Toyota Tundra Forums banner

1 - 20 of 90 Posts

·
Mr. MaCocky
Joined
·
1,207 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, here's a thread I never dreamed I'd be starting. That's right folks, as of last Sunday morning, I am the not too proud and absolutely not very happy owner of a triple bypass, open heart surgery.

I've been experiencing some symptoms, although I didn't recognize them as such, of arterial blockage for over two years now. Last Friday I really didn't feel very well and very uncharacteristically asked my wife to call the doctor's office. They told her to get my *** down to the emergency room asap! Well, the Dallas hospital is pretty small but they're very competent. After running a few test, treating me with some nitro, and evaluating all the results they shipped me to Salem's new coronary care unit and hooked me up with a cardiologist who was going to do an angiogram Saturday morning. Unfortunately, because of the extent of the blockage, stents were not an option. I had two arteries that were blocked at 85% and another one that was blocked at 79%. There's a lot more to tell in this story but that will have to wait for later. For the time being, I'm beat. I know how y'all always say without pictures it never happened so I just took a few while sitting here at the computer. Hopefully I'll be able to get my brain working enough to figure out how to get them up here but if not, tomorrow's another day.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,474 Posts
Well, here's a thread I never dreamed I'd be starting. That's right folks, as of last Sunday morning, I am the not too proud and absolutely not very happy owner of a triple bypass, open heart surgery.

I've been experiencing some symptoms, although I didn't recognize them as such, of arterial blockage for over two years now. Last Friday I really didn't feel very well and very uncharacteristically asked my wife to call the doctor's office. They told her to get my *** down to the emergency room asap! Well, the Dallas hospital is pretty small but they're very competent. After running a few test, treating me with some nitro, and evaluating all the results they shipped me to Salem's new coronary care unit and hooked me up with a cardiologist who was going to do an angiogram Saturday morning. Unfortunately, because of the extent of the blockage, stents were not an option. I had two arteries that were blocked at 85% and another one that was blocked at 79%. There's a lot more to tell in this story but that will have to wait for later. For the time being, I'm beat. I know how y'all always say without pictures it never happened so I just took a few while sitting here at the computer. Hopefully I'll be able to get my brain working enough to figure out how to get them up here but if not, tomorrow's another day.
Ace, I'm happy to hear you made it through your ordeal. No doubt you have to deal with a certain amount of pain while healing, but look at the big picture: next year you can think about running the marathon rather than checking out the price of wheelchairs.

Happy you are safe!:tu:

Stuball
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,634 Posts
Ace, I'm happy to hear you made it through your ordeal. No doubt you have to deal with a certain amount of pain while healing, but look at the big picture: next year you can think about running the marathon rather than checking out the price of wheelchairs.

Happy you are safe!:tu:

Stuball
I know two guys who have had the same operation, and Stu isn't kidding, these guys were in really rough shape before the operation. A few months after, they were like kids again.
 

·
Mr. MaCocky
Joined
·
1,207 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Stu and Hick. I've been down a lot over the years but never out. There never has been nor will there likely ever be a time when I quit. My kids all agree that I am the most tenacious, toughest SOB that's ever lived. I have to tell you though, thus far this has been a rough one.

Andy
 

·
"Rosco" Thread Derailer
Joined
·
5,778 Posts
Andy, glad to read that you're a tenacious and tough SOB. :tu:
If you can get through what you did, you can get through anything.
Glad everything is OK buddy, now start chasing the Mrs around the house. :D
 

·
NASH
Joined
·
3,634 Posts
I have a lot of respect for you posts thus far on the forum and am also glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery from this operation.

Good luck with the recover and Mr. Stuball is correct in regarding this post. When fully recovered, you will be in much better shape.

Good luck with the Recovery!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,634 Posts
Andy, glad to read that you're a tenacious and tough SOB. :tu:
If you can get through what you did, you can get through anything.
Glad everything is OK buddy, now start chasing the Mrs around the house. :D
I was going to mention the two guys who had the procedure done had some extra lead in their pencil after the procedure.
 

·
"Rosco" Thread Derailer
Joined
·
5,778 Posts
I was going to mention the two guys who had the procedure done had some extra lead in their pencil after the procedure.
Yep, time to put the old sub into port Andy! :D
 

·
Mr. MaCocky
Joined
·
1,207 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yep, time to put the old sub into port Andy! :D
I've never had a problem getting the sub into port. It's keeping the damned thing afloat that been my problem. Do you suppose better circulation would help in this type of "nautical dilemma"?
 

·
Admin from Hell
Joined
·
13,116 Posts
I've never had a problem getting the sub into port. It's keeping the damned thing afloat that been my problem. Do you suppose better circulation would help in this type of "nautical dilemma"?
Couldn't hurt. Might help.

When Rodney Dangerfield went in for heart surgery a few years ago, someone asked him how long he expected to be in the hospital. His reply: "If all goes well I'll be out in a week. And if it doesn't go well, I'll be out in an hour and a half."

Glad you had better luck than he did.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,474 Posts
...now start chasing the Mrs around the house. :D
That's probably the best adivice you could every get.:thumb:

Take it to heart.

Stuball
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,789 Posts
Great timing.

Later......might not have worked out so well.

Aren't you glad to be able to pop over to the hospital in your time of need,
and then get served promptly and professionally?

Not long ago, people in your situation died.
Thank God for American Medicine, I say.
 

·
Mr. MaCocky
Joined
·
1,207 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Glad you are better. I have to ask. Were you or are you a smoker?
Yes, I was a smoker. I had smoked for about 40 years or so. At one point I was up to about 3 packs a day but then brought it back down to a pack and a half. Last November I retired and my smoking dropped down to just under a pack a day.

