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Online deepcreek

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Serious as a Heart Attack
« on: July 23, 2017, 03:32 PM »
My brother (Erich) and I have been busy gearing up for an order for multiple "reclaimed" tables with artificially aged Red Oak tops as well as finalizing the designs for the two pieces we planned to enter in the Texas Furniture Makers Show this Fall.

Unfortunately as a friend of mine is fond of saying, "When you want to give God a laugh just tell him what you had planned for today!"

A week ago on Saturday night about midnight, I had a heart attack.  I'd been unusually fatigued every day for months and had a burning feeling that I thought was just acid reflux for several days leading up to it.  When the pain got seriously intense despite taking antacid, I realized it was something bad and Erich drove his Jeep like a race car to get me to a local emergency care clinic.  He literally pegged the speedometer at 100mph.  The ER did a quick EKG and immediately put me in an ambulance for treatment at Houston's famous Texas Heart Institute in St. Luke's Hospital (founded in the 1960's by heart transplant pioneer Dr. Denton Cooley).

The good news is after several stents and most of the week in CCU plus a couple of days in a telemetry room, I was able to come home yesterday and am going to be okay.  For now, I am still embarrassingly weak and have huge ugly hematomas on both arms from all the IV's, blood draws, and a mid-line.

I will be changing my lifestyle with minimal stress, healthier eating, and more "cardio" exercise.  Evidently, working on your feet all day doesn't count.

And I have plenty of motivation to stay on the right path because they had to shock the crap out of me four times when my heartbeat raced into Atrial Fibrillation (my pulse pegged the needle at 190 bmp) roughly 24 hours after the initial event.  I was fully conscious and the shocks to my chest pegged the pain scale and fried my brain.  Erich says that what they dramatize when they put the paddles to you on TV shows isn't even close to how bad it looks to see someone "ride the lightening" in person.  He now has plenty of motivation to make lifestyle changes, too.

I'm taking medication to prevent A-Fib but if it recurs they may have to do another heart procedure in the catheterization laboratory called ablation therapy.  Not looking forward to that but it will be at least 6 months.  I realize now that I've experienced minor heart palpitations before when I felt a light fluttering in my chest but did not realize what it meant.

I am grateful to God for a second chance (or is this my third chance after surviving Guillain-Barre syndrome 14 years ago?) and know that He still has a plan for me to fulfill.  We may not make it to the furniture competition this year but that's okay.  The main focus is getting me back on my feet and healthy.

Hopefully this helps somebody see the signs and avoid a heart attack.

Joe
Joe Adams
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Houston, Texas

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Offline Wooden Skye

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 03:42 PM »
Joe

Its a good thing your brother has a lead foot and hopefully this will be a thing of the past.
Bryan

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Online Peter Halle

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2017, 03:48 PM »
Joe,

You are a talented individual - and a lucky man.  Follow directions, get well, and keep being the guy you have been - just with a few tweaks.

Wishing you buddy a complete recovery and better future!

Peter
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Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2017, 04:05 PM »
I'm amazed at how far heart care has come in my lifetime.  At my age it has not escaped my notice that I may benefit from it some day sooner rather than later.

Grace as you recover, and peace as you live your second chance with purpose.

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2017, 04:30 PM »
Best to you Joe.

Good luck changing the diet. One of the harder things to do.

Tom

Offline Untidy Shop

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2017, 07:35 PM »
Best wishes as you take on new but fulfilling challenges. And pat that dog or it's replacement more often.  [smile]
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Offline ChrisK1970

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2017, 07:52 PM »
I'm really happy you have such a fast friend and a great hospital! Godspeed in your recovery sir😀
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Offline JSlovic

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2017, 08:39 PM »
Joe,
Glad to hear you've come thru this OK and are on the path of righteousness

Guys,
If you're over 40 or have a family history see a cardiologist regularly.
Unfortunately the first sign of heart problems for >30% of men under 50 is a fatal heart attack. I've got 3 friends who are data points on this trendline, 3 too many. I personally got lazy and ended up having an urgent valve job 15 yrs ago, but I was on a path to heart failure and a place on the transplant list.


Offline Don T

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2017, 09:29 PM »
I'm glad you have recovered. I know exactly what you had to go through. I had the same experience about 1 ½ years ago. They did knock me out then stopped my heart by shocking it. When I woke up it felt like I had a gorilla pounding on my chest. Take care, eat well and drink plenty of water. They said mine was caused from dehydration.
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Offline Bob Marino

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2017, 09:52 PM »
Joe,

 Sad to hear about this, but glad to hear that you made it through and with proper changes in lifestyle diet, exercise, medications, monitoring and God's care, you should be ok. I'm sure it's a  pretty frightening experience to go through. Two months ago to the day, I list my brother to a sudden cardiac arrest.
 Guys, there is technology available today that 20 years ago was not even heard of. Get a thorough yearly checkup, make sure your  MD is on his game and is knowledgeable and current with the medical advances and updates. This is especially important if you have a family history with cardiac issues. You can run marathons, eat nothing but kale and chicken breasts, have a better than perfect cholesterol score, but if it is in the family....watch out. Get that calcium score test!

