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NeuroTypical

Heart attacks are no fun

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So on Sunday, I had a big honkin' heart attack, complete with ambulance ride and stent.  I got home yesterday - 2 nights in a hospital after heart surgery is still hard to believe, but here I am.  Absolutely no prior warning that this was headed my way - none of the high risk factors applied.  Well, yay me, I'm now a statistic.  Fun things:

- Complacency can be fatal.  If you find yourself clutching your chest, don't give in to the desire to say "I must have done something to my shoulder" or "weird heart burn".  Everyone is telling me the best thing that happened that day were those 4 baby aspirin in the first 30 minutes.   Lots of stories of "that guy" who did nothing for 6 hours, or until it happened again.

- Emergency responders appreciate good-natured humor, as it gives them an understanding as to the patient's consciousness/alertness.  Everyone appreciates the opportunity to see fire fighters taking crap because they're not cops, they're not EMT's, and nobody is on fire, so why are they even here?  I did what I could to make it a fun call, and all the responders seemed to have a good time. Firemen have thick skins, it rolls off them easy.

- Few things were more comforting than my neighbor showing up and saying "ya know, there are better ways to get attention", then giving me a blessing before they hauled me off.

- Dang, medical science is cool.  Stent placement in like 5 minutes - and they had my family watching the big full color live-action monitors showing the lack of blood flow, then the stent, then everything getting better. 

- ICU experience vs regular hospital: ICU gave me like a dozen different meds at different times.  "Hmm - the patient seems to have a slightly irregular eye blinking pattern.  I proscribe Iblinketol, and if it's still happening tomorrow, we'll start a regimen of Holycrapitol XR administered via IV".  Moving to a regular room and everyone was like "Huh - they list you as a high fall risk but you look ok.  Go take a shower and grab the call rope on your way down if there's a problem lol."  The regular nurses are probably still rolling their eyes and cancelling ICU orders.  No, I don't need a nose moisturizing cream because they gave me oxygen.  

- By far, the scariest part of the whole thing, is the prospect of a no-meat diet.  But the more I read, the less that seems likely.  I can handle steamed veggies and learning to love bananas, as long as meat stays on the menu.  My fast-food double-bacon-cheeseburger days are now over.  It's not a tragedy, I'm just retiring at the top of my game after a successful and enviable eating career of all-you-can-eat pizza buffets and BBQ ribs.  Grilled fish is the new black.

- Two types of people in my situation - those who make the necessary changes, and those who don't.  I know which type I'm gonna be.

Happy to still be here!

Edited by NeuroTypical

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Guest Mores
33 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

So on Sunday, I had a big honkin' heart attack, complete with ambulance ride and stent. 

...

 

Happy to still be here!

And we're glad you're still here too.  Take care of yourself.

Quote

- By far, the scariest part of the whole thing, is the prospect of a no-meat diet.  But the more I read, the less that seems likely.  I can handle steamed veggies and learning to love bananas, as long as meat stays on the menu.  My fast-food double-bacon-cheeseburger days are now over.  It's not a tragedy, I'm just retiring at the top of my game after a successful and enviable eating career of all-you-can-eat pizza buffets and BBQ ribs.  Grilled fish is the new black.

It seems your flute playing days are yet to come.

Edited by Mores

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Thanks everybody.  A success to report, after 30 years of gagging at the very thought of eating a banana, I ate half of one this morning.  If I can learn to tolerate a banana a day, everything else is easy by comparison.

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17 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Thanks everybody.  A success to report, after 30 years of gagging at the very thought of eating a banana, I ate half of one this morning.  If I can learn to tolerate a banana a day, everything else is easy by comparison.

Are you allowed to have pancakes? A banana on a pancake is wonderful.

M.

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It's all about whole grains now.  I'm 3 for 3 in banana eating.  Can someone really learn to enjoy a food they've loathed for 4 decades?   We find out, in the next episode of My crummy lifestyle changes!

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HOLY JUPITER, BATMAN!  I just read this post.  Dude, don't scare me like that.  My cousin died of a heart attack while working at the hospital as a floor nurse.  He was 45 years old.  Being a nurse, we're sure he knew all the symptoms and just plain ignored them!

I'm super happy to see you're doing splendid as can be expected after these things.  

Okay, banana.  I love banana.  My favorite way of eating it is rolling it in an eggroll wrapper with a sliver of Hershey's dark chocolate and then frying it.  No, you can't have banana like that.  Fried banana is heart attack central.  My kids' favorite way of eating banana is - peel banana halfway, slap peanut butter on the top, take a big bite off the top, slap peanut butter on the new top, take another giant bite... and on and on until it is gone.  You can try this.  Peanut butter is one of those fats that is post-heart-attack friendly in moderation like avocado and olive oil.

