Saturday, April 17, 2010

Heartcare For Life - My Experience and What Doctors Don't Want Us to Know

Prevention is always better than cure!!! The whole point of this article.

I sincerely hope you enjoy reading my true story and find the advice useful, it is my intention after reading my experience you will take the imitative to do something about your HEARTCARE and hopefully avoid the same thing that happened to me, or at least start to begin HEARTCARE even if you have suffered the same or similar to me. Only when I was lying in the Intensive Care Unit did a few thoughts start to creep into my mind. I remember the night I was brought in, a course of events that I never thought would happen to me. I'd been giving a friend a helping hand not to strenuous but it had been a long day, showered and just having finished eating I moved out into the garden to take in the last of the sun on a beautiful August evening. Having missed lunch my evening meal seemed to go down quite quickly, I remember getting back to my friends house stomach thinking my throat had be cut, I'd have eaten a scabby monkey.

Bolting my food had left me uncomfortable in my diaphragm area, nothing unusual, intergestion I figured, something I hadn't been a stranger to in the past. Forcing frequent belches to try and shift the discomfort didn't seem to be doing the trick, the discomfort didn't seem to be getting any better, nor for that matter any worse! Moving around trying a bit of light exercise didn't seem to do the trick either, the feeling was like I had a giant ball of unmovable wind in my diaphragm area, just below my the centre of my ribs. I seem to recall after about an hour the discomfort was beginning to get increasingly worse to the point now of an aching pain starting to spread from the middle of my upper back and out across each side to my shoulders. No pain in my chest or any kind of tight feeling seemed to alert me to thinking I was having a Heart Attack but never the less the pain was now increasing to the point where I was becoming worried. It was becoming more apparent that I needed medical attention despite being advised by my friend to lye down and relax till the pain passed. Knowing now for sure that if I hadn't insisted that he took me to the hospital I wouldn't be here to tell this story.

The main city hospital was across the other side of the city, but I new at this stage where the problem was coming from, I'd read enough in my 47 years to know a was seeing the typical symptoms of Heart Trauma but didn't say anything in order not to panic my friend, the half hour car journey seemed to take an eternity, I suppose in hindsight the proper thing to have done would have been to call for an ambulance, I new they would have been better equipped for the situation and have the ability to get me across town far quicker but hindsight is a wonderful thing. My friend unfortunately not knowing the full extent of the situation, me not having said, didn't know to pull up directly outside of the emergency entrance to the hospital instead he parked in the main parking area. Little did I know we were more or less 250 meters from the emergency department entrance but with an uphill climb at that? Setting off alone toward the emergency entrance, in truth not all out sure in which direction to go I set off on the uphill incline. As you can imagine with a busy city hospital there were people on the move people coming and going, visitors going to and from amongst others, I was all out struggling even when passing the small kiosk where the security porters were on duty, empathy for one's fellow man didn't seem to exist that evening, no one approached me to enquire if I needed aid or even made a passing remark. Finally having made the 250 metres, which seemed to never end I staggered into the emergency entrance gasping, sweating profusely, clutching my chest and using the doorjamb for support.

I was immediately spotted by a nurse on duty having gone into the crowded waiting area I presume to call her next patient she called for assistance and a wheel chair. Within a few short minutes I was installed on a gurney stripped to the waist with wires attached to an Electro Cardiogram, not being the kind of person to stay still I sneaked a preview of the ECG printout, something that I can only describe as a 9 on the Richter scale, certainly nothing normal about what I was seeing and definitely confirming that my suspicions were right, I was having a HEART ATTACK. The needle having been fitted and the drip attached along with a relaxing shot of Morphine I began to calm, even to the point when the Dr broke the news I already new. To me HAVING A HEART ATTACK was it, THE END, at no point did it even enter my head that I would live, and as far as I was concerned I was going to DIE. Being prepped for the theatre as the Dr was speaking brought hope as he explained the specialist had been sent for to operate. Thoughts of having my chest ripped open and major surgery didn't seem to panic me, possibly because of the Morphine or possibly because of thinking maybe I had a chance. Having being shaved in a matter of seconds in my neither regions my right forearm and wrist puzzled me, Not wanting to boast but I do have a manly chest, quite hairy in fact even though at the time quite overweight. Why hadn't that been shaved? Less than five minutes gave me the answer, laid out on the operating table surrounded by several medically equipped men and woman in gowns masks and gloves the procedure was underway. A small incision was made in the artery on my right wrist and as I watched on the many screens just up to my left I could see the thin wire type implement enter into the picture, strange sensations were apparent as things seem to pass through the arteries on the way to my still beating heart, along with a kind of heat or burning sensation, within 10 minutes of the procedure the Dr informed me he had found the problem, now I'm not medically minded nor familiar with what was going on but he kept me informed as to what was going on, even to the point of asking me if it was ok to fit a stent after he had re-inflated the offending blocked or collapsed artery.

I figured after, he'd probably been obliged by law to ask permission to leave the tent, as far as I'm aware a small plastic or spring like object left behind to keep the blocked or collapsed artery open. Having now conducted a thorough examination of the remanding arteries and my heart I was informed that the surgeon was extremely happy with the results and his work was now finished. He reeled of a 3 or 4-minute technical stream of information to the rest of the team and made his leave un-be-known to me. Up on the ICU still wired up to various monitors and machines slowly administering various drugs I felt at peace and no longer in pain. During the following days being confined to bed completely didn't come without its embarrassments, needless to say I'd never used a bed pan, up to recently and for over 45 years I'd managed to make my own way to the toilet, take a dump and wipe my own butt, I'd even managed to wash myself unaided, possibly as my wife may testify not as often as I should but never the less managed all the same.