 Joe, hang in there bud.

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Offline Shane Holland

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2017, 10:42 PM »
Joe, glad that we're reading that you're on the way to recovery. Take care of yourself and get back to 100%.

I had a family member who had a mild heart attack this week and it's scary stuff. In his case it was due to myocarditis.

Glad you have family that took care of you in your moment of need.

Shane
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Offline Jesse Cloud

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2017, 12:11 AM »
Hang in there Joe.

One of the best ways to avoid stress is to refuse to accept "due dates" on your work.

One of the advantages of being retired is your control over your own time.

Just get to it when you get to it. [smile]

Jess

Online deepcreek

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2017, 12:13 AM »
I really appreciate everyone's support, prayers, and positive energy.  I can't thank you enough.

This was definitely an attention getter and I wanted to get the word out.

Bob losing his brother is just another example of how heart disease can sneak up on you.  (@Bob Marino - You have my condolences.)

I spoke with a friend today and he just lost his 49 year old brother two weeks ago to a heart attack.  Never saw it coming.

I admit to being a meat and potatoes kind of guy but I've never been a fan of junk food (chips, cookies & candy), limit eating fast food, drink diet soda and control my portion sizes.  No supersize me!  Nevertheless, I've always been heavy.  By the way, I've never smoked and don't drink alcohol.  I worked out when I had an office job for ten years but stopped once I got into the physical work of finish carpentry 20 years ago.  No family history of cardiac death either.

Like I said, my biggest mistake was not correlating my symptoms with a heart problem.  It didn't even occur to me.  And it nearly killed me.

I am determined to eat healthy and exercise.  My body might have deteriorated but I have tremendous mental fortitude.

Joe v2.0 will be a lean, green, woodworking machine.
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline Bob Marino

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2017, 04:44 AM »

Like I said, my biggest mistake was not correlating my symptoms with a heart problem.  It didn't even occur to me.  And it nearly killed me.

I am determined to eat healthy and exercise.  My body might have deteriorated but I have tremendous mental fortitude.

Joe v2.0 will be a lean, green, woodworking machine.

 There ya go, that's the right attitude and plan.
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Offline cliffp

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2017, 06:03 AM »
Joe, Best wishes for a speedy recovery and thanks for sharing your experience so others can hopefully spot the signs and take evasive action.

Its now exactly a year since I discovered that I have a heart condition. A bit of background: I am now 58, low BMI (170 Lbs and 6'3"), moderate drinker, non-smoker and very active. I went out for a run with a new heart monitor and this was showing a much higher heart rate than expected (180 or so). I stopped and felt my pulse and it was completely erratic. I went to the GP and they did an ECG which revealed atrial fibrillation. I had a cardioversion which only worked for 9 days so I am due to have an ablation next month. In my case the A-Fib is persistant (I must have had it for years) and the atria are enlarged as a result. As a consequence of this there is only a 40% success rate but there are other things they can try if this doesn't work.

I don't think you would need to worry about the ablation procedure as I had it described to me in a lot of detail as it is so imminent and it doesn't sound bad at all.

I hope you don't think I'm hijacking your thread! I just wanted to warn others about undiagnosed A-Fib as it is a major cause of stroke.

Hoping to hear positive news about your recovery and outcome of the ablation.

Cliff
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Online deepcreek

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2017, 06:32 AM »
@cliffp - Thank you so much for sharing your story.  I certainly don't think you're hijacking "my" thread.

I am normally a very private person who is wary of anything I post about my life on the internet. Unlike so many teeny boppers, I understand that what you put on social media is there for all the world to see and you can't really delete it.

That being said, I have a strong kinship to other woodworkers and particularly the Festool community.  In this case, I decided to put my pride aside and share my experience as a public service announcement.

I sincerely hope the ablation therapy works for you.  Prayers sent your way!

Joe
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Offline Tinker

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2017, 06:51 AM »
All the best for you, Joe.  A year ago this coming Thursday, I had my six month checkup. i had high blood pressure for several years. This day. he reading was 200/90. The doc asked me all sorts of questions.  Answering truthfully, he was  not getting the answers he was expecting.  He sent me home with the warning that I should take it easy and if I felt any symptoms he had been asking about, I should get back to him immediately.  On the 3rd of August, I took a trip to the emergency room.  A stent later, after many tests, and a week or two of rest, I went back to work.  My cardiologist is best friends with one of my favorite customers. his friend just happens to be he doc who started the original cardiology unit in my hospital. I think I am in good hands all around now. The advise I have gotten from both  cardiologists is to keep going >>> with moderation of course.

