Mended Hearts Open Forum

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Hello

  • 1.  Hello

    Posted 02-21-2022 15:06
    Hi,

    I just joined the group, and I'm looking forward to connecting with people here.

    My story in a nutshell: this past Halloween, a few weeks after my 50th birthday, I was mounting biking in a remote area when I had a heart attack, followed by a series of cardiac arrests. I was an organized ride and I didn't know most of the people, but through outrageously good luck one of them happened to be a cardiologist. My first arrest happened before any responders arrived, and he performed CPR until I could be medevac'd. I kept arresting and was defibrillated a total of seven times, in the field, in the helicopter, and at the hospital. I don't remember anything between arriving at the hospital and waking up in ICU three days later, but they performed an angioplasty when I arrived and treated me with therapeutic hypothermia. I had a second angioplasty a few days later and was released after a week.

    Prior to all this I'd been very active, I ate well, and had good lipid levels for the last couple years (I had been borderline for many years before that). So this was pretty unexpected. It's been a big adjustment but I've been making a good recovery, and have started getting active again (little by little). I eventually learned what a close call that was, so I'm feeling incredibly fortunate to be alive, and very grateful towards all those who helped me.

    I don't know a lot of people that have been through similar experiences, so looking forward to meeting some people in this group.

    Ken

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    Ken Murphy
    Oakland CA
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  • 2.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-22-2022 04:41
    Ken,

    You truly are a miracle man.  The odds of surviving even one cardiac arrest outside a hospital is only a little more than 10%.  You did it 7 times.  If you do the math, that makes the odds around one in ten million, and that's not even including the fact that you had a cardiologist along for the ride.

    I had a heart attack four years ago, at age 67, followed immediately by emergency quintuple bypass surgery, ventilator induced pneumonia, antibiotic induced c diff, two weeks in a medically induced coma with 50/50 survival odds, another week in the hospital getting my bearings, and three weeks in inpatient rehab learning to walk and feed myself again.  Compared to you, though, my situation was like a vacation. 

    Like you, I was very athletic and fit at the time of my heart attack (and really my entire life).  I did have high blood pressure but it was under total control through medication.  My blood lipids also were pretty decent.  Unfortunately, my family history wasn't.  Like you, I felt and still feel a deep sense of gratitude to all who saved my life and to just being alive, especially for my wife and daughter.  

    By the way, I quickly recovered, even in rehab, and even more so when I finally got home and continue to do all that I did before athletically.  It takes a little time, but you'll quickly get there, especially at your young age.

    Welcome aboard,

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 3.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-22-2022 04:53
    What where your symptoms please, I have been having jaw pain and left pain for over a week now. I e had 3 normal ecgs and I'm really scared still, I'm only 31 





  • 4.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-22-2022 12:07
    I had one brief incident of chest and arm pain after exercise a few weeks earlier that I unfortunately ignored, and occasional mild heart palpitations. Otherwise no real symptoms until the day of the attack. It initially felt like heartburn and extreme fatigue. It wasn't that painful, but I could tell something was really wrong.

    Sounds like you're checking in with a doctor and monitoring it closely?

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    Ken Murphy
    Oakland CA
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  • 5.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-22-2022 12:12
    Yes I've had 3 ecgs but I'm really scared there incorrect, my doctor doesn't think I need bloods doing, did you have jaw pain? How long did it go on before you had the attack





  • 6.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-22-2022 12:26
    For me, it happened pretty quickly. I went from feeling fatigued, to chest and arm pain, to a major heart attack in less than an hour, which is very different than what it sounds like you're experiencing. If I was in your position I would be comforted by the EKG results. Does your doctor have an explanation for what might be causing the pain?

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    Ken Murphy
    Oakland CA
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  • 7.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-22-2022 12:40
    Anxiety or acid reflux, I've had it for about 2 weeks now





  • 8.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-23-2022 09:01
    Laura,

    I don't mean to alarm you, and T your age it very well be unrelated to your heart, but you should get to an emergency room right away.  I was more than twice your age when I had my heart attack, but my EKG was totally normal while I was having the attack.  They only confirmed that it was a heart attack through a blood test that showed elevated heart enzymes.  That's what you should get as well, just to be sure.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-23-2022 09:03
    I've been and they say I'm fine �� they will only do an ecg in the accident and emergency 





