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Prince

Heart Issues

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hi everyone, 

Apart from the Maestro, Mr  Ex-Hasbeen, no one is aware of this but thought I would post to perhaps help anyone else or to gain any insights from others that may have gone through this. 

just over a week ago, I was running at lunchtime,( it was a Tuesday),  and just after my warmup, about 8 minutes in, going to what I call Zone 2 (about Heart rate 125+) I felt some tightness across my chest and also a sore jaw. Similar to how you feel running in cold weather. It wasn't painful, more just uncomfortable. I of course immediately stopped and started walking. All the pain went away as soon as my heart rate stopped.   I was thinking it may have been a chest infection because as you know us triathletes tend to sometimes have some ailments such as colds and we still run.  I ran on the Sunday before completing a good 18km with some up tempo during the last 5 km with no issues. 

On the Wednesday I tried again and the same thing happened. once again I felt it and walked after it happened and again all symptoms disappeared. 

I immediately made an appointment at my GP that afternoon still hoping it may have been bronchitis or something. He expressed concern and referred me to get an echo cardio stress test with an electrocardiogram and referred me to a cardiologist. 

I took the test the next day, on Thursday. I have had a stress test before but this was different. They ultrasound my heart at rest before I got on the treadmill first. Then they put me on the treadmill and get the heart rate up. This time I only felt a bit of throat burn but at a higher heart rate, around 145 ppm. They then rush e of the treadmill, quickly make me lie down and do the ultrasound again. I was out of breath a little more than usual. The worst part was the assistant making me breath out then hold it. That was bloody hard as I needed to breathe so I felt like saying to her, 'you bloody try this' as its fricken hard to go without breathing after I just finished running. 

Anyway, they got their pics, and all the cardiologist said was, 'you definitely have a blockage.' 

it was an agonising wait over the weekend as I had my appointment with my proper cardiologist on Monday. (the lady cardiologist the did the test was just the one doing the test.)

She put me on aspirin as well as some blood pressure tablets and something that lowered my heart rate in the meantime.

I can't tell you the range of emotions I felt on the weekend, everything from tears, anger and thinking that my exercise life was over which has been a. big part of my life. Of course I was also terrified as to what an angiogram entailed which she indicated I would probably need to have. Still I wouldn't know more until Monday when I saw my assigned cardiologist.

I saw the cardiologist last Monday, this week, who booked me straight into the procedure which was to occur on Tuesday of this week. 

To make matters worse, I found out to my surprise my private health fund wasn't going to cover the procedure. I was shocked as I specifically thought when choosing my fund that heart procedures were covered. Somehow two years ago I amended my policy after I rang 'I Select' and went to another fund but as he stuffed up the quote, after three days I went back to HCF which was my original fund. At the time I asked if HCF could do a slightly better deal and in doing so the heart procedures in hospital was left off. Anyway they reviewed it and then still said no as I should have read the whole policy when it was sent out in the mail. I mean its my fault as I didn't really want to read the 15 page document,

The good news is that they will fast track me into the public system which will take about two weeks, so thats ok, its the same surgeon so I can handle that.

I am now in the process of just waiting. Unfortunately I have booked every race under the sun as I wanted to do heaps of events before the sunny coast 70.3. This included the Gold Coast half marathon, Also, a 4 hour cycle race for charity around lakeside in 3 weeks, then the olympic distance tri in Yeppoon, then the Sunshine Coast half mara, bridge to bridge run then the 70.3.  Of course I pulled out of the Gold Coast half mara and the lakeside ride and will wait and see re the others. 

If I have to get a stent, well, many people still compete after several weeks, easy to start with but no reason not to be back to full fitness eventually. 

 

So the up side I am lucky I picked it up as I could have been another statistic, as some don't get the chance, i.e Neil Pagey and also a mate of mine who competed and had a massive heart attack. Its bloody hard though having going from training twice a day to nada.   

