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#1 blackjenner

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 05:48 PM

So I guess I'll write about this.  I'm afraid, sad and angry.
 
My family has a history of heart disease.  Every single man in my family has fallen to heart attack by the age of 50.  My grandfather, my great uncle, my uncle, and my father.  It either killed them outright or made them shackled to a disability for the remainder of their lives.  My father had his first chest pains (ignored) and heart attack at 48.  He lived with the effects for 23 years, dying at 71.  The quality of his life was greatly diminished during this time. He was weak, had to endure multiple heart procedures, and became a shadow of his former self in many ways.
 
I turned 55 almost two months ago.
 
During that time, I started having chest pains.  It was during a very stressful time at my current job.  A lot of very ugly things were going on and, being the somewhat emotional and vulnerable (in a good way) person that I am, sometimes my emotions manifest themselves in physical ways that are uncomfortable.  I've always been this way.  It's a double edged sword, allowing me to be open to others emotionally but sometimes burdening me with those same emotions.
 
So, I went to the doctor.  They checked me out at that time, and found no direct evidence of any problems. I had a healthy EKG, no direct or classic symptoms of cardiac problems, and no enzymes in my blood that are indicative of dying heart muscle.  They also provided me with a referral to a specialist, just to be sure.
 
So I talked to a very attentive and caring doctor in Ballard.  He interviewed me and, based on my story, he said it was very unlikely that this pain was directly attributable to a heart event.  At the same time, he scheduled what was called a "Stress Echo Cardiogram."
 
I had that test last week.  It consisted of them doing an EKG and imaging my heart with ultrasound while at rest.  Then they walked me on a treadmill (my knee held out ok) until they got my heart rate to the target they needed.  I was on that treadmill for over 11 minutes, which the doctor said was good.  Once I hit that rate, they got me back on the bed and imaged my heart again.  I felt just fine during the walk.  Breathing hard, but doing fine.
 
I returned a week later.  The doctor called. They wanted to give me my results in person.  When I arrived he explained to me that he had hoped that his initial diagnosis and impression were to be confirmed by the stress test.  It was not.
 
Apparently, when I was cooling off, and they were imaging my heart, they found a small(ish) section in the left rear that was "lazy".  He explained that they aren't sure of the cause right now.  It would be reduced blood flow or something else. They don't know for sure.  
 
I must say, he did a good job of explaining it and I did an acceptable job of holding myself together.
 
We talked about options to confirm the cause of this "laziness".  Basically, it would involve injecting dye into my heart directly, or through a vein, and taking pictures to determine if this was a blood flow problem.  He said that it might be a good idea to just relax if I can and get through my holidays and my wedding anniversary.  We will schedule another appointment in mid-January to follow up on a plan.
 
He wished me well and left.  I stood there, in his office, trying not to fall apart.  Maybe I had this unrealistic hope that smoking, a reasonable diet, exercise would somehow change this equation.  That hope is pretty busted right now.  I wandered through the rest of my day trying not to lose my shit, my chest hurting from the stress, choking on my lunch, being supported by Kerry.
 
I'm afraid.  That's to be expected.  I don't want this to happen to me.  I had some fantasies of dying some other way than my family legacy.  Obviously, I don't want to die. I don't want to have heart attacks.  I don't want to leave Kerry early.  There is an unfairness about this that is overwhelming.  We are planning to sail the world.  I can't do that if I'm stricken by this.  Dying at sea because our boat goes down, or I do something stupid is different than dropping in the middle of the salon halfway across the pacific, leaving Kerry alone to deal with the consequences.  I'm afraid.
 
I'm sad. Goddammit. I'm not rational about this.  I don't have to be.  Why this?  Why can't it have passed me over?  It's unfair for fucksake.  I'll be pragmatic about it later. Right now I'm sad.
 
And I'm angry.  When I was having chest pains, I had to leave work one time.  When i was setting my out of office reply I made a typo.  Instead of writing, "I am out sick," I wrote "I am not sick."  Apparently this was a big deal for my boss who, in a meeting, shoved his phone at me with an accusatory tone and asked what that was about.  My response to that then was, "it's a typo, of course."  He seemed skeptical.  My response now is, "fuck you."  I'm carrying a lot of anger about that right now and am working to let it go.  I'm also angry at what I perceive to be the unfairness of it. I don't want to leave Kerry, my family and friends.  I don't want to give up the dream of sailing around the world. I don't want to lose my health. Some of this is assumption, to be true, but I'm not really rational about it, right now.  I will be later.  Just not right now.
 
Kerry will be traveling this weekend to LA.  I'll be spending some time gaining some perspective, figuring out how this changes my life, my plans.  We'll see how the weekend goes. 
 
Mostly, I'm trying to see a way where the dream we have been working towards for three years, the dream of seeing the world together on Brigadoon, doesn't have to die.
 
I'm trying to see a future where I don't have to give up this path.  Finding my way there, is beset with fear, sadness and anger.  Hopefully, a sense of purpose will take over sometime soon.


#2 SereneSpeed

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:03 PM

One day at a time, my friend. Get out of tomorrow.

 

My grandmother was in a similar situation to yours. Family mortality rate left her worrying for years that she would follow suit. She's had her fair share of health battles (and won). She's outlived the rest of her ancestors by 25 years now (and so have her sisters). It was only a couple years ago she let go and realised that not everything is written in stone.

 

Best wishes and good vibes to you, Sir.



#3 Ritchard

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:10 PM

I feel for your frustration and uncertainty, but I have to echo Serene.  One day at a time.

 

Since you never know what the future holds, worrying is a waste of energy (of course, I'm one to talk).  Make your plans, but live the best you can today.  



#4 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:12 PM

Best wishes to you.

Your job sounds like it would give anyone a heart attack!

Leave and go sailing before the bastards do you in!!!!



#5 spin echo

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:12 PM

First, please take a deep breath and relax.  You dont have enough info at the moment.

"Lazy" portion of the heart refers to a left ventricular wall that exhibits abnormal or decreased movement.

Thats is. Stress echo is a weak test since it does not assess the coronary vessels, which is where the money is at, especially with your family history.

 

So, you can either go and get a CT scan of the heart (coronary ct angiography), an easy 5 minute non-invasive procedure or go for the full catheterization study.  Since CT is such an easy test, i would just go and do it now and you'll know exactly where you stand.

 

Please try not to stress too much right now since you really dont have enough info right now.

 

Good luck.



#6 SemiSalt

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:18 PM

I'm sorry to hear of your problems. I've had my own keep-ypu-up-at-night health problems, and it is not fun.

My two step-brothers are jiving with a history like yours as their father and uncle died of heart attacks at about age 40. They are both well past that age now.