  • 10.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-23-2022 10:25
    Good Morning Laura! and Hello Everyone!
    I agree with Ira. My EKG was normal as well. It wasn't until my stress test that they noticed something was abnormal. My cardiologist then scheduled me for an angiogram the next week. That's when they discovered  90% of my "widow maker" was blocked. I had a double bypass the next morning. The symptoms I was having started out with mild indigestion, then a few days later very light discomfort in my right shoulder and upper back along with a slight heavy feeling in my arms during exercise. I had some occasional pin prick like feelings in the middle of my chest. It came as quite a surprise as I thought I was fairly healthy and in shape. I'm coming up on 3 years now.
    Best of luck to you and please keep us posted! 
    Have a great day!
    Michelle

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    michelle leverett
    Ridgecrest CA
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  • 11.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-24-2022 04:09
    Negative EKGs can be very deceptive, especially if you're fit. People were shocked when I had my heart attack and emergency quintuple bypass surgery because, although 67 at the time, I was a lifelong athlete still, a serious weightlifter, long distance runner (until sciatica relegated me to power walking and cycling), had a very healthy diet and was completely asymptomatic until I actually had the heart attack.  Despite the negative EKG in the ER, the cardiologist told me that my blood enzymes test would definitively determine whether I was having a heart attack.  Sure enough, when the blood results came back, he told me that despite the EKG results, there was no question that I was having a heart attack.  After the angiogram, I was told that, despite having good collateral circulation, I had major blockages in five coronary arteries and had been scheduled for emergency bypass surgery at 6:30 am the next morning.  

    Go directly to surgery.  Do not pass Go.  So not collect $200.

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-24-2022 08:56
    I've had my troponin levels checked today 





  • 13.  RE: Hello

    Posted 12 days ago
    Please go to a cardiac hospital and have them checked out. I had reflux at52 while exercising. If I had nt
     called my primary doctor to discuss I would not be here today. I had a cabg x5.

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    Randy Waclawczyk
    Round Rock TX
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  • 14.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-22-2022 12:20
    Wow you really went through it in the weeks after! I'm glad you made it through and recovered quickly.

    I've been trying to steadily increase my activity, starting with walking, and graduating to swimming and biking. I've been feeling really good physically, and I'm generally optimistic, as recovery signs have been good (EF has gone from 38% to 57% in 3 months). However since posting the other day, I did have one (hopefully minor) incident of a sudden racing pulse + irregular heartbeat after swimming for just a few minutes. Kinda scary but checked in w/ my cardiologist and he didn't seem too concerned. (Just 2 days before I had been cycling by myself on Angel Island in SF Bay, glad it didn't happen there! I might hold off on solo rides on islands for awhile.)

    I appreciate the welcome and thanks for sharing your story!

    ------------------------------
    Ken Murphy
    Oakland CA
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Hello

    Posted 02-23-2022 09:23
    That medically induced coma wasn't so bad while it was happening.  I was hallucinating that I was recovering at a hospital in the Bahamas for most of it, in a poolside cot, saving the hospital from legal troubles (I'm a lawyer), and trying to overcome suspicions that I was the father of an illegitimate child from an affair I supposedly had while serving in the Korean War (I was 1 and 2 years old at the time of the Korean War, but hallucinations don't care about real life-unless it was a prior life??).  Anyway, my wife's reaction after my awakening was "sure, you were relaxing in the Bahamas while I was fighting through nor'easters and snow storms coming to visit you every day and take our daughter to school." Now, though, I deal with PTSD about that experience, including occasional flashbacks to my recovery in rehab.

    On the physical end, it takes a little time to recover but I'm at the gym lifting twice a week, doing bodyweight calisthenic type workouts two more days a week either in the gym or at home (dips, pushup variations, pullups) and walking and/or cycling pretty much every day weather permitting.  I'm one of the oldest guys in my gym, and I can't come close to what I used to lift even when I was 50, but I do impressively well for a septuagenarian. It might be nice to do a little sparring since I'm a boxing fan, but it's probably not a good idea after your sternum's been sawn in half, so I'll let that one go.

    Good luck,

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Hello

    Posted 03-26-2022 13:05
    Ken
    Your story is truly miracle! Thank you for sharing with us. Your being an athlete helped a lot in your revovery

    Marilyn B. Rosenhouse
    Mobile: (214)850-0655




  • 17.  RE: Hello

    Posted 18 days ago
    I had open heart surgery. Then one bypass vein occluded and had cardia arrest. It was unexpected. Then had pneumonia. In hospital for 3 weeks. I forgot how many shocks I got. Its been tough. Going day by day. Operation was April 13th 2022. Good Luck too u.

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    Allan Kluttz
    Fort Mill SC
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