligation to answer all comments.

      I added wtf because the issue you write about with your deep family problems. That your family accused your wife of poisoning you is a chilling revelation at near death number one.

      The other near deaths number 2 and three you do not write about so I gather that they too were due to family problems. I hope you have cleared your head with your walks. Keep up the walking and stay healthy.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:34:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have not cleared my head (0+ / 0-)

        It's impossible to do so. I muddle through with the knowledge that my whole family has become insane. Much of it has to do with Faux "News" and specifically, Glenn Beck, who was such a poisonous influence himself upon my family members. I no longer recognize any of them. I am, in fact, seriously considering divorcing them. I cannot live my life as if I am watching a circus parade with my back to the action, peering over my shoulder at my former life and family.

        If they wish to treat me and mine like this, I would rather have a complete and legal break from all of them.

        Thanks so much for your concern.

        •  Matador, wow! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Just wow my friend. I did not mean to prod into your personal
          life and your family`s.

          But I think I have to tell you that it sounds pretty serious when you think you should divorce your own family. Worse to do so because of Faux News and Glen Beck really sucks.

          I am very sorry that you feel that your family is treating you unfairly in some way.

          matador I sense that your family is Republican and are a Glen Beck followers who like what they hear. That does not make them insane. I really do not think so. That you no longer recognize them sound weird.

          matador, you sound like you dislike them for their loyalty to this ass-hat Glen Beck and I don`t blame you. But they are your family matador..I don`t know what to say, except that if I were you I would try to communicate with them in a more civil way and make peace with them. Remember, we only have one shot to a family...

          I am sorry matador.

          Old men tell same old stories

          by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:35:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's not it at all (0+ / 0-)

            I don't know them because of who they have become. And they truly are insane.

            I have tried and tried and tried. Kast year, at this time, I sent my mother a well worded and very, very kind letter. Sixteen pages of thoughtfulness crafted to put any differences behind us.

            I received it back, unopened with the words "return to sender" and "delivery refused".

            I did not speak to my mother after that. She made no attempt to call me. I knew she was so stubborn that I would have to make contact before she would. I was determined no to call her.

            But when I ended up in the hospital with near death number two, I finally called her on the day I thought would be my last.

            I have tried since then. Yet, in the year that has passed, she hasn't once offered up an explanation of why she returned the letter. And, nothing else I do seems to be of any consequence.

            I've had it.

            •  matador hey there (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I do not know what to say. I took the liberty to go to your profile. You are an extremely intelligent person, I can see by your writings that you are not someone with mental problems.

              The reason I venture to say this is because I cannot see how such a person with your mentality can accept this, and then continue to hound them as if you demand that they love you.

              Hey, well, I am saying this as if I were in your shoes and had a family that was treating me like yours is treating you.

              I would tell them "fuck you!" all of you. And live my life the way I wanted, without them. Now remember, this is how "I" would do it.

              Because you have not said what you ever did to them, so that they feel this way, I do not know what to say matador.

              Feel free to continue writing here if you need to vent. I will listen, just like so many have listened to me.

              Old men tell same old stories

              by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:10:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not "Hounding them". (0+ / 0-)

                I haven't spoken to my sisters since my fathers funeral, three years ago. I have barely spoken to my mother.

                It wasn't what I did, but what my wife did. During near death number one, she was told by the doctor that only two visitors could see me a day. And they were to be very, very quiet. My heart rate was 160 plus beats a minute and, sedated,, I would become very agitated and my heart rate would go up when people spoke in the room. My wife chose herself and my son as the ones who could visit. This period only lasted a few days and then the rules became more relaxed for all visitors. My family took the visitation rules very personally. They also told the doctors and the nurses they thought perhaps my wife was poisoning me.

                When my father died, they said my wife was not welcome at the funeral. I attended unaccompanied.

                I have told them that none of their allegations are  true. I cannot convince them. They think their actions are perfectly reasonable. They're not.

                Ironic that people who seemed so upset about not being able to visit me have made no attempt to see me since. That has been very revealing to me. I am better off without them but still, it hurts Tex.

                •  matador, I came back to (0+ / 0-)

                  the diary this morning thur and find your comment. I am sorry for whatever has been happening to you. It seems that indeed there is a complete breakdown in communications with your own family.

                  With all my due respect to you matador, reading what you say in this latest comment tells me to back away from trying to give you advise on something I know nothing about.

                  I am sorry as I have said. You seem to be very intelligent and well versed on issues you write about. Perhaps you should seek professional help with someone who deals with these type of family quarrels. I cannot help you matador even though you never asked for my help.

                  I can only tell you to stay alert and not to do something stupid that you may later regret.. Peace matador.

                  Old men tell same old stories

                  by Ole Texan on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:22:34 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You've already helped (0+ / 0-)

                    I appreciate your kindness. Me, a total stranger to you and you've taken the time and your trouble to hear me out.

                    I am seeing a professional. Not sure it's helping, but I do go for help.

                    My family has condemned me to a living hell on earth for which I have done nothing to deserve and for which there is seemingly no relief. These were people I cared about and who I thought cared about me. I used to think my opinion was really valued.

                    All I can do is to focus on the good things in my life and in good people. As I said, you have been of great help. Thank you.

