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richlife

Some catchup

42 posts in this topic

Hey, guys. I know I've been pretty much absent for more than a month. About then my 89_year-old Mom took a huge turn for the worst into pretty deep dementia. Extreme confusion, no short-term memory, trouble even recognizing even my sister and I (though she always comes through). All this took place in about a week. We started by getting her part-time assistance, but they (and her doctor) quickly said she needed more than they could provide. Two weeks ago, we moved her from independent living to assisted living. While getting her moved, I felt somewhat strange at times and my buddy kept saying "let's slow down" and taking the heavy end. (See where this is going?)

 

After getting Mom settled, comfortable and happy, we decided to take a couple of days trip to Columbia, SC, (several times delayed due to Mom's issues) so Sheila could do some genealogical research. (She's truly expert at this having closed several missing links.). During the drive down and the first day there, I again felt rather odd. After moving to a better hotel, we went out for a nice seafood dinner. Again the weirdness capped by a heavy chest and some pain that had me walking slower and slower to the car. After sitting a couple of minutes, I told sheila to call 911.

 

So now it's easy to wrap up. Almost miraculously, I had only minor heart damage. This despite my main artery (the "widowmaker") being 100% blocked, another more than 90% blocked, and the third was 75% blocked. I've had triple-bypass surgery and only a few minutes ago (five days later), the surgeon approved my leaving the hospital.

 

I have a generally strong system, the cardiologist and surgeon who refused to let me go home for surgery (we give you maybe 50% chance of surviving the trip), and my friend who tried to take the load off for being alive today. I asked the cardiologist why I'm not dead. He said, "Just luck. You got the 33% sweet spot."

 

Gotta pack up and be ready to get out of here.

 

Rich

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Wow, Rich... that is VERY scary. I'm very glad to hear from you and I hope you mend up quickly.

 

Needless to say, this may change some of your eating habits I suppose? I thought you were already making strides to cook healthier... when was the last time you had your cholesterol checked?

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Holy Smokes!!! Glad your alive! did you have any check ups prior to this? what a shocker, a thorough blood test every 3 months is a great warning sign, specially at your age, my age and even Daves age, I suppose now the doc has you on bp meds blood thinners, it seams like with that kinda blockage your BP should have been sky rocketing for a long time.

 

A good tip if you monitor your blood pressure is always do both arms back to back if one arm is reading ten points (or more) systolic (top number) or diastolic (bottom number) higher at either arm race to the ER., thats a sure sign of blockage.

 

 

 

God Bless Rich, thank the Lord you're here

 

 

 

jim

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Rich,

 

That's a scary story. Glad to hear you're okay.

 

Paul

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Rich, glad you got through that ordeal. Old age creeps up on us and then smacks us in the face when we aren't expecting it.

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Holy Smokes!!! Glad your alive! did you have any check ups prior to this? what a shocker, a thorough blood test every 3 months is a great warning sign, specially at your age, my age and even Daves age, I suppose now the doc has you on bp meds blood thinners, it seams like with that kinda blockage your BP should have been sky rocketing for a long time.

 

A good tip if you monitor your blood pressure is always do both arms back to back if one arm is reading ten points (or more) systolic (top number) or diastolic (bottom number) higher at either arm race to the ER., thats a sure sign of blockage.

 

God Bless Rich, thank the Lord you're here

jim

 

Holy S^&T really?! I NEVER knew that. Thanks to that stroke almost 3 years ago to the day I have to monitor BP and take a variety of medication "snacks". Rich my brother in law just went through almost this same thing and a good friend just a few weeks ago. Now after having a stroke gotta wonder what'll get me?

Anyway Rich olive oil is supposed to work miracles :-) Also my doc had told me my tri glycerides or some such thing was messed up. So doc says take fish oil. Not to be indelicate but it went through me like s%^t through a goose. In the amount you have to take fish oil every couple hours I was dumping the exxon valdeez. So I said I can't handle this she told me of a study she read with Krill oil. So I read up on it and bought some from Schiff company called Mega Red. Voila' my blood levels were "excellent" according to her, and no Exxon Valdeez in the toilet, no stomach distress. This shown when I went in for new blood workup. I truly cannot tell you what "numbers" she said it helped but she was amazed at how well it did.