Joe, you seem to have a great attitude. That is going to stand you well.
Tinker
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Offline cliffp

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2017, 06:57 AM »
Many thanks Joe. You will be in my thoughts also with all fingers and toes crossed!

As others have said, you have a great attitude which will make all the difference.
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Offline Tinker

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2017, 07:27 AM »
@ deepcreek This is a copy of a story I wrote in a previous thread. It is a funny story about my recent heart attack which turned out to have been “only” a clogged little artery deep inside the heart.  After two days of tests, they decided to catheterize my heart.  They wheeled me down to the room where the deed was to be performed, ran a few more tests, shaved around private parts of anatomy where I could not see any connection to my heart.  I sort of mentioned they were working on the wrong end of me, so they stuck a needle into my ankle with the info that it was just to make me relax.

They then wheeled me over to the “operating” table and started lining up whatever was needed for the next step of their procedure.  About the time I started feeling “relaxation” creeping over my body, I got a pain in my chest about as severe as my original heart attack had been.  I knew how sodium pentathol reacted, so I thought that is what they had injected into my ankle.  The chest pain was totally unsuspected by the victim, so the victim decided, “What the heck, they must know what they are doing.”  .The victim just “relaxed” and went to sleep.

I have no idea how much later I became aware of anything.  I was aware that my gurney was moving, but had no idea of my surroundings.  I finally realized the gurney was making a sharp turn and suddenly stopped.  I opened my eyes.  Here was a door opened against the wall I was then facing.  The wall was within reach of my hand should I have thought to try.

My wife often asks me, as I return from looking at a new property, “What color is the house?”

“How in heck do I know the color of the house? I was there to look at the yard.  If everything is green, the yard is healthy.  If everything is brown, they have serious problems.” 

In this case, even tho I had been in the room for two days before catheterizatin, I had no idea, if asked, what color the walls of the room had been.  Here I was, awakening from a deep, and induced, sleep with my last thoughts that I was going into another heart attack.  I had not been worried in any way at that moment, so as stated, I just relaxed and went to sleep.  AND NOW, here I was just awakening and facing a PURPLE wall.  I just started laughing and at same time, I exclaimed, “ My God! I’m dead!” 

All I could think of at that moment was that I had been rolled into a mortuary.  I told the nurses later that I thought purple is a very inappropriate color for a cardiac recovery room.  I got a good laugh from some of them. 

Sorry to repeat myself, but for once, the story is on topic, ----I think.   I must be failing fast.

Tinker
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Offline Bob Marino

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2017, 07:50 AM »
 To add another issue/concern - stress. Stress is a part of life, no doubt, but its how we deal with it that makes the difference.
 It may be hard to get a proper handle on it and takes effort, but its worth the effort. So many times driving in heavy traffic, you are in the correct lane for the bridge/tunnel/exit and the guy in the right lane cuts in front of you. In years past, I would be in a battle of nerves with that driver the "you ain't cutting in front of me thing." Very stressful, very stupid and could easily escalate into a road rage induced fight. Now, I leave enough room in front, so if someone wants to get in my lane,  they can and I'm not having to hit the brakes or argue with anyone. Just makes perfect simple sense and eases the stress. Its just one small example, but you get the picture.
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Online #Tee

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2017, 08:24 AM »
glad youre ok!...hows was your diet and exercise leading up towards that day and what did the doctor suggest?
When youre feeling depressed just treat yourself to a systainer even if its a mini systainer its ok.

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Online deepcreek

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2017, 09:58 AM »
You did it @Tinker! I fell out of the chair from laughing so hard this time. Mortuary!

And you're right about the (ahem) indignities that you have to endure but mowing the grass for the femoral line in my groin was not nearly so upsetting as the Foley catheter they installed afterwards.

@Bob Marino - Thank you for the advice on limiting stress.  You are dead on.  Let's change that to right on.  Running a construction company for sixteen years was stressful.  The past three, my brother and I have been trying to make a living as studio furniture makers.  It's far more rewarding but does not cover the bills so there's a lot of stress as to how to make this business work.  I have also suffered from anxiety disorder (I am bearing my soul here) since having the Guillain-Barre syndrome.  Basically, PTSD from the traumatic experience. I know what my triggers are and have learned coping techniques so I don't take meds but I constantly feel more anxiety than the average person.

