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ONCEMOREAGAIN's Photo ONCEMOREAGAIN Posts: 5,326
7/15/12 10:48 A

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My story started last September (2011). I had been feeling a little tired and had trouble with my breathing, but thought nothing of it since I've had asthma since 12 years old. I was sweeping my kitchen floor when I got these awful pains in the upper back part of my arms..it then radiated to my chest and neck and I felt as though my jaw was in a vice grip. I went to my computer, looked up heart attack symptoms on the net, and immediately got my husband and told him we needed to go to the ER. Within 2 hours I was having my first cath. They found a 95% blockage in my LAD and another 95% blockage in a smaller artery. I received 2 stents that day. Felt great!! About a month ago, I started feeling those pains in my upper arms and neck..but only when I would walk upstairs, or walk quickly. I went for my regular doctor appointment on June 25th..told her about the symptoms and she did an EKG. Even before telling me the results of that, she told the secretary to call an ambulance and have me taken to ER, immediately. Once again, had a cath and they found that just above the stent in the LAD, I had a 99% blockage. One more stent added, and they used a balloon on the smaller one to reopen it again. Two days after getting home from the hospital, I started feeling tingling in my mouth, my left arm and down to my toes on my left leg. Doctor said ER, immediately!!! They ran every test imaginable, and could not find anything, but I did have drooping of mouth and slurring of words, and very dull feeling on my left side. They determined that it was a mini-stroke probably caused by a particle of plaque from the stent insertion 4 days prior. My cholesterol is great, but they now have me on meds for it, plavix, coreg and of course aspirin and my blood pressure meds. I am back in Cardiac Rehab again, so getting good exercise there, but not sure of what diet to use. My DH and I have not eaten fried foods in about 3 years, we eat lots of fruits and veggies. I thought we were living pretty healthy, but guess not.

I do need to lose about 30 pounds, and hoping that in doing so, I will curb this plaque growth.

If we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers make, and all the people those...prayers were destined to affect...we would be so paralyzed with awe...that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives.
—Peter Kreeft, author


If you are not as close to God as you used to be, who moved?—Source Unknown










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KSCARLE71's Photo KSCARLE71 SparkPoints: (5,211)
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7/1/12 7:44 P

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I feel l ike my story is so much like others but I will share it. I was in great shape, athletic, into clean eating and strength training. Something happened to me and it was tramatic so I started watching television which I hadn't had in years and eating bad. Not emotionallly but could do much for awhile because of pain. I gained much weight. According to the doctor people who have fst weight gain put stress on their heart, lungs, joints and so forth. Wow it was a shocker to me that I had high blood pressure (not a family thing) and triglycerides were 663. I did not even know what that was. I blew it off until the doctor insisted I listen. So I went from healthy to using three inhalors, pain meds, arthritis meds (I did already have that but not bad) HBP pills and choleterol meds, codeine and pearls to control night coughs. I have realized how bad it feels to be big and overweight. I also regret all the mean things I said before. By God's help and a loving husband, I am off most all meds now and still have 50 pounds+ to go.

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SCVB13's Photo SCVB13 SparkPoints: (5,961)
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6/23/12 10:49 P

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Carolanne,
I was on Plvaix for 15 months after my CABG but am now just on aspirin. Let's just say the plavix didn't agree with my monthly visitor! I will remain on aspirin and cholesterol meds for life. I have no coronary artery disease but because of my CABG I'm now considered very high risk cardiac-wise (I had the CABG for a rare coronary artery anomaly).

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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SCVB13's Photo SCVB13 SparkPoints: (5,961)
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6/23/12 10:45 P

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Hi All,
I'm a 42 year old ICU nurse who underwent an emergent CABG x 1 a little over 2 years ago for an extremely rare coronary artery anomaly. I've made a full recovery and need to focus a bit more on diet and exercise consistency. If you'd like to read my blog it's http://scvb13.wordpress.com
Scroll back to May 2010 entries.

Incognito, I'm just wondering why you think your heart murmurs are caused by stress/anxiety. Heart murmurs are caused by flow disruptions in the heart, often due to one of the valves but also in the actual movement of the heart. I hope you've had a full workup including echocardiogram before you contribute a murmur to stress!

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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INCOGNITO4884's Photo INCOGNITO4884 SparkPoints: (225)
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6/19/12 5:06 P

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Hi everyone! My name is Brittni. I am a 20 year old college student who needs to lose about 50 pounds, and I have a heart murmur. It started during my freshman year of college due to a high level of stress and anxiety. That was about 2 years ago. The murmur hasn't gone away despite a drastic drop in stress. I am trying to lose weight for many reasons, but one is to avoid further heart problems. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in my family for both males and females. Trying to eat healthy as a full-time college student is not easy, but it has become evident that I no longer have an option.

Wish me luck! :)

JUDYAASH's Photo JUDYAASH SparkPoints: (15,890)
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6/10/12 9:31 A

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emoticon

“Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be”

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MISTYBLUE716's Photo MISTYBLUE716 Posts: 1,150
6/9/12 9:18 P

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Hello everyone! Been on this team for a while but figured I'd share my story too....

