Dang!  I had a heart attack!
Actually it was more of a heart-annoyance then a heart-attack.

We went to upstate NY to my wife's family for Christmas, so every day ended up eating massive amounts of Italian cooking.
Plus, we stayed in a hundred-year old house (it tilted!) and had the worse allergy attack in years. Sure I got a fungus.
So- after a week (and 10 pounds) I started  getting a feeling of a 'lead balloon' stuck in my throat, which I sometimes get after too much heavy food.
Went home (2 day trip), and on the 31-st went for my morning 12 mile bike ride, did a few other things, and we had family New Years party, ate more junk food, and my lead balloon felt a little bigger.  New Year's day,  went for my bike ride. and later decided to call the on-call doctor rather then wait until next Monday to go see my doc.  What decided me, tho, was that a couple times I would start sweating for no reason.  The doc said I really should go to ER and get evaluated, just in case.

Oh well, nothing else going on, so why not?

So they hooked me up, everything seemed ok, until the blood tests came back, and some enzyme count said I was having a heart problem, so up the stairs I went to the cardiac floor.
Since it wasn't a real emergency, I sat there for 4 days until Monday morning when everyone came in and off to the cath lab I went.  Found some blockages, put in 3 stents, but one had a problem, so a couple more to stabilize it (otherwise would have required open heart by-pass surgery to fix it) .  Oh yeah- 4 days of blood thiners, beta-blockers (?) and high dose statin.  Even a nitro-patch which gave a heck of a head ache for couple days.  Anyway-  all fixed up I guess.  But then I caught a really nice sinus-lung infection of some kind. Soon as I got out and to my doctor, who was shocked, all my checkups were excellent, got some anti-biotcs and stuff,  so now it's clearing up, but still feel tired-  which may be the other meds.

Next is cardiac rehab lab- they'll check to make sure my heart is behaving before I start working out again.  I have gone on a couple of shorter bike rides,  and take doggie for walks,  everything seems ok.  More news this Friday.


Well-  Thurs/Friday I was having a 'lead balloon' feeling again. Slightly lower- mid chest- with a slight burning feeling,  so I figured maybe this time it really was heart burn- except it never went away.  So just in case-  called in Thurs middle of the night, they said try a nitro tablet, since for me the lead balloon feeling is suspect.  Couldn't tell it did anything, anwayway they said head back to ER.  Blood test said I was ok,  but off to cath lab I went, and found out they put in another stent.   Apparently they were saving one for a rainy day. (Because of the problem vessel, and all the dye, they decided to stop- and do the last one some other day.  I missed that part.). Anyway-  I guess they got it all now.  In Friday, out Sat, went to church Sun, back to work Mon.  Feel pretty good. Occasional nap is good.  Not near as tail-dragging as before.   Try for rehab again next Mon.

I've had the lead balloon feeling often in my life- always figured it was just a heavy breakfast or something, it would go away after a few min.  But now I wonder if it was my heart trying to tell me something.


Well- almost 6 months.  Still having some PVC's or palpatations problem. Just finished Cardiac-Rehab, and now starting to get back on my biking routine.
Here is the blog I started trying to keep up with all the different meds and stuff-  boring.  Heartblog.
Oh yeah.  6 trips to hospital, and I now have 10 stents.

So what have I learned? 

Everyone clogs.  Different rates maybe, depending on genetics and lifestyle.  So if you're lucky, by the time you are 100% clogged you are 100 years old and don't care.  If you are active, 60 or 70 % clog will affect you early on in life, and you can do something about it before it's too late.  Losing your breath after climbing stairs? Can't go as far or fast as you used to?  Get checked. Lots of symptoms- but sweating seems to be the kicker.

Anyway- the heart does get irritated and spazy after someone goes poking wires and squirting dye into it, so meds are needed to calm it down.  Heart spazms or PVC's or PAC's or whatever, cause you to go into panic mode-  so more meds to calm you down.  Does your heart a favor.

WooHoo.  Year and a half.  Down to 25 megs Metropolol, 80 megs Statin, still taking Effient and aspirin.  Occaisional 'episode'- but feeling pretty good lately-  except that I feel like I have a kink in my hose. Once in a while feel like a 'squeeze' and get a little light-headed for sec- but doesn't seem to affect me much-  doing my bike rides and occasional workout.  Time for new check up.  Heartblog Chapter2

Still here!  Back up to 50 megs (feels better), 20 megs of new statin still makes me feel sick and tired and dizzy, taking half right now.  Off of Effient!
Good diet,  still trying for 60 miles per week,  Numbers good,  Life is Good!

Well--  another year later.  Did some experimenting with drugs-  changed to new beta blocker- Carvedilol (Coreg).   3.125 mg twice a day wasn't quite enough, BP started to climb, so doing 6.25 mg twice a day.   Back to Pravastatin-  still doing half- 10 mgs daily, and can do Red Yeast Rice-  may help.  So-  trying to keep up the 60 miles, a little light headedness occasionally-  makes me want to take a nap.
If I get too strenuous-  like riding a bike during a storm- my heart feels it.  Doc says to get any better will have to do a bypass.  I'll wait.  Life is Good!

Still doing good.  Last check-ups good.  Until Christmas vacation in NY with wife's family (see 1st paragraph).  Stayed 10 days this time.  Oh yeah- we stay in a Hotel most of the time.  My BB was going too fast, can't renew, so I went on half-dose for a week.  Then I caught the creeping crud-  when the gunk goes down the back of your throat and everything sticks like glue.  So I started taking Decongestants and Expectorants and hot lemon-ginger drink (good!) and nettle tea. So got home few days ago (10 pounds heavier) and starting to get better, but had several bloody noses- alltho my head has been more drained out than it has for years.  Anyway- the meds, and maybe BP was going up, but I think I'm getting back on track.  Oh-  heart feels fine!