  •  I'm very glad you made it through. (7+ / 0-)

    My father didn't survive his first heart attack - he died en route to the hospital.  In that sense, you're both lucky and smart - you got help while you still could.  My father waited far too long, and it cost him his life.

    I do understand how depression can come to define one's life after a major medical crisis.  I also suffered from a life-threatening crisis, but it was far more gradual then a sudden heart attack.  It started with blood in my stool, and escalated, over years and several hospitalizations, to a form of ulcerative colitis severe enough to be fatal.  Surgery saved my life, but it took a financial gift from a good friend to be able to afford it.

    Now I, too, have to take medicines the rest of my life, and I take 'em where the sun don't shine.  It's easy to get depressed after a crisis like this, because in some ways your body is less then what it used to be.  What keeps me going are my friends and loved ones.  Don't forget you have those, too...get whatever help you need for your mind as well as your heart.

    Never forget.

    •  ArchTeryx hello. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am very sorry and touched by your kindness to share your story and how your father passed away simply because he waited too long to look for help for his damaged heart.

      I can attest that volunteering information about our health at times is very difficult for several reasons that apply differently with people with heart problems. Perhaps your dad did not want to alarm his loved ones

      I myself hid my secret from my family. For some time I knew something was wrong with me..I did not know what but I had these bouts of  shortness of breath and tiredness. The bout of depression I felt came after I returned home from the hospital. But reading so many comments and advise has gotten my feet back on the ground and now I`m good.

      I am sorry also for your own health complications. I can honestly say that I would really go bananas if I had something like what you described that resulted in life saving surgery.

      I really appreciate you sharing such personal info.

      Thank you

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:01:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're very welcome. (0+ / 0-)

        Believe me, I understand about not wanting to share health problems with your loved ones.  About not wanting to deal with them.  Mine was a slow burn, but there was one terrible crisis.

        My stomach just started hurting one day, and unlike most stomach-aches, it didn't stop.  It just kept getting worse, and spread to my chest, a pain not unlike a heart attack.  I ignored it for a day.  Tried to will it away.  Then my graduate advisor's assistant took one look at me, and said if I didn't go to a hospital RIGHT NOW, she'd drag me there personally.

        Turned out I didn't have a heart attack going, I had acute pancreatitis - just as fatal if left untreated.  They started treatment immediately, and I survived.  It was the same sort of lesson learned that many sick people have to get help when you need it.

        And I'm damn glad you learned it in time.

        Us sick folks, we have to stick together.  Very often, ourselves and our loved ones are the only sources of support we have.

  •  Cardiac Rehab RN here! (12+ / 0-)

    with one big piece of news for you:
    I've been doing this work for more than 30 years now and on many, many occasions patients have said to me:
    "That heart attack turned out to be a good thing for me.  Since I started taking better care of myself, exercising and losing some weight, I felt better than I've felt in 20 years."
    Don't expect to feel that way soon - but 6 months or a year from now.

    Honestly - that is true for a lot of folks.

    Now some other random tidbits of wisdom:

    Find and join an outpatient cardiac rehab program - your cardiologist will know where one is.  You will get lots of info on self-care and lifestyle, along with supervised, individualized exercise to help you get back to full speed.

    The biggest challenge that a person with a new diagnosis of heart disease faces is how to think clearly about their condition.  People go wrong in two ways:
    "Oh, now I'm crippled, I'm a heart patient, I can't do anything anymore, my life is over"  Wrong!  You will likely return to full activity and live out a normal lifespan - if you do some things right.
    "OK, I'm all fixed now, I can go back to doing everything the same as before"  Also wrong.  You have a chronic condition called Coronary Artery disease and you will always need to make smart choices about taking care of it - eating healthy, exercising, taking a couple pills every day.  If you do those things, you will likely do just fine.

    And here's one for your wife (and you): Men in our culture are taught not to show weakness or "soft" emotions.  We learn that the only really acceptable strong emotion for a manly man is anger.  So a man who is feeling grief, fear, loss, etc at a new diagnosis of a scary disease often doesn't know how to express what he's really feeling.  But he feels strong emotion and thinks he must be angry.  And the handiest target for anger is the one person he knows he can trust not to abandon him - his wife.  Talk to each other about feelings!
    Hang in there - lots of good life ahead of you yet!

    "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verite et de la dire" Jean Jaures

    by Chico David RN on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 04:57:57 PM PDT

    •  Second this advice absolutely! (6+ / 0-)

      To those reading the comments in this diary, Chico David's advice is what recovering from heart surgery is all about.  He knows what he's talking about here.  Cardiac Rehab RNs are the experts on this.  Thank you, Chico David RN and all your brothers and sisters who do this work.  Bless you each and every one.

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

      by 3goldens on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:46:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Merci. here's a little secret: (8+ / 0-)

        It's the best, most rewarding job anyone could possibly ask for.  I'm 62, I've done this for 31 years this month.  And I plan to keep on doing it for a long time yet.  The best feeling in the world is seeing a patient who comes to us after heart surgery, feeling scared and fearful and uncertain, turn into a strong confident person in charge of their own health and future.  Nothing like it.

        "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verite et de la dire" Jean Jaures

        by Chico David RN on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:09:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ole Texan (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, bakeneko, ladybug53, worldlotus

    I am so happy that you lived through your heart attack. You beat it! I know that it rocked your world (bad way not good way) but you are still here to bitch about it. I like that part.