I've always had a heart murmur..by the time I was 3 y/o I had my first open heart surgery to try and repair my aortic valve...2nd open heart surgery at 6 y/o...went in through my back to try and use a balloon to try and enlarge the part of the valve that was narrowing....had a valve replacement at 11.5 y/o...the Ross procedure..at 21 they were going to re-replace my aortic valve but got in there and the valve was ok so they enlarged the conduit to the valve to be 3x it's size..so...now...I've been waiting..I'm going to be 28 july 16th..check up scheduled for mid july..

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LINDAM.1 SparkPoints: (41,196)
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6/7/12 1:21 A

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With my husband it was a question of how little red meat I could put in whole grain and veggies . still working on that. With better luck each month. Meat and potatoes is heard to break but his father was diabetic, and I am a year and three weeks out from open heart to replace 2 arteries.

EATNBOOGERS's Photo EATNBOOGERS Posts: 2,215
6/6/12 5:38 P

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I'm really here to be able to support my husband... he recently had some tests run, and his trigylcerides were high, his cholesterol was a mess, and his blood pressure was borderline. Since women have such important roles in supporting their husbands' health, I figure this is a good team for me!

Kristine

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BLC 21 Powerful Prism Panthers team!

Run a beautiful race.

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. " --Steve Prefontaine



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5/24/12 9:24 P

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emoticon HAZAHA A doctor you can talk to is a must. I even had one we did not always agree but we gave each other logical researched discussions.

JUDYAASH's Photo JUDYAASH SparkPoints: (15,890)
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5/24/12 4:35 P

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I have changed doctors and have found a wonderfol doctor who listens to me, answers all my questions, no matter how dumb they feel and is actually taking my high blood pressure seriously. I have a HUGE family history for hbp so I am very concerned about mine. With the delay in treatment for my heart attack I also have kidney damage now. Thank God no new meds and a very sweet, concerned doctor who i young enough to be my grandson. He actually encourages questions! emoticon

“Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be”

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CAROLANNE1971's Photo CAROLANNE1971 SparkPoints: (1,750)
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5/24/12 3:36 P

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Judy, most definitely find a new doctor if your current one doesn't listen you. I cannot stress this enough. My original cardiologist never took my concerns seriously and always acted like was a crazed hypochondriac at every visit. Listen to your instincts and if you think something is wrong, it problably is. Keep looking until you find a doctor that takes your concerns seriously and really cares about your health. More importantly though is once you find that doctor DO NOT skip appointments. It is extremely important to see your doc regularly to make sure your meds are doing what they should. I know it's hard but there's nothing more important than your health and you ARE WORTH IT!! emoticon

With regards to Plavix, I had some very minor surgery recently and had to go off it for a week prior and it freaked me out! I know that my cardiologist said that I could go off it if I wanted, but I too am comforted by being on it for some reason. emoticon

Fortunately I didn't have too much damage to the heart muscle despite the fact that I had a friend drive me to the ER (which I was severely chastised about later by everyone) and then they basically ignored me for 45 minutes. I did have the presence of mind to take 2 aspirin prior to going to the ER though and I was told that helped quite a bit. They say that heart attack symptoms in women can differ greatly from what men experience but I had the classic, Hollywood heart attack: clutching chest pain, excruciating pain in both arms, nausea and, sweating.

Pay attention to your body people! It might just save your life!!!

Edited by: CAROLANNE1971 at: 5/24/2012 (15:52)
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JUDYAASH's Photo JUDYAASH SparkPoints: (15,890)
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5/24/12 2:53 P

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I have been on it for about 18 months and my Doctor hasn't indicated that will change. Strangely enough I feel better, mentally, knowing I am on it. It is great that they finally came out with a generic this month. I, too, take cholesterol medication, aspirin and 4 blood pressure meds as well as a diuretic and potassium since I had considerable damage because of the problem getting treatment. I think the stents make you more prone to clots forming so they keep you on Plavix to help stop that. emoticon emoticon

“Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be”

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CAROLANNE1971's Photo CAROLANNE1971 SparkPoints: (1,750)
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5/24/12 1:35 P

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I had a heart attack at 36 and now have 3 stents in my LAD. As a result I have been on Plavix for almost 5 years. I was told that I would have to be on it for the rest of my life by my original cardiologist, but my new cardiologist seemed surprised that I was still on it this many years after the heart attack. I also take aspirin, blood pressure and cholesterol meds daily as a precaution. How many of you are on a Plavix regimen and will you be on it for the rest of your lives?

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LAVEL33's Photo LAVEL33 SparkPoints: (2,116)
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5/21/12 2:39 A

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I have a history of Breast Cancer since 1996, and had a lot of surgery. Then in March 2009, I had my 1st experience with CHF.
In Feb. 2012 I had CHF & pneumonia. In March & April I went to the hospital twice for heart failure because I wasn't taking my meds properly and I was anemic, even though I was goin to the gym,. Strenuous exercise isn't good for "conjestive heart failure'. They sent me a chf specialist to teach me about my condition. I had to cut out the salt. I also have a home physical therapist that started me on light exercise in April, and eating nutritous meals. I'm doin a little more exercise each week. I'm getting stronger & I feel better too.
emoticon God bless you other Sparkers with heart stories.
From Velma

Edited by: LAVEL33 at: 5/23/2012 (01:52)

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LINDAM.1 SparkPoints: (41,196)
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5/14/12 1:32 A