When you read about a man having bypass surgery, it is often the result of a situation like the one you are in know. Aggravating as it is to see the doctors, take the tests, and wait for the test results, it does mean that you're in a better place than not knowing. Most problems can be fixed or treated, and the odds are on your side.

#7 bugger

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:24 PM

Thank you for sharing.  SA can be pretty hostile place.  To open up like that, here, is brave. 

 

I hope that here, amongst strangers, you find some comfort. 

 

My very best wishes to you. 



#8 SloopJonB

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:35 PM

Best wishes to you.

Your job sounds like it would give anyone a heart attack!

Leave and go sailing before the bastards do you in!!!!

 

+ a bunch. They (the bastards) were going to do me in so my wife arranged an early exit (your age) for me, saving my life, or at least my sanity.

 

Remember a couple of things - your dad lasted well past your age and it sounds like he had it worse than you. And remember that no one ever went to their grave thinking "I wish I had spent more time at the office".

 

Get out - NOW and spend time checking out your options. There's lots of things you can do to strengthen your heart.

 

Best of luck.



#9 PHM

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:41 PM

The good news is cardiology is one of the most advanced branches of medicine both in terms of diagnostics and treatments. Also, I have heard of many people who have gone blue-water cruising (and climbing, and.....) after major cardiac events. The type of job-stress you describe is not good for your heart. Good to do whatever is needed to keep that from getting to you, even if it's a simple as telling yourself you're not going to let them get under your skin, no matter what they do and say.  I know that's hard to do but is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Planning and dreaming of a blue water cruise (and actually going!) and getting even closer to friends and loved ones is good for your heart. Keep that dream alive while you are taking care of whatever needs to be done in the next 6 months to get healthy. I wish you the best of luck.



#10 blackjenner

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:43 PM

Thanks, everyone.



#11 memopad

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:31 PM

Hope you're feeling better BJ!

 

I do nuclear stress testing as part of my job, usually 2 or 3 a day. The whole goal of these stress testing procedures (like that stress echo you had) is to find evidence of heart disease before it causes further more serious problems. Much of the time you can correct the issue before it evolves to something else, and return to your normal active lifestyle. What I'm looking for specifically in my job are areas of the heart that aren't getting adequate blood flow (ischemia), usually because of a blocked artery. If you catch it soon enough, you can have a stent placed or other intervention done, and resume normal blood flow to that tissue, and everything is back to normal yay. If you don't catch it, or ignore the symptoms, eventually that area not getting the blood it needs, dies off. This can lead to an infarct, basically that part of the heart is no longer working and you can't go back to normal by that point.

 

It's good that you didn't ignore the symptoms and had the right tests done and are seeing a doctor that is following up with the issues. Early detection is a wonderful thing! Enjoy your holidays, and a happy new year :)



#12 TheFlash

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 08:35 PM

Hey Jenner, the cath procedure ain't all that bad.  Not a walk in the park, but not all that bad. I've had a couple. You can do it.  3 of my grandparents died right around 50,  and I have a strange cardiac history, but I'm 50, and had an MI at 19,(Drs don't know what caused the obstruction) and have no restrictions to lifestyle (although binge drinking is frowned upon).  I take a few pills to keep the heart in rhythm is about it.

 

I'm fighting a bit of that just turned 50, gained a bit of weight and some work stress high blood pressure so I'm looking at a career change, maybe buy what the folks around here call a "lifestyle biz" - Something stable that kicks off enough cash to be comfortable. Won't get rich, but at 50, I don't figure I will anyway.  Life's too short to deal with dick bosses, ya know?



#13 NoStrings

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 09:00 PM

Given my family history and a heart attack at 40, my father promised us all that his angry ass would be dead and buried by age 65. Today he's a disappointed and angry 83 y/o. IOW, not only do you not have enough information, even a bad history isn't a death sentence. My cardiologist told me after I wore out his treadmill "nothing to see here...of course you could still drop dead tomorrow." There are no guarantees so get it sorted out and live your dream.

BTW, a shitty job will plant you quicker than anything else. Something to think about eh?

#14 Py26129

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 09:05 PM

I'll echo what the others have said.  One day at a time and try to get your positive outlook back.  taht will go a long way.

 

While not the same, we had out own "Valley of Despair" event when our first baby passed away after 5 days.  It took a long time to get over (Christ, I'm tearing up now) and to try again, but we did and today we have two great teenagers sometimes making life hell ;-).

 

You have a strong partner to lean on and to talk to.  Do that.  It helped me.  Come to think of it, you;re luckier than many.  You have a wife who loves you and who wants to go sailing with you.

 

As for work.  Don't let the bastards get you down. (Mock Latin: Ni bastardi carborundum).  In the end it's just work and the really important things are your family and friends.  I know that's easy to say but when things get tough for me, I keep reminding myself how little the rabble at work understands about what really makes me tick: sailing and spending time on a boat with loved ones.  That usually makes me feel a little better.

 

I'll be quiet now



#15 SloopJonB

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 10:13 PM

Nil illegitimi carborundum ;)



#16 Tar34

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 10:37 PM

Dude, where would anyone be without their dreams? I went through a bypass at the age of 52. That was 10 years ago. I am active, a professional sailor and live most days as if it were my last. My wife passed away at the age of 38 from breast cancer which she fought for 9 years. Here diagnosis came 8 months after the birth of my son. So, while I empathize with your fears the anodyne in your case is to thank the Lord every time you experience a sunrise, a raft of geese across the sky or a baby in your arms. Quit that corporate stooge job, simplify your life and go sailing. 



#17 Bob Perry

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:30 PM

Donn:

Shitski!

 

As a wise man said to me when I was down" you should harden the fuck up". I have the mug to prove it.

Block this punch and come back fighting. That's the Donn I know anyway. There's lots of ways to enjoy your boat without sailing off to Bumfucktoo. You might have to wear wooly clothes but we live in a cruiser's paradise. You have the perfect boat for the PNW. You can't just sit on your ass and wait to die. What fun would that be?

 

I have " A-fib". I never know it's happening but I've been told my heart does weird things for as long as I can remember. I take daily medication. But, I seldom think about it. What? Me worry? 

 

You know where to find me.



#18 Dog

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:31 PM

You're on this thing in a way I bet your other family members were not so I’m thinking you’ve got many good years ahead. As for your dreams of sailing the world, maybe you will, maybe you won’t. Not all dreams are meant to be. God knows my life played out in ways I never expected but it’s a good ride. Best wishes.

#19 Bob Perry

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:37 PM

"God knows my life played out in ways I never expected but it’s a good ride. Best wishes."

 

I'll second that.
 



