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Wake Up Call At 50

Racer56

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I turned 50 on 3/1 and I am 5'11" 167lbs and consider myself a healthy (minus beer belly), very active person. I smoke just under a pack a day and work 12-14 hour days running my construction company.

Driving home from work on Monday afternoon I started experiencing severe tightness/weight on my chest. Pulled over on the side of the road and relaxed waiting for it to subside. I got back on the Fwy and the pain returned and I drove myself to the Kaiser woodland hills emergency room. They did an EKG and checked my pulse blood oxygen and put me in the waiting room. After an hour in the waiting room I felt better and said fuck this waiting for four hours to see a doctor and I drove myself home. I felt okay, but around 10 I experienced another episode laying on the sofa.

Next day felt fine and went to work and chalked it up in my mind as a bad case acid reflux. Picked my daughter up from school and went to dinner together. At around 9:00 I started experiencing severe chest pain again and called my wife to get home. She immediately tried taking me to the hospital, but I resisted as I said I had a huge day at work the next day. I finally gave in after my two daughters and wife were yelling at me to go.

Another long line at the ER, but my wife told them that I was having a heart attack and they took me in. At this point I felt fine and the EKG and everything else checked out ok. They did a blood work up on me and the doctor told me they found enzymes in my blood indicating that I had a heart attack.

Wednesday I was transferred to the catheter lab at Kaiser Sunset hospital for a Angiogram. During the angiogram they found a 95% blockage in my left artery and a 80% blockage in my right artery. They put a stent in my left artery, but my arm started spasming and they couldn't stent my right.

Spent another night in the hospital and was put on a myriad of medications. Had a echo cardiogram on Thursday and the doctor said I am lucky that there is no visible damage to my heart, but I have to make a dramatic change to my lifestyle. I was discharged late yesterday afternoon and I am at home relaxing. I feel great, but I know that I have to take it easy until I get my second stent in a couple of weeks.

Major lifestyle change. First and foremost I quit smoking. I'm really struggling with this, but I'm trying nicotine pouches and I am resolved to not smoke again. Two, I need to eat a lot healthier. I love steak dinner's and eat like shit during the work week. My wife is going to start making me lunches during the week and I am going to start eating a lot more chicken, fish, fruit's and veggies. I will still enjoy the occasional red meat meal, but I'm going to have to make a big effort to eat heart healthy. Third, some how I need to reduce my stress level at work. Currently we have so much work under contract, that we are struggling to fulfill our obligations. My business partner has really stepped up to the plate and is insisting on hiring an assistant for me. I am going to try and cut my work week back to 5 days and 50 hour's, but it's completely against my work ethic. This will be a work in progress and I have to somehow change my mindset that my family is more important than work.

Moral of the story is that I never thought in a million years that I would have suffered a heart attack at age 50, that's for people in their 60's and 70's. Through out the past few days, I have had so much love and prayers sent my way from family, friends and customers that I realize that I took things for granted and I need to get my shit together and stick around for another 30+ years. I am going to do whatever it takes to watch my daughter's grow up and entertain grandchildren at the river!
 

Mr. C

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Glad you finally listened to the wife and daughters👍👍👍 You are definitely a lucky man.

As for the quitting smoking. I had a TIA ( basically a mini stroke) about 7 years ago. Doctors said if you want to die just keep smoking.
long story short, I tried the patch for one day and then the chews for one day. Then I said F it. quit it all cold turkey. I was miserable to be around for about two weeks ( ya I know 2 weeks 😁 ) but after that each day got a little easier. haven't touched one since. I wish you the best. It's tough habit to quit.
 

SoCalDave

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Glad to hear your committed to make life changes.
One word for the smoking, Chantix. Worked wonders for me with no side effects or urges to smoke...it's been 11 years since my last stick.
 

Tooms22

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Damn, that is a scare!

Now, chill the fuck out for little until that next stent.

It sounds like you have a solid plan. People don't like relating their physical ailments to their stress but it's a big factor.

Like you said, you have kids, grandkids, and a bunch of badass river trips in your future.

Glad you're doing well now and happy to hear you're approaching this with a comprehensive plan to improve your health 👍
 

FreeBird236

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I turned 50 on 3/1 and I am 5'11" 167lbs and consider myself a healthy (minus beer belly), very active person. I smoke just under a pack a day and work 12-14 hour days running my construction company.

Driving home from work on Monday afternoon I started experiencing severe tightness/weight on my chest. Pulled over on the side of the road and relaxed waiting for it to subside. I got back on the Fwy and the pain returned and I drove myself to the Kaiser woodland hills emergency room. They did an EKG and checked my pulse blood oxygen and put me in the waiting room. After an hour in the waiting room I felt better and said fuck this waiting for four hours to see a doctor and I drove myself home. I felt okay, but around 10 I experienced another episode laying on the sofa.