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Had a heart murmur since I was a kid. My Cardiologist said when it got bad enough He could take care of it. Last May I went in for the procedure. They put a camera up my leg and up to my heart ready to apply alcohol to the spot the muscle was too large. While they were there they looked around and saw clogged arteries, backed out and decided to do open heart to replace two arteries and fix the murmur all at once. No heart attack, no stroke. They got it in time

BESTYANNE SparkPoints: (60)
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4/29/12 10:36 P

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Yes Im on that also and I hate it have been on it for 5 months and I look like I have been beat from the brusing and I know it wont get better

ROXXVIOLET's Photo ROXXVIOLET SparkPoints: (2,900)
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4/27/12 6:43 P

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I was always an athletic kid. Loved riding my bike, playing baseball, climbing trees and hiking with my dad and brothers. When I was 14, during a baseball game I had just sprinted the bases and I could feel something was wrong with my heart when I stopped running. It was beating so fast, even though I was standing still, it just seemed to keep beating faster. I felt dizzy and out of breath, pressure on my chest. That day I was diagnosed with SVT, and ever since then I would get heart episodes whenever I pushed myself physically, whether I was dancing, playing hackysack, walking on a hot day or even when I was just feeling a little anxious. I'm 26 now and I get the episodes about 3 times a week, sometimes when I'm doing something that isn't physically demanding, like cooking dinner or even when I'm just relaxing. It's a pain, I have to stop what I'm doing and focus on being very calm until my heart rate returns to normal. Sometimes it goes on for hours, til I can feel a dull ache in my heart and I wonder how much longer until my heart just stops. I take metroprolol, I think it helps. Having SVT makes it very hard to get in shape, I stick to a mostly healthy diet and walk a lot, but I'm over weight and I'd like to be able to do more vigorous exercise so I can burn off the extra fat. Sometimes I feel like I have to choose between having a healthy heart or a healthy body.

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KAYSEA6's Photo KAYSEA6 SparkPoints: (3,685)
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4/22/12 4:59 P

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Hello
My name is Kay. Although I have heart failure, I have to remind myself I am not my body. My spirit is strong. One of the side effects of my medication is weight gain which makes losing weight difficult. I just have to be more creative. =)

Happiness is remembering what I really want.
Laughter is the best medicine. The best things in life are free.

Learn to say 'no' to the good so you can say 'yes' to the best.

Dream with no action = wishful thinking
Action with no plan = chaos
Dream + action + persistence = success

The ego tells me you can't do it. The spirit tells me I can.

Each time I say "no" to impulse eating, I will visualize fat melting off my body.


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MARISERV's Photo MARISERV SparkPoints: (6,992)
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4/15/12 5:06 P

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Hard to believe Judy but your story is not uncommon for women. You were very, very lucky.
When you get no answers from your doctor its time to find another. I would also make a formal complaint to the head of your first hospital about their mis-diagnosis. The louder we yell the more they will listen and start taking womens symtoms seriously.

Marion

Leader - You're The Boss of You
Leader- Healthy Hearts

Every Morning is a New Beginning



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JUDYAASH's Photo JUDYAASH SparkPoints: (15,890)
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4/15/12 4:27 P

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I gained over 100 pounds over the last 20 years (right after I was diagnosed with high blood pressure) and I smoked 3 - 4 packs of cigarettes a day for the best part of 55 years. I thought as long as I took my blood pressure medicine and felt good everything was ok. A little over a year ago my ex-husband died and my daughter asked me to take the youngest kids home. On the way I stopped and bought Jimmy Dean egg and sausage croissants, since no one had eaten. I fixed them and ate one and almost immediately I got indigestion. It wouldn't go away all day and the next day. The following night when I laid down I woke up gasping for air and covered with a cold sweat. I woke my daughter and she took me to the local ER. I was in and out in 5 minutes with a prescription for antibiotics for pleurisy. Because my daughter had to make her father's funeral arrangements and was grieving I didn't want to bother her further so I slept sitting up and moved very little for another week. I still felt like I had severe indigestion with sharp pains in my right side sometimes. I finally couldn't believe it was pleurisy or indigestion because it never got any better so one week to the day I had her take me to an ER in the next larger community. There they told me I had a heart attack. I transported to Dallas where they put in 2 stents and said I had a 70% blockage in another artery. I saw the cardio 2 times after I got out of the hospital and both times I waited 2 - 2 1/2 hours to see him. Then he would write in my chart for 5 minutes, listen to my heart and write for another 5 minutes. When I tried to ask him a question he acted like he couldn't hear me. Last week I was 5 months overdue for my regular visit but wouldn't go because it seem to make a difference, when you guys convinced me I really am worth it. I called and requested another Dr and went to see him Friday. He answered most of my questions, explained I have CHF because of the time period between the MI and treatment and reevaluated my medicine. I am now taking 12 pills a day (ugh). He doesn't want me to exercise right now so I have to count calories like crazy. As for the smoking, I quit the day I had the heart attack and never touched another cigarette. So I know if I can do it all of you smokers out there can. Please be aware that women do have different symptoms than men and the pain sometimes isn't in your chest!!! doing great on SP and hope to continue for many years.

“Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be”

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MARISERV's Photo MARISERV SparkPoints: (6,992)
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4/10/12 6:16 P

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AZEC1128, keep working at quitting, eventually you will overcome it. It's the best thing you can do for your heart. I know its alot to being working at losing weight and quitting cigarettes. It can get overwhelming. We are all here to support you if you need it.