Anyway Rich glad to see you'll be with us a little longer ;) rather than moving tot he dirt condo

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Rich - so happy you had a happy ending (beginning).. We've all touched on and discussed our eating habits here - weird how one person can eat crap all his life and never be effected - while others eat right and die. Sigh. But yes - feeling like I'm the old man here (63 this coming November) it's more important than ever to watch what we eat.

 

Easier said than done despite knowing the importance of the effects on our body. Scary - guess you can say you are blessed. I hope it's a wood working thing... ;)

 

mike

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Holy S^&T really?! I NEVER knew that. Thanks to that stroke almost 3 years ago to the day I have to monitor BP and take a variety of medication "snacks". Rich my brother in law just went through almost this same thing and a good friend just a few weeks ago. Now after having a stroke gotta wonder what'll get me?

Anyway Rich olive oil is supposed to work miracles :-) Also my doc had told me my tri glycerides or some such thing was messed up. So doc says take fish oil. Not to be indelicate but it went through me like s%^t through a goose. In the amount you have to take fish oil every couple hours I was dumping the exxon valdeez. So I said I can't handle this she told me of a study she read with Krill oil. So I read up on it and bought some from Schiff company called Mega Red. Voila' my blood levels were "excellent" according to her, and no Exxon Valdeez in the toilet, no stomach distress. This shown when I went in for new blood workup. I truly cannot tell you what "numbers" she said it helped but she was amazed at how well it did.

Anyway Rich glad to see you'll be with us a little longer ;) rather than moving tot he dirt condo

Yeah my doctor told me to do that, I asked him why he took my bp in both arms and he said if there was a significant difference in arms it indicates blocked arteries and should be addressed immediately.

I have high BP and take lisinopril, but its strange because my blood tests come back fine, my mom had high bp at 40, my doc makes me get a blood test every three months, he says lisinopril can harm your kidney/liver so to refill my script he has to monitor your blood work.

 

What kills me is salt intake, I ate at KFC a few months back and could feel my BP rise :) I don't salt anything and always go with low sodium processed foods and sauces

 

I think grilling is a healthy way to prepare your food, you just cant eat BBQ every day B)

 

 

 

jim

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Jim - my Dad was on Lisinopril for the last twenty years of his life. I believe it helped him live those extra 20.. :) He did not have to have blood tests other than his annual checkups. He was also on potassium pills at the same time. Go figure..

 

Pisses me off that salt is bad for us. I love it - God covered 75% of the Earth with salt water. Hello? What was he thinking? Sigh.

 

I give up donuts, cake, pastries, etc. just so that I can eat more bbq. Hah! Can't wait for tonights ribs.. :)

 

mike - hating thinking about bbq and mortality at the same time. Bummer!

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Jim - my Dad was on Lisinopril for the last twenty years of his life. I believe it helped him live those extra 20.. :) He did not have to have blood tests other than his annual checkups. He was also on potassium pills at the same time. Go figure..

 

Pisses me off that salt is bad for us. I love it - God covered 75% of the Earth with salt water. Hello? What was he thinking? Sigh.

 

I give up donuts, cake, pastries, etc. just so that I can eat more bbq. Hah! Can't wait for tonights ribs.. :)

 

mike - hating thinking about bbq and mortality at the same time. Bummer!

I actually don't think ribs are that bad for you I read somewhere a 8 ounce serving of lean, pork ribs contains around 450ish calories, 20+ grams of fat, and about 115 milligrams of sodium.

I think they get worse for you when you make a rub of half salt and then dowse them in a sugar sauce.

 

"The recommendation for sodium intake is less than 2,300 mg/day for adults. about one teaspoon of table salt. Most people consume far too much sodium through processed foods and table salt, those diagnosed with high blood pressure or at risk for high blood pressure should limit sodium consumption to 1,500 mg/day. The minimum requirement of sodium for normal body function is about 500 mg/day".

 

Heck I have soups in the pantry that have 1000mg's of salt per serving.

 

This is funny I went and pulled KFC's salt chart, hell no wonder those 4 thighs I ate almost made me comatose 2900mg's of salt in one meal, not to mention whatever lunch and breakfast that day was :D

 

 

jim

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Holy Cow! What a lot to respond to -- and there's some very good stuff you have in here. I'm glad I'm home now with my laptop and a keyboard! I'm not going to try to identify all the comments with who made them, but I will go back to try to pick them all out.