So if you ever have to get a stress test, it may be worth paying the extra money and do the echocardiogram as just running on the treadmill may not tell all the story. and also check your health cover. I have changed mine to NIB now, a little bit more but at least I know my hospital is more comprehensive. Trouble is comparing health covers is not like comparing apples to apples. It is so hard to read through what is and what isnt included. And I wouldn't go to I select or any of the others as I think they have their preferred providers. Go straight to the provider themselves.

cheers, and as Douglas Mccarthur said...I will return....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Prince

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Jeezuz , I'm sorry to hear about this but glad you've at least had it identified.  Races shmaces mate, eyes on the prize for a long and healthy life.  Keep us posted B) 

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Great news that you listened to your body and had this checked out.

Thanks for sharing.

All the best. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery. 

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Very glad you didn't do the 'she'll be right mate!'

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Self identified! You are one of the smart and lucky ones. Great stuff.

Dont be concerned about the short term lack of training. Look at the long term picture.

Also, I personally think the body needs a really really really good rest after a big race or season.

Me.... After Port..... I reduce to 1 swim per week, one ride per week.......and no running until July 1st. That's why I am still doing this sport after 28 years.

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The best part of this is you are still here to write the story, many others would disregard the symptoms, so well done, get better and you can come back to racing later on.  

My dad who has led an unhealthy life was found unconscious at work last November by my mum on a Friday night, dad had a heart attack when closing up his shed at work at 7pm, he was the last one there, when he had the attack he fell to the ground and had a direct impact on his face on the concrete floor, as a result he has been in and out of hospital since, has had a heart procedure (i cant recall what it was, but what you describe is familiar i think), he has a severe brain injury from the fall, slurred speech who he is seeing a speech therapist for, his long term memory is poor (doesn't remember is address, birthdays etc), it has affected his hearing and just last week has had to now start wearing hearing aids as they say he has lost 80% of his hearing since the fall, has gone back to work but suffers constant migraines and can only work half days now and has a rest day on Wednesdays, he is not allowed to drive as he is continuing to have black outs so he has surrendered his license - my Dads life is now poor quality, but it is a result of poor attitude to his health for as long as i can remember and it is all linked back to his heart attack in November - He's only 62.

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On ‎29‎/‎06‎/‎2017 at 4:41 AM, Prince said:

Cheers, and as Douglas Mccarthur said...I will return...

No doubt you will.  As you stated in your post we are often guilty of pushing through even when we don't feel great.  Glad you listened to your body, and got checked.

 

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14 hours ago, KieranR said:

My dad who has led an unhealthy life...

It's interesting reading about your dad, and knowing that you are choosing a healthier lifestyle.

Wayne Pierce, the Ex Australian and Balmain Tigers captain who was also known for being one of the fittest and healthiest players at the time, was the son of a man who lived a very unhealthy lifestyle.  Yet Wayne's son Mitchel (also a footballer) had a few demons of his own with some problems with substance abuse etc.  Thankfully it looks like he's got himself sorted out now though.  Healthier options are always the best choice.

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Wayne Pierce grew up when football was still tough (you know, when tri was still tough), and like a mate of mine, saw what the bad choices did to his dad and made a conscious decision to be different/better.  But his son has grown up in a time of excess for footballers, with so much handed to them on a platter way too young to handle maturely and we see many many of them with problems, though barely reported on if you ask me.

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33 minutes ago, goughy said:

Wayne Pierce grew up when football was still tough (you know, when tri was still tough), and like a mate of mine, saw what the bad choices did to his dad and made a conscious decision to be different/better.

I think that's exactly what happened.  I think too many of us see others making poor choices and think it's ok to do so because they seem to get away with it, then every now and then you get a wake up call when someone dies or has a close call far too early.  Unfortunately heart issues can be both sudden and terminal... there may not be much of a warning.

My diet has always been pretty poor but reading and hearing things like what's on this thread does prompt me to make more of an effort.  I just need to maintain it.

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its called stable angina. not life threatening itself but needs treatment. many don't know they have it. 

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hi, yes, I go in two weeks. have to stay overnight. The  cardiologist said after two weeks I can resume training but easy to start with. I do know of a friend who have actually had a new heart valves and competed back to ironmans so a stent doesn't seem so bad in that respect.   I changed my health insurance now as if I had the one I have now I would have had the surgery last week. 