Marion

Leader - You're The Boss of You
Leader- Healthy Hearts

Every Morning is a New Beginning



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AMYC0128's Photo AMYC0128 SparkPoints: (204,115)
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4/10/12 2:51 P

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My heart story begins with my stroke on Feburary 4, 2009. Had no idea previously that stroke has something to do with the heart. They ran a bubble test amongst other tests. I was told there was a problem with my heart but it isn't an issue now but will be in about 10 years time(so 7 years now). I have known for years that I have a heart murmur but have no idea it that is what they were refereing to at the hospital or not. I was so out of it that I can't remember what they had said it was.

I was told to bring my weight down and to exercise and eat healthier and quit smoking. The quitting smoking is the one I'm on and off with.

Amy
Colorado
Mountain Time Zone

~Leader (NEW)Rainbow of Faith, Hope and Cure Team~

~Leader- V.I.P....Virtually Inspired Peers~

~Co Leader- Living Life on a Shoestring~

~Co Leader- Make Life Happen~

~Co-Leader SP Class August 30-September 5th 2009~

main.acsevents.org/goto/amyclifton


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GOLFLADY11's Photo GOLFLADY11 SparkPoints: (33,404)
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3/29/12 3:43 P

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Sonya Welcome to Healthy Hearts. My experience is it seems almost insurmountable when you start the journey (to weight loss or better health or whatever). But you will quickly see how the days and weeks you make little changes all add up to a huge difference in your life.

I suffer from Atrial Fibrillation. I really am amazed reading everyone's story. I was born with a heart murmur. Had surgery for that when I was 22 yrs old. In the late 80's I started suffering from the arrythmia. I had many cardioversions through the 90's - always reacted well and back into sinus rhythm - and was on drugs such as biquin and digoxin for years.

Then in 2000 I had laser ablation to stop my heart tripping into arrythmia. This kept me drug free and arrythmia free for over 10 years. Now I am back in Atrial Fib. I had cardioversion a couple weeks ago and it didn't work. Now I am taking Pradax and just started Ramiprill and will soon start Bisoprolol. I am on the list for lung function tests. After I have that I will see the cardiologist again and see where I am and what happens next.

Meanwhile I live a normal life - lots of walking; I do aquafit; I golf, garden and generally try to keep active. Now at 62 my focus is trying to achieve a healthier weight - down 21 lbs so far - and practice proper nutrition.

SP is a life-saver for me. I started in Sept 2011 and am committed for the forseeable future. I would encourage everyone to make whatever change is necessary to live a healthier lifestyle.

"Fall down 7 times, get up 8" - Japanese Proverb;
The journey is the reward"


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MARISERV's Photo MARISERV SparkPoints: (6,992)
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3/27/12 6:25 P

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emoticon to HEALTHY HEARTS emoticon wishing you great success in reaching your goals SONYAMA. We are so glad you joined us and are looking forward to hearing from you often.

Marion

Edited by: MARISERV at: 3/27/2012 (18:26)
Marion

Leader - You're The Boss of You
Leader- Healthy Hearts

Every Morning is a New Beginning



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SONYAMA SparkPoints: (14)
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3/26/12 10:04 A

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Thank you all for your post. I joined this site some time ago but have been to scared to actually start because of failure.I rarely complete any projects I start that will benefit me. But Now I am ready. I have never lost any weight and I have A LOT of weight to lose. I had a health scare from my mother who is a avarage sized woman. She stated that she wanted to lose 40 lbs So I have decided to take this leap of faith. To trust in myself that I can do this and to be there for my mom. I hope you will be there for me as I will be there for her. I need all the well wishes and encouragements I can get. I start this journey with HOPE because of your posts. THANK YOU !! emoticon

MARISERV's Photo MARISERV SparkPoints: (6,992)
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3/20/12 2:19 P

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NERITZY how blessed your are to be here telling your story.

Marion

Leader - You're The Boss of You
Leader- Healthy Hearts

Every Morning is a New Beginning



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GKNEE13's Photo GKNEE13 SparkPoints: (1,794)
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3/19/12 8:19 P

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There's one thing I've learned after 3 years of working with the American Heart Association, everyone has a very unique heart story.

Mine begins in the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA. In December of 2004 I had a kidney tranplant (after 2 1/2 years on dialysis). It was amazing how much better I felt after the surgery!

The next evening, just a little over 24 hours after the surgery, the tech had taken a blood test and I was literally kicked back in the hospital bed thinking about how I was blessed, when a large group of nurses and techs came running into the room. They started checking the machines (and yes, there were a lot of them) and began shooting off alot of questions about how I was feeling. I kept repeating that I felt great and thought they were mistaken on the room. I was getting aggrevated when I finally gave up arguing with them and let them do their thing. It was then they told me I had had a MI (heart attack).

Of course, with the pain meds I was on I never felt a thing, but had noticed my pulse would race every so often. Anyway, I was moved from tranplant recovery to the CCU and spent the next week recovering.

I feel really blessed that I was in the hospital when it happened.

The warning signs may be chest pains, pains in the jaw, neck maybe in the area of female organs (ovaries, etc). Then again, you may not have any warning signs at all. One of my volunteers at AHA just became extremely hot while she was at work, and even removed her clothes and drove home naked. She was pregnant and didn't call 911 for some time. Sadly, by the time she did and arrived at the hospital, she had lost the baby but they were able to save her life.

