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Thankful and sharing

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  • Thankful and sharing

    I started having some noticeable, but not severe chest pains 4-5 weeks ago and decided to see what was up. Started the medical process and the pains also started to ramp up.

    Long story short, but imagine my surprise when the quest ended up with a stent being placed in my main heart artery last Tuesday morning to alleviate a 95% blockage.

    If you gotta have this experience, I was lucky to be able to do it perfectly. Notice the pain, check it out, find the problem, fix it and no heart attack, damage or major surgery. No other blockages (they looked around in there) and a good positive prognosis. And BTW - I have more energy and feel terrific.

    I wanted to share this for others to think about, but also because I had a great friend make this all easier for me. It's also a bit of a catharsis for me. That friend's input would be beneficial for others who may face this same issue, So here it is.

    On a Thursday afternoon at 4:30, following a stress test, a doc I never met showed up with a model of a heart, pointed to the 3 major arteries, pointed at on and said - "You have a blockage here that needs to be fixed". My immediate response was "Ummm, whaaat", followed by terror and confusion. I was NOT doing my clearest thinking just then.

    His response was, "Really, this needs to be done. Simple placement of a stent should fix it. How about tomorrow morning"? I said full stop - need to deal with this mentally and talk to my doc. Scheduled it for the following Tuesday morning (a week ago today).

    Talked to my doc who explained this cardio pulmonary group was excellent and we should move forward without concern. Of course, concern is all I had. This was my freaking HEART for God's sake!

    Then my friend (who found out what was going on) called. Over the next 5 minutes, he explained 1) he had 3 stents that these guys put in 3 yrs earlier, 2) it is an incredibly non-invasive procedure, 3) they give you some happy juice to relax you and 4) the ONLY minor discomfort is the entry point where they insert the catheter in the groin (not close to your package BTW) because of the size of the opening and the minor pain is after the procedure - not during it. He said, except for the entry wound, it was essentially like having a colonoscopy. WAAAYYYY better than bypass surgery. He went on to tell me that the entry wound hurts a little for a couple of days, but you almost instantly feel better and have more energy.

    His phone call was a gift and settled me right down. Folks need to know this simple information to remove fear/dread from the equation.

    That's the net of it. It is simple, easy and non-invasive. The entry wound pain is just annoying, kind of like a paper cut with a bit of an attitude. I share this so that you have something to calm you down if you are suddenly faced with this choice. It's simple and it works and MUCH better than the alternatives of heart attack, surgery or a dirt blanket. If you even THINK there is something going on - get proactive and get a stress test. Huge dividends from that investment.

    Anyhow, I have a stent and I'm kind of anxious to take my new energy level out and start to do some exercising again. I hope this info is helpful to someone. If it is, pay it forward.

  • #2

    Glad to hear and thanks for the info.
    MELODY US Distributor

    A man is only as good as his words.


    • #3
      Ray - I had almost the same exact deal in 2003 and have been happily living with a stent since then with no further incidents. My cardiologist recently moved me back to every other year appointments. Your counsel to others is spot on and I would also encourage anyone who even thinks they might be having chest pains to have them checked out. It literally saved my life.

      Enjoy your new energy level, but pace yourself and work your way up to full on exertion. Glad you're here to share this with us!

      "Let the floating wall float" - m-fine


      • #4
        Hi Ray. Long time no see.

        I'm glad you are doing well now. I'm sure the new-found energy will help you become even more healthy. I wish the doctors that talked to you about the stent surgery would be more helpful by providing the info that your buddy passed on to you. They need to be better trained to deal with patients' anxiety, etc.

        Anyways, I'm happy that you are better now.
        PhenomeNhan Audio Video

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        • #5
          Hugh - thanks!

          Art & Nahn,
          Yeah - the key message is that it's quick, simple, easy non-painful and can save your life. Plus, it can be approached without trepidation.

          Frankly, the doc could have explained that to me all day long, but after just hearing the words, all I could think about was OMG - my HEART!!!

          Hearing from someone who actually went through it and after having time to digest the news made all the difference.


          • #6
            Ray, it is good to see you back, I had started to worry about you.

            Glad you were able to recognize that something was not right and the docs were able to fix you up. :applause:

            I will keep your message in mind, it may very well prove useful to me one day. Others should pay heed as well.


            • #7
              Wow, glad things worked out Ray and that you are feeling better! :salute:


              • #8
                Great to hear your doing better. My dad has more than a fee stints and you sharing should help others greatly.

                God Bless

                I love how music can brighten up a bad day.


                • #9
                  Great post and excellent outcome. :applause: good to see you around again, pal.
                  My IB


                  • #10

                    You may have just saved a life. Heck, you might even have saved mine with the information you have provided.

                    Thanks for sharing and VERY, VERY glad you are doing well!

                    Take care,



                    • #11
                      Thanks for sharing this Ray, and I'm still laughing that you used the word "package" in that context. That's gonna keep me smiling for days...
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                      • #12
                        My (not so short) story is somewhat similar.

                        A little over two years ago I had chest pressure that was diagnosed (correctly I should note) as bronchitis. After being on some rather hefty medication for a couple of weeks, several symptoms were gone but my chest still felt like it was being driven over by a car.

                        So I'm sitting at home on a Sunday morning and tell my wife that I don't want to deal with the doctors office on a Monday morning and to drop me off at the local urgent care while her and my daughter were going out to deliver girl scout cookies.

                        After conversing with doctor and him agreeing that I should be feeling much better given the meds I had been on, he starts running a couple of different tests including an EKG. As I am sitting up on the bed/table talking with the Dr while the EKG is running, he turns to me and says you are having a heart attack.

                        Well after a phone call to the wife and a quick ambulance ride to the ER, I was the new owner of a pair of stents to address two complete blockages. Not only that, but while listening to my explanation of the symptoms (things like no real pain), my ER doctor tells the nurse to check my blood and says I'll bet he is diabetic -- which I turned out to be.

                        So not only did I have the heart attack which got caught early enough to avoid any significant damage, I also learned that I had more or less spent the previous year on the verge of going into diabetic shock (spent several days in ICU with them working to stabilize my blood sugar levels).

                        So I sit here today, a little over two years after my episode & a week away from hitting the big 5-0, and having just taken my follow-up stress test today, knowing that I am far healthier hitting 50 that when I hit 30.

                        The best part is that we had really wanted me to be taken to a different hospital (where we were already aware of their heart program due to my mother-in-laws heart attack a couple of months earlier), but the ambulance rules are to take you to the closest Cardiac ER. So my wife isn't thrilled, but it is what it is.

                        It turns on that my ER Cardiologist and his wife (who is an Endocrinologist and thus specializes in diabetes) share a practice and he is much more aware of diabetes and it symptoms than most other cardiologists. So ultimately I really couldn't have been sent to a better person/place.
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                        • #13
                          Good to hear that you caught it early.


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the kind words guys.

                            B-Foot, that's quite a story. It also illustrates the need to listen to what your body is telling you, regardless of how subtle the message is.


                            • #15
                              Ray and Bucket,
                              Thanks for sharing such important and personal stories. Glad to hear you are both doing well.