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Health Thread

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Goldenboy, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    This is dedicated to robinc, we shared a common thread...

    I was fortunate to share a moment in robinc's life, Friday, before he passed. His son relayed to Pete it was from a heart attack. On July 15,2007 I, also suffered a heart attack' while pedaling hard, downhill on my bicycle. There are some scary terms for this; "a sudden onset major catastrophic event". In my case, it involved the "left anterior descending coronary artery", "LAD", nicknamed "The Widow Maker", as this is the most common vessel associated with a sudden spike in blood pressure. This is a "silent killer". This is the one they speak of when someone dies from shoveling snow. A collection of plaque (blood platelets) form a bulge in an artery, which can burst, sending a clot to the narrowest part of the LAD. This vessel sits on the front of the heart. If not treated quickly, it is fatal, as the LAD supplies oxygenated blood to the heart muscle, itself, and due to it's close proximity to the heart, it maintains a normally high pressure. In my case, I was in denial and took a wait and see approach; I had experienced a sudden sensation in my breast bone as if someone flicked a finger against it, and a sudden, mild indigestion and dull pain radiating down my left arm. I was hoping it would subside, and was only a gas pain. After all, 3 months ago I had a stress test, and passed with flying colors and was in good shape. We didn't have a cell phone, and we were alone, so I biked another 5 miles to a park. By that time, I had shortness of breath,, a cold sweat in 85 degree heat, and felt as though someone was pressing the points of two fingers, hard against my breastbone to brace themselves as they pressed a hot clothes iron, hard against my back. My wife had someone call 911 and within 12 minutes an ambulance arrived as I lye on a picnic table, unable to bear the pain, unable to reposition myself to ease the pain, Within one hour, an noncoated beryllium stent was placed in the LAD through the femoral artery. The blockage was 98 percent. This was my first morning back, home from vacation in Cape Cod. We biked 200 miles while there. We were staying 60 miles from Hyannis, the nearest hospital, and the ambulance would have to get me first. Luck has a lot to do with me telling you this...
    There are two diagnostic tests which I would like to tell you about which can save your life:
    1) CT Calcium Scoring Test- this cat scan test will designate a numerical value to the calcium deposits in coronary arteries surrounding your heart. This number tells the cardiologist what percentage of your arteries are blocked. The American Medical Assn. sets guidelines as per what remedy is needed according to the numbers. Not everyone needs a by-pass, or a bunch of stents. Your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol medicine, or nothing at all.
    2) Duplex Ultrasound To Rule Out An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm- Lucille Ball died from an AAA. In the U.S., every Medicare recipient is entitled to a once in a lifetime screening for this. An aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of a pressurized artery, which may burst in an, otherwise, healthy person's abdominal aorta, the largest vessel in the body. It is uncommon, but if found, can be fixed with an umbrella catheter inserted by small incision through the femoral, or brachial artery.
    At your next check-up, please speak with your doctor and ask him to write you a couple of scripts for these tests. It may give you peace of mind and a few more miles to ride. I will continue to relay items in this thread, so please take a look. Thank you!
    peanut, KC 120, Boog and 11 others like this.
  2. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    My insurance won't cover this.... I paid out of pocket. It's worth the peace of mind.
    peanut, MaxPete, Wulfbyte and 4 others like this.
  3. Downeaster

    Downeaster Everything in XS Top Contributor

    I got my free AAA scan last year. All clear.

    I get a full physical every year as I have a risky genetic background. Mom was less than 40 years old when a heart attack took her (I was 6 months old at the time), Dad was 67 when a clot broke loose in his leg and took him. None of my grandparents made it to 70, all cardio related.

    I'm on BP and cholesterol meds, watch my weight and try (with varying degrees of success) to eat a reasonable diet.