Never take the chance, if you feel different, sick or anyway other than normal, it's best to be checked out. Learn CPR,it's easy and you can get the instructions from the AHA website. Who knows, you may be someone's hero.

NERITZY's Photo NERITZY Posts: 123
3/19/12 2:59 P

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I was told by 2 heart doctors it was all in my head. Even though a stress test showed a 'hot spot'. Another doctor told me I had a congenital defect and spastic artery that went into my heart. Thank God for that doctor. He put me on medication that helped me. But that still didn't completely save me. Four years ago I went to the County Fair to enter my knitting and vegetable in Open Class. Then we went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things and home. When we got home I told my husband I need a nitro pill. He got one and turned around to put it away and he heard a thud on the floor. He turned around to see me passed out, when he got to me he actually found I was dead. I turned blue and no breathing or pulse. He did CPR and got me breathing. He then called 911. When he was on the phone with them I died again, no breathing or pulse and blue again. He put the phone on speaker and did CPR on me again. He kept pushing harding and harding on my chest. He just kept it up thinking, "How am I going to tell her children she is dead." He brought me back a second time. By that time he heard the ambulance and put a dog in the bedroom. The ambulance crew got to me and had to use the paddles to bring me back a third time! One of the crew told my husband I probably wouldn't make it to the hospital. Fooled them! All the helicopter were in use so they had to call for a jet out of Fort Hays, Kansas. That's a long ways from North Platte, Nebraska! I was flown to Lincoln, Nebraska which is a long ways from North Platte also! My husband went home and packed some clothes and sped down I80. In Lincoln I was pretty out of it but they put in a pacemaker/defibulator. My husband joked, You missed all the hunks that came on the ambulance crew with their shirts off. Darn it. I also missed my first ever jet ride! Double darn it. LOL I am so very greatful for my husband knowing CPR from Vietnam War, the ambulance crew, and all the doctors and nurses at both hospitals! I am so Blessed to have such fantastic people in my life! My doctor told me that only 5% of the people live to tell their story! The local television did a story on me and so many people couldn't believe that this happened and with such a happy ending! People jokingly call my husband, "My Real Life Saver"! God isn't finished with me yet!

THE WILL OF GOD WILL NEVER TAKE YOU WHERE THE GRACE OF GOD WILL NOT PROTECT YOU!!

We could learn a lot from crayons:
some are sharp, some are pretty,
some are dull, some have weird names,
and all are different colors....but
they all exist very nicely in the same box.



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3/18/12 4:25 P

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I have had ventricular tachycardia and angina problems and take heart medicines for the tachycardia and have nitro for angina if needed. I have been on cholesterol medicines or several years as my cholestrol is high too.

I am trying to get back to my normal me after having cancer twice lately three times total but once in 2009 and once in 2010. I let my weight get higher again and am at the heaviest ever. I need to lose 50 pounds and have started curves three times a week and watching my diet but it is slow to change anything on the scales. I guess i need to cut my calories more. I feel good after curves each time but do have trouble with my heart rate getting to high and having to slow down for the next 5 machines but will keep on going and trying for better health. I am a diabetic and have a bunch of other problems to boring to mention emoticon . I am the one with physical problems and now have a spouse with memory problems and have to help him some so stress is there also. Good Luck everyone glad to join you again it inspired me the last time I was on Spark People so I rejoined emoticon

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FIRECOM's Photo FIRECOM SparkPoints: (107,673)
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3/14/12 1:30 P

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a great story, MEMEQ2. The more we know, the better we are to realize what is going on. I understand that the indications of a heart attack are different for women than men (generally speaking). Not sure why, but KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

Thanks for the message.

"It is easier to raise good children than to fix bad men" by Fredrick Douglas.

Co team leader for Living With Diabetes team.

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3/14/12 12:22 P

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I had a heart attack at age 47. All kinds of heart problems run in my family. Both of my parents have had open heart surgery. Knowing my family history is what caused me to go to the hospital during my heart attack I am very fortunate that I did not have any heart damage. I am trying to live a healthy lifestyle so I won't have another attack. I also want women to be made aware of the symptoms. I had severe pain in both arms, not much pain in my chest at all. It just felt like indigestion. Another heart problem that runs in my family is called WPW. It causes your heart to either beat too fast or too slow. I am on medication to make my heart beat slower as well as taking asprin and meds to lower cholesterol.

Nothing is Impossible. The word itself says "I'm possible" Audrey Hepburn


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3/14/12 1:30 A

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I, too, live without knowing what is happening with my heart. I had a severe heart attack about 6 years ago. I thought I was going to die. My type of heart attack is called a " widowmaker" because not too many people survive. Also, having a medical background does not help matters. I had bypass x 4, and felt great after surgery. Skip ahead 4 years. One day at work, I collapsed. I was taken to the ER, and admitted with undiagnosed heart problems. I underwent just about every test there was to find out why I collapsed. During one test, I went into a ventricular tachycardia, and had to be shocked back into rhythm. I was told that it was a tachycardia brought on by the test. Shortly afterwards, I started experiencing palpitations, and would feel weak afterwards. I now have an implanted loop recorder which is like an implanted holter monitor. I have episodes where my heart rate will go as high as 220 beats/ minute. my doctors still haven't been able to figure out why I collapsed, or why my heart beats so fast.

