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Welcome to IWETHEY!

New Matters of the Heart . . . .
. . Just in time for Valentines Day too.

============= SHORT VERSION ====================

I'm back home, and taking it easy until I'm sure my heartbeat is
reliably steady. A messed up heartbeat is suboptimal.

Had a bit of a heart attack - version LAD - "The Widow Maker".

Am doing pretty well - no assistance needed.

============== LONG VERSION =====================

Friday morning (11 Feb 2022, 6:00 am) I woke up with intenese pain in my chest, both shoulders, and both sides of my back. In addition I had pain in my bowls of such intensity as I've never experienced before.

I had a good idea what the other pains might be, but not the bowel pain, which resulted in extreme diarrhea. I had to make three dashes to the toilet for explosive dumps before I could take time to dial 911.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department arrived almost instantly,made a quick assessment, ran an EKG, inserted the first IV Catherer, and took me to Huntington Hospital, with sirens wailing. They said Huntington, because I needed a specialist hospital for a problem this severe.

At Huntington, they took COVID swabs, asked some questions, and looked at the Fire Department's EKG. A doctor advised the problem was very severe and gave two options, but strongly advised surgery.

I signed a paper and they wheeled me immediately into surgery. Surgery took 1 hour and 15 minutes. They found my main artery was blocked from groin to heart. They scraped it out and inserted stents for the full length. Then I was wheeled off to a room for recovery, and a doctor told me, "Don't even think about checking out".

There I had 4 IV catherers emplaced (only 2 used at a time, but 2 wore out and had to be replaced. I have been jabbed with more needles than I can count, and 5 vampires came to take blood. My arms are pretty bruised right now.

Every 4 hours, day and night my blood pressure, blood oxygen, and heart beat were measured. They decided I was short of breath and my Oxygen was below 92, their preferred low margin. They gave me an IV drip to dehydrate my lungs, and the doctors were fairly happy, but there was some disagreement among them as to whether or not I had a touch of pneumonia.

They told me they would send me home on Monday, but my heart rhythm went out of control, so they said they wanted to fix that. The preferred cure was getting a special 24 hour IV drip,which might or might not work. So I had to lie on my back until late Monday.

At 20 hours the doctors started planning another, less desirable method, but at 21 hours my heart rhythm returned to normal, so they sent me home on Tuesday, Valentines day.

Nobody had a clue as to how the severe diarrhea was involved with all this.

============== REALLY LONG VERSION ==============

Haven't written it up yet.
New Incredibly glad you're here to make the report!
Sounds like a real trial, hopefully they caught all the stuff. Very scary. :-/

Any follow-up that you'll need to take care of?
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New Suggested follow-up.
They told me to make an appointment with one of the two external cardiologists, one of whom has an office near here. Two external and two internal cardiologists were involved.

They want me to come back in 3 months for an "echo", to see if any more needs to be done. They did take a high resolution ultrasound of the heart. That wasn't easy, of
course, because of ribs in the way.

They have, of course, given me prescriptions for a whole lot of pills with various functions in heart repair, etc. They did seem quite confident they were releasing me in pretty good shape.
New Sounds like you're in good hands
My dad's going through the echo tests now as well. Pretty well traveled ground at this point.

External as in external to the hospital? :-D Or do you need an external cardiologist because you wear your heart on your sleeve...?

Rest and recover, Andrew, we need your recipes and anecdotes around here for long to come.
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New Oh, oh! It's sad that you had this happen to you.
But, it's great that you survived and and got repaired enough to keep going!

Any idea of what you could have done to not have this happen to you?
Alex

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov
New Any idea of what you could have done to not have this happen to you?
That is the question I intend to try to figure out. My diet is so much better than that of most Americans, yet I'm having similar issues.

Far too little is known about human nutrition, and much of what is "known" is based on incomplete and cherry picked data, like just about everything the American Heart Association has promoted - or on research sponsored by commercial interests. When money is involved, you'll never know the truth.