@#Tee - As confessed earlier in this thread, I was a card carrying meat and potatoes man.  I only ate beef once a week and otherwise ate chicken or pork but potatoes prepared in all forms were my weakness.  My new diet will be geared towards lean meat and non-starchy vegetables.  Low fat.  Low Sodium.  Low Cholesterol.  Low Carbs.  I've also sworn off the diet soda.  Lots more water and maybe some iced tea.  I did not exercise before because I was on my feet in the workshop all day.  Once I'm through my cardio rehab, I will get back in the gym.
Joe Adams
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Houston, Texas

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Online #Tee

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2017, 10:25 AM »
cheers! i think we all should take this as a warning and live a healthier life style. im soo guilty of a poor diet and lack of exercise.
When youre feeling depressed just treat yourself to a systainer even if its a mini systainer its ok.

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Offline Billedis

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2017, 10:47 AM »
So happy you are doing much better.  Best to you.  I changed my diet to vegan about 10 years ago and have never looked back.  Everyone says what do you do for protein, I do the same as the cows, eat greens!  Fortunately I did not have any medical issues that caused me to change, but at '72 I have more energy than when I was in my 50's and about 20 lbs lighter to boot. 

Offline ear3

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2017, 08:10 AM »
Joe,

Relieved to hear that you made it through.  I hope the lifestyle changes will protect your health for many years to come.

edward
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Offline Rusty Miller

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2017, 09:40 AM »
Joe, not trying to highjack your post but I kinda went through the same thing a couple of weeks ago.  Went in for a colonoscopy and they found cancer.  So they scheduled the surgery for that on a Friday.  Surgery went well.  Sunday morning about 2 am they gave me some med that did not agree with me and I started having chest pain.  Told the nurse and 5 minutes later the room was full of people.  "They take chest pain very seriously when you're in the hospital.  Later they told me I had a heart attack.  After 5 stents and a few more days in the hospital, I was able to go home.  Now I will have to go through chemo also.  I prayed more while I was in the hospital than I ever have before and God brought me through it. I will also be changing my lifestyle soon.  I'm just thankful to be alive.  We never know when our time will run out so we need to live life to the fullest.
Glad you made it through your ordeal and are on the mend.  Praying for you.

Rusty
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Offline Tinker

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2017, 01:36 PM »
@ Rusty Miller   Several nurses at cardiac rehab (I'm still going there.  trying for three days per week.  However, work and enjoying life seem to cut into my schedule) have told me that attitude is very important. One of the head nurses at CR told me she saw me come into he emergncy room.  She said, because I was laughing and joking the whole time, she knew I was going to make it.  you seem to have a great 'tude and you are one who the nurse and docs know will kake it.  My favorite cuz went into the emergency room about four months ago with upset stomach. His wife is a nurse and she was suspicious. They ended up taking a kidney. scraping a hip bone.  Pumping some sort of clay cement into a vertebrae, chemo, radiation and just plain laughing at his jokes. I can't believe he was laughing the whole time.  We grew up together. musta been something we ate. They think he has kicked the big C in the A--.  Mainly from his attitude. We visited him three weeks ago.  He was singing in his church choir.

Atitude/atitude/atitude
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Online deepcreek

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2017, 12:24 AM »
@Rusty Miller Thank you for sharing your story and your prayers. You have a tough row to hoe but I pray you'll get back on your feet very soon and enjoy a long and healthy life.

I've had a little set back but I will figure out a way to overcome it.  I was first diagnosed with arthritis 30 years ago when I was in college and am currently suffering from a bad flare up in my left hip and knee.   I used to take Aleve to reduce the inflammation but the cardiologist says absolutely no NSAIDs due to the increased risk of heart attack and stroke.  So right now I have PAIN!!!  Crippling, agonizing, scream out loud pain.  They're trying to alleviate the symptoms (pain) without fixing the underlying problem and the meds just aren't cutting it.  Unfortunately, it's hard to start cardiac rehab when you can barely walk.  I've spent a week trying to get a referral to a Rheumatologist to find out if there are any alternative therapies that might help.  Maybe next week will be better.
Joe Adams
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Houston, Texas

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Offline Rusty Miller

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2017, 12:32 AM »
Joe and Tinker, thanks for the prayers and encouragement.  I will get set up for cardiac rehab here pretty soon.  I'm feeling really good so far.  The biggest problem I've had was getting my blood pressure meds right. They really threw me for a loop right after I got home but and doing much better now.

Rusty
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Offline Holmz

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2017, 03:27 AM »
Luckily the Good Lord has also blessed us with learned and talented doctors and medical staff, as well as biomedical researchers.
We might pray that the various researchers keep getting funding to fulfil the Good Lord's plans.

Offline cliffp

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2017, 07:44 AM »
@deepcreek, Twelve years ago I had a bad back that caused me to be off work for 4 months and taking NSAIDs was causing havoc with my stomach and I had to stop taking them. Initially the back pain was very bad but after a few days it went away. Hopefully the same will happen for you. Hope things improve for you...
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Offline Rusty Miller

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Re: Serious as a Heart Attack
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2017, 09:07 AM »
@Holmz Amen to that!
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