    The good news is, I have three older brothers, all still with us, and all in decent health considering the mileage. Oldest turned 83 this past February.
    madmax-im, MaxPete, Wulfbyte and 7 others like this.
  4. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

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  5. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    I can't speak for your family's habits, but recent information has determined that a lot of previous health problems blamed on genetics have, actually been linked to Grandma's cooking. The Eskimoes lived on blubber, but the normal life span was mid 30's due to other factors. Polar bears and murder were high on the list. I once read a book called "The Kabloona", written in 1936 by an Englishman. This was an unsanctioned, individual, anthropological exploration. The Kabloona was the term for this white man given him by the Eskimoes he interacted with. The word Eskimo translated to "Preeminantly a Man" and he traveled as far as was necessary to reach Eskimoes, who had next to no contact with the white man and he related his experiences living with them for a year, thus contaminating his subjects forever. His observations were, at times, unscientific and unprofessional. For example, he mentioned, 'You have smelled nothing 'til you've smelled the inside of an igloo...":) I, also remember that after submitting this book for publication the Kabloona vanished.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  6. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Ordered Kabloona from the library, thanks!
    Wulfbyte and Goldenboy like this.
  7. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    If you have heard of the "Human Papillomavirus" (HPV) and how there's a vaccine for it to give children (around)12 years old, if you have kids, take it seriously. HPV was responsible for the Squamous Cell carcinoma (tumor) I had in my throat. That will have been 5 years ago, Christmas eve, when I received the last of 33 radiation, and 7 chemo treatments. I was out of work for 6 months. I couldn't swallow, needed a feeding tube, because of the tumor that was strangling me from the inside-out. I almost died twice. But God has other plans for me...
    peanut, xjwmx, GLJ and 7 others like this.
  8. Downeaster

    Downeaster Everything in XS Top Contributor

    Oh, no doubt. Fried everything, red meat at at least one and usually two meals a day. Tobacco and alcohol figured into all of the men involved as well. Those are factors I can control, and do.
    madmax-im, MaxPete, geedubya and 2 others like this.
  9. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Golden boy,
    This is some great information, thank you for sharing your story. I think heart health is something that we all need to pay attention to , for sure!

    I think if you go back to our parents generation and even more so , their parents generation, the overall life expectancy was much shorter simply because people didn’t understand the cause and effect that their diet and lifestyle had on their health. I came from a long line of Midwest Irish farmers and most of them died relatively young from heart problems. I don’t think it was so much genetic as diet induced. My God! Everything was red meat ,fried and covered with gravey, and all the veggies were drowning in real butter. They were all built like bears.

    High blood pressure does run in my family and it didn’t miss me, I take BP medicine and it is well controlled.
    Since this is a heart health conversation there is something timely that I’ve been thinking about.

    I just had my yearly physical, and my Dr. told me about a recent study that says, even if your cholesterol numbers are good, if you are a male over age 50, statistically you are at a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke and the study recommends that every male over the age of 50 should take a statin to reduce their risk. He said it would just be a preventative, like taking a low dose aspirin daily.

    We talked about this for a while and in the end, I said I would think about it. Statins are not without their own risks and side effects, and I won’t go into all my numbers but my cholesterol is very good, I eat a very healthy diet, and I exercise. Prior to this study I would never have been someone recommended to take statins. Also the suspicious half of me questions who would profit from implementing this proposal , the drug company who conducted the study maybe?

    I will also say, that I already take a number of medications to control chronic asthma, and I am hesitant to add to that list.