#20 Diarmuid

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 01:18 AM

Blackjenner: There's good news in there, tho it's probably hard to see right now.  First, you are taking the initiative based on your family history & intuitions, rather than waiting for that cold hand on your shoulder.  Second, internal medicine has come so far during our own lifetime, it isn't even the same field as when we were born. Damn near anything can be fixed.  Third, it sounds like the trouble thus far is minor, probably reversible, and not indicative of widespread & harder-to-fix issues like arterial hardening or massive plaque buildup. Forth, you have a large support network *waves* and a partner who loves you.  That correlates surprisingly well with good outcomes.:)

 

It sounds like work is not a healthy environment right now -- all hail the new normal.:( But while I love my low-stress low-income job & would never go back to the corporate or academic meat grinder, there's something to be said for good, employer-provided health insurance. So my completely worthless advice is to ride that gold-plated beeotch as far as you can! Get every test, imaging service, consultation, and second opinion on offer ... have yerself poked, pronged, patched and polished til you feel like Thor in Valhalla's Day Spa ... and then tell the company byebye.;) In the meanwhile, smootcha the lady, saila the boat, and keep us in the loop ... 'kay?



#21 Estar

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 01:43 AM

Black,  I am very sorry to hear that. I don't know you, but you seem like one of the really genuinely nice people, with a loving relationship, and I (still) hope to meet you in an anchorage some day.

 

Beth and I have had our 'live changing experiences'.  They are wrenching.  Sometimes you can solder thru them and sometimes you have to make a drastic change of course.  Listening to yours, I wonder if going sailing might well be the best 'cure' (for your work environment and heart).  We know two different good friends with diagnosed heart problems more serious that your sounds like, given a couple years to live by the medical community, who went sailing and have been now for almost a decade.



#22 Maxx Baqustae

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 01:46 AM

Geez.....

 

I had the reverse situation. Healthy my whole life and it grabbed me by the tie and ended up in the hospital for a month from a faulty aortic valve from birth; who knew? It took me that long to be well enough to get open heart surgery. Spent a lot of time in the ICU getting better enough to do that. Would I have bought the farm? Maybe. But I had excellent care but I won't dwell on it other than to say that medication and care has even changed to the better over the past 7 years since my life changing surgery. I don't need blood thinners like Warfarin (rat poison!) any more as there are new medications every day; even won't feel like you want to die because it! Been there.

 

The corollary of this little tale: a heart attack or a heart problem aren't the death sentence they used to be. Better science and medication have made that work so buck up BJ! There's help out there with the right people but sounds like your medical people or on it. I'm close to your age and I still race, cruise and do a lot of the same silly things that I always done. Now I just need to get back into shape and show these young racing turks a thing or two! 

 

I believe Mr. Perry knows the saga as we have mutual friends. But our Boomberries knows about this up and personal (thank you again Min!) and a great help.

 

There's is a part 2 for this story but I won't bore you about until there is a acupuncture anarchy thread. It's about our friend here blackjenner -stay well mate. 



#23 bljones

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 02:55 AM

Black, I'm sorry you are feeling stressed.

I'll let you in on a secret- we're all dying.  From the moment we are born, it is all a journey to the end.

Now, you have a choice- you can live scared, or you can live.

Because it would be a real fucking bitch if you got super careful, put your life on hold, gave up your dreams and hopes and your life to live timidly...

...  only to get t-boned by a drunk driver.

This is the downside of having a full and complete multi-generational medical history-   every symptom is more ominous than it would be otherwise.  Ignorance can, indeed, be bliss.

 

You've gotten some good advice.  I won't pretend to be a medical expert, or an empathetic, touchy-feely source of good vibes.  I'm just an asshole.   Get the tests recommended, get the results and then get a plan, and until then, do your heart a favour and quit worrying about things you have no control over.  It never is as bad as you think it is...

any day you're still on the green side of the dirt.  Make the choice to enjoy each day and fuck the future.



#24 White Wing

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:09 AM

You headed this topic as "Cloudy Future" --- it can be that way if you choose, but I advise that you choose "nope" to that.  "Bright Future" is more like it.  You got the right signal (non-lethal too, how about that for luck!) to re-assess your priorities and you have Kerry at your side.  Oh, and you have your own boat.  How many people can say that?   I'm thinking your future is awesome and amazing.  Go with that attitude and blow off "cloudy future" - half the fight is attitude!

 

WWing 



#25 monsoon

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:25 AM

Hell, just get a new one. Good friend of mine, 68, has a 24 year old heart and is doing great. My 2 year old niece was born with 'double outlet right ventricle', had surgery at 6 months to rearrange her tiny little heart and is doing great. You'd be amazed what can be done these days. Hang in there.



#26 Steam Flyer

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:26 AM

... ... there's something to be said for good, employer-provided health insurance. So my completely worthless advice is to ride that gold-plated beeotch as far as you can! Get every test, imaging service, consultation, and second opinion on offer ... have yerself poked, pronged, patched and polished til you feel like Thor in Valhalla's Day Spa ... and then tell the company byebye. ;) In the meanwhile, smootcha the lady, saila the boat, and keep us in the loop ... 'kay?

 

Some good advice in this thread, Blackjenner, hope it's encouraging.

 

My 2c added is to place a priority on getting the best cardiologist you can. Doctors are people too, some are great and some are not very good at what they do; and even the great ones can have an off day.

 

I had several different jobs, for a little over a decade I worked on stuff that had the potential to blow up half a city. Stress? Fuck it. Do your best then get a good night's sleep every night.

 

FB- Doug



#27 Paul Romain Tober

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:22 AM

Lots of good thoughts and advice here already. Lots of empathy, too. You're not in this alone. I also have some ominous yet-to-be-diagnosed symptoms that I'm having unwanted interactions with the medical community about. Not heart related, but what difference does that make? I refuse to get worked up about it. I do pay attention and try to take the right path and do the right thing. If I start to worry or feel fearful I redirect my mind just like in mindful meditation. One doesn't have to dwell on the negativity. It's just thinking. Keep dreaming, keep living now, the future will take care of itself.

 

Romain

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.



#28 Boomberries

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:06 PM


You have a lot of good things going for you. Fact is - you found out that you likely have coronary artery disease before a major heart attack occurred!! You have no idea how important this is.

My best friend's three year old has cancer. He did not get cancer because he smoked, didn't exercise or made bad choices. He didn't "deserve" to get it. Crap happens. Many, many people get heart disease, cancers, MS, ALS, Parkinson's, autoimmune diseases (the list in endless) through no fault of their own.  There is a strong genetic link for some, but not all diseases.

Please find out what your current EF (ejection fraction or pumping strength of your left ventricle) Keep copies of all results - echos, blood tests, everything - for your own records. The Exercise echo that you had done is a good indicator. It is not as accurate as an angiogram which should be your next step. An angiogram is basically an x-ray of your arteries going to the heart, is a very common procedure and is the gold standard test to find out exactly what you are dealing with.