 

One thing straight out that you guys didn't mention -- the extreme importance of family history. Mine is really rotten! I may have told you that I am (along with one year older cousin) the oldest male in the history of my father's line (and Sheila has traced this back for several generations). And everyone in the family dies of a heart attack. I cannot remember a single exception. Similarly on my mother's side (though) that is less important. The uncle I was named after (mother's brother) died of a heart attach at 35. Her mother the same ending -- and sister. Only my mother and her youngest brother seemed to have escaped.

 

Salt: yeah, what ya'll said. One thing I've noticed is that since my surgery, I am suddenly hyper sensitive to salt. Things that before never tasted salty, now taste extremely so. That will seriously allow me to adjust my intake (which has been high). I had a chicken bbq 6" at Subway on the way home today. I ate it, but I swear the salt must be off the charts. No more of that. I originally planned on a veggie, but got a hankering for a saucy bbq -- too bad.

 

I'm also convinced that the bbq and the EVOO actually are healthy things to have in your diet. But I will be doing a big change on portion size. This has been a downfall for a number of years, and now I have not only a reason, but a magnificent incentive to change that. Had too much for supper last night (first night out) and hated myself afterward and felt miserable all night. I've changed that today (the bbq was the BIG meal). But yeah, I will also be looking carefully at my recipies and how often I fix the big calorie/fat items. It's a "moderation" issue. And my daughter gave me a Heart Association cookbook on Heathy Eating (hint, hint). That's obviously a good addition to my cooking library.

 

As far as the statins and cholesterol, yes -- I've taken simvastatin (a generic) for 18 years and monitor my detailed cholesterol every six months. The cholesterol was high (around 260) and has been quite low since the statin. So low in fact, they they feared it was TOO low and cut me to only 5 mg. They don't even make a pill in that small size -- I take half pills. That's all well and good, but it didn't stop all that massive blockage and my heart attack. And in my bi-annual physicals, my doctor never caught any sign that I had a problem. But it's been more than 10 years since my last stress test, and I was planning to ask for one at my May appointment. To Late!

 

I do have some new meds in addition to the statin and HZTZ for blood pressure. (My pressure for 30 or 40 years been borderline high, but easily kept "normal" by a low dosage 25mg of HZTZ.) But one new pill is a stool softerner to keep me from straining like Elvis Presley and another is for pain which I don't need (got off them after day 3). The only heart-related is to relax smooth muscle. And then there's the Furosimide which makes me pee a quart 45 minutes after drinking a half cup. (Or seems like it anyway.) That's for the swelling in my leg which has these absolutely massive, violent black and blue bruises from where they ripped the vein out to do part of the bypass. (The main bypass on the widowmaker was a diversion of my "mamary" vein with is supposed to be a much better method -- but limited to one.)

 

The blood pressure on both arms is a good one, jimbo. Wish I had know that before -- had my doctor done this, he would have probably caught this. He's a good doctor and I'll bring this up, with him.

 

I do take a number of vitamins that are supposed to help restore heart health (no guarantees, but they had me on most of them in the hospital also). I've know for years I had this problem and, of course the family history, so I HAVE tried to do a lot (certainly not perfect). I used to take the fish oil until the recent long term study that said it did absolutely no good. But also, I have nothing against anything a person wants to do to try to protect their health.

 

Mikey, I gotta hit your comment. The old man? I really don't do Facebook, but I recently felt it worthwhile to say that Sheila and I had now both reached Medicare age. I said that was probably good as long as we can live to enjoy it. My next post to Facebook was about my impending heart bypass surgery. So no, you're not old, just feeling that way. It comes to us all. Me on the otherhand -- I EARNED mine! :D

 

Oh, let's add this into the discussion -- a major study recently said if you do all the right things (moderation in all, low salt, no smoking, etc.) that you can add about 3 - 4 months to your lifespan. Ok, so where's the good news?

 

Now let's talk about ribs and wings and brisket and stuff. Folks if we eat the commercial preparations, that stuff is gonna kill us. And probably won't taste as good. So, I'm not planning to change any of that -- but I'll watch the rubs and sauces carefully. And exercise that moderation thing. And try hard to go easier on the cheese (OMG, TRAGEDY!) My new grafts are supposed to be good for 10 - 15 years if I take care of them.