    "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

    by high uintas on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:09:14 PM PDT

  •  Awfully glad you are posting here tonight... (6+ / 0-)

    I am also glad that you have your family there with you.  Listen to them, they will help you mentally and physically adjust to your new found  situation.

    Thanks for letting us know what is going on with you.  I am delighted that you are here to post this evening.  Peace!

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:36:22 PM PDT

    •  Yo Bubba hi (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yo Bubba

      It is nice to read your kind words. My family is strong like I have said. They are with me always. I like to believe that I too am strong and that things will take a positive turn soon.

      I am glad to be here Yo Bubba to share my experience. I know that some people were made aware and my post was a wake up call for some to be aware.

      Thank you again

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:28:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Been there, done that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bakeneko, ladybug53, worldlotus

    Not massive heart attack but--get this--maybe a tiny heart attack.  I never felt pain, only shortness of breath and high heart rate.  But the docs said that a very small amount of some enzyme was found in my blood test which only happens when heart tissue dies.

    My problems have always been with heart rates until they really found out the cause cause of my arrhythmias.  My problems were some clogged arteries (of course) but mostly a congenitally deformed (bi-cuspid instead of tri-cuspid) heart valve.  So I have a quad bypass and a mechanical aortic heart valve prosthesis. For good measure, they did some kind of heart nerve ablation during my open heart surgery to kill any tendency for the arrhythmias.  This December 20th will be the 10th anniversary of my heart valve implantation.

    I'm probably on the same heart meds as you are, plus a blood thinner, warfarin (for the heart valve).  

    Regarding the blood pressure monitor you need, check out eBay for several very inexpensive digital models. The only thing you need to worry about is that if you use the units a lot, the cuff and or the pump-up tubing will eventually fail and need replacement and/or you'll need a new unit if you cant find a replacement cuff.  Probably between $25 and $35 + shipping.

    And...get thee to a cardio rehab unit soon.


    •  Hey Mad 60. (0+ / 0-)

      Congratulations for being successful through surgery of a thousand cuts, so to speak. Wow, your story reminds me of a guy who lives just a few house from me.

      I don`t know if you are talking about the mechanical aortic heart valve prosthesis being what the guy I mention above has in his chest, implanted surgically to monitor his heart. He also has had three by-pass heart surgeries and acts like it was nothing. I am amazed at the size of this guy`s scars due to surgeries to this heart.

      In your case, I am totally blown away with what you share with me. I really do not know what I would do if ever I was in the position you found yourself in leading to the surgeries of a million cuts.. I am glad for you Mad 60. Glad that you are still among us after such a horrible experience.

      Mad 60 I have mentioned several times in this diary and others that my daughter is a Registered Nurse and works a federal position in the veterans administration. My wife took a small white "watch case" looking box from a dresser that I think my daughter use to save it some time ago.

      It is a digital wrist OMRON blood pressure monitor HEM-608.
      I wrapped it around my wrist and tried it. I cannot make up from bottom of this thing. My daughter will stop by later to show me how to use it. It is now up to whether this thing still works properly after being hibernating for several years in a drawer.

      If not I will just buy another cheap one. A digital scale my daughter also have and is passing it down to me.

      So you see Mad 60, I am well on my way to another world and another life. Something I always wanted to do.



      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:52:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bakeneko, ladybug53, worldlotus, 3goldens

    Thanks for writing about writing something so personal. You did a lot with attitude etc. here....

    Although I don't need a wakeup call, it never hurts to be reminded what's going on inside, and being inspired to do all the things I know are right.

    Good luck with the rest of your recovery!

    •  Mother Shipper thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mother Shipper

      it is indeed personal. It is something I thought appropriate and important to put out there.

      I understand what you mean by saying I did a lot of attitude with this diary. I am happy so many people have stopped by to support me on this wobbly journey.

      I am feeling better slowly. I know the transition from my previous condition to the next will take a little time. It is worth the wait.

      I will be alright, thank you Mother Shipper.... a lot.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:57:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  (((((Ole Texan))))) (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BusyinCA, bakeneko, ladybug53, worldlotus

    I'm late finding this diary and after reading all the comments I see that all the wise and comforting things have been said better than I  could ever say them.

    But I wanted to post and let you know how happy I am to read your words saying that you survived and have been treated and are getting on board with the treatment.

    Because it sure as heck beats reading a diary by another Kossack telling us some other awful news.

    I love you Ole Texan and I'm just glad you're still here with us, and I hope you continue to get stronger and feel better and happier as the days go by.  I just know you will.

    You have to hang around and watch all the wonderful things these people in Texas are doing these days!  It's exciting!  Can you see us turning blue?  :D  Now don't tell me that won't be worth hanging around to watch  ;)

    (((((Ole Texan)))))

    Rebel. Even if you fail, even if we all fail, we will have asserted against the corporate forces of exploitation and death our ultimate dignity as human beings.Chris Hedges

    by politik on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 07:00:40 PM PDT

    •  Hello my dear friend politik, hello indeed!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      All day today I wanted to speed my replies to so many comment only to reach yours, but they kept on coming. I finally made it here today. It is 6:00 p.m. here in Milwaukee.