Three arms of treatment if CAD is found... medications only, angioplasty or bypass surgery. People who need bypass are generally not any "sicker" than many who have angioplasty. The treatment is dependent on the location and number of blockages, and other health issues. If the blockage is less than 70 % occlusion, then medication will likely be all that is needed for now.

Please do not become lulled into thinking that if your cholesterol level is normal you do not need a statin or medication to lower cholesterol. Whatever your cholesterol level is, your body, is not handling it well and plaque build up is happening. Cut down on all simple carbs ... which I believe you have already done. Inflammation is an aspect of heart disease, in my opinion. Learn to manage stress well as this affects inflammatory response

The fact that you eat healthy, exercise and have a healthy BMI will work in your favour. We are all at risk for some things we have no control over. Yes, absolutely there is lots we can do to lower risks for some conditions and health problems- for sure!! Many people are mistaken that they are protected from heart disease,simply because they are a healthy weight, don't smoke and have normal BP. I've cared for marathon runners and Olympic level athletes who have had heart attacks and heart disease.

Grieving is normal when one finds out they have an acute or chronic health problem. Fear, anger, sadness, a sense of loss are all normal reactions.

Many people with known heart disease live long, happy, active lives. In time you will meet others and gain a wider, more balanced and positive perspective. A friend of mine had a heart attack and angioplasty years ago and since then has sailed thousands and thousands of miles. He is in better shape and has a fuller life than many men thirty years younger.

Your life will be as full, happy and as adventurous as you want it to be. Get an angiogram done. Find out exactly what you are dealing with. If you have significant blockages,they will be treated. Do this BEFORE you have a heart attack. I assume that you are taking a low dose Aspirin daily since the doctor appointment. This is important!!

Control your blood pressure, monitor blood sugars, learn how to deal and cope with stress in a way that is not detrimental to your health, don't smoke (even pot increases heart rate and causes changes in supine and othrostatic BP), take low dose Aspirin (be aware of potential side effects of all meds), keep exercising, become informed though I caution you to stay informed with reputable sources.
You are fortunate that you had a warning. Many, many people get none.

Best thoughts to you. Stay positive.
 
btw - symptoms of anxiety attacks or feeling emotionally distressed, as well as symptoms of gastro-esophogeal acid reflux (GERD) and angina all closely mimic each other. If they find on angiogram that the  blockages are 60 - 70% or less, it might be something else causing the symptoms or a combination.
 
WWing is right. A big chunk of the battle in any challenge in life, is attitude.


#29 SailRacer

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:27 PM

Black -

The things they can do now are nothing short of incredible.

 

My Father (86) had a triple bypass, double valve replacement and a pacemaker a couple years ago - now he is nearly manic. 

 

Your heart may actually outlive the rest of your body with what they can do today.

 

Sail safe, live for your dreams..



#30 beachsailor

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:01 PM

I had a complete heart rebuild last Nov. Rebuilt 2 valves replaced 1. Birth defects that got to the point where they had to be fixed at 58. About 3 month recovery but not as bad as the alternative. 4 month later I was back on the tennis court. I sailed every weekend last summer(20ft racing cat). Back to playing tennis 4 days a week. 1 year later better then every. You would be amazed at the new procedures and skills Doctors are developing for heart problems. Positive attittude that all will be OK will go a long ways to being healthy.
Do not hesitate to get a second opinion. Do your research. Ask for help if you have questions. You will be able to get thru this!!!

#31 blackjenner

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:22 PM

I've received a lot of good responses in this thread. I haven't seen a single thing not worth reading.  I'm glad you all replied.  It's been a common theme in my approach to challenges to accept all facets of them, right off the bat.  This includes emotional effects and honestly looking at what I face, no rose colored glasses, no hand waving the challenge away. To some (and I'm not talking about anyone here), it may come across as a little doom and gloom but, if I don't accept the totality of circumstances, I don't know everything I face.
 
It's a good thing I caught this when I did.  The stressful work environment brought it to light quicker.  Yes, I'm sad, afraid and angry but, I also have information, a plan, what seems like a good doctor, a good medical plan, friends like you, and a loving and supportive partner.
 
That's a pretty good combination.  I'm still feeling a little sorry for myself and that's OK.  I know that isn't a positive contribution to my health.  It will pass.  My outlook will change, little by little.  I'll deal with this like I have my other life challenges. 
 
Thanks to folks like you.


#32 Tucky

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:51 PM

I'm just coming across this now, and in the funny way this interweb thing works, my eyes are glistening reading your note and everyone's responses, though I've never met you in the flesh and only met two of the people who have responded. I wish you all the best and see lots of good advice, both medical and emotional. for you and me to consider about the time we have on this wonderful planet with all these wondrous human beings we share it with.

 

+1 to the Serenity prayer and also consider something Thoreau said- "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."



#33 slap

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:55 PM

My father had two heart attacks at the age of 58.  One of his brothers died in his late 50s, and the other one died in his early 60s.  The doctors told my father that his heart was so bad that they couldn't operate, and could only treat it through medication. He ended up living another 25 years.



#34 Maxx Baqustae

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:00 PM

I've received a lot of good responses in this thread. I haven't seen a single thing not worth reading.  I'm glad you all replied.  It's been a common theme in my approach to challenges to accept all facets of them, right off the bat.  This includes emotional effects and honestly looking at what I face, no rose colored glasses, no hand waving the challenge away. To some (and I'm not talking about anyone here), it may come across as a little doom and gloom but, if I don't accept the totality of circumstances, I don't know everything I face.
 
It's a good thing I caught this when I did.  The stressful work environment brought it to light quicker.  Yes, I'm sad, afraid and angry but, I also have information, a plan, what seems like a good doctor, a good medical plan, friends like you, and a loving and supportive partner.
 
That's a pretty good combination.  I'm still feeling a little sorry for myself and that's OK.  I know that isn't a positive contribution to my health.  It will pass.  My outlook will change, little by little.  I'll deal with this like I have my other life challenges. 
 
Thanks to folks like you.

Hang in there mate - it's like me; a little bit of a pragmatist. The glass is never really full or empty; it's just a glass. If you got an health issue? Okay, that's too bad. Driving on I suppose; the option is...........

 

Read carefully what BB has put in her post. And not to embarrass her she really knows her stuff - trust me on that.



#35 IStream

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:51 PM

Donn, just don't give up on that plan of yours. Modify it as necessary but don't give it up. It's worth living for and will be all the sweeter as you execute it because you know how easy it is to lose the opportunity. Just make sure she can handle whatever eventuality you face, wherever you face it, and go live your life. 



#36 kimbottles

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:54 PM

Read carefully what BB has put in her post. And not to embarrass her she really knows her stuff - trust me on that.

 

Yes, Booms is a very reliable & knowledgeable source for most things medical (as are a number of other posters here...)