Next day felt fine and went to work and chalked it up in my mind as a bad case acid reflux. Picked my daughter up from school and went to dinner together. At around 9:00 I started experiencing severe chest pain again and called my wife to get home. She immediately tried taking me to the hospital, but I resisted as I said I had a huge day at work the next day. I finally gave in after my two daughters and wife were yelling at me to go.

Another long line at the ER, but my wife told them that I was having a heart attack and they took me in. At this point I felt fine and the EKG and everything else checked out ok. They did a blood work up on me and the doctor told me they found enzymes in my blood indicating that I had a heart attack.

Wednesday I was transferred to the catheter lab at Kaiser Sunset hospital for a Angiogram. During the angiogram they found a 95% blockage in my left artery and a 80% blockage in my right artery. They put a stent in my left artery, but my arm started spasming and they couldn't stent my right.

Spent another night in the hospital and was put on a myriad of medications. Had a echo cardiogram on Thursday and the doctor said I am lucky that there is no visible damage to my heart, but I have to make a dramatic change to my lifestyle. I was discharged late yesterday afternoon and I am at home relaxing. I feel great, but I know that I have to take it easy until I get my second stent in a couple of weeks.

Major lifestyle change. First and foremost I quit smoking. I'm really struggling with this, but I'm trying nicotine pouches and I am resolved to not smoke again. Two, I need to eat a lot healthier. I love steak dinner's and eat like shit during the work week. My wife is going to start making me lunches during the week and I am going to start eating a lot more chicken, fish, fruit's and veggies. I will still enjoy the occasional red meat meal, but I'm going to have to make a big effort to eat heart healthy. Third, some how I need to reduce my stress level at work. Currently we have so much work under contract, that we are struggling to fulfill our obligations. My business partner has really stepped up to the plate and is insisting on hiring an assistant for me. I am going to try and cut my work week back to 5 days and 50 hour's, but it's completely against my work ethic. This will be a work in progress and I have to somehow change my mindset that my family is more important than work.

Moral of the story is that I never thought in a million years that I would have suffered a heart attack at age 50, that's for people in their 60's and 70's. Through out the past few days, I have had so much love and prayers sent my way from family, friends and customers that I realize that I took things for granted and I need to get my shit together and stick around for another 30+ years. I am going to do whatever it takes to watch my daughter's grow up and entertain grandchildren at the river!
Glad you made it. It's a wise choice on the smoking, but did you clear the nicotine pouches with your cardiologist? May not want to constrict those vessels until after the second stint, sometimes they're more nicotine than you've been smoking. Hope all is well in the future.
 

Racer56

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Glad you made it. It's a wise choice on the smoking, but did you clear the nicotine pouches with your cardiologist? May not want to constrict those vessels until after the second stint, sometimes they're more nicotine than you've been smoking. Hope all is well in the future.
I agree and I am only using them sparingly. Cardiologist said he would rather have me use pouches a few pouches versus having a cigarette.
 

rrrr

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That was a close one. I hope your lifestyle changes will have a positive effect on all aspects of your life.
 

Outdrive1

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I’ve been having really bad anxiety every time I feel any pain. Anxiety is real. I go full panic attack and can’t breathe. Did blood work. Went to the doctor. They can’t find anything. But he says I’m sleeping on my left arm and causing shoulder and chest pain. He ended up giving me a muscle relaxer to take at night. Instantly my anxiety and panic attacks go away. 🤷🏼‍♂️ My wife says I’m a hypochondriac. But the panic attacks are real. Idk. I was convinced I was dying a month ago.
 

Racer56

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I’ve been having really bad anxiety every time I feel any pain. Anxiety is real. I go full panic attack and can’t breathe. Did blood work. Went to the doctor. They can’t find anything. But he says I’m sleeping on my left arm and causing shoulder and chest pain. He ended up giving me a muscle relaxer to take at night. Instantly my anxiety and panic attacks go away. 🤷🏼‍♂️ My wife says I’m a hypochondriac. But the panic attacks are real. Idk. I was convinced I was dying a month ago.
You should talk to your doctor about Lexapro, Zanex or Buspirone. It's probably a better option than muscle relaxers for panic attacks.
 
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RCDave

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Mine came last November at 56. Never before did I have an issue. But had a mild stoke....

It was caused by high blood pressure.

It took a few months but I am pretty much back to normal, less 50-60 lbs.

Take this stuff serious guys....
 

Outdrive1

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You should talk to your doctor about Lexapro, Zanex or Buspirone. It's probably a better option than muscle relaxers for panic attacks.