A standard 10 day stay saw me on the mend little by little but due to being confined to bed and having sustained damage to my heart from starvation of oxygen (something I'll discus later in this article) getting up saw me in a weakened state, a bit wobbly on the pins. I had been allowed out of bed on the 6th day just to go to the toilet and take a wash, and from then on I'd sat up in a chair for short bursts at a time, I was getting back my mobility but still quite feeble. My friend picked me up on the evening of the 10th day, accompanied with my beloved I made the stop at the Pharmacy to pick up my prescription, something that is now a daily part of my life, pill taking, apart from the odd paracetamol for an in-frequent headache or maybe a flu remedy, something strange to me but now sadly a necessary part of my future.

After effects and their consequences If you can remember earlier I discussed sustaining damage to my Heart. During the following months as my strength grew and I regained my confidence I visited my Cardiolog. His recommendation was to take a stress test at the local hospital, a simple test of effort using a treadmill or exercise bike, afterwards lying on a flat bed type scanner which monitored the blood flow and oxygen levels in the blood, this was when I found out the extent of the damage. His diagnosis was that due to the lack of blood flow on that fateful night the right side of my Heart had been starved of oxygen thus 18 % of my Heart was in fact dead. Another 30 minutes getting to the Hospital that night could well have proved fatal!!!

The Stress Test or Thallium Test This is a type of nuclear scanning test or myocardial perfusion (mi"o-KAR'de-al per-FU'zhun) imaging test. It shows how well blood flows to the heart muscle. It's usually done along with an exercise stress test on a treadmill or bicycle. The thallium stress test is useful to determine: Extent of a coronary artery blockage Prognosis of patients who've suffered a heart attack Effectiveness of cardiac procedures done to improve circulation in coronary arteries Cause(s) of chest pain Level of exercise that a patient can safely perform When the patient reaches his or her maximum level of exercise, a small amount of a radioactive substance called thallium is injected into the bloodstream. Then the patient lies down on a special table under a camera ("gamma camera") that can see the thallium and make pictures.

The thallium mixes with the blood in the bloodstream and heart's arteries and enters heart muscle cells. If a part of the heart muscle doesn't receive a normal blood supply, less than a normal amount of thallium will be in those heart muscle cells. The first pictures are made shortly after the exercise test and show blood flow to the heart during exercise. The heart is "stressed" during the exercise test - thus the name "stress test." The patient then lies quietly for 2-3 hours and another series of pictures is made. These show blood flow to the heart muscle during rest. What does the thallium stress test show? If the test is normal during both exercise and rest, then blood flow through the coronary arteries is normal. The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. If the test shows that perfusion (blood flow) is normal during rest but not during exercise (a perfusion defect), then the heart isn't getting enough blood when it must work harder than normal. This may be due to a blockage in one or more coronary arteries. If the test is abnormal during both exercise and rest, there's limited blood flow to that part of the heart at all times. If no thallium is seen in some part of the heart muscle, the cells in this part of the heart are dead from a prior heart attack. (They have become scar tissue.)

HEARTCARE For those who have suffered a Heart Attack and survived like me it's not to late and for those who haven't now's the time to start thinking about prevention? ESPECIALLY if you think your life style may need changes. Before taking any of the following advice I recommend that you consult your Doctor.

STOP SMOKING. Most people associate cigarette smoking with breathing problems and lung cancer. But did you know that smoking is also a major cause of heart disease for men and women? About 20% of all deaths from heart disease are directly related to cigarette smoking. That's because smoking is a major cause of coronary heart disease. A person's risk of heart disease and heart attack greatly increases with the number of cigarettes he or she smokes. Smokers continue to increase their risk of heart attack the longer they smoke. People who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than non-smokers. Women who smoke and also take birth control pills increase several times their risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Cigarette smoke not only affects smokers. When you smoke, the people around you are also at risk for developing health problems, especially children. Environmental tobacco smoke (also called passive smoke or second-hand smoke) affects people who are frequently around smokers. Second-hand smoke can cause chronic respiratory conditions, cancer, and heart disease. It is estimated that around 35,000 non-smokers die from heart disease each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

Finally I recommend you take the time out to do a small bit of research on cholesterol, stress, diet, and most of all the effects of Smoking. AND HOW TO QUIT!!!

Cholesterol, Stress, Diet, and most of all the effects of SMOKING

I'm not going to recommend a site or sites for the simple reason that most sites not only tell you what these thing are, but also how to reduce them, or in the case of Smoking, STOP. Most of the sites I've searched shows contradictions in the research and conclusions, the fact is cholesterol, stress, diet, and most of all the effects of Smoking are all part of the major contributory factors in Heart Disease, Stroke and Cancer, the 3 top killers in America and Europe.

I sincerely hope you have found this article interesting and helpful, in addition there are so many web sites on the net regarding keeping your Heart Healthy, in my opinion if you research and find a sure method to keep a HEALTHY HEART the rest of your body will be happy and healthy, HAPPY RESEARCHING.

I really do want to help, visit my blog, Prevention is always better than cure!!! Learn the answers to Preventing Heart Attack, Cancer and Stroke, the 3 Biggest Killers; Learn the ANSWERS to de- toxifying the Blood, Healthy Blood Healthy You. Or e-mail me at I'll get back to you, Promise!!!


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