 

RN's are very handy people to have around.



#37 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:03 PM

Wow.  Best of luck black.  Our thoughts are with you.



#38 PHM

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:11 PM

Now that you are thinking positively and about what to do, another word of advice is to make sure the cardiologists doing any procedures are well-versed in, and take precautions to prevent, a possible complication called acute kidney injury. It can be caused by the contrast media used in angio, both the diagnostic and interventional (stent) procedures. It also can be caused by surgery. It is preventable with simple precautions such as being well-hydrated, avoiding certain medications, etc. Also, they should be monitoring your kidney function regularly before and after any procedure (by a serum creatinine test; it's good to know your baseline serum creatinine value). The more you know about your procedures and the possible complications the better! Ask your cardiologists what they are doing to protect your kidneys. If you do this in a polite, respectful and informed manner you'll get better care. Plus it's good for your psyche and your health for you to be involved and educated about your medical care. 



#39 Seagullme

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:45 PM

BJ having all the medical attention is stressfull in and of itself, but the good news is they can fix you up. I passed several stress tests years ago( my father had first heart attack at 39) a year after passing a stress test I had a heart attack while riding a Ducati through the mountains of Georgia. I could not believe it. A quick chopper ride to a Cath lab and I was ready to ride again. I am 66 now and I plan to head south on my old cutter next fall. I sail all the time. I lost my FAA medical after the heart attack so I had to retire from the airlines. That most likely saved my life. I sold my previous sailboat 2 years before the heart attack because " I didn't have time to sail". Big mistake. If you don't have time to have fun you need to examine your life. You will be fine and one day ,like me,will be one of those 80 something year old guys sailing all over the place leering at young women. Fair winds

#40 Chris King

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:26 AM

I had a scare about 6 years ago. I was hiking up a trail in the Marin Headlands just north of the Golden Gate Bridge when I felt pain in my chest and down my left arm.  I ended up in the hospital and, while they said it wasn't a real heart attack and no damage was done, I got  couple of stents installed via angioplasty.

 

I am a workaholic geek. I spend most of my life slouching in front of a computer. I was reasonably active on the weekends, sailing, backpacking and that sort of thing but no daily exercise and I really like beer so I was somewhat overweight. 

 

After this event, I started a cardiac rehabilitation program. Basicly it was a gym with nurses. Having the nurses around gave me the confidence to find my limits and the structure of it forced some discipline on me. It was a little weird because I was way younger that most of the other folks. I'm 53 now.

 

The rehab stuff got me started and now I exercise pretty close to daily and I feel way healthier than I have in a long time. 

 

Hang in there.



#41 psychosailing

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:02 PM

Blackjenner, reading your post makes me think that you are suffering more from stress and anxiety than from the heart itself.

 

As many said before just go sailing, it will give you a different kind of stress, the one that works in the direction of keeping you alive rather than the worries for other people or hypothetical scenarios. I am sure choosing a liveaboard life or just do more sailing will improve your health.

 

Thanks for sharing your story,



#42 Wishbone

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 04:20 AM

Blackjenner, reading your post makes me think that you are suffering more from stress and anxiety than from the heart itself.

 

As many said before just go sailing, it will give you a different kind of stress, the one that works in the direction of keeping you alive rather than the worries for other people or hypothetical scenarios. I am sure choosing a liveaboard life or just do more sailing will improve your health.

 

Thanks for sharing your story,

I agree. Reading this all through, it sounds more like an ongoing circle of anxiety, depression and anger. With a coincidental finding of some possible, minor heart problem. Go sailing.  http://youtu.be/Oo4OnQpwjkc



#43 blackjenner

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:46 PM

Blackjenner, reading your post makes me think that you are suffering more from stress and anxiety than from the heart itself.

 

As many said before just go sailing, it will give you a different kind of stress, the one that works in the direction of keeping you alive rather than the worries for other people or hypothetical scenarios. I am sure choosing a liveaboard life or just do more sailing will improve your health.

 

Thanks for sharing your story,

I agree. Reading this all through, it sounds more like an ongoing circle of anxiety, depression and anger. With a coincidental finding of some possible, minor heart problem. Go sailing.  http://youtu.be/Oo4OnQpwjkc

 

I'm confused.  The YouTube video says it's Marley.  Isn't it Bobby McFerrin?

 

Good advice, that.



#44 two cold dogs

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 07:48 PM

I went to a family reunion where my cousin told my brother and me that he had done a little research and found that no male in our family had lived to the age of 70 since before the 1800's.  My dad died from a massive coronary at 56.  I had a stroke about 4 years ago that has left me with a slight blind spot in my vision. My brother freaked when my dad died and became a vegan, he runs a lot and takes care of himself.  I sail hard as often as I can, do heavy cardio and strength workouts 3-4 times a week and never even think about my death.  Family history says that neither my brother (65) or me (59) will make it to 70. I'm not going to stress about it, I'm going to keep living my life as I have and enjoy myself with the time I have left.  I could get marginally more in shape but I got the stroke working out so that isn't a guarantee.  I'm not saying to blow off your issues but I don't see where stressing about them will help.



#45 spin echo

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:23 PM

The times have changed. just because someone may have family history of coronary artery disease it does not mean a death sentence, nowadays it can be diagnosed and treated very effectively.

 

All you have to do is get a  CT of the heart, aka Coronary CT angiogram.  Its a 5-10 minute noninvasive procedure and it will show exactly the state of your coronary arteries. 

 

Even many older cardiologists still dont refer patients for this test because they dont know enough about it and instead send for a nuclear stress test, which is a poor test.

 

See pic below, how clearly this test shows the vessels of the heart.

 

 

Attached Files



#46 SloopJonB

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:40 PM

I went to a family reunion where my cousin told my brother and me that he had done a little research and found that no male in our family had lived to the age of 70 since before the 1800's.  My dad died from a massive coronary at 56.  I had a stroke about 4 years ago that has left me with a slight blind spot in my vision. My brother freaked when my dad died and became a vegan, he runs a lot and takes care of himself.  I sail hard as often as I can, do heavy cardio and strength workouts 3-4 times a week and never even think about my death.  Family history says that neither my brother (65) or me (59) will make it to 70. I'm not going to stress about it, I'm going to keep living my life as I have and enjoy myself with the time I have left.  I could get marginally more in shape but I got the stroke working out so that isn't a guarantee.  I'm not saying to blow off your issues but I don't see where stressing about them will help.