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Pertinent topic.

53 year old mate felt crook after getting hit hard at soccer 10 days ago. A teammate offered to drive him home. 5 minutes after leaving the ground he arrested in the passenger seat. Driver dragged him out and started CPR, ambo arrived and he had defib x 10 which is top of the range apparently (if he arrested at ground defib would have been on within minutes). He has been in ICU in induced coma since, attempts to reduce sedation not successful over course of the last week.

He woke up yesterday and today the message we received says he is all there, cracking jokes and talking smack,sitting out of bed and would be one of the luckiest men alive.

A friend is a paramedic, I was shocked to learn the hard way that only about 2% of people who arrest outside hospital actually ever leave hospital. she reckons less than 40% of arrests they arrive at are receiving or have received  CPR.

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25 minutes ago, Parkside said:

A friend is a paramedic, I was shocked to learn the hard way that only about 2% of people who arrest outside hospital actually ever leave hospital. she reckons less than 40% of arrests they arrive at are receiving or have received  CPR.

I'd believe it. I did life-saving when younger, and then kept up first aid at work (until about 10 years ago it was compulsory for anybody in Telstra outside the office to do regular CPR updates). I still keep up to date off my own bat now, as I don't want to be one of those people that can't help. 

And whilst my kids don't have the formal training, I've taken them through everything they need to know to keep my heart pumping in the case of emergency.

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Hi Just an update which may help some of you who have to experience anything similar.

I was set to go in initially about 5 weeks sgo. It wasn't until he hospital rang me and said it looks like your private health insurance doesn't cover you. Anyway, yep, they were right, I thought i had the top cover and the only thing it didn't cover was any cardiac. 

So the cardiologist got me into he pubs system really quickly. Iw as lucky. That was scheduled for 4 weeks ago. My sister came to pick me up and take me in and just as she arrived the hospital rang and cancelled me as their were no beds. 

They rescheduled me for two weeks later. this time i made it in. I had to sit in a waiting room until 10.00am till 4,00pm though. but i was okay and wasn't complaining as i had me music with me and laptop. (though hospitals don't have wifi).

So it went pretty quick. i had my wrist shaved and went straight in to the theatre. They give you a valium so you are awake for the whole procedure. I had an artery 80% blocked so got a stent. Another artery was 50% blocked but they don't stent those. change in lifestyle can fix this. 

Had to stay overnight which was hell, as you don't get sleep as so much is going on around you, and they come and wake you up and do blood pressure and pulse every hour or so. the food was pretty bad so really did touch it either.

Got home, had a few days off then returned to work. 

after two weeks, had a small gym session which went okay. treadmill about 15 mins, no issue. 

most excitng thing was i had my first run yesterday. just a half hour. kept heart rate low. My heart rate has never been lower. Will build up to an hour tomorrow just at a really low heart rate.  totally zero symptoms. 

 

I transferred my sunshine coast 70.3 to bussselton in december so will be fine by then.  I had entered sunny coast half marathon and half tempted to run/walk it. just for training, as no one refunds money on those events. 

There would be hundreds of people out there though walking around with blockages so at least by exercising at a high rate, i found out. 

 

 

 

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Great to hear things went well (at least on the 2nd attempt). Does exercising worry you at all at the moment. I know it "should be all right if you're controlling your intensity, but the mind doesn't always listen to those arguments when there is the chance to needlessly worry.  

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No.  Strangely. Not worried at all. I am keeping heart rate at around 120 so nothing hard yet.  Tested it up to 128 for a while I was getting some symptoms before the op at 125 heart rate.   

I have read a lot.  So technically I should get fitter now my artery is wide open.  

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Great news! It doesn't need saying but listen to the docs, they know best! The first time I used a defib in anger as a Community First Responder was for a chap who had been told a week earlier to stop running but was training for a marathon so had gone out for a "gentle jog". Collapsed 200m from being home... fortunately I was booked on and was 3 mins away so we got him back on scene and he survived :D

Very much one of the lucky ones though!

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