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Thread: I am lucky to be alive!

  1. #21
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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    Yes to be never sicker than after I went to see the doc but the reality is with cardiac issues the number one symptom is sudden death. It's an interesting choice I kind of experience. Better to know you're compromised and need to pay attention or just check out without ever having worried about it? I haven't decided yet.
     

  2. #22
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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    Glad you made good decisions so you can be here for your family and your future. Thanks for the advice and caution.

    Nick

    “If today is not your day,
    then be happy
    for this day shall never return.
    And if today is your day,
    then be happy now
    for this day shall never return.”
    ― Kamand Kojouri

  3. #23
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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    Man, age doesn't necessarily discriminate with these kinds of things - I had a nasty left leg DVT when I was 26 that pretty much went from the calf veins and up to the common femoral vein. bad. When I went to the ED the doc was 50/50 on sending me away with RICE instructions for a pulled muscle, but ended up running a precautionary ultrasound. After the study, everyone immediately swarmed around me with various needles (blood draws & heparin) and told me not to move. So that clot pretty well resolved with proper management by my hematologist at the time, and after coming off coumadin, I was tested for all the things. The only thing that came back was a weak inherited thrombophilia (hetero Factor V Leiden). So I make the decision to go off thinners after a year and switch to 81mg ASA.

    Good to go for 7 years, but I'm a stubborn SOB and stopped the ASA after 5.5 years. Well what do you know... I catch another clot in the same leg but not as extensive. By this time I was living in the USA (moved from Canada in 2014), and had the misfortune of Kaiser's HMO for my insurance. When this clot didn't resolve and left my femoral vein partially occluded, I came to understand just how shitty the "treatment" was that I received. When a clot doesn't resolve properly, you generally end up with some degree of post thrombotic syndrome, which can range from swelling all the way to ulceration. PTS is essentially a disability. I was 33 and left with chronic pain that was giving me panic attacks. I switched insurance as quickly as possible and started to reach out to specialists that were specifically referenced in medical publications on the sequale of venous disease. This research actually landed me up in Modena, Italy, where I was seen by two excellent vascular surgeons that did the correct diagnostic tests to discover that I had a congenitally compressed left iliac vein, which was resulting in these thrombotic events only in the left leg. The genetic clotting factor was at worst a red herring and at best an aggravating co-factor. In the end, I connected with an excellent specialist on the east coast that was able to both remove the chronic occlusion as well as place the stent necessary to ensure I stop having these clots.

    I guess the moral of my story is that you shouldn't assume most physicians are all that great or even looking out for you in a proactive manner. You really need to do the research and be your own advocate for a good outcome. I'm very, very thankful the OP happened to personally know a good doctor that had their wits about them.
     

  4. #24
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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    Quote Originally Posted by 9tubes View Post

    I don't understand the comments above about calling an ambulance. If I were in the position of the OP I would have someone immediately drive me to the university medical center 1 mile away. Much faster than waiting for an ambulance. But what's this about ambulances getting some sort of priority service and others waiting in the ER to be admitted? That's nuts. Do you mean that a person coming in and declaring "I think I'm having a heart attack" would get the reply "that's nice honey, just sit over there and we'll get to you"?

    My point about the ambulance vs walking into the ER is that if you do have an emergency (chest pain) the response should be no different. The opposite is true as well, if you have a minor injury and take an ambulance then you will probably end up in the waiting room anyway. What I don't think most people, especially v-saloners, realize is that people will call ambulances for the most ridiculous nonsense you have ever heard of. Literally stubbed toes.


    PSA: Learn CPR for your family and friends.
     

  5. #25
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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    Thanks, DJ.

    I had an episode of Afib in 2004- one-off, never to recur or need medication. I have been paying close attention to my heart ever since.
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    Glad to hear you came out on the upright side of things, it was wise to go to the hospital the way you did too. People don't realize it but ER walkins don't get looked at as fast as those being brought in by ambulance, unless it's something obvious like an axe stuck in your head then they might take you in really fast, but with no obvious signs of severe injury you'll be sitting for a few hours, and in that time you could die.

    Thanks for sharing that story and what you did, by you listening to your friend you lived, I hope you thanked him.
     