    I am not giving advice here, I am certainly no Dr.
  10. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    I'm happy you did. If you're like me, you will enjoy it. I was surprised to learn they had no concept of the future. If you said, I'll see you in 2 weeks, they thought that was strange, because people disappeared in the frozen wilderness on a regular basis and these people lived for now.
    Mailman likes this.
  11. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    Nor am I. More of a test pilot. Actually, a work horse floor tech in radiology for 30 years, working shoulder to shoulder with the radiologist, whom other doctors come to for consultation. Most doctors cant read CT's or MRI's . They are the most knowledgeable doctors in a hospital.Yeah, my doctor prescribed Vytorin, a well advertized and promoted statin and I took it for 5 years before having a heart attack. The next year, it was pulled from the shelves as it was not effective, and it was revealed that clinical trials were biased to benefit the drug company. No class action was ever initiated and, I'll say Phiser was the culprit. But, to prove your heart attack was caused by that drug is intangible. You could be on a cheese cake/ milkshake diet. I am going to mention more about these things in other posts, but I'm going to give you a quick reference guide to check meds; Drugs.com, free website with all you need. Key in your meds and look at the Descriptions, Side Effects, Interactions in plain language, and they'll toss in the interactions with common foods without asking. If the doctor tells me to get a script, I go right there to see Interactions, before purchasing. Believe it or not, if common aspirin was introduced to the FDA for approval today, it would never get to the shelves. The website I mentioned says aspirin reacts with 300 other drugs! Now, you will pay by giving me a pass on a farmer joke. A farmer is sitting in his barn milking a cow and says to himself," It's four o'clock in the mornin' an Ah wish Ah was pullin' on some uther kinda tits...":laugh:
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
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  12. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    Never too late to start.
    Yes, I did hear that and am glad you have responded to treatment. I've done swallowing studies with the radiologist and speach therapist and what you've gone through is no picnic. The local Fonzie came back from 'Nam with a bad habit, was a heavy smoker, drinker and doper. If you got too close to Butch and tried to keep up with him, you might wake up dead on your front lawn in the morning. We used to say, "He would not accept the ways of the white man." But, in retrospect, I believe it was PTSD. He succumbed to throat cancer at 56, despite the other things I've mentioned.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  13. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    You can also read what the consensus is on taking statins if your bad cholestoral is OK. Just ask the question and see the results from two noted websites; The Mayo Clinic and Web MD. These sites won't blast you with spam. I hate to say it, but there are a lot of doctors who are "out of the loop".***But please keep in mind, the advice from your doctor may be in conjunction with the high BP and age to also take a statin.***
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  14. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Goldenboy,
    thanks for starting this thread, thought my own experience would add to it.
    I had a heart attack at age 59. Symptoms? Felt like shit to the extent that I had my wife drive me to the local Hospital.
    "Heart attack" they cried and ten minutes later I was in hospital pyjamas in the ICU. As it turned out, only a mild one, lucky me.
    That was 22 years ago so my daily Vitamin E and 81mg coated aspirin must be working OK.
    Having a second heart attack has never worried me but when I reached age 67 I ran scared the whole year because my Dad was
    that age when he had a fatal stroke. My Mother died of heart failure at 82 so next year will be another scary one.
    And no statins for me. From what I've read, statins fuck you up worse than the problems they're supposed to fix.
    Wulfbyte and Goldenboy like this.
  15. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    Thanks for adding to this, and I"m glad to hear you faired well, afterwards. I had my heart attack at 56, same age as my dad. The cardiologist told me this would be a rare opportunity to help my younger brother by getting him in for a calcium scoring CT, which he agreed to and they found a 66% blockage, so they put him on statins. Most people get in trouble with mixing with them with alcahol, but there are very little drug interactions with them, according to Drugs.com.
  16. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    Having a heart attack was the easy part. Lucky to be alive, and watching TV in my hospital bed the next day, the cardiologist came to see me. He said, You suffered an acute myocardial infarct, resulting in a septal defect and an 18% reduction in ejection fraction. That didn't sounded good... In English, tissue death between the two lower chambers of the heart, reducing the normal blood output, with each beat by, almost 1/5th. At that moment, I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't be able to do anything I really liked to do, ever again. In an instant, I was debilitated. A few days later they tried to get me out of bed to walk a little. I took a few steps and experienced a pain in my heart, different than the first, they sat me down in a wheel chair and returned me to my room. I was depressed. they repeated the cardiac catheter procedure and pumped contrast through the stent to see if it was blocked. As a result of the test, my sinus passages closed and I couldn't breathe from my nose. The nurse gave me benardryl and said I just experienced an anaphylactic response to the contrast and, instead of my nasal passages, it could have been my throat. An anaphyylactic response is a severe allergic reaction to something which you were given previously, without incident. Your body is rejecting something imprinted and labeled as unwanted, but without reason. What next? The floor doctor ordered blood work and came to me a few hours, later. " Chief, your OK. The stent is fine, but you're dehydrated and we think you've been that way for a long time." I could relate to that, working in a busy hospital, missing lunch and breaks and bathroom breaks, too. They pumped me with saline, and after 10 days, released me. My wife picked me up and drove me home. I opened the garage door and the spring broke and it came crashing down. I went inside and looked out the back at my yard, my solitude. A fricken' woodchuck built a giant burrow against the foundation, and, inside the house were blow flies careening around, everywhere. You think it can't get worse. I remember doing a portable chest X-ray on a guy about an hour from death from horrible skin cancer. In his last hour, he developed a bad case of hiccups!