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.
Norman Vincent Peale


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3/13/12 4:39 P

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I’m 48 years old. I’ve had Aorta Stenosis and bicuspid valve my whole life. In after a weekend trip to Portugal I was diagnosed with an Aneurysm of the ascending aorta (thoracic). Freaked me out, I had nightmares for weeks. At the time I was overweight but very active. I ran 3 times a week and did other cardio the rest of the week. My bp and HR had always been on the low side – 90/68 was normal for me, my resting HR was 58. I had had some chest pains in the week leading up to it. I was having trouble with my HR shooting up which was unusual. I went to Portugal anyways; it was just for the weekend with family and friends. The food was so salty. After the first meal I immediately blew up to the point my hands where purple, so I was downing water. The next day while out sightseeing I was having shortness of breath and sharp chest pains that I ignored. Got back on Monday and made a doctor’s appointment for Wednesday. He put me on a diuretic and ordered labs. Had them done started the medicine. Thursday I ran I high fever, Friday my bp shot up to 140/110 and my resting hr was 120. It never got that high while running. I called the clinic and the corpsman said it was probably a reaction to the med, to quit taking it and make an appointment for the next week. Called the appointment desk, got a nurse who told me to get my ass immediately. So my dh came and got me and took me in. My EKG was irregular but I have never had a normal one. He doctor took me to the ER. They treated it as a heart attack but also as if it was it was an upper respiratory infection. My enzyme test came back elevated so I was admitted overnight. I was released the next day with aspirin and cholesterol medicine, my cholesterol was 230, it was not done after fasting so it probably wasn’t right. I was also put on bed rest until they could get me in with a cardiologist off base. The cardio appointment didn’t go well so I was referred to Internal Medicine and that doctor ordered a CT and a stress test. It came back with my aorta enlarged to 4.5. My heart responded well to exercise so the doctor told me to keep it up and put me on atenolol to keep my HR even lower when I exercised. That was 6 years ago. It has been stable since then. I did see a cardio in the states in 2010 for a follow up. She said it was stable and to keep up what I was doing. She said I was the healthiest sick person she has seen. And I was young for this to happen but it is caused by my valve. So I continued on my 6 month checkups, now in Italy. Nothing changed. I saw an Italian cardio this past fall. It didn’t go well. My doctor told me I needed to see the surgeon about having surgery. Caught me by surprise. I didn’t even think to ask questions. After research I emailed him with questions. He backtracked and said I could wait and see a surgeon this summer about it. So that is where I’m at. I go back next month for a follow up and have plans to see the surgeon this summer when I’m home.

So this is so long.

***Renee***
Time zone: EST
Maryland


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3/12/12 10:04 P

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I am 82 years old. In 1988 I had a heart attack at work. I had to have 4 by-passes and I have had a number of heart attacks since then. It is hard to exercise and over the past few years I have put on extra weight. The doctors put me on Lipitor and was on it for about ten years. I told him I would not take it any longer. In all that time My cholesterol never went down. After I got off the Med. my cholesterol went down. Over time I have tried different supplements. If they work I stick to it and if they don't I try something else. I find that most of the doctors are well meaning but only know to try one thing or another. My Doctor agrees with me. I said I was going to live to be 100 and she said that if I kept up what I was doing I would live longer than that. My last blood work, 3 months ago showed that every thing was with in the normal range. I'm not sure that I want to live to be 100 the way things are in this world. I believe that the Good Lord can correct this mess, then it will be ok. Hang in there and you will make it.

Edited by: BHUMMEL1 at: 3/12/2012 (22:05)
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3/12/12 2:41 P

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I havent been diagnosed officially with heart disease but went to a screening and was told that I had an enzyme present in my blood that showed the start of heart disease. This scares me. Last weekend it was rainy and nasty and I did not feel like exercising or anything. I was procrastinating on walking today, that is untill.... I started reading some of posts. I dont want to go through what you all have experienced so when 2:40 gets here I will be out the door and on my way to walk atleast a mile and a half. Thanks for the wake up call. I hope that you all will follow a healthy lifestyle so that none of you will have to experience those things again. I feel for all of you and just know this, each and every one of you who posted in My Heart Story has had an impact on me and I am thankful that you chose to share your story with me. I am so blessed that I have been spared some of your experiences and aim to continue with my weight loss, healthy eating and exercise. God bless you all for putting me back on the right track. I was looking for motivation and boy howdy did I ever get it!

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3/12/12 1:26 P

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Hi Everyone,
I have CAD...found out a couple of years ago. As you all probably know by now, women do not present the same as men do, therefore my symptoms were not taken seriously. To make a long story short, I ended up in the hospital and they finally found out that I was 95% closed in the "Widow Maker". My family physician saved my life by sending me back to the hospital for a stress test and then and only then did the Cardiologist order the catherization. I have a stent and was put on Plavix for 18 months. I am off the Plavix now and I feel much better now but I really had some hard times with knowing I had a stent in my heart and that I could have just dropped dead at any time without knowing it. I had extreme panic attacks for over a year. I quit driving out of town and did not go anywhere by myself.
God has been good to me and I pray he will also help all of you get better and live a healthier life. It is hard and I guess that is why we are all here where there is good support and good friends.
Much love!!

God grant me the patience, knowledge and understanding to do the things I need to do.