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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    Quote Originally Posted by 9tubes View Post
    Do you mean that a person coming in and declaring "I think I'm having a heart attack" would get the reply "that's nice honey, just sit over there and we'll get to you"?
    I came into Emergency and declared "I've just been bitten by a Redback*, here it is in this jar. I am going into shock** and will collapse in a few minutes"

    I actually did get the reply: "Go sit over there, we will get to you".

    My wife, who drove me in, sat next to me. A couple of minutes later I said to her "here we go" and duly collapsed. She says fortunately one of the nurses was walking past and saw me go, next minute I was on a trolley into ER. Hooked up to a monitor, heart rate of less than 30 and BP of 40 over nothing. That got their attention.

    * Australia's second most deadly spider, basically a black widow with a red stripe.

    ** It's not actually shock it's a severe vasovagal reaction but I didn't know that at the time.

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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    Quote Originally Posted by krooj View Post

    I guess the moral of my story is that you shouldn't assume most physicians are all that great or even looking out for you in a proactive manner. You really need to do the research and be your own advocate for a good outcome.

    But isn't that what we hire them for? I have a pretty limited amount of patience for high-priced experts who cannot communicate or who are not proactive.
     

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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    Quote Originally Posted by 9tubes View Post
    But isn't that what we hire them for? I have a pretty limited amount of patience for high-priced experts who cannot communicate or who are not proactive.
    Most will likely agree with your patience statement but the fact is there are lousy professionals in every field, mds are no exception. Unlike most professional fields medicine is one with immediate life threatening consequences. I've personally experienced two serious episodes where the mds were less than adequate, one with a life threatening issue, as well as friends who've experienced similar unfortunate circumstances. If possible ways be your own advocate.
    Take care of yourself in this time of crisis and realize sadness, anger and grief are part of the process Brian Clare

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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    I don't understand the comments above about calling an ambulance. If I were in the position of the OP I would have someone immediately drive me to the university medical center 1 mile away. Much faster than waiting for an ambulance. But what's this about ambulances getting some sort of priority service and others waiting in the ER to be admitted? That's nuts. Do you mean that a person coming in and declaring "I think I'm having a heart attack" would get the reply "that's nice honey, just sit over there and we'll get to you"?[/QUOTE]

    It is a good idea to call an ambulance, because it comes with a defibrillator and people who know how to use it. Someone experiencing chest/jaw pain due to cardiac issues is at risk for ventricular defibrillation, a heart rhythm that causes immediate unconsciouses and death within a few minutes. The heart is quite irritated when blood flow to it is restricted. When in ventricular fibrillation, the heart quivers like a bowl of jello, and is unable to pump blood. A defibrillator shock can cause it to pump normally again.

    Some paramedic units in larger cities can do 12 lead EKGs which can spot cardiac artery blockages. If they see this, they can arrange to take you straight to a hospital cath lab to get it fixed. No wasting time in the ER. Also, they know which hospitals have cath labs ready to go, so they can bypass a hospital unable to give you the immediate treatment you need.

    “Time is muscle” is a paramedic and ER mantra. Wasting time may cause more cardiac heart muscle damage. The outcome could devolve into a patient that goes home with heart failure and gets an E-bike. Of course, there are worse outcomes.

    All that said, it is your choice of how to address the issue. I spent 16 years as a paramedic, and if I was convinced I was having the “Big One”, I would probably call 911. If I feel lucky, maybe I would get a ride. 65yo and still kicking!
     

  11. #31
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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    Aside from all the reasons in the last post I'm not going to drive myself nor am I asking Karen to drive me because I think in either case the driver will be a little distracted when I start flopping around like a fish.
     

  12. #32
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    Default Re: I am lucky to be alive!

    One of my daughter’s close friends had a tragic experience that scared her and her sister for life. There father had a heart attack and they chose to drive him instead of waiting for an ambulance. Their father died in his children’s arms as their mother drove to the hospital. Impossible to say if he would have survived if they had waited for the ambulance. I had not thought about it for some time, but I do remember how devastating it was. I cannot imagine.
    Bobby Plotkins

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