 

I went to a family reunion where my cousin told my brother and me that he had done a little research and found that no male in our family had lived to the age of 70 since before the 1800's.  My dad died from a massive coronary at 56.  I had a stroke about 4 years ago that has left me with a slight blind spot in my vision. My brother freaked when my dad died and became a vegan, he runs a lot and takes care of himself.  I sail hard as often as I can, do heavy cardio and strength workouts 3-4 times a week and never even think about my death.  Family history says that neither my brother (65) or me (59) will make it to 70. I'm not going to stress about it, I'm going to keep living my life as I have and enjoy myself with the time I have left.  I could get marginally more in shape but I got the stroke working out so that isn't a guarantee.  I'm not saying to blow off your issues but I don't see where stressing about them will help.

 

Exactly right. We're all dying and the exact moment will come as a surprise to all of us so just keep living like you'll live forever.



#47 two cold dogs

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:44 PM

The times have changed. just because someone may have family history of coronary artery disease it does not mean a death sentence, nowadays it can be diagnosed and treated very effectively.

 

All you have to do is get a  CT of the heart, aka Coronary CT angiogram.  Its a 5-10 minute noninvasive procedure and it will show exactly the state of your coronary arteries. 

 

Even many older cardiologists still dont refer patients for this test because they dont know enough about it and instead send for a nuclear stress test, which is a poor test.

 

See pic below, how clearly this test shows the vessels of the heart.

 

I've had it all: EKG's, CAT scans, stress tests, if you believe all the info I'm as healthy as an ox.  Cholesterol was a little high when I had the stroke, they think a small piece of plaque flaked off an artery and blocked a blood vessel to my brain, I guess that's how it happens.  My brother, sister and me are all on some kind of Statin so it's obviously hereditary and maybe why the males die young.  Maybe I'll live to be 90.  Doesn't really matter, that's the point, if it happens I'm not going to die regretting not having enjoyed my life.



#48 spin echo

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:53 PM

???Exactly right. We're all dying and the exact moment will come as a surprise to all of us so just keep living like you'll live forever???

 

So why change the fuel filter on the diesel, itll get clogged someday anyway?  I agree we must live our lives to the fullest and not stress about all these things, but my only point is, nowadays you have more choices about your health. 



#49 Bull City

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:48 PM

Blackjenner,

 

It sounds like your job is toxic for you. Tell the boss to change his ways or to fuck off. You'll feel better and live longer.

 

A few years ago, I found out that I have an aneurysm on my aorta, just like my father had. It shook me up, but it hasn't gotten worse, thanks to good medical care, i.e. blood pressure med and a statin.

 

I turned 65 yesterday. I exercise (old-fart soccer twice a week, rowing, chasing my wife around),  and I go to an over-50 yoga class twice a week. Yoga is a really good practice for flexibility, strength, balance and stress reduction. Also, my wife and I have each dropped about 12 pounds using the 5:2 Fast Diet

 

So, tell the boss to get fucked, sign up for a yoga class, and if you need to drop weight, check out the 5:2 Fast Diet.

 

You'll get through this. Keep us posted.

 

Merry Christmas.



#50 blackjenner

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:46 PM

Health Update because some of you are following it.

Kerry and I had a good visit with my cardiologist this morning. We are following up on the Echo Stress Cardiogram I had before Christmas, the one that yielded some concerning results. Next week I go in for a Exercise Radionuclide test to gain a little more certainty as to what is going on.

So, some progress towards knowing...

 

Thanks for all the feedback you sent me. It's really helpful.



#51 Bob Perry

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:51 PM

Good going Donn.



#52 spin echo

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:38 PM

Its been a month and you have not been worked up yet? Thats concerning.  You are going for a regular nuclear stress test.  Many cardiologists still practice in the past (old habits) and still order them. There is a reason we call Nuclear Medicine, Unclear Medicine.  Stress test is only positive if the stenosis is greater than 70%, and even then you dont know if its one stenosis or many. So, the heart vessels can be diseased like hell and still  have a negative stress test.

 

Get a Cardiac CT angiogram. It will show all 3 vessels of  your heart in their entirety, down to a millimeter.  Its basically a regular cat scan of the heart, but done on a fast scanner. Very easy, 5-10 minute procedure.

 

If you have any questions, dont hesitate to pm me, i'd be happy to help a fellow sailor. 



#53 blackjenner

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:54 PM

Its been a month and you have not been worked up yet? Thats concerning.  You are going for a regular nuclear stress test.  Many cardiologists still practice in the past (old habits) and still order them. There is a reason we call Nuclear Medicine, Unclear Medicine.  Stress test is only positive if the stenosis is greater than 70%, and even then you dont know if its one stenosis or many. So, the heart vessels can be diseased like hell and still  have a negative stress test.

 

Get a Cardiac CT angiogram. It will show all 3 vessels of  your heart in their entirety, down to a millimeter.  Its basically a regular cat scan of the heart, but done on a fast scanner. Very easy, 5-10 minute procedure.

 

If you have any questions, dont hesitate to pm me, i'd be happy to help a fellow sailor. 

 

We had a pretty good meeting with him today.  We did talk about CT angiogram.  PM on it's way to discuss details off line.



#54 White Wing

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:44 PM

You sound like you're feeling better -- glad to see.

 

WWing



#55 Py26129

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 01:20 AM

Thank you for the update. I was wondering how you were getting on. Sound like your mindset is a little better, which is nice to see.

#56 memopad

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:07 AM

Its been a month and you have not been worked up yet? Thats concerning.  You are going for a regular nuclear stress test.  Many cardiologists still practice in the past (old habits) and still order them. There is a reason we call Nuclear Medicine, Unclear Medicine.  Stress test is only positive if the stenosis is greater than 70%, and even then you dont know if its one stenosis or many. So, the heart vessels can be diseased like hell and still  have a negative stress test.

 

Get a Cardiac CT angiogram. It will show all 3 vessels of  your heart in their entirety, down to a millimeter.  Its basically a regular cat scan of the heart, but done on a fast scanner. Very easy, 5-10 minute procedure.

 

If you have any questions, dont hesitate to pm me, i'd be happy to help a fellow sailor. 

 

Implying that cardiologists that order MPI (nuc stress tests) are only doing so because it's a habit is concerning. Unclear medicine? Only capable of detecting 70% or greater blockage? Are you kidding me? CTA is faster, sure, hell it even costs less money, sure, but you don't think there might be a reason it hasn't wiped out the MPI yet? It was supposed to be the end all be all cardiac exam when it was introduced... oh wait that's right, it isn't perfect. Neither are. Both leave results potentially wide open for interpretation. Functional/molecular/nuclear imaging isn't going anywhere.

BJ I'm glad you're feeling better, but please don't get stressed out (lol) thinking you're not having the correct tests done in your treatment. Either Spin has been huffing too much sidex solution or he's really bad at googling.



#57 blackjenner

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:26 AM

I appreciate spin's input and opinion. It doesn't stress me out. Thanks for writing. Really.

#58 spin echo

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:54 AM

I have training both in nuclear med and cardiac radiology so I dont need google. I do cvcta on daily basis. There are other reasons why cvcta has not replaced nuc stress. All tests have pros and cons but cvcta is a vastly superior test. 