My last cigarette was last Friday at around 2:30pm or so. I will NEVER have another smoke again. I know, we've all heard that song and dance before but believe me when I tell you "This has been a life altering experience".

If the cardiologist could have fixed it with stents I guarantee it wouldn't have changed my desire or habit to smoke but laying in ICU for 3 days and finding out how incredibly lucky I got there is no way in hell I will ever smoke again. Did I mention that after having these symptoms for over 2 years I have absolutely no damage to my heart muscle what so ever?
 

·
Mr. MaCocky
Joined
·
1,207 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Great timing.

Later......might not have worked out so well.

Aren't you glad to be able to pop over to the hospital in your time of need,
and then get served promptly and professionally?

Not long ago, people in your situation died.
Thank God for American Medicine, I say.
I'm absolutely thrilled that this happened to me when it did. The care I received at all levels was professional, efficient, and no doubt enormously expensive. My insurance will pay for 80% leaving me with a very large balance. I don't know how we'll pay for it but it WILL GET PAID. I don't quit and I don't freeload.
 

·
"Rosco" Thread Derailer
Joined
·
5,778 Posts
....... I don't know how we'll pay for it but it WILL GET PAID. I don't quit and I don't freeload.
Good for you Andy and you're a lot like me....old school values! :tu: A lot of problems would be solved in this world if there were more people like you.
But damn, I was going to start the Lazy Ace Heart Recovery Fund: Help Keep His Sub Afloat. :biggrin1:
 

·
NASH
Joined
·
3,634 Posts
I'd donate to that :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,842 Posts
Been there, done that. I had a triple bypass in June of 2005.

Fair warning to the rest of you: The cause creeps up on you so slowly that you'll think the symptoms are just normal aging. Then, when it hits for real, you'll be surprised. So, go to WebMD, learn the symptoms of heart attack, and be prepared to recognize them when they happen and then get help quickly.

Congratulations, Ace, on surviving what used to kill people. You're in for a ride, but you'll be amazed how quickly you'll feel better. Within only a few weeks of surgery, I felt better than I had in at least 15 years. That was four years ago, and I still feel that way now. It's like putting a supercharger on a lawn mower.

I'll do the usual, i.e. prognosticate via the voice of experience, and to give other readers a bit of gory insight.

Right now your sternum area feels like a trio of cats have their claws embedded and are just hanging there, right? That will go away, slowly but steadily. In about five months, it will all feel almost normal. It will never feel quite normal again, but by then it will feel just fine.

Treat your sternum gently. That's the one area of concern regarding just doing things that you have to be careful of. You'll find that you can do things with either arm separately that you can't do with both arms together. The idea is to not do anything that would try to stretch your sternum apart. Let it heal, which you do by not stressing it. If you are careful, it'll be 80% healed in six weeks and then fully healed in six months.

If you don't have one, get a treadmill and use it. You'll find you can walk on it just fine, as it won't bother your chest area at all. It'll get your heart working and its strength will rebound amazingly well.

My experience was: At two weeks after surgery, I was walking several miles on my new treadmill every day. At four weeks, I cut the grass. I use a Scag ZTR-type lawn mower, which doesn't require any real arm strength to use, and it's all forward-and-backward arm motion (which is easy), not left-and-right motion (which is not). At five weeks, I ran the weedwhacker. At seven to twelve weeks, I helped a niece and nephew rehab their new house (including such things as rebuilding attic stairs, pressure washing the outside stonework, and painting). At twelve weeks, I loaded, moved, and unloaded three Tundra-and-trailer loads of boxes of their belongings as they moved in.

The point is that you will be surprised how quickly you bounce back and how much better you feel as it happens.

Now, here's a funny story about my experience to cheer you up.

Within 45 minutes of my onset of symptoms, I was at the emergency room. A skin patch of nitro kept me in misery, but with my arteries opened up, until the next morning, when an angiogram revealed the blocked arteries.

For those who haven't experienced it, an angiogram is not a big deal from the patient's point of view. Local anesthesia is used to numb a small area of the groin (and it's nearly painless to administer). A catheter is then inserted through the groin wall into the right femoral artery and threaded up to the heart area. A dye that is opaque to X-rays is injected into each coronary artery, one at a time, while X-ray video records its progress into the artery. The blockage is thus quite visible in the video, even to a layman who's been sedated so he'll lie still on the table.

So, I was lying on the table, more or less oblivious due to the mild sedation they use, when I woke right up due to cheers. The crew does that when a blockage is found and the cardiologist is congratulated for being the miracle worker that he is. This happened twice, and then I was revived slightly to see the results and discuss the options. Y'see, the decision to use stents or surgery has to be made right then and there, because the stents would be put in right then if that is the option chosen.

They showed my the first video, which showed an artery blocked at least 90%. The second video showed an artery which bifurcated about 1 mm downstream of the blockage, which would make a stent very difficult to insert, if at all possible. Now, four years earlier, my younger brother had a stent put in by that same cardiologist, and it failed, after which he had bypass surgery. This was, for me, a very serious decision.

After we discussed the difficulties of my case in particular, I asked the cardiologist, "What is the probability that a stent, on average, works properly for years?" (I'm an engineer; what else was I gonna do?) He answered, "Eighty percent." I responded immediately, "So, the probability of two stents working correctly for years is 64%, right?" There was an audible gasp among the whole crew, and several jaws visibly dropped behind their masks. I just smiled. The cardiologist confirmed my computation and we both opted for surgery.

Take it easy, Ace, but get up and move your body. You'll bounce back like a rubber ball.
 
1 - 20 of 90 Posts
Top