I just don’t want to get caught up in narcotics or dependence on them. The muscle relaxer is just flexeril. I don’t even like how pot makes me feel honestly.
 

traquer

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Woah, glad to hear all is (relatively) well!

You'll be fine, the body has a miraculous way of healing itself.

Subscribe to the life extension magazine and read each issue when they mail it (I still love magazines). It's awesome stuff and you'll learn something each time: https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine
 

Xtrmwakeboarder

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I turned 50 on 3/1 and I am 5'11" 167lbs and consider myself a healthy (minus beer belly), very active person. I smoke just under a pack a day and work 12-14 hour days running my construction company.

Driving home from work on Monday afternoon I started experiencing severe tightness/weight on my chest. Pulled over on the side of the road and relaxed waiting for it to subside. I got back on the Fwy and the pain returned and I drove myself to the Kaiser woodland hills emergency room. They did an EKG and checked my pulse blood oxygen and put me in the waiting room. After an hour in the waiting room I felt better and said fuck this waiting for four hours to see a doctor and I drove myself home. I felt okay, but around 10 I experienced another episode laying on the sofa.

Next day felt fine and went to work and chalked it up in my mind as a bad case acid reflux. Picked my daughter up from school and went to dinner together. At around 9:00 I started experiencing severe chest pain again and called my wife to get home. She immediately tried taking me to the hospital, but I resisted as I said I had a huge day at work the next day. I finally gave in after my two daughters and wife were yelling at me to go.

Another long line at the ER, but my wife told them that I was having a heart attack and they took me in. At this point I felt fine and the EKG and everything else checked out ok. They did a blood work up on me and the doctor told me they found enzymes in my blood indicating that I had a heart attack.

Wednesday I was transferred to the catheter lab at Kaiser Sunset hospital for a Angiogram. During the angiogram they found a 95% blockage in my left artery and a 80% blockage in my right artery. They put a stent in my left artery, but my arm started spasming and they couldn't stent my right.

Spent another night in the hospital and was put on a myriad of medications. Had a echo cardiogram on Thursday and the doctor said I am lucky that there is no visible damage to my heart, but I have to make a dramatic change to my lifestyle. I was discharged late yesterday afternoon and I am at home relaxing. I feel great, but I know that I have to take it easy until I get my second stent in a couple of weeks.

Major lifestyle change. First and foremost I quit smoking. I'm really struggling with this, but I'm trying nicotine pouches and I am resolved to not smoke again. Two, I need to eat a lot healthier. I love steak dinner's and eat like shit during the work week. My wife is going to start making me lunches during the week and I am going to start eating a lot more chicken, fish, fruit's and veggies. I will still enjoy the occasional red meat meal, but I'm going to have to make a big effort to eat heart healthy. Third, some how I need to reduce my stress level at work. Currently we have so much work under contract, that we are struggling to fulfill our obligations. My business partner has really stepped up to the plate and is insisting on hiring an assistant for me. I am going to try and cut my work week back to 5 days and 50 hour's, but it's completely against my work ethic. This will be a work in progress and I have to somehow change my mindset that my family is more important than work.

Moral of the story is that I never thought in a million years that I would have suffered a heart attack at age 50, that's for people in their 60's and 70's. Through out the past few days, I have had so much love and prayers sent my way from family, friends and customers that I realize that I took things for granted and I need to get my shit together and stick around for another 30+ years. I am going to do whatever it takes to watch my daughter's grow up and entertain grandchildren at the river!
Damn. Was wondering where you were... you forgot to add building a new house as well.

Glad it wasn't too severe and you're able to course correct. Best wishes to you and the fam.
 

bilz

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Best wishes for you and your family on these lifestyle changes. One of my employees went through something similar, dietitian told him to monitor sodium content and nearly everything else will fall into place. No or low salt way of eating. I had to go this route for a different reason, but my family had to change with me ( I do the marketing and I buy the meals out. We all feel better and the ones that need to are losing a little weight also. Stay tuff with it, never smoked but I have seen people quit. Best wishes.
 

HB2Havasu

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You are blessed your wife and daughters insisted you go to the hospital that day!! I smoked for 30 years and the only thing I found that worked was going full blown cold turkey. Using pouches just keeps you addicted to nicotine, eventually you will just say F&%$ It and go back to cigarettes. I've been off smokes for 4 years now and never felt better. It's weird to go weeks on end without coughing once, lol.

I would say if you can't run your business in 40 hours yore doing it wrong. Learn to delegate, it may save yore life!!!!

Best of health to you Sir :D
 

Racer56

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Damn. Was wondering where you were... you forgot to add building a new house as well.

Glad it wasn't too severe and you're able to course correct. Best wishes to you and the fam.
Obviously my first priority is getting better for myself and my family. A close second is to finish my Riviera house and throw a badass house warming party!
 