 

Memo, you are saying that stress will detect a 45% soft plaque in the proximal LAD?  Now tell me what you are smoking.

 

Also tell us about balanced ischemia on nuc stress?  Oh thats right, thats when all 3 vessels are severely diseased and a negative stress test.  (http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC3282439/)

 

Nuc med/molecular imaging is definitely not going anywhere, its just for coronary vessels it is an inferior test.



#59 memopad

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 12:25 PM

In my anecdotal experience from sending pt's with positive nuc stress to the cath lab, the numbers I can think off the top of my head are commonly in the 35-40% range. 

 

We had a pt a couple of months ago that had positive ecg changes during stress, but was negative on the imaging. Suspected multi vessel disease but ended up being normal after cath. Interesting stuff but multi vessel disease is extremely rare as far as I know. 

 

I know my way around CT well enough but can't say I've done more than a few CTA ;) Anyway, didn't mean to jump down your back I just get a little riled up when people jump on an entire modality. 



#60 spin echo

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 02:05 PM

Gotta love the anecdotal evidence. In my anectodal evidence, for every time a nuc med stress detected a 30% lesion, there are a 100 of false negatives walking around, some of which present with sudden death.  I have a particular love for that test after several of my older friends passed away after negative stress tests. I couldnt get them into my office for the cardiac ct because their cardiologist only recommended the nuc stress. 

In my anecdotal experience from sending pt's with positive nuc stress to the cath lab, the numbers I can think off the top of my head are commonly in the 35-40% range. 

 

We had a pt a couple of months ago that had positive ecg changes during stress, but was negative on the imaging. Suspected multi vessel disease but ended up being normal after cath. Interesting stuff but multi vessel disease is extremely rare as far as I know. 

 

I know my way around CT well enough but can't say I've done more than a few CTA ;) Anyway, didn't mean to jump down your back I just get a little riled up when people jump on an entire modality. 



#61 blackjenner

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:52 PM

All this stuff is good info.  FYI, it's very likely we will do the more invasive and detailed CT in this process.  My case is odd.  My chest pain atypical and not clearly indicitive of cardiac problems.  So, we are checking the possibilities in order to get me as "clear" as possible before going offshore in 2016.



#62 Thorvald

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 05:30 PM

Donn,

I missed most all of this because we left on a trip the day before your first post. and I didn't really check in for the whole 12 days we were gone.

I glad to see that you got some good support and advice here. One thing this place is really pretty good for. Hope to see you at the shack again many more times in the future. Unless you're offshore cruising of course!

Keep that good attitude my friend.



#63 blackjenner

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:43 AM

Update...
 
Verbal results back on my Nuclear Heart Scan -- I am apparently healthy, heart wise.  My cardiologist reviewed the findings this afternoon.  Everything, they mean everything, is absolutely normal.  Normal.
 
Thank you, everyone.  Thank you for everything.


#64 Slim

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:53 AM

That's great news!!

#65 Maxx Baqustae

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 01:08 AM

Good to hear it Black,

 

Apparently I'm due for my annual poking & prodding but I've told I need the full meal deal just "cuz". Oh well, it is what it is but you always feel anxious until there's a yes, no or that evil option: We are going to run some more tests!

 

Again, great that you are good to go.  



#66 Py26129

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:38 AM

Wohoo! That's great news. I'm truly happy for you and your better half.

#67 IStream

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:40 AM

Congratulations, now go on living like you're gonna die soon, but without the worry, and make the most of it!



#68 Merrill Levi

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:09 AM

GREAT news Black, what's next on your diagnosis path ?



#69 Tucky

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:53 PM

Great news. I'm glad for you and yours.



#70 Steam Flyer

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:25 PM

Glad to hear good news.

 

Now, don't forget all the things you resolved to do when you thought you were gonna be a short-timer here

;)

 

FB- Doug



#71 Thorvald

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:36 PM

Terrific! See you at the shack!



#72 WHL

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:41 PM

WTF Donn??? You're OK ? After all that gathering of sympathy and man hugs, you let us all down with an anti climax?? No blood, no gore, no open heart surgery? Sheesh.
Did SA at least pay you the hit count commission??
Well good news for you. Now as Ronnie Johns said ...."take off the skirt, cancel the MAN-i-cure, and HTFU " and go sailing

:D

#73 blackjenner

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:47 PM

WTF Donn??? You're OK ? After all that gathering of sympathy and man hugs, you let us all down with an anti climax?? No blood, no gore, no open heart surgery? Sheesh.
Did SA at least pay you the hit count commission??
Well good news for you. Now as Ronnie Johns said ...."take off the skirt, cancel the MAN-i-cure, and HTFU " and go sailing

:D

 

I'll try to do better next time.  As they say it here, at my job, "That's a miss."  <--- This is me being <rolls eyes> "vocally self critical>.  :)



#74 SailRacer

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:55 PM

See it worked.

 

Sail safe!



#75 SereneSpeed

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:52 PM

Go Now!



#76 blackjenner

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:33 PM

Go Now!

 

Indeed.  Great advice. Can't just yet but we're planning it and executing that plan.



#77 blackjenner

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:42 PM

WTF Donn??? You're OK ? After all that gathering of sympathy and man hugs, you let us all down with an anti climax?? No blood, no gore, no open heart surgery? Sheesh.
Did SA at least pay you the hit count commission??
Well good news for you. Now as Ronnie Johns said ...."take off the skirt, cancel the MAN-i-cure, and HTFU " and go sailing

:D

 

I'll try to do better next time.  As they say it here, at my job, "That's a miss."  <--- This is me being <rolls eyes> "vocally self critical>.   :)

 

Yeah, WHL, on this, I'm OK.  I think Kerry is grateful.  :)



#78 Bob Perry

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 10:43 PM

No! Damn it. Don't go till after the sail in.



#79 Slim

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:48 AM

Memento mori, bitches!

#80 blackjenner

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:31 PM

No! Damn it. Don't go till after the sail in.

 

We'll make more than one, Bob.  Our plan isn't so sail goodbye to the sorry ass rat face of keeping up with the joneses, being excellent consumers, and doing what everyone else says we should do until the summer of 2016.

 

We have time.



#81 bljones

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:40 PM

Now ditch the gig that is giving you the agita.



#82 blackjenner

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 04:00 PM

Now ditch the gig that is giving you the agita.

 

In the works right now.  That was the other bit of very good advice I received here.  It's a balancing act, ya know.  "Hang in there and tolerate corporate BS, cash the checks and work the financial plan" vs. "change the plan and do something else."

 

The second part needs work.  We are looking at that now.

 

I just wanted to recognize this really good bit of advice, even if it's not something one executes on a whim.  