      I hope you read this. My diary fell off this morning I believe while I was still busy answering the comments, something I promised I would do in my diary. I could not see myself ignoring any one who so kindly came to give me good tidings and support. So I hope I fulfilled my promise.

      politik thank you from the bottom of my heart for such warm and heavy felt words you bring to me today. I feel much better because I know you speak from the heart. A healthy heart I am so glad you have. Keep being yourself my friend and never change your so nice attitude towards our camaraderie. It has been a pleasant pleasure to have known you and it has nothing to do with your generous gift a while ago.

      politik I do not know if you forgot that I live in Milwaukee. I am however a Texan at heart. That is why I use my name here at Dkos "ole Texan".

      I do. I mean I wish I could be there in San Antonio to watch Texas turn blue. The word it out and I believe it.

      Now I can go to bed and rest. I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate every time you interact with me..I am fine my friend. I will be back much stronger. I know I will.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:15:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh you sound so good! (0+ / 0-)

        I think your spirits must be lifting already and that's just wonderful!

        No, I haven't forgotten that you live in WI, but I know you still love Texas too, and that you keep watch over what goes on here.  Just as I am interested in political happenings in WI.  I think of us as kindred states in our battle for our constitutional rights under the "leadership" of those who are leading the wrong way.  We have much to learn from each others' struggles.  Protesters are at my capitol this very moment, standing for Texas women.  I'm listening to their testimony on the live feed that the Texas Tribune provides.

        I'm so very glad that we are able to keep having these occasional conversations, Ole Texan.  I want you to be around long enough to see me become an "ole Texan" (and that's not too far off in the future, ha!)

        So very happy that you're still here!  Take care!

        Rebel. Even if you fail, even if we all fail, we will have asserted against the corporate forces of exploitation and death our ultimate dignity as human beings.Chris Hedges

        by politik on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:58:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  politik, here I am (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          again after my diary disappeared from the charts. I am amazed that some are still with me here this Wed. morning. Yes my friend I am struggling to keep my spirit up, although I went through a period of several denials in my responses to some comments that told me it was normal for me to feel depressed.

          I am feeling like no one is around. I am the only one living a in world with nothing but despair and loneliness. I now know that what I was told over and over (depression) is so real.

          It is beneficial to me that I had those comments made because I am living off of them to understand that I am alright and it is only the price I have to pay to pass that hump and get better....which I will, I promise.

          My daughter last evening brought me a new blood pressure tester and a scale. She is a registered nurse and knows what I am going through. I have my family support politik, so I am O.K., but I tell you. My personal feelings of anger towards myself are telling....O.K. enough of that!

          Ha, Texas Blue, you said? Yes I have been watching protesters (Davis) filibustering, first the war against women bill that failed. It does seem to me that Texas indeed will be on Democratic column in the next presidential elections. The tide will finally turn and I hope that Perry is kicked out soon.

          Old men tell same old stories

          by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:24:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Keep coming back and reading these comments (0+ / 0-)

            If it helps.  Or write a new diary and let us know how you're doing.  But don't gloss over the bad parts: if you're feeling down, then tell us.  We'll do what we can to help you.  I have no experience with heart problems, but there are many here who have and who understand exactly what you're going through.

            I'm glad your daughter lives close and is a nurse.  Makes me feel better knowing she's there for you.  Just remember that your kossack friends are keeping you in our prayers, and looking forward to more diaries and stories from you!

            Have a Good 4th of July!

            Rebel. Even if you fail, even if we all fail, we will have asserted against the corporate forces of exploitation and death our ultimate dignity as human beings.Chris Hedges

            by politik on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:27:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  {{{{ole texan}}}} (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bakeneko, ladybug53, worldlotus

    Sending you all the positive energy I can.

    My mother had a massive heart attack, and she went through the similar gamut of emotions -- I understand the difficult time you are having processing it all right now. But your family loves and needs you, and your friends here care that you take care of yourself. There is strength in that--feel free to draw on it.

    "If you are sure you understand everything that is going on around you, you are hopelessly confused." Walter Mondale

    by klompendanser on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 07:01:28 PM PDT

    •  Klompendanser, I am so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      sorry that until this Wed. morning I got to your comment to respond. I so much hope that you come and check this diary so you can read this.

      I am so sorry that your Mom suffered a massive heart attack.
      It is interesting that you mention she went through emotions similar to the ones I am going through. I say this because I had been denying that I was depressed. My self denial has now been confirmed to me by so many folks who have tried to uplift my spirit.

      Now that I know that it is normal for me to feel down, I am using that new knowledge to plan a different approach and get better. That approach is to get out of the house and do things like walking and other stuff that deflects that feeling.

      Thank you Klompendanser for such a warm comment of support. I thank you and my friends at Genealogy, some that have come to make supporting comments to me.

      I hope that your Mom is well and still with you. Please stay safe.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:34:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  KNOW the signs and symptoms Kossacks! (5+ / 0-)

    As an ER nurse I am comfortable with cardiac and we deal with it on a daily basis.  But you the patient have to get to us.  MAJOR symptom esp in males is DENIAL!
    If you do not feel 'normal', note the time and get yourself to the ER.  Chest painers go ahead of nearly everyone else (unless we know you to fake CP to get to head of line, yep, people do it).  
    Women, symptoms may not be the same as men.  Pain may be in neck upper abdomen, shoulders, but again if you feel even an inkling that something is not right, GET YOURSELF in to see us!  It's what we do every day.  We hate drunks and runny noses.  If you are with someone who has weird symptoms, force them to go to ER!
    You may just save a life.