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3/12/12 8:55 A

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I am also a heart patient. I have had a heart attack, am in fib all the time and have congestive heart failure. My afib is kept under control with mdse. I have been hospitalized twice for the congestive heart problem and have to keep my sodium very low. I must take warfarin cause of the heart attack and the stent. It is so hard to lose weight and try to go to the YMCA at least twice a week. I also have back, knee and hip problems so the only exercise I really can do is working out in the warm water. Hope everyone is doing well and have a great day.

WILCOC00 SparkPoints: (2,738)
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3/11/12 9:50 P

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Thank you for your reply. It some how seems easier to take problems when there is someone else there to talk to. I have learned to turn things over to God, it really works. I hope you are feeling ok today. I am still learning about the different ways to handle medical problems. I use to hardly ever get sick, but as I have grown older it seems to want to catch up!

DCRUZ005 SparkPoints: (322)
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3/11/12 9:39 P

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Hi your story is similar to mine' I to have afib. The first time I found out about it I was sick and just knew something was wrong. Just going from one room to the next would make me so weak I thought i was going to pass out. I drove myself to the hospital and was admitted for pneumonia and afib. I was in the hospital for 5 days and my heart went back into rythum by it's self. The next time i got sick it did the same thing happened and this time it did not go back on it's own. They put me on medication and it didn't help and i had to have the cardio conversion or " the paddles". It's when i was scheduled for foot surgery in 2011 I found I again was in afib. I was all ready and just before the took me to the operating room the guy that puts you to sleep and the surgian came in and said i had to get approval from a cardiologist before they could do surgery. I got the approval a month later but had to have the surgery in the hospital just in case something went wrong. I'm still in afib but take meds to help slow my heart rate down. I also take meds for high blood pressure. I know I have to lose weight or i will die. I also know I can not do it alone and the people here are so supportive and makes it comfortable to share what you are going through.

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3/11/12 9:01 P

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Yes I too have been on Plavix for about 4.5 years. I have only 1 stint in my heart, but everything is going ok. My body holds water real bad, and I have other medical issues that make exercise very difficult. I have leg, and knee problems and back surgery. I am going to make a come back slowly but surely. When I was on active duty in the US Marine Corps I ran 1st class pft's. I retired in February 1989.

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3/11/12 8:48 P

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Hello Everyone: I now know I'm at the right site.
I had a heart attack; then another one when the artery tore. I have CAD (cardiac artery disease). I had unknown kidney problems for years, but when I had the heart attack the stones poured out.

The heart is in excellent condition;? I don't understand that, but that's what they say I get chest pain upon the raising of my blood pressure.
I was catherterized again and a stent was replaced with a larger one in the artery.

I've put on soooo much weight it's tearing me apart. My fluids have accummulated in the arms and stomach. So for now it's finding the right meds and pt/ot to prevent me from getting chest pains (agina) and get my heart pumping like it should.

I'm on Plavix 75 mg. I don't know if it's the medicine thats increasing the water in my body. I have to wait for now. I see the Cardio tommorrow for more options, I just got out of the hospital this past Wednesday.

Yo ticker! Thank you for moving down:)
Turtle take 2 steps down...ugh! ugh!


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3/11/12 11:57 A

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Hi.
First of all, thanks for all the nice welcome messages! I feel so blessed to have been led to this site in my meanderings on the the web.
My heart story probably began when I was stationed with the U.S.Navy in Japan in 1977.
I was 20 and experiencing chest pains -like a really badly strained muscle kind of pain. They put me on an EKG machine and discovered a skipped beat pattern to my heart rhythm. I was told it wasn't a big problem - in fact, more common than most knew. So, I went on my way and eventually rarely thought about it myself.
Fast-forward to July 2001 - the day I turned 44.
Had a low celebration with a couple of friends. While getting ready for bed, I started to feel as if I couldn't catch my breath, and as if I just finished running really hard.
I took myself to the emergency room. (I know, I know - I've been told countless times I should have called for an ambulance. :)
Anyway, after several tests, drugs to get my heart back in rhythm, etc. I was released. Was told that it's a pretty common occurrence for women approaching menopause. To prove the point, the same thing happened to Oprah and she did a show about it just a few weeks later.
Another fast forward to 2011. Another trip to the emergency room - this time my son drove me, and after "shocking" my heart back into rhythm, I now had a name for my condition. Atrial Fibulation (not sure I spelled that right).
The same thing happened a couple of more times last year, with one occurance happening at work where I was hauled to the hospital in an ambulance - very exciting (and a little embarrasing).
So, now I'm on two different heart meds, along with three other things for weight related issues, and have joined this site to get help with motivation (as if heart shocking wasn't enough motivation) to get healthy.
It's been a long road to realizing the added weight wasn't as much about how the food tastes, as much as what feelings or frustrations am I stuffing down.
I've done a lot of inner work over the past few years and am finally ready for the physical work - but just getting started is the hardest part. I know the best way to start is to just get out and walk, why do I find that so difficult? I'm a moderately active person in that I have a full time job planning fun community events, but most of it is behind a computer a large part of each day and the most exercise I get is walking down the hall to the copy room. :)
I guess that's why I was drawn to this site -in a need for support and guidance.
Well, that's my Heart Story. I look forward to sharing challenges, tips and success as time marches on!
Thanks again for being here.