Fortunately, in my case, everyone who treated me was highly competent and very conscentious, from the fire guys, through the surgeons and cardiologists, and on through the nurses and assistants.
New "My diet is so much better than that of most Americans, yet I'm having similar issues."
Ahum, yeah, well... One would have thought so, but continuing to assertively assume it in the light of this?

Anyway, I'm very happy to have you still curmudgeoning on among us!
--

   Christian R. Conrad
The Man Who Apparently Still Knows Fucking Everything


Mail: Same username as at the top left of this post, at iki.fi
New Zooks!
I'm very glad you made it. Very best of luck for a full recovery!

Hang in there - seriously!

Best wishes,
Scott.
New main inbound blocked that hard? Very glad you are still around to post
the bowel issue may have been an unrelated bacterial infection
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman
New Yeah I thought it'd been too long between posts
Welcome back.
New Oof. Sounds rough. Hope you make a speedy recovery!
New It’s hell being out of warranty
Looking back, were there any—perhaps unacknowledged at the time but significant in retrospect—signs and portents? Six years ago at this time I was becoming gradually aware of a discomfort in my upper left quadrant as I walked either end of my commute, and this went, over the next several months from distracting to mildly irritating to this is really starting to piss me off to oh my god, at which point I consulted my physician, whereupon, not more than a minute after I pronounced the words “chest pains”—even though I was not experiencing these at that moment—I found myself being wrestled onto a gurney by burly paramedics.

My crisis was arrested well short of the symptoms you have described, and they put me up on lifts a few days later to ream out the plumbing and install these cunning little appliances, which are actually a Cold War by-blow, “memory alloys” having been stumbled upon decades earlier in the course of devising a sturdier cladding for nuclear warheads.

They sent me home with an armload of prescription drugs among which one, “Clopidogrel,” occasioned the following dire caution successively from one doctor, one pharmacist and two nurses: “And for God’s sake, never, never skip a day.” That got my attention.

Best wishes for a brisk and sustained recovery. And as John Updike once observed, we do, after all, survive every moment, except the last.

cardiacly,
New "Chest pains" is a speedy trip to the head of the line at the ER
That and stroke symptoms. I've had that experience a few times for chest pains and speech problems that were only migraine and panic attacks thankfully.

They don't mess around with that stuff in the ER though.
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New No signs or portents.
I was feeling just fine overall until Friday morning at 6:00am. This was definitely a sneak attack.
New Glad you're still around. Someone needs to tend the Clove Garden...
New So now you're in debt at least until you're... Oh, about three hundred years old?
New medical debt
My overnight hospital stay (at CaesarCare’s own facility in nearby Walnut Creek) in 2016 was billed at a cool US $125K, but as I recall I was personally on the hook for only about 2% of the sum. At one time it would have been significantly less than even that amount, but since the turn of the century the organization appears to have filled its board of directors with Enron alumni. AG’s mileage may vary.

cordially,
New Got the first bill yesterday.
It said if I can't pay the whole thing, to call their office to set up a plan.
The bill was for US $1.93
New So are you going for 24 or 36 payments?
New Inflation is getting out of hand.
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New Glad to hear it! (Though surprised as fuck.)
And, you know, also not terribly sad or angry that you're feeling better.
--

   Christian R. Conrad
The Man Who Apparently Still Knows Fucking Everything


Mail: Same username as at the top left of this post, at iki.fi
New Oh, there will be more bills, but . . .
. . the way Medicare works is this. The doctor or organization bills Medicare at their full rate. Medicare pays them what they pay for the coded procedures. The patient can then be billed only a percentage of the difference between the two.

I recently got another bill for $8.87. The full charge was $1280. I will certainly get some larger ones, but it should be all manageable.
New The big hospital bill finally got here.
Hospital charge: $171,718.01

After Medicare payment and Medicare adjustments, I have to pay $1,556.00 - somewhat lower than I was expecting.
New Wow. It's good to be old.
I don't go to the hospital. I don't have health insurance. I don't have a job and up until a few months ago I couldn't afford it and now I'm looking into it and I see how incredibly expensive it is. I'm 58. I have another 7 years before I can have Medicare.