 

And speaking of that, I will now add another piece to the ever-growing puzzle. Namesake dead at 35, father at 61, horrible family history, known heart disease since 1996. No matter how you look at it, these are a weight on your soul. I view every comparable birthday with trepedation and wondered if I would survive the year. My most recent philosopy is that I have beat all the odds, I know I'm going to die and likely within months to years and I am going to live my life in a manner I will enjoy. BANG! I didn't die. I can reasonably expect to live 10 years or much more. (Now THAT could be a drag with my arthritis and all -- but separate discussion.) What does this mean to me? I've said some of it here, but I do have some things to work out. This is just not a point of view that I'm at all used to.

 

Rich

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Geez Rich - you really have me depressed reading your family history! Kinda reminds me of my wife - her parents both died in their 50's. The three girls are counting down the days now as they approach 60 to see who will pass on first. Very morbid..

 

Simvastatin - another drug my Dad took for the last 2 decades. Now I'm really depressed. This is all reminding me of him.. He actually took 8 pills in the morning and 6 at night. I set them up each week in a "weekly dispenser" labeled for each day, morning and night. This made it easy for Mom to ensure he got the correct pills each day. I had forgotten all about that weekly chore I did for him, out of my memory until Jimbo jogged it with his mention of the Lisinopril. Now Rich with the Simvastatin. Let's see how many other members are using the rest (the names will come to mind once I see them).

 

And I agree 100% on portion size. That's been my downfall, if I could just get past that. Damn wife. She's the one that makes such great food that I need to pile it on so high! :P

 

mike

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Holy Cow! What a lot to respond to -- and there's some very good stuff you have in here. I'm glad I'm home now with my laptop and a keyboard! I'm not going to try to identify all the comments with who made them, but I will go back to try to pick them all out.

 

One thing straight out that you guys didn't mention -- the extreme importance of family history. Mine is really rotten! I may have told you that I am (along with one year older cousin) the oldest male in the history of my father's line (and Sheila has traced this back for several generations). And everyone in the family dies of a heart attack. I cannot remember a single exception. Similarly on my mother's side (though) that is less important. The uncle I was named after (mother's brother) died of a heart attach at 35. Her mother the same ending -- and sister. Only my mother and her youngest brother seemed to have escaped.

 

Salt: yeah, what ya'll said. One thing I've noticed is that since my surgery, I am suddenly hyper sensitive to salt. Things that before never tasted salty, now taste extremely so. That will seriously allow me to adjust my intake (which has been high). I had a chicken bbq 6" at Subway on the way home today. I ate it, but I swear the salt must be off the charts. No more of that. I originally planned on a veggie, but got a hankering for a saucy bbq -- too bad.

 

I'm also convinced that the bbq and the EVOO actually are healthy things to have in your diet. But I will be doing a big change on portion size. This has been a downfall for a number of years, and now I have not only a reason, but a magnificent incentive to change that. Had too much for supper last night (first night out) and hated myself afterward and felt miserable all night. I've changed that today (the bbq was the BIG meal). But yeah, I will also be looking carefully at my recipies and how often I fix the big calorie/fat items. It's a "moderation" issue. And my daughter gave me a Heart Association cookbook on Heathy Eating (hint, hint). That's obviously a good addition to my cooking library.

 

As far as the statins and cholesterol, yes -- I've taken simvastatin (a generic) for 18 years and monitor my detailed cholesterol every six months. The cholesterol was high (around 260) and has been quite low since the statin. So low in fact, they they feared it was TOO low and cut me to only 5 mg. They don't even make a pill in that small size -- I take half pills. That's all well and good, but it didn't stop all that massive blockage and my heart attack. And in my bi-annual physicals, my doctor never caught any sign that I had a problem. But it's been more than 10 years since my last stress test, and I was planning to ask for one at my May appointment. To Late!

 

I do have some new meds in addition to the statin and HZTZ for blood pressure. (My pressure for 30 or 40 years been borderline high, but easily kept "normal" by a low dosage 25mg of HZTZ.) But one new pill is a stool softerner to keep me from straining like Elvis Presley and another is for pain which I don't need (got off them after day 3). The only heart-related is to relax smooth muscle. And then there's the Furosimide which makes me pee a quart 45 minutes after drinking a half cup. (Or seems like it anyway.) That's for the swelling in my leg which has these absolutely massive, violent black and blue bruises from where they ripped the vein out to do part of the bypass. (The main bypass on the widowmaker was a diversion of my "mamary" vein with is supposed to be a much better method -- but limited to one.)