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3/11/12 11:08 A

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My history of CAD goes back many years. My blood work ups had shown very bad numbers since at least 1960. Chol over 400, Trigs over 600 just to mention two. I was diagnosed with CHF in 1980 and my weight was at my peak of over 315 lb on a 5' 10" frame. That is when I started the drug deal with gusto. At that time, if I bent down to pick up something off of the floor, the pressure in my head was extreme.

Then one morning in 1991 I awoke with severe chest pain and within two days, I was undergoing my first CABG. I did pretty good job of getting the weight off but a year later I took a job where the sodas and donuts were "free" and the weight came back on. I joined WW and got down to 225 lb and feeling pretty good about myself. The weight crept back up to 240 and that is when I decided to get my weight back under control and I lost a few pounds.

Then another bomb shell. In 1996 I was Dx with Type 2 diabetes and I was faced with another challenge and a whole new drug regimen.

Fast forward to 2008 when we made the move from Woodinville, WA to Gilbert, AZ. Still weighing around 230. I was not experiencing any symptoms of heart trouble but my new Cardio had me do a stress test and said that I needed another CABG and it was performed in 2009. Things went along OK and then I found SP exactly one year ago.

For the first time in my adult life, I found the tools, motivation and support to get me on track. The weight came off ( I am now at 180 +/- ) and most importantly, my blood work has shown spectacular improvement. Chol under 75, Trigs under 60 and my A1c down from a high of nearly 12 to 5.2 in January.

When we were in Houston in the first week of Jan 2012 I started experiencing heart pain which was handled with nitro. As we were there for the funeral of my wife's sister, I said nothing but immediately upon our return, I called my cardio and was told to get to the ER pronto. I did. It was severe anemia caused by a bleeding polyp and i was given 5 units of blood over 3 days. It wasn't a heart problem, it was the fact that my heart was reacting to a loss of blood.

Another beautiful by product of this new life style and weight loss, the numbers of Rx meds I take has dropped from 17 a day to 6 and insulin from 55 units a day to 10,

So now you know. I apologize for the long post but this is my story and I am sticking to it.
emoticon

"It is easier to raise good children than to fix bad men" by Fredrick Douglas.

Co team leader for Living With Diabetes team.

Co Leader for Healthy Hearts team.

Leader of Gilbert Speaks team.


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3/11/12 10:47 A

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I love the heart, the anotomy and physiology, and it's quite an amazing organ. My father had a massive MI when he was 38, and by rights,should have died. 2 of my sisters are overweight, hypertensive, and their cholesterol is high. I've tried for yrs to get them to be healthy. They think I'm blowing smoke. Well, the oldest one has had several cardiac issues in the past several weeks, now she's listening up. The other one, well, she has no willpower. These girls just want me to know their issues all the time, but don't want to CHANGE their eating/exercise habits. I, personally, have learned to appreciate the organs that work hand-in-hand...the heart and kidneys. I have cut out all potatoe chips (ughhhhhh), started eating better, and walking longer. I feel so much healthier. For those of you with cardiac isuues, I highly commend you for getting healthier!!! Good job!!!

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3/11/12 10:25 A

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Hi
Born with a defect in aortic valve
Open heart surgery May 2006 -my valve was so calcified it had to be chipped out - surgeon was surprised it worked at all
Late 2011 same symptoms as in 2006 but with very rapid decline
Jan 20th open heart surgery - 2 cusps of value calcified and rigid - incapable of functioning -3rd cusp calcified with very limited ability to function -again value should have ceased functioning at all. Protective tissue surrounding value had to be rebuilt - aortic artery could not be connect to valve replacement an bleeding could not be stopped - surgeon had to use an artificial material and graft it to the artery in order to get it to seal to value then reinforce the connection (lucky I had a great surgeon)
Doctors can't explain the rapid deterioration of the first value replacement and are concerned my body for some reason developed a sort of rejection mechanism against it. (just an improbable theory but can't think of another reason) Just have to monitor progress and wait and see.
Feel fine now, have changed some bad habits, and trying to make the best of each day.
That's it.

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3/11/12 9:36 A

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I had SCA or sudden cardiac arrest. I had a total of 9 arrests and spent over 2 weeks in a coma. I wasn't suppose to live. I now live with an ICD implanted in my chest. I am trying to loose weight but between different meds they keep putting me on. I try to be as active as I can to loose weight but it is hard due to my other health problems I have lupus and now they think fybromyalgia. I have to watch also what ido cause the heart condition i have is called pro longed QT wave syndrome and certain things can just stop my heart stress physical exertion someone coming up behind me startling me. But I am still trying my best to loose weight because it is the best thing for me emoticon

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3/10/12 10:33 A

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Do any of you take Plavix? If so how long have you been on it? I have been on it for 4 1/2 years. emoticon

Edited by: MARISERV at: 3/10/2012 (10:34)
Marion

Leader - You're The Boss of You
Leader- Healthy Hearts

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3/10/12 8:00 A

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The best sermons are lived not spoken! Think about it! twitter facebook


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3/10/12 7:39 A

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Living with heart disease can leave us feeling confused, anxious, depressed and alone.

This is the place where we can share with other team members from our own personal experiences.

Diet, exercise and weight loss are so important to living a healhy lifestyle.....but so is the support of others who also live with heart disease



emoticon

Marion

Leader - You're The Boss of You
Leader- Healthy Hearts

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