So basically it seems that I have to survive another 7 years before something comes along and tries to kill me and then I might survive because I'll have insurance at that point.

I added the second car to my insurance yesterday and it was incredibly cheap. I laughed, it's good to be old. It's also good not to have new drivers on your insurance. Those kids cost me in so many ways.
New I'm the same age, but I've been "on MediCare" all my life. Hooray for the Nanny State!
New Nearly a month on
How are you doing, Andrew?
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New Re: Nearly a month on
Doing quite well, thank you. There was a real rough spot but it was caused by water retention, fixed by water pills. I'm living an almost normal life now (except having to take all these pills. Just a shade short on breath, but improving.
New Great, glad to hear it.
Water retention can be quite serious, good to hear you're past it.
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New Excellent. Keep on keeping on.
New Good to hear you're making a great recovery!
Alex

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov
New Thanks, guys, for the words of encouragement.
New So did the doctors argue with your near perfect diet?
You have the widest assortment of nutrition of anyone I have ever seen and it almost always leans towards what is supposedly good for you. It amazes me with the amount of complexity and effort you put in to a recipe. I'm sure the people you serve it to in your various gatherings appreciate it.

So did the doctors review this and tell you to change anything?

5 years ago I went for a full cardio work up. Chemical stress test along with echocardiogram along with whole bunch of stuff. A week later I get my results and the doctor says keep doing what you're doing.

I say great, steak and potatoes and two packs of cigarettes every day. Yeah I know the cancer will get me. But it seems that my terrible diet is good for my heart.

Speaking of which, I sous vide two corned beef briskets for the last two days. Three element recipe. The corned beef, the packet of spice that came with it, and a cup of beef broth.

I took it out at one day and cut one in half and decided that it could go for another day. So I resealed it up and tossed it back in.

After 2 days I took out a half and fried all sides for about a minute at 400° and sliced it as thin as I could. I just got new knives so I can slice really thin.

Best goddamn corned beef I ever had in my life. Easily equals my high-end Jewish deli around the corner that I grew up from and is the standard that I measure all others.

I have hit corned beef special n yo coming up irvana and now I got a whole bunch of it in the pipeline.

That s*** is supposed to kill me. It's worth it. To me.

So anyway, glad you're back doing well as opposed to merely hanging on.
New I asked a number of times . . .
. . since my diet is so much better than the average American diet, I avoid sugar like the plague, and don't eat processed foods, how come I have these problems you're telling me I have.

No answer or explanation was offered - the question was ignored.
New Bodies are complicated.
My step mom had amazing cholesterol numbers, total ~ 130 mg/dl and nearly all the good stuff. Women in her side of the family often lived to be over 100. My father ate the same diet she did, always had cholesterol at 200 mg/dl.

(They both died of cancer - he from uveal melanoma that spread, she from cancer of the bile duct (a kind of pancreatic cancer) that spread - the same cancer that killed her father.)

Bodies are complicated. Genetics plays a big role, and I suspect that what may be a good diet for us when we're young and vigorous may be bad for us when we get older (IOW, there may be an age aspect in addition to exercise, weight, environment, etc.)

There's still so much that we don't know, even as we learn more every day. E.g. thread on Luvox and caffeine. Even information that is out there often doesn't get to the people who need it.

Best of luck you and to us all going forward!

Cheers,
Scott.
New Re: Nearly a month on
I had that. Colchicine? That stuff is not fun if it hits you wrong.
New That one isn't on my list.
New Re: That one isn't on my list.
When I had pericarditis as a post-surgical complication that's what I got.

It's ... a little hard on ya. Be happy you're not taking it.
New Re: Matters of the Heart . . . .
Ah yes I am familiar, though I suspect my case was somewhat milder than yours in that it was only my coronary arteries that were plugged up, though of course that means that I now have a zipper in front.

