Mended Hearts Open Forum

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Let it go

  • 1.  Let it go

    Posted 05-22-2020 17:40
    My name is Len and I am having a hard time letting my heart attack go. In January of 2019 I had blood clots in my leg and lungs. This brought a hematologist into my life and at one of my appointments she heard my heart skip a beat. This then brought a cardiologist into my life. After five appointments with a stress test I was cleared not to return on September 13 2019. The part I am have a hard time letting go is I had a heart attack on December 1st 2019. I had a quadruple bypass December 6th. I know the bypass was the end result but If caught by the cardiologist my family wouldn't have had to go through the heart attack. It could of been a planned bypass. Is this a one off or does this happen more often?



  • 2.  RE: Let it go

    Posted 05-22-2020 21:12
    My name is Marv and I have been going to cardiac rehab for 7 years. I have met a lot of people that have had heart attacks and a lot of people that had corrective measures before the heart attack hits.

    Many of the people that had the preventative measures have a heart scan to thank.

    We are fortunate in the Indianapolis area in that most hospitals offer heart scans for $49. It’s painless and takes 1/2 hour or less.

    If a man is over 40 or a woman is over 50, has high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, or stress, or is obese, or smokes, or has diabetes, or is overweight or has a family history of heart problems, they should talk to their doctor about a heart scan.

  • 3.  RE: Let it go

    Posted 05-22-2020 21:38

    My chapter of Mended Hearts promotes (and donates some) heart scans. Using this criteria, in one study we had 4 people out of 20 fail their heart scan and take corrective action.  One had a triple by-pass and 3 went on diets.  These people had no symptoms.

    My chapter's website is

    Marv Norman,

    Noblesville, In.

    [Marvin Normann]
    [Noblesville, Indiana

  • 4.  RE: Let it go

    Posted 05-23-2020 09:35
    The questions you need to ask yourself are why can't you let it go and what are you afraid it would mean if you did let it go?  Why would you feel better if they had predicted a heart attack and you still had to undergo open heart surgery?  Is it really the heart attack that you can't get let go, or is it the fact that a trusted advisor, your cardiologist, was wrong?  And if someone you trusted made a mistake, why is that necessarily a problem? And if your family suffered from a perhaps avoidable event that you attempted to avoid, why does that mean you have to compound things by not being able to let go about it?  Or is it something else entirely?  The point is to ask yourself these questions, and others like these, and really dig deep for the answers.  They may surprise you.

    Like you, I had a "surprise" heart attack, nearly two and a half years ago, followed the next day by emergency quintuple bypass surgery, followed by being in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator for two weeks, with a 50/50 chance of survival, in order to deal with the ventilator caused pneumonia I had developed, followed by awakening too weak to walk or feed myself followed by three weeks in an inpatient rehab hospital.  The heart attack, which didn't even show up on my EKG, was the least of it, at least for me and my family.  It was the open heart surgery and its aftermath that was the big deal for my family and me, but that would have happened even if I never had the heart attack.  I just flat out needed quintuple bypass surgery just as you flat out needed quadruple bypass surgery.

    I had no symptoms or preconditions prior to my heart attack other than medically controlled hypertension.  In fact, I was (and still am) a serious gym rat and I jokingly refer to myself as "the Jack LaLanne of heart disease patients."  And yet I had a heart attack and needed open heart surgery.  Stuff just happens to you and then you live with it.

    Maybe the best line to remember is the one Jack Nicholson made to Morgan Freeman in the film "The Bucket List" when they played terminal cancer patients and Nicholson was vomiting in the bathroom:  "Right now some lucky bastard somewhere is having a heart attack."

    Best of luck to you,


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 5.  RE: Let it go

    Posted 05-23-2020 11:22
    Hi Len, 
    Sorry to hear you are having a hard time, just my 2 cents worth here

    I had no symptoms, none, not even a blip in the tick tock of the heart after 65 years of wear and tear

    I think maybe this is normal for most people that problems arise out of no where many times, and then with a good cardiologist and surgeon the problems are mended and we go on from that.

    I try to focus on today and what I want to do in the future,
    which is to continue my recovery from the Heart Surgery.