    •  ERRN, please read (0+ / 0-)

      the reply I just wrote to Klompendanser above your comment.
      I am a prime example of "males in Denial". In my case I am suffering this decease after the heart attack.

      I denied several time in my diary that I was depressed. I was wrong. But I now know its normal and it helps me. I can feed off of that new knowledge to better understand the route I need to take to get better.

      ER and RN nurses ROCK!

      My daughter is a registered nurse and knows this. She will guide me through this.

      And you ERRN, bless you for sounding the alarm to those who will listen.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:42:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  New Habits Get Easier (5+ / 0-)

    Mine wasn't life threatening (yet) but mitochondrial myopathy with glycogen storage disease that lead to debilitating joint pain and lack of energy has caused me to make fundamental changes as well.  I can't have wheat, dairy, eggs, beef, corn, or rice.  I have to take 40 supplements a day. pizza, no cereal, no sandwiches, no pasta, no high fructose corn syrup (it's in everything).  I remember standing in a grocery store crying because I couldn't eat just about everything anymore. started to get easier.  First, find a few things that you CAN have no matter what and make sure that you always have them on hand.  For me it was fruit and nuts (and dark chocolate).  Then, start adding things to dishes that you used to think of as side dishes.  A salad for me is no longer a salad.  I use spring mix, with whatever veggies are on hand, cut small, and throw in almonds or walnuts, craisins or other fruit, and turkey or chicken if you have it.  Get a nice honey balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  All of a sudden, you have to work hard to get up to 400 it starts to actually feel like a meal.  If it takes 20 minutes to eat, it's not a side dish anymore.  Then, I discovered Chocolate Silk (soymilk).  It's wonderful, and guess what?  They have a frozen version to eat instead of ice cream. Almond milk is good as well.  

    Once I got past the terror of not living my life as I have been, I discovered that after a month or so, you get used to the new way of living and you don't really miss the old as much.  At first, if I saw pizza, I would have an emotional response...I was sad.  I can honestly say that I'm not sad anymore.  I think that it is possible to change your brain!  

    I'm happy to report that it is worth it.  My symptoms are almost gone and I have energy back in my life.  I've started exercising again and my motivation is different now that I know how bad things can be.  Somehow, 40 minutes of weight lifting isn't that hard to fit into the routine anymore.  An hour walk is something to look forward to.

    I'm not saying that healthy eating is easy, but it's easier if you can identify 10 things that are OK no matter what.  Then, experiment.  Add some fruit glaze to your chicken or fish.  Try a new veggie stir fry sauce...and add some cabbage.  Did you know that cabbage behaves almost like pasta when stir fried and served with sauce?  Go to the healthy store and get some fresh peanut butter.  Cut up some apples and dip them in.  That's breakfast!

    I miss bread.  I miss oreos.  I don't know what I'm going to do at girl scout cookie time.  I can eat a row of thin mints in no time flat.  Or, at least, I miss the memory of them.  I think that I am slowly forgetting what these things taste like.  I've replaced those memories with my new stand-bys.  It really does work.

    Best wishes...

    •  ImagiNancy, hello (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you so much for so important information on the diet that I will need to start using. I will miss all of the above you mention.

      I read your comment through and I am sorry it took me until this Wed. morning to tell you this. So many people have come to give me support and I promised that I would maintain this diary whenever I could. I am trying hard to answer each and every one.

      Thank you ImagiNancy, perhaps some other time in another diary we can interact more fully.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:47:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have had stents put in four different times (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bakeneko, Fury, worldlotus, ladybug53

    Just remember, ole texan, the hospital that took care of you probably does 20 of these procedures a day.  For them, this is less serious than an appendectomy (of course, that doesn't stop them from charging $37,000 for your simple operation.)

    Try to chill out, man.  You will find out that many of your friends have had this done and survived.  Yes indeed, if you can milk some deep philosophical insights from the experience, by all means do it.  But do it soon because if you are like most of us, you'll be wondering what all the fuss was about in about four weeks.

    Outside of the headaches of coping with the greedheads in the medical-industrial complex, I found the biggest hassle was learning to cook new foods.

    You will probably be just fine.

    •  techno, hey thanks a (0+ / 0-)

      lot for your encouragement. You are absolutely right. I have to pull myself together and get with the program.

      I guess I can tell you that I have learned some key issues on
      why I am feeling so crummy and stale. I was denying that I was going through a serious case depression.

      I am, but now I know its normal in my case. I will get there techno.

      Thank you. I needed that.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:52:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hang on Tex! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bakeneko, worldlotus, ladybug53, 3goldens

    I am sending you this bad rhyme to lift your spirits.

    My boy ol' Tex was feelin' poorly,
    Seems his ticker has checked out early.
    The sawbones fixed it, good as new,
    'cept fer some screws and tape and glue.
    It's workin' fine, with some parts left over.
    Soon Tex will be rompin' and rollin' in the clover.

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 07:52:07 PM PDT

    •  My understanding is that it's common (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ruleoflaw, worldlotus, ladybug53

      to be depressed after a heart attack.

      My partner was, after his first one. 21 years ago (he's 69 now).