I'm very happy to hear you're still among us, Andrew. Pay attention to what the docs tell you; they have a much larger sample size about what works and doesn't work.

All the best!
Expand Edited by jake123 March 18, 2022, 04:43:46 PM EDT
     Matters of the Heart . . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (37)
         Incredibly glad you're here to make the report! - (malraux) - (2)
             Suggested follow-up. - (Andrew Grygus) - (1)
                 Sounds like you're in good hands - (malraux)
         Oh, oh! It's sad that you had this happen to you. - (a6l6e6x) - (2)
             Any idea of what you could have done to not have this happen to you? - (Andrew Grygus) - (1)
                 "My diet is so much better than that of most Americans, yet I'm having similar issues." - (CRConrad)
         Zooks! - (Another Scott)
         main inbound blocked that hard? Very glad you are still around to post - (boxley)
         Yeah I thought it'd been too long between posts - (crazy)
         Oof. Sounds rough. Hope you make a speedy recovery! -NT - (pwhysall)
         It’s hell being out of warranty - (rcareaga) - (2)
             "Chest pains" is a speedy trip to the head of the line at the ER - (malraux)
             No signs or portents. - (Andrew Grygus)
         Glad you're still around. Someone needs to tend the Clove Garden... -NT - (scoenye)
         So now you're in debt at least until you're... Oh, about three hundred years old? -NT - (CRConrad) - (9)
             medical debt - (rcareaga)
             Got the first bill yesterday. - (Andrew Grygus) - (7)
                 So are you going for 24 or 36 payments? -NT - (pwhysall)
                 Inflation is getting out of hand. -NT - (malraux)
                 Glad to hear it! (Though surprised as fuck.) - (CRConrad) - (4)
                     Oh, there will be more bills, but . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (3)
                         The big hospital bill finally got here. - (Andrew Grygus) - (2)
                             Wow. It's good to be old. - (crazy) - (1)
                                 I'm the same age, but I've been "on MediCare" all my life. Hooray for the Nanny State! -NT - (CRConrad)
         Nearly a month on - (malraux) - (11)
             Re: Nearly a month on - (Andrew Grygus) - (10)
                 Great, glad to hear it. - (malraux)
                 Excellent. Keep on keeping on. -NT - (Another Scott)
                 Good to hear you're making a great recovery! -NT - (a6l6e6x) - (4)
                     Thanks, guys, for the words of encouragement. -NT - (Andrew Grygus) - (3)
                         So did the doctors argue with your near perfect diet? - (crazy) - (2)
                             I asked a number of times . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (1)
                                 Bodies are complicated. - (Another Scott)
                 Re: Nearly a month on - (jake123) - (2)
                     That one isn't on my list. -NT - (Andrew Grygus) - (1)
                         Re: That one isn't on my list. - (jake123)
         Re: Matters of the Heart . . . . - (jake123)

You're typing on a device that stores trillions of pieces of data and makes billions of computations per second with the ability to grab data on almost anything from around the world in milliseconds, using electricity transmitted from hundreds of kilometers through wires on towers dozens of meters tall connected to megastructures that do things like burn coal as fast as entire trains can pull into the yard, or spin in the wind with blades the size of jumbo jets, or the like, which were delivered to their location by vehicles with computer-timed engines burning a fuel that was pumped up halfway around the world from up to half a dozen kilometers underground and locked into complex strata (through wells drilled by diamond-lined bores that can be remote-control steered as they go), shipped around the world in tankers with volumes the size of large city blocks and the height of apartment complexes, run through complex chemical processes in unimaginable quantities, distributed nationwide and sold to you at a corner store for $1.80 a gallon, which you then pay for with a little piece of microchipped plastic, if not a smartphone, which does all of the aforementioned computer stuff but in a box the size of your hand that tolerates getting beaten up in your pocket all day.

But technology never seems to advance...


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