 

The blood pressure on both arms is a good one, jimbo. Wish I had know that before -- had my doctor done this, he would have probably caught this. He's a good doctor and I'll bring this up, with him.

 

I do take a number of vitamins that are supposed to help restore heart health (no guarantees, but they had me on most of them in the hospital also). I've know for years I had this problem and, of course the family history, so I HAVE tried to do a lot (certainly not perfect). I used to take the fish oil until the recent long term study that said it did absolutely no good. But also, I have nothing against anything a person wants to do to try to protect their health.

 

Mikey, I gotta hit your comment. The old man? I really don't do Facebook, but I recently felt it worthwhile to say that Sheila and I had now both reached Medicare age. I said that was probably good as long as we can live to enjoy it. My next post to Facebook was about my impending heart bypass surgery. So no, you're not old, just feeling that way. It comes to us all. Me on the otherhand -- I EARNED mine! :D

 

Oh, let's add this into the discussion -- a major study recently said if you do all the right things (moderation in all, low salt, no smoking, etc.) that you can add about 3 - 4 months to your lifespan. Ok, so where's the good news?

 

Now let's talk about ribs and wings and brisket and stuff. Folks if we eat the commercial preparations, that stuff is gonna kill us. And probably won't taste as good. So, I'm not planning to change any of that -- but I'll watch the rubs and sauces carefully. And exercise that moderation thing. And try hard to go easier on the cheese (OMG, TRAGEDY!) My new grafts are supposed to be good for 10 - 15 years if I take care of them.

 

And speaking of that, I will now add another piece to the ever-growing puzzle. Namesake dead at 35, father at 61, horrible family history, known heart disease since 1996. No matter how you look at it, these are a weight on your soul. I view every comparable birthday with trepedation and wondered if I would survive the year. My most recent philosopy is that I have beat all the odds, I know I'm going to die and likely within months to years and I am going to live my life in a manner I will enjoy. BANG! I didn't die. I can reasonably expect to live 10 years or much more. (Now THAT could be a drag with my arthritis and all -- but separate discussion.) What does this mean to me? I've said some of it here, but I do have some things to work out. This is just not a point of view that I'm at all used to.

 

Rich

Thanks for the update Rich, I had to go on the statins about 5 years ago to get my levels down, but they made me ache all over and screwed with my organs, so my doc gave me what I call a "ass pill" its called Lopid, it doesn't enter your blood stream but sits in your belly and grabs the fat and you crap it out, dropped my levels in a month.

 

Yeah the heredity thing is a big part of it, but now that you know stay away from salt and excessive fats, trim all your meats lean and like you said moderation is everything, I eat fish no less than twice a week, what i do most is read the stuff I am buying, the majority of it is 30% salt, if its not 15% or less I dont buy it, (for me anyway) the wife and kids can eat salty soups and ingredients, pretty much every thing you buy is riddled with salt including breads.

 

You can trim meats and still enjoy the meat drippings, it just wont be all melted fat, still makes killer gravy and ajus

My wife makes me my own salt free broth, she just puts it in the fridge overnight then skims the hardened fat off the top, its about the lowest sodium way to get broth especially if you do it from organic meat that hasn't been injected with salt water to "plump" it.

 

It will take some adjustments but life aint over just yet :D

 

 

 

jim

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:) Your guy's prescription regimen sounds a lot like mine. Stroked out at just about 59, now we have the every 6 month blood panel, the losartin HTCZ for BP, a generic of lipitor, fenobibrate, plavix, and atenolol. I think there is like 5 of them total I take. I have to be careful of the timing due to my weird hours and our company being known for abusing it's employees with constant mandatory over time (many times 4 hours a night). Caused me to have a blackout at work than I had to go through all the tests MRIs and stuff so they could rule out I did not stroke out again.

But guys all the stuff we take are beta blockers and docs diagnosis was combo of wrong amount rest and sudden BP loss from the pills caused the blackout. So I have to watch the timing and the rest periods. She laughed eventually and said "just look at the bottles" they all can cause this. Great :huh:

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Me, just a baby aspirin just before bed each night. No doctors orders - just my own conviction that it helps. But you can't argue that meds are wonderful in today's world. Biggest thing is getting the right ones prescribed (spelled VERY SMART, UP TO DATE & KNOWLEDGEABLE DOCTOR) and the timing, as hood points out.

 

mike

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