      It. Is. Not. A. Death. Sentence.

      What it is is a reminder to take care of yourself.

      It will get better.

      And you're lucky; your wife sounds smart. And supportive.

      Makes a huge difference.

      Best wishes to you, OT and take care.

    •  Ha, ha ruleoflaw. I love (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it! I always have admired your way with words. One of the best I have seen here.

      Thank you.

      Only today Wed. morning did I have the strength and energy
      to continue answering all comments, something I promised I would do in my diary.

      Your words in this poem are on target. You wrote words that tell exactly as I feel.

      You brought a much need smile and even a small har, har, har
      to my screen. Bless you my friend.

      Take care, and sorry again for the delay.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:00:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your life has changed forever (5+ / 0-)

    But you are alive.  

    All of us are in denial about our mortality.   My father went absolutely ape shit when the doctors told him he could not drive for six weeks after his second heart attack.  I will likely do the same when a doc tells me I can't do something that I normally do.

    I hope that you can celebrate the special gift that is called life.  

    Hang tight and take care. My mother would say to take each day as it comes.


    •  Libby Shaw I hope (0+ / 0-)

      that you and some others read what I am writing today Wed. morning. I have so many things going on that I lagged back on my responses to so many wonderful comments, like yours here. I still have unanswered comments I am working on.

      Ha, I can see your Dad fuming by being told not to drive. But hey, after a second heart attack? I really hope he is still with you and well.

      I do admit my own attack scared the crap out of me. I am celebrating my special gift of life and promise to take care of myself..

      Thank you very much. And your Mom was and is right about taking each day as it comes...Moms, not fathers know best.

      My best wishes to you and hope you won`t have to listen to what your Dad heard.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:12:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stents (5+ / 0-)

    I was a smoker for many years. That and genetics caught up with me in '96 when  I ended up with 2 stents in my heart. On those blood thinners ever since.
    Fast forward to 2008. Cardiologist saw something on my annual tests & ordered an angiogram. Didn't expect anything since I hiked 5 or 6 miles the day before with no symptoms. Woke up in CICU. Nurses were calling me Full Metal Jacket. I bit, asking why. 7 additional stents installed!

    FMJ is now my alternate identity.

    Untamed, unashamed Liberal still living in the wild.

    by 13Friday on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:17:42 PM PDT

    •  13Friday, such a (0+ / 0-)

      straightforward comment! And a scary one at that believe me.

      I beat cigarettes in 94 after smoking since around 13 years of age. Never a chain smoker, luckily I guess so I cannot blame my heart attack on smoking. More so on not taking care of my self. I do not recall ever being told what brought on my attack. I guess it now irrelevant eh?

      Your case 13Friday is kinda creepy I think. I mean from `96 up til 2008 adds up in my math to 12 years post-stents when you had that done. Bummer when after so many walks and miles trying to take care of yourself only to stumble for an additional seven stents installed..Full Metal Jacket sound about right.

      I hope you are feeling good after all of this. I will come back to check on your response because I would like to ask you a question. Here it is:

      How does an Ex-Ray work in our cases, with metal stents in our hearts? Are we now dangerous like the Micro-wave?

      I will come back later for your response. I have been wanting to ask this question but simply forgot.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:29:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't have time to read the comments so (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, Pandoras Box

    sorry if this is redundant but want to put this out in case no one else did.

    People in your shoes often grieve their old life. You are likely grieving. Remember that grief has those stages...anger, denial, bargaining, sadness etc. You don't move through them fluidly in order you can go back and forth or even have all at once.

    It really does sound like that's what's happening.  You have had a loss of your view of your own health and body "never took even an aspirin". You may have to grieve your conception/perception of yourself, your body etc. It doesn't matter if our perceptions were accurate or not when they are dashed often we have to grieve the loss or change.  

    When you feel bad, it helps to remember that the only way out of feelings is through them. You have to feel them to get to the other more peaceful side. I learned that myself the hard way after a lifetime of blocking feelings...blocking my grief when I lost both parents close together didn't, er, work well. Loss is loss and you have had a scare and it sounds like you've had a loss of your your former self concept or concept of your body and health.
    One thing...probably others pointed this out. You say you had a cardiac arrest or a massive cardiac arrest. That means your heart stopped and you were clinically dead. From your story it seems you don't mean that. I have a belief I humor that putting bad stuff out there that is worse than what happened is not a good idea sort of karmically so I wanted to mention it.

    I hope some day you will come through to see that taking close care of your health may be a good thing...eating, exercise, keeping blood pressure down. Who knows where you will be at when you move through your feelings?

    Hope you feel better quickly and have not sustained permanent damage to your heart muscle.

    •  jplanner, thank you a (0+ / 0-)

      million and more for pointing our something very important that you mentioned that I wrote in my diary.

      You seem to understand better than me what a heart attack is and the differences in some of them. If what you say about a "massive heart attack" is, than I should not have used the words "massive heart attack", or, obviously as you point out my heart would have stopped and I probably not survived.

      Clinically as well as Scientifically I have to agree that you are correct.

      I used that term based on how I felt. Based on the pounding in my chest, and believe me it was massive, which muddled the term as well as the meaning.