    I called a guy to fix the garage door, found a dead chipmunk had entered the dryer vent, and putrified in a roll of posters I was keeping from my batchelor days. Raquel Welch, 1,000,000 BC, Cheryl Tiegs with a clam rake and knee boots in a tiny bikini and Natash Kinsky and the snake and nothing else.They were all ruined and the flies were from there. I went outside and just wanted to walk around the block, The first time took 15 minutes and was painful, in every way...The reason was the strong meds they give you so your heart may rest. I was given cumadin, a blood thinner which works like a multi weight oil :unsure:. The other was carvedilol, a beta blocker,which is like a governor, to keep your heart rate low. It's the best way to stop people from adding insult to injury. I remembered an artical I read about a clinical study to determine the benefits of exercise after a heart attack. Two groups of dogs were used.They banded the coronary arteries in both groups to mimic a heart attack. The first group was confined and made to rest, while the second group was allowed to move around and were put on a tread mill for as much exercise as they wanted. the result was: The first group was sulking,weak and never fully recovered, while the second group had recovered much of their strength, vitality and demeanor. I'm sure my doctor would have not approved of what I did, and never told him, either, ( and don't recommend it to anyone), but I just kept walking each day, slowly at first and by the third week I walked 32 miles and just kept drinking water and never looked back. I, essentially pumped oxygenated blood to all the tissue in my body, purging it, and, also dug a 3ft wide by 6in deep trench all along the foundation of my house to put in chicken wire, so the chuck could not dig, there. I proved to myself that I wasn't shot, that I could resume my life. I can't tell you how I felt. On good weeks, now, 12 years after my heart attack, I will bike, 15 miles at a clip, sometimes thrice, walk 4 miles at a clip, twice, then alternate with an excercise routine, and use hand and bar bells. I alternate between types of excercises each day as repetitive motion wears out your joints. If you had a heart attack, whatever activity you can do, comfortably will help your body and psyche. And keep hydrated.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  17. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    " The Medicine will get you" As another stretcher was wheeled to ICU with another soul on his way out, his body bloated, on a respirator with a tube in every hole and a few extra holes for good measure, covered in telemetry wires and spiking a severe fever. Two nurses were waiting by the patient's unit to hook him up to their monitors and begin the wait for the end. One of them put her hand to her cheek and looked at me and said,"The medicine will get you", like countless others they've seen, and so have I. ( Including my father-in-law) The American Medical Assn. conducted a survey on the most prevalent mistakes in hospitals, nation wide. They found the vast majority had to do with the administration of meds. Whether giving the wrong meds, the wrong dose, and missed doses. And it doesn't just happen in hospitals, but mostly at home. You take a hand full of pills, every day and might be on a diuretic, which the doctor feels you need for swelling of the ankles and it makes you pee, constantly and you might drink coffee, or tea also to kick start your day.. So, now to avoid all those trips to the bathroom, you cut back on water. Since most of you are technically oriented, I will give you something to chew on. It's called the "counter current multiplyer mechanism which occurs in the juxtamedullary nephrons of the kidneys", It is the body's dilution, saturation mechanism to maintain a healthy mineral and fluid concentration for electro chemical processes and cell division. It happens in a group of nephrons which filter the blood inside the kidneys. They monitor blood mineral levels in real time, and send messenger hormones to the brain which, in turn either open or close the filters, allowing more or less urine to be sent to the bladder. If you drink too much water you produce more urine, but not drinking enough is where the problem lies. And, if you drink coffee, and take a water pill, you have defeated the mechanism. The amount of pills you take is a constant, but the water content in your body ebbs away, through urine, sweat and breathing. The concentration of minerals and prescription drugs, increase, and you are poisoning yourself. The side effects are magnified as the level of drugs increases. and a lot of meds start to eat away at your digestive tract. When I was much younger, I took a Bayer aspirin before bed for a tooth ache, A small crumb broke off the aspirin. It was before coated aspirin came on the market. It lodged between my cheek and gum and was there all night. It was much smaller than a grain of rice. It bored a canker sore through the mucous membrane of my mouth. That patient, like my father-in-law, was loaded with ulcers, from not drinking enough water with all the meds he was taking. There are far better ways of ending your life...The body is termed "a tube within a tube", the inner tube, the alimentary canal, or the digestive tract, allows what you eat to be absorbed through the lining of the stomach and intestines after being broken down with acids and mixed with water, without actually making contact with the peritoneum, a sack which houses all the other organs. An ulcer is a breach of the digestive tract, akin to a stab wound, allowing bacteria found in common foods to enter the body cavity and attack your organs, resulting in an infection from within which travels to the blood and everywhere else in the body. The blood infection is known as sepsis or poison. That results in a high fever. and gasses build up in the body cavity, as a by product of bacterial activity, this is peritonitis and largely fatal due to multiple organ failure. But wait! You can monitor your own urine out put by looking at it. If it is a light color that's good, if it is dark yellow and odifferous, you are dehydrated and poisoning yourself. I attempted to make this gruesome to emphasize its importance to everyone.
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  18. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    On Nutritional Supplements: While in the Adirondacks, I stopped in Saratoga Springs. In the interpretive center, literature described the history of the place and its popularity. Native Americans believed the springs had medicinal powers. The railroads brought thousands in the late 1830's to drink the water and bathe in hot mineral springs as this was in vogue. The largest hotel in the world was here, to acomondate all the people. Local entrepeneurs began to tout the water for its supposed healinging properties and bottled and shipped all over the world, the largest distribution of any product to that date in the early 20th century. And it was done in such large amounts that the aquifers were being depleted as they could not keep up with demand. This was big business. Finally the federal government intervened on behalf of the people and brought the entrepeneurs to task to prove their claims as to what this water could do for you.This was the formation of the Food and Drug Administration, a watch dog for the interests of the general public . The entrepeneurs could not prove their claims and were stopped from making them, and world wide distribution of Saratoga Spring water was ended in short order.
    Consumer Reports also had a whole magazine devoted to the subject, entitled, "The New Medicine Show" Vitamin and supplement makers are promoting the use of their products to the tune of billions of dollars. There are pressure sales to supermarkets to sell their products, in a highly competitive business. If the manufacturer cannot substantiate what is said, then the bottle will say," to be used as a dietary supplement". Some are expensive and work on "the hair of the dog" principle. As the article went, the claim a particular product was to aid with pancreatic deficiencies, The ingredients were crushed, dried pig pancreas. The result of investigation rebuffed this claim because, even if it was of benefit to the pancreas, there was no way the supplement would migrate to the pancreas. And since it wasn't, you would get better health benefits from eating a hamburger!
    Osteo Chondroiton, $15 per bottle is made of dried, pulverized cartilage and is to heal the cartilage in your joints. How? And a list of other vitamins and supplements in excess could cause a build up in your system. As we age, the kidneys and metabolism do not work as well to process what we ingest.
    The body will use what it needs and rid itself of excess vitamins and nutrients found in foods. But, it tends to store vitamins and nutrients found in supplements, especially in high levels. The National Institute of Health in conjunction with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services established acceptable levels of vitamins and supplements which are age and gender specific, with mitigating factors. Their recommendation was to take one quality multivitamin per day. And most people who eat right are the ones to also take vitamins. Still, if you look at the label on a bottle of multivitamins, it also says, "To be used as a dietary supplement"...
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
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  19. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