    Good luck Len

    Mary H

  • 6.  RE: Let it go

    Posted 05-24-2020 15:01

    On Wednesday, January 10, 2007, during the rest period from a stress test, I was discussing my heading to the YMCA with my cardiologist when, at age 63, my heart stopped. On Thursday tests, Friday was carotid surgery, Saturday rest, Sunday quintuple bypass. I could focus on the incompetence of the cardiologist. Instead, I focused on being lucky: only 3% return from their heart stopping. I measured the times and if I had been in the clinic elevator, I could not have met the timetable: 3-5 minutes brain damage, 7 minutes, fatal. I was a walking time bomb, but I had not shared some symptoms I had experienced.

    As a professor of business, and then as a lawyer, I saw my role as solving peoples' problems. Along the way I found the most important question was: So what? Applying it to my situation, I answered "So what" are my objectives? My answer was to do my best to rehabilitate back to as full a life as I was capable. "So what" would I accomplish by focusing on the why the doctor did not prevent my crisis? I identified the symptoms that I should use to self identify if they occurred again: besides that I moved on.

    I should add that as a practitioner of a profession, I appreciate that not all doctors have equal skills and may, at times, be distracted by their own lives. For example, after my wife dying made me a single parent of three children under ten, I had to be careful to leave my life "at-the-office-door." Professionals are people, who also are "slave to," (to be a little crude), to the information provided by our clients/patients. If they do not share, then we are treating doctors like veterinarians. Our responsibility is to alert them, and then they may (should) ask for additional info: lawyers want documents, doctors want test results. I learned to be a better patient.

    Brent Zepke
    author: One Heart-Two Lives: Managing Your Rehabilitation Program WELL

    Brent Zepke
    Santa Barbara CA

  • 7.  RE: Let it go

    Posted 05-23-2020 13:56
    Good day Len!  I hope that you'll get to feeling better soon.

    I had a heart attack in 2014, while working out at a local YMCA.  I passed out on a weight training machine and stopped breathing.  Some well-trained Y staff members worked on me and had to zap me with a defibrillator.  They called 911 and summoned EMT's who rushed me to a local hospital.  I stopped breathing again, and again had to be zapped.  Three days later, I received a quadruple bypass.

    I had no warning signs prior to the heart attack.  All my numbers on my check-ups were good.  I was working out regularly and was at the same weight where I was when I graduated from college and got married, 42 years earlier.  I was almost 65 and felt like I was in pretty good shape for my age.

    My problem apparently was just heredity.  My father died from a heart attack at 35.  At least two of his brothers died from heart attacks before reaching 50.

    I think the great thing for you and me is that we survived.  We have a rest of our lives to live.  When I feel down, I can remind myself that I have a lot more days behind me than I have ahead of me.  We should try to enjoy each day.

    I don't know about your age or your family situation, but I'm sure you can make an important difference in someone else's life.  I would advise you to look for opportunities.

    Blessings to you,
    Gilbert Anderson

    Gilbert Anderson
    Fort Mill SC

  • 8.  RE: Let it go

    Posted 05-27-2020 17:48

    Is holding on to it helping? 

    In 2011 I had spinal disc fusion surgery, I Had to have Cardiac clearance. Flying colors and surgery To this day a great success.

    About 11 months later had minor Attack with a 90 + blockage in WidowMaker LAD. Ended up With stent in LAD & circumflex. How do you go from clear to 90% in a year. But all turned out ok, had to take statin. 

    12 months later no attack just me feeling bad needed stent in RCA. 

    how could I go from clear to 2 stents & yr later another. Long story short changed Cardiologist

    changed Meds, 16 months later again me feeling bad Another Stent!  Changed meds started Repatha
    LDL goes to 17!   All docs say can't have another. 

    last feb don't feel good go on for Cath. Can't even complete Cath. 2.5 hrs later 3way bypass!
    calcium deposit in left main, LAD Shot!! 

    everything happened with negative tests!  Happened with super low cholesterol. My body is going to do what it wants. 3 younger brothers had heart attacks. Older brother died of massive attack. 

    whats there to hold on to? My future! However many years my bypass gets me!
    Holding onto Why other than what can we do differently, just doesn't help. 

    reminds me of movie "Bridge of Spies" when asked if he was worried or scared of being executed as a spy or as a traitor when returned to Russia,  his response was always "Will it Help?

    holding on, ask yourself, is it?  Does it, Will it HELP?

    Thomas Devlin
    Boynton Beach FL