      With so many comments to my diary and no one bringing your point forward to be corrected I must tell you that I appreciate your words here. I wanted so bad to educate those who have never undergone what I went through take note. I hope some one reads what you say. What you bring  is one lesson I overlooked that will help some understand.

      Thank you so much.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:47:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We live, and then we die (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That is the way of the world.

    The doctors don't necessarily make is live longer, but they do make us go broke sooner.

    Take your aspirin a day.  With a shot of good bourbon.  And tell the docs that you'll be just fine without 6 different prescription meds.

    We are here on this earth for our time.  We aren't here on this earth for Big Pharma.

    Cause he gets up in the morning, And he goes to work at nine, And he comes back home at five-thirty, Gets the same train every time.

    by Keith930 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:45:23 PM PDT

    •  Bad advice. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We have made major advances in the treatment of heart disease in the past 50 years.  Those meds (probably blood thinners, BP medications, etc) have been proven time and time again to extend life, especially in those patients who have already suffered a heart attack.  Heck, a lot of them are probably generic, since they've been around for so long.  Don't deny Ole Texan the chance to get himself better just because you have some silly vendetta against prescription drugs.

      "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

      by Brian A on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:30:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brian A hi there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        dude. Thank you so much for this comment.

        Keith means no harm. I am sure about that.

        What you say about treatment of heart disease is true. I got
        the best treatment anyone could get at the hospital, even if
        I fell on the Moocher`s side.

        Everyone who came to my bed was a professional and the RN`s cleaned my wounds inflicted by so many needles were tenderness.

        Heck, I am O.K. Brain A. Please do not let Keith`s humor ruin your warm and welcome comment. He means no harm I am sure. I have read some of his writings and that is only how he harm, no foul.

        peace Brain A, and thank you

        Old men tell same old stories

        by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:00:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Keith930, ha (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for the humor. I needed and need that today. I know
      you mean no harm.

      Hey you are so right! I can agree in what you say in most cases.

      However when it comes to the valentine, I will skip the bourbon.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:50:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  First, I want to echo all the good wishes and good (4+ / 0-)

    advice you've gotten here, and then I want to tell you, in no uncertain terms, to get your damn blood pressure under control before you have a stroke that makes all your heart attack seem like a cake walk. Here's a link to the Mayo Clinic High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) info. It's easy to read and a good place to start.

    To answer your immediate question, here's what it says about the numbers:

    Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories:
    Normal blood pressure. Your blood pressure is normal if it's below 120/80 mm Hg. However, some doctors recommend 115/75 mm Hg as a better goal. Once blood pressure rises above 115/75 mm Hg, the risk of cardiovascular disease begins to increase.
    Prehypertension. Prehypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg. Prehypertension tends to get worse over time.
    Stage 1 hypertension. Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 140 to 159 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99 mm Hg.
    Stage 2 hypertension. More severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher.
    If your high number ever gets to 150, call your doctor. If it gets to 200, go to the ER.
    •  fellow warrior Tex (0+ / 0-)

      it's been three months since my double bypass surgery.
      I can relate to everything you wrote especially the emotional part.

      All the best from me. cheers!

      •  Euroliberal (0+ / 0-)

        welcome to the club. Now I know for sure why I am depressed. I was denying it before. everyone tells me its normal.

        Thank you. I will now have another job to perform. control my emotions. That is the most easy I guess...I hope

        Old men tell same old stories

        by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:12:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  RJDixon, thank you (0+ / 0-)

      for such important tip. Last evening my daughter came by with a brand new blood pressure tester and a scale. she showed me how to use the blood pressure tester. she is a RN.

      I called the hospital earlier in the morning because I forgot what the number written on the board in my room by nurses. It showed my blood pressure and how it should read.

      I was given the number to be 120 over 60.

      In the evening my daughter put the blood pressure tester on me and my pressure is normal. I will now test myself each morning and whenever I want to.

      I am alright in that regard, thanks. I appreciate the block quote you provide. I will study it.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:09:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  glad you wrote this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    it means you're gonna be fine. it's okay to rage into the blackness and blow it out to find the light.

    take care.

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

    by pfiore8 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:45:06 AM PDT

  •  4 years ago today I was in the ICU (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, ImpeachKingBushII

    with a heart attack. I had a heart attack at home, my wife shoved me in the car and got me to the fire station. They transported me in an ambulance. While being transported I had to be shocked back to life twice nd then once again later on the table. They did about the same to me as they did to you---stents.
    It happened to me the day before MIchael Jackson died, I watched tht all on the TV in the ICU.
    the worst part of it was shoving the catheter up my penis. That was the worst pain I was ever in. I had a brachytherapy for Prostate cancer and it shrunk my prostate. So when they tried to stick the catheter with the bulb it wouldn't go. I was screaming and banging on the side of the cart, begging and pleading with them to stop---mussta woke up that whole fucking ICU. Who cares? they were killing me!!
    I told them  if they just had to shove it in whether it killed me or notto just shove that sucker in and don't worry about my screams. I did not use nice words saying this. So the guy says---and I'm not making this up---OK, we're going to try one with a smaller tip.
    I'm like: Oh thank you SO much. Asshole!!
    I was in the ICU for 4 days. What was so bizarre was that every one of the nurses there was obese. they were all wearing pink and in my drug induced haze they all looked like pink hippos floating around.
    . I'm like:Why Me? I'm in great shape! (for 61, then)

    The cost for all this was bout $95K. I am a 100% disabled vet so the VA picked up the entire tab.
    Best use of public funds ever.