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  20. Goldenboy

    Goldenboy . Top Contributor

    A very valid point, 2M. I'm taking Centrum Silver, which has 21mcg of selenium, 30% mdr. I also realize that I've had to cut back on excercise as I age, and I see an integrative medicine dr. who periodically does a nutritional evaluation to see if I'm deficient. I watched the video you sent, then went to drugs .com for side effects and drug interactions. Too much selenium can also cause you to get a heart attack. And we eat salmon twice a week.Selenium, as I just now read can thin your blood. I'm seeing a hemotologist, Dec 3rd because of that very problem, and had to go off aspirin and have to see the cardiologist, next week about that. Even if you try to do the right thing, meds and drs can cancel each other out. It's only simple if you fall down and break your elbow. I sold my old van, yesterday due to too many issues and have a new one, now, but we must constantly maintain our carcasses because you only get one. I wish there was an answer for that. I appreciate the input because I deffinitely don't have all the answers. I've spit out some things on this thread to share with all of you who wish to see my perspective. What Joel Wallach was saying makes a lot of sense. One of the anatomy professors, Professor Agnostakos wrote the anatomy book we were required to use for the class. He died of what was described as a massive heart attack in Paramus Park Mall while I was taking the course. I said to myself, who should know better about the human body that the guy who wrote the book? So I tried to apply what I learned for my own benefit and had a heart attack, also. Thank you, and I hope I've adressed your point. If not or you have to add something I would like to hear more.
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