Xtrmwakeboarder

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Obviously my first priority is getting better for myself and my family. A close second is to finish my Riviera house and throw a badass house warming party!
Haha I meant the stress related to that build has to be a factor as well. Glad you'll be able to throw that party when you get this sorted.
 

monkeyswrench

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Jeezus! First and foremost, it doesn't matter if you have a big day at work "the next day"...if you don't make it in. Changing your diet will help a lot. I was kind of forced to due to other family health issues. It's worked out well for all of us. Quitting smoking will surely help.

Don't underestimate the stresses of your work though. You work to make money, to help make life better. There has to be a balance though, work to live, don't live to work.

Glad you're up and running. Remember what you have, and why you want to stick around.
 

mjc

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So good to hear you got it looked and are on the way to taking care of yourself. Follow through on everything the doctor tells you to do, I went through this 2 years ago and needed open heart surgery.
 

badgas

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Glad you are ok and you got to have the wake up call. I will tell you that I worked in an industry that was 12-15 hour days lot's of smokers and we all ate like crap all time. We had two types of guys fat fat and skinny fat. Bad diet, Smoking and working that many hours never results with a healthy human regardless of body weight.

Find a way to bring someone into your business that you trust that can take some of the burden off of you.

Thank you for sharing your story, it is an eye opener for all of us.
 

Mandelon

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How do they tell if your have restricted arteries?
 

kurtis500

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Dang, glad you are OK!!

Whats the staus of your excersice? Do any or a little?
 

Racer56

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How do they tell if your have restricted arteries?
It's called an Angiogram. They put a tiny camera up an artery either in your groin or your arm. They release a contrast agent and can see the flow to the heart or lack thereof in real time on big screen monitors. If they find a blockage, they normally place a stent at the same time.
 

HNL2LHC

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Wow, what a few days. Best to you on the things that you MUST do to continue on. I have been trying to tone down my eating for a few years. Chicken adn fish most of the time. But it kind of sucks right when you get to the point in life you can afford to what ever you like your body can’t handle it. :banghead:
 

boatnam2

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Buddy went in today and got 5 stints done, had his neck cut open few months ago and had section of cartoid artery re-piped, had a open heart quad done couple years ago with and 3 other stint installs over last few years, i feel horrible for the guy. Every time is started with heartburn of some type which he ignored until something like this happens. he is 59 and it all started around 50 or so. Get better soon.
 

caribbean20

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Sorry to hear and glad you caught it in time. For the rest of you guys, go get a scan. Here in Denver it only costs about $90. I’ve posted this before.

Shows an image of your arteries and your Doc will tell you the amount of blockage, with averages compared to your age group. I do it every few years for piece of mind.
 

Singleton

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Obviously my first priority is getting better for myself and my family. A close second is to finish my Riviera house and throw a badass house warming party!

glad to hear your home vs the opposite.
Diet is huge and will be a bigger adjustment then smoking IMO.
Just watch out, some stuff looks healthy but is loaded in calories.

Time with family is the only thing money can’t buy!
 

4Waters

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glad you are alright Shane!!!

I have been eating a lot more chicken as of late.. point in fact I’m at pollo loco right now.. second time I have been here in my life
El Pollo Loco is my China buffet 🤣

@Racer56 glad you are ok, my buddy had a heart attack like yours at 36 while on his weekly 15-20 mile mountain bike ride and he was a pretty healthy eater as well but there is some family history of heart issues so his healthiness probably saved his life. You got this smoking thing, go look at your daughters again and think about their wedding day with and/or without you, nuff said. You got this.
 

nganga

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El Pollo Loco is my China buffet 🤣

@Racer56 glad you are ok, my buddy had a heart attack like yours at 36 while on his weekly 15-20 mile mountain bike ride and he was a pretty healthy eater as well but there is some family history of heart issues so his healthiness probably saved his life. You got this smoking thing, go look at your daughters again and think about their wedding day with and/or without you, nuff said. You got this.
El polio bowls are great.

@Racer56

Take care of yourself. Cigarettes gotta go.
 

t&y

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Scary how much of this I am hearing about lately. Heat issues and blood clots. Glad to hear you are ok and hoping the lifestyle change helps fix the problem.
 

nganga

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Cigarettes are gone and hopefully one day we can hook up for a good hunting or fishing trip.
I’ve got room for 1 or 2 in Brazil in August

It’s in the Hunting forum
 

Joe mama

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Glad your doing well and thanks for the post. I’m sure you have opened some eyes around here. Just because your not overweight doesn’t mean your healthy, keep your eyes open guys and gals when it comes to eating, drinking and see your doctor for those yearly check up’s. STOP Smoking!
 
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