By the way, as far as meats go... my advice is to get grass-fed beef and free range chicken (backyard chicken).  Avoid pork.  Coming from the Philippines, I've wondered why beef and chicken taste different in the US than the Philippines.  Then I tried grass-fed beef and free range chicken and realized, whoa, that's the Filipino beef and chicken!  So, we Filipinos love our meat with the fat on it.  We even serve the skin as a dish in restaurants.  Anyway, grass-fed beef and free range chicken has a very soft fat layer that it's almost gelatin.  It is much tougher in regular beef.  So, for sure, there's a difference in fat composition there.  But disclaimer:  I'm no medical nor nutrition expert.

Edited by anatess2

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Yep - learning from multiple sources about diet and whatnot.  I believe my main goal is to get off the meds they put me on, by winning the blood test numbers game through healthy eating and exercise.    They're openly trolling me - I'm on a med that ends in "LOL".

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42 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Yep - learning from multiple sources about diet and whatnot.  I believe my main goal is to get off the meds they put me on, by winning the blood test numbers game through healthy eating and exercise.    They're openly trolling me - I'm on a med that ends in "LOL".

It can be done!  It’s all about adjusting your perspective about what tastes good and what doesn’t.  Interestingly, your tongue is susceptible to training.  My husband got himself out of sugar so that he can’t even drink soda anymore because his tongue protests on its sweetness.

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On 8/1/2019 at 4:00 PM, NeuroTypical said:

It's all about whole grains now.  I'm 3 for 3 in banana eating.  Can someone really learn to enjoy a food they've loathed for 4 decades?   We find out, in the next episode of My crummy lifestyle changes!

Why do you need to eat bananas? There are other things you can eat to get the nutrients. What's the deal with bananas?

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11 hours ago, anatess2 said:

 

Okay, banana.  I love banana.  My favorite way of eating it is rolling it in an eggroll wrapper with a sliver of Hershey's dark chocolate and then frying it.  No, you can't have banana like that.  Fried banana is heart attack central. 

When my husband and I did our Filipino Christmas, this is what we made for dessert. Holy cow! The only thing that would have made that better would be to use Nutella instead of just plain chocolate. So, so good.

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1 hour ago, beefche said:

Why do you need to eat bananas? There are other things you can eat to get the nutrients. What's the deal with bananas?

First, I don't need to eat them, I've just always wanted to be able.  I'm a creature of habit, and a banana for breakfast most days sounds like a wonderful thing, even moreso now after the heart attack.  I really liked them from age 2 to like 7 or something, then some switch flipped.  

Second, I want to see if it's possible to take a food you absolutely cannot tolerate, and find a way to tolerate it.  Sort of a personal victory thing that also doubles as a cool motivational story.  What's not to love?

Thirdly - just today, while talking with my half-sister on the phone, she told me a story about how my paternal-grandmother-who-died-when-I-was-seven ate a banana every day for the potassium.   So now I got the whole hearts-turned-to-the-fathers thing going on.  

Second-to-lastly, this:

Image result for minion banana

 

Finally, after encountering this video, with it's philosophical underpinnings of finding peace for a harried soul, coupled with it's obvious ties to gospel truths, and the multilayered explanation for its ending, I've just plain wanted to be this guy for well over a decade.  This was an early favorite with young daughters.  We dressed up like this once to welcome Mamma home once.  I think I've got everything, except the eating the banana part.

 

 

 

Edited by NeuroTypical

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@NeuroTypical I'll add my sentiments to the others'... Glad you're still with us.  I'd miss you if you were gone from the boards, truly. 

It occurs to me that for most of us, if something happened the rest of the fine folks on this forum wouldn't have a way of knowing what happened.  Hmmm  Maybe that's something we can address.  

Anyway, I think sometimes bad things happen to us partly for our own learning, but also partly so that those around us can learn as well.  You pulled though and you shared your story with us, and that may very well save someone else who reads your post and feels motivated to improve their own health.  You may very well have saved a life by sharing your story, and that may very well be Heavenly Father's design in all of this.  It's said that to everything there's a purpose.  

My mom had a heart attack in 1999 and survived, and it sounds like hers was quite severe.  She'd had a sleeping heart attack over the weekend and had gone to a doctor who failed to catch it.  (Looking at you, Kaiser Permanente.)  3 days later she had a massive heart attack so bad they had to shock her with the paddles.  She made a full recovery though, and eventually died in 2014 of lung cancer.  She never had any more trouble with her heart.

I'm 45 now, and I think I'll start carrying baby aspirin around me wherever I go...

Edited by unixknight

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Scary!  Get well @NeuroTypical!

Tastes can be trained and you can swap your diet all round-- my husband and I had to do that when he suddenly got really bad diabetes and went legally blind because of it.  It is possible.  For us, we both made going out of our way to figure out new recipes and experimenting to be a "love letter" to each other-- I'm spending this time and energy doing this because I love you.  Now this type of food is just "normal" to us, as is my *enjoying* exercise for the first time in my life (it was always just a chore before then).  

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