#83 bljones

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 05:31 PM

BJ,

Been there.  Changed course a little earlier than you.

 

http://www.thesilo.c...ment-is-a-myth/



#84 blackjenner

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:40 PM

Update: got offered a new job. Start May 5th.  16% pay raise.

 

I'm going to wait a couple weeks to give notice. I'll let my current boss sweat my review, which he was due to give me today, but had to beg off to next friday.

 

I have no more fucks to give.  :)

 

Again, thanks for all the listing folks. You all really made a difference.



#85 Ajax

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:01 PM

But you won't be at the new job for long, right? You're supposed to retire and go sailing!

#86 Bob Perry

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:07 PM

Good for you Donn.

Don't give a fuck.Take a fuck.



#87 blackjenner

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 10:28 PM

But you won't be at the new job for long, right? You're supposed to retire and go sailing!


Yes. We will retire. I still have to pay off Brigadoon. That is our last piece of debt.

That won't take long.

Good for you Donn.
Don't give a fuck.Take a fuck.


Yes sir!

#88 floating dutchman

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 08:31 AM

Black, How different is the new job compared to the existing one?



#89 captain_crunch

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 12:28 PM

When my father was young, a doctor told him he had a heart murmur.  My father asked the doctor what that meant.  The doctor replied, "It means you won't live as long as I will."  My father is now 86 and is still going strong.



#90 Catalina 36

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 12:30 PM

I have a good appreciation of what you are feeling blackjenner.  I think many of us face similar issues at the this point in life.  Both my wife and I have had serious, life changing, medical issues the past 12 months.  Not cancer in my case, but a rare abdominal condition requiring major surgery to remove.  Before I had recovered, my wife got a breast cancer diagnosis.  Between us, we have truly been through the ringer since June of last year.  She is cancer free today but there were complications with the reconstruction and she will require more surgery.

 

Just yesterday I found out I have a complication from last Junes surgery and will require another procedure.  Nowhere near as invasive as last time, but requiring a long period of "light duty" for recovery so sailing is out for a while once I have the procedure.  Fortunately I can choose to have this done on my schedule.  However there is at least an even chance my employment will end before this sailing season.  My wife is working, but her job is also highly threatened so there is some pressure on both of us to have surgery sooner rather than later.  So much for our plans for a great sailing season this year to make up for last year.  All the while we wait for another shoe to drop.  Either of us could have something else go wrong, we could loose a parent or sibling or one of us could die.  That's it and the only way to face that is make as much as possible of every day you have.

 

All I can advise folks is to live your life today to the absolute greatest degree possible.  Someday you're gonna get a stark reminder that "plans" are ethereal and can vanish in the blink of an eye.



#91 blackjenner

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 12:04 AM

Gave notice on Friday. My last day is May 1st. I start a new contract gig on May 5th.

I am so relieved to be the hell out of there.

As for the new gig?

It's the same type of work and pretty straightforward. One handed work actually. It will give me time and focus to work on my writing.

#92 deathbyfiddleblock

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 12:47 AM

I'm new to this forum but this post really affected me. Although I'm much younger than the OP my father had a very similar fate/series of diagnosis in his late forties early 50's that actually made him fully give up his dream of a solo circumnavigation. He had raced offshore for many years and his whole life revolved around offshore sailing up until his first diagnosis of A-fib  then etc... etc..  multiple problematic heart related diagnosis to the point he gave up the dream and sailing altogether. He is now 70 years old and has spent the past 20 years living in absolute fear that he is going to drop dead of a massive heart attack any minute.

 

I was lucky in my early 20's and sold my first company although I did not get a windfall of cash I got enough in options to leverage a loan and one of my first purchases was a liveaboard boat. And man was he bitter for the first year I had it. I think it was because he was looking at me attempting to do what he never did. It took some years but I finally I convinced him to sail with me from South FL to NC and in the plan he wanted me to make sure every marina I hit was no less than 10 minutes from the nearest hospital and we could do no more than 6 hours in a passage no more than one mile offshore.

 

Back in the day he crewed with Gary Jobson and on Turners boats and had the opportunity to crew in the Americas Cup after his medical issues took hold in his mind. He declined every opportunity to sail again. Several years ago I convinced him to sail from Bermuda to NY with me after about 900 phone calls of him screaming and yelling at me I finally broke him down and got him to buy a ticket to Bermuda. He and I made the sail together and I got to really learn from him for the first time. We hit a huge low pressure system offshore on the way to NY and he grabbed my shoulder heading up to the cockpit and said "I'm the skipper now" and I think that experience changed his life in 72 hours. I just let him treat me like a deck bitch and I have never seen a man come alive so quickly. You would have thought this 64 year old was 25. It was like LT Dan meets Peter Blake. One of the most awesome things I've seen to this day.

 

Now I'm off buying my next boat and he is back into the mix helping me go through options for my trip. Although these days he is not physically fit enough to cross oceans he has admitted a ton of regret letting these medical downfalls get in the way of his passion. Now every time we talk he wants to know where my next sail is and he comes along many times if only to interject his criticism of my own skills and all that is very welcomed coming from a once again happy sailor and father.



#93 floating dutchman

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 06:51 AM

Reason I asked about the new job black is because 3 months ago I did a major change in job, I'm still a sparky but very different job.

I feel like a new man. It was a change I really needed.

I hope all goes well. Good luc with your new job.

#94 Ajax

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 12:03 PM

I'm new to this forum but this post really affected me.  <snip>

 

That is a powerful story, thanks for telling it.



#95 Tucky

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 01:51 PM

Thanks DBFB, great story, great lessons. A friend of mine made it around the world sailing with a known heart condition, and died at the age of 60 a few years after getting back- I know how glad he was he made the trip. 



#96 Thorvald

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:52 PM

Way to go Black!



#97 Bob Perry

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:00 PM

"Someday you're gonna get a stark reminder that "plans" are ethereal and can vanish in the blink of an eye."

 

Ain't that the truth.

 

Congrats on the new gig Donn.



#98 boomer

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:23 PM

I'm new to this forum but this post really affected me.  <snip>

 

That is a powerful story, thanks for telling it.

+1000



#99 boomer

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:26 PM

Congrates Black....as my grandpa used to say, the best time to look for a job, is when you've got a job.

 

Some of my children took that to heart, and quickly worked their way up the ladder.



#100 NoStrings

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:11 AM

I was diagnosed with an A-Fib when I was in my 40's. since then I've done a half dozen trips to or from HI, rode a few double centuries, and I'm getting prepped for a bike trip from Astoria-home once I finish up my Pac Cup inspections. To relax I race on a friend's -111 or my own boat. I'm now 60. You just cannot allow this shit to get you down. If you live in fear of dying, you're going to die afraid, and probably sooner.




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