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Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

  • 1.  Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 01-03-2021 21:50

    I had unexpected heart surgery  (4 -CABG) on 10/28/2020 at the age of 53 yrs. I am one of the healthiest members of my family. (I am not overweight, hypertensive, diabetic, smoker, drinker.)  

    I had shortness of breath while climbing a steep hill in August.  But none while climbing stairs.  It was increasing in September and in October I saw my primary care. Immediately I had an abnormal EKG in his office, saw a cardiologist in 1 week, Then 1 week later, ECHO- Stress was abnormal. 3 days later in the hospital from cardiac cath to surgery. Everything happened so fast.  I had a normal physical in March. So you see how unexpected this was.

    I recognize that stress and genetics truly wreak havoc in my body; I have changed my life since, eating more vegetables, meditating and walking daily, enjoy pursuing my passion for Ayurveda.

    Wendy Sergeant
    Whitingham VT

  • 2.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 01-05-2021 21:09
    Hi.  It sounds like you've just told my story as well and it also appears that you are doing all the right things.  I had the same procedure under the same circumstances at the same age.  That was 23.5 years ago.  Since then I've had 2 additional Angioplasties with one stent and a pacemaker installed.  We continue because we must and it does beat the alternative.  You are correct that managing the stress is critical; any way that works for you.  Manage your Cholesterol as best you can and laugh often.  I find my grandchildren to be the best way to relax.  I get to spoil them and punish their parents.  What could be better?

    Sharon Kirschner
    Surfside FL
    (305) 868-6370

  • 3.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 01-06-2021 06:53
    Sharon's story is a typical one. I had my unexpected CABG with complications in Sept at age 75. Still getting my head around it even as retired RN who knows the drill. Be assured your body has amazing healing powers  and  accept that recovery from OHS takes much longer than many other procedures. But you will reach milestones that are so precious. You will in time begin to forget the details. Hang in there.

  • 4.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 01-06-2021 18:44
    Unfortunately, heart disease occurs in people who live otherwise healthy lifestyles. A major factor for many heart patents is heredity. Did your cardiologist ever ask you about your family history and cases of heart disease in your mother, father, sister,  brother or grand parents?  Your healthy diet, daily exercise and stress management are very helpful to keep you on a path to complete recovery.  Did you complete cardiac rehab post-procedure?  This is a 3 month program of exercise monitored by nurses and physical therapists conducted at a hospital or clinic. Consider discussing your experience with your bothers, sisters, and your children who need to be aware of heart disease so they can have regular health checks and exams. They are fortunate that you can share your knowledge with family members.
    All the best,

    Victor Fabry, CEO
    Greylock Advisors, LLC
    Short Hills, New Jersey

  • 5.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 01-18-2021 10:35
    My story is almost identical - unexpected CABG at age 54 despite always eating pretty well and exercising regularly, non-smoker, not overweight, etc. And not even a strong family history of heart disease. There's just no explaining it.

    My surgery was almost 4 yrs ago. I committed to reducing stress in my life and retiring sooner rather than later to enjoy the rest of life - whether its few years or many. I immediately transitioned from a job that I liked but which involved a hellish commute to something closer to home, and I mapped a path to reducing my work hours over time (I realize I am fortunate to be able to do so). Of course, the day I finally transitioned from full-time work to part-time consulting my state went into coronavirus lockdown, but this too shall pass.

    Good luck with your recovery!

    Jesse Aronson

  • 6.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 01-18-2021 18:11
    Thanks for the support.  I had no idea that I was not the only one.  I am in good company!

    Wendy Sergeant, Nurse Practitioner

  • 7.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 01-18-2021 20:56
    I should also have mentioned that I'm back to all the activities I did before - running, cycling, kayaking, rowing, yard work. Recovery takes a while, but it'll happen!

    I found cardiac rehab to be very useful in giving me the confidence to start back exercising, even though it was clear all their protocols and educational materials were built for patients who were older, had worse health habits and were in poor physical shape.


    Jesse Aronson

  • 8.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 01-19-2021 11:05
    Excellent to know! I am looking forward to skiing, kayaking, mountain biking.

  • 9.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 01-25-2021 13:39
    Wendy,  I had my unexpected CABG at 52 with the symptoms being reflux while exercising.  Very little heart issues for men in my family, however since then learned that it is more prevalent, just not talked about.  I am changing that.  I was not in the best of shape.  I did rehab, walked my daughter down the isle 6 weeks later and continued to exercise and eat healthier.   I was able to go snow skiing at 55. At 59 I got two more stents and had a cardiac arrest (VTACH), which I was very fortunate to survive.  I keep saying that I am starting over every time an event happens.  Doesn't mean all days are great.  I am so thankful that I am alive and able to see my grandchildren and son who just got engaged and experience life (even during COVID).  I am fortunate that I do not have to work although I do plan on working part-time when I feel safe.

    Good luck to you in your new life.

    Randy Waclawczyk
    Round Rock TX

  • 10.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 01-25-2021 17:18
    So many of us in the same condition.  Its good to know that you are doing  well.  Thank-you fo the encouragement!

    Wendy Sergeant, 

  • 11.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 06-07-2021 17:50
    Yes Wendy,WOW!  I am amazed just how many of us were hit with this revelation of heart disease after being given a clean bill of health, great labs, feeling good, etc. Feeling so grateful for a good recovery!

    Lisa Johnson
    Registered nurse

  • 12.  RE: Unexpected CABG at age of 53 yrs

    Posted 06-07-2021 18:19
    I just turned 54. Still not working full time, I have no drive to go back to a crazy schedule.   I have been practicing yoga and meditation daily. 
    Thank-you for your support!