    Good luck, OT, glad you made it. Enjoy the rest of your life

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:39:04 AM PDT

    •  exlrrp, hey hello. (0+ / 0-)

      You yanked a smile across my face with some of your humor. The catheter is no joke however. Being fully awake and watching everything being done qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment don`t you think? I can attest to the pain.

      I can only imagine how it must have felt for your family when your demon struck. Being zapped back to life is really bad on anyone`s mind to remember. I am sorry that it happened this way for you.

      I guess I am kinda lucky. After all I have read of experiences by others I feel blessed. exlrrp I hope that you are now left alone by all those flying pink hippos to continue a good life.

      Thank you for sharing your experience.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:38:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, Ole Texan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ImpeachKingBushII, 3goldens

    I appreciate your writing this diary.  I have a friend who had a heart attack at like 43 years old. She described it the same way - monster with an axe!

    Glad you came through the other side of it and are able to write about it.  You've been given some good advice in the comments about your depression.

    hang in there, and please continue to take care of yourself!  


    •  Pandoras Box, good (0+ / 0-)

      morning (Wed. 10 a.m.). I only got to your comment this morning. So many comments of support I promised to answer in my diary.

      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement to hang in there. I am trying to do just that, learning that it won`t be easy. I will be alright Pandoras Box, thank you so much.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:43:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  much love and more {{{hugs}}} (0+ / 0-)

        when I spoke to my friend (mentioned above) who had a heart attack about your diary, she said the most important thing for her was to do that cardiac rehabilitation thing!  it helped her so much to realize she wasn't alone in how she was feeling

  •  Been there, done that (5+ / 0-)

    Had a major heart attack this last February.  I only felt tightness when I got to the hospital.  I was in the cath lab in less than half an hour; three stents.  Also now on several medications, probably for life.  Part of my heart muscle is dead, and will remain so.

    I had some initial depression as well.  I also have had very little in the way of medical issues over the years; just the last two have been rough.  But I have chosen to react with defiance.

    I have been working my ass off to be more of the kind of person I wish to be.  Don't get me wrong; on a scale of 1 to 10, I would consider myself, as is, at least a 7.  Buth there is always room for more improvement, more joy, more love, less fear.

    So I'm in a men's therapy group.  I'm going to ACA meetings.  I have gotten more help with my (autistic) son, so that I have more time for myself.  Not because I want to be more self-involved; exactly the reverse.  So that I reduce the one deadly factor that can take me out the quickest: my stress factor.  The happier and more relaxed I am, the more likely that my boy will have me around for many years to come.  

    I have, in the last few months, played pool with a group of guys for the first time in 20 years, held a birthday party, hats streamers noisemakers blowouts balloons and all, dressed up as a punk rocker, complete with mohawk and green hair.  I plan to jump out of a plane, something I have wanted to do but was afraid to consider for a long time, as soon as my cardiologist clears me.

    And food?  Lots of great food that doesn't involve cardiac self-mutilation.  I have started cooking more again.

    That depression?  It passes.  The opportunity to seize life with both hands, to live rather than merely exist?  That stays.  Good luck.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:08:17 AM PDT

    •  aravir, good morning (0+ / 0-)

      well its now 11 a.m. Wed. morning. yours is the last comment I have on the comments section to answer. So I have more time to really engage with you here. Your case is so interesting I can see that you were basically wheeled into the cath lab in less than half an hour?? Do you mean half an hour after you arrived to the hospital? I think I might have misinterpreted your message there.

      The medications for life is what really sucks for me though. As I wrote I never took an aspirin in my life before I got home from the hospital. I will take four others. Blood thinner, cholesterol, pill for high blood pressure, and a beta-blocker to help heart to beat normal and reduce work load.

      My diet: Low salt, low cholesterol, low fat diet.

      So basically what others have gone through with a situation as mine, I guess the price I have to pay is not that costly. Oh I am depressed. At first I denied it, repeatedly in comments.

      I cannot say the extent of the damage to my heart until I talk to my cardiologist in 30 days. When he finished with his Catherization operation he told me that my heart was now normal, the blood was flowing normally after he placed two stents to open clogs in those veins.

      All I wanted that day was to get out of the cath lab and back to my bed, where now I would have a room all to myself to recuperate, and just kick back. Really the time I had to spend in the hospital was used by nurses real good. I am very humbled and now I only have to work keeping my blood pressure in check. I have a brand new tester at home and a scale to watch my weigh as well.

      I would like to participate in an exercise program that is being recommended by the hospital, at the hospital. But I am having difficulty due to transportation. My kids do have wheels but they also have lives to live. So what they suggest is that I go with the programs I was given in bookets to follow. It shows what type of exercise I can do at home. So anyway I have to call back to the hospital to tell them I cannot be part of their program for the reasons I  mentioned.

      I know, others have told me my kids should do this for me, after all I gave them life, and they should give me back mine. I just don`t feel right putting them through this.

      I hope that you are now doing good, with your cooking. I know a bit about pots and pans, but must adjust to what is right and easy for me to put on my chef`s attire.

      Take care and if you read this lately but surely reply, do write and I will check here periodically.

      Have a nice day.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:47:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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