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Since I post here more than anywhere else...


Devilbat
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...I guess I'll just share my recent experience with my G.I. Joe buddies:

 

Guys...I just dodged a MAJOR bullet. (No pun intended.) For the past three weeks or so, I have been having some weird symptoms. I had just gotten over a bacterial infection that I've been dealing with since October, and I was getting back to normal health-wise. But then I began noticing after the least bit of physical exertion, I would immediately be out of breath, and my chest would burn as if I had ran a marathon. And I'm talking all I would do is walk across the room. I'd also experience chest pain and tightness, along with dizziness, headache, and the occaisional nausea. We called my IG doctor that had treated the infection since the antibiotic I had been on, we learned, can exibit those symptoms in some cases. But he said it should have been out of my system by then. Well, of course I continued to do this for a few days, and I began to think it was something heart related. After all, my grandfather, uncle, and great-uncle all died relatively young from massive heart attacks. So after one particularly alarming spell my wife took me to the emergency room. The doctor on call did EKGs, blood work, x-rays, and he kept me overnight to do a stress test and a CT scan. Nothing. They told me there were fifty-seven different things that could mimmick a heart attack, and they were sure they eliminated everything life-threatening. However, they did recommend checking with my regular physician if I kept having symptoms. Well, I did. I even had a bad spell in the waiting room at the doctor's office, so he referred me to the cardiologist I had seen years ago for some chest-wall pain. (They concluded that's all I was having back then.)

 

Well, I got home and had yet another bad spell, so my wife took me to a second emergency room where they did some more scans and tests...and THAT visit was inconclusive. They also referred me to one of their cardiologists and sent me home.

 

Frustrated, worried, and just downright scared, I made my appointment with the cardiologist, and after discussing my symptoms he wanted to do a heart cath on me. That's a procedure where they insert this wire into the artery your leg, groin, or arm, snake it up to your heart, and then use dye with a moving x-ray to see if you have any blockages in the main arteries in there. Then if you do they take the wire and insert a little mesh-wire stent that opens up the arterial wall thereby relieving the pressure of the blockage. He tells me that stress tests are only so accurate, and that a heart cath would be a more definitive test if there were heart issues going on. So I agreed to have it done. Even if there was nothing going on heart-wise, I'd know for sure and could move on to other explanations. And I have to admit...I've been terrified of heart problems well-near my entire life. But I was such a hypocrite; I've always had a fear of heart disease and/or heart attacks, but did I ever do anything about it? No, I didn't. I've just always had a hardy appetite, and I would just eat whatever I wanted, and to heck with the consequences.

 

They set up the procedure for a week later, and my wife and I were just on pins a needles. I kept thinking, "What if it really is heart trouble, and I'm about to have a heart attack any day, minute, or second now?" On Tuesday of this past week, even on light duty at work, I began to get worsening symptoms. So I tried to call the doctor's office to see what I should do. I had to leave a message for the nurse, but I never did hear back from her. I got home that afternoon and found out she had indeed called me back, but it was on my home phone and not the cell phone I called from, and she had called back at 11:00 that morning. But by the time we had gotten home, their office was closed. So I left a second message since our nurse at work had been checking my blood pressure all that day, and it was sky high. So naturally I began to get really worried...

 

The next day, I got a call early on, and they wanted me at the hospital as soon as possible. So my wife and I leave work, get down there, and they want to do the heart cath right away. They take me back, do the procedure, and guess what...seems I had a 95% blocked artery in my heart!! No wonder I couldn't breathe after five steps on level ground and thought I was dying!! They put a stent in and relieve the artery instantly. I was briefly terrified and extremely relieved all at the same time when I found out what had been wrong. Had I ignored my symptoms and not had this checked out, I might have had a heart attack.

 

The doctor did tell me that the particular artery wasn't a major one that would have done alot of damage, but it still would have damamged heart tissue thereby causing problems for me down the road. But I'm tellin' ya guys...it was a hair-raising experience I'll never forget. The doctor also told me the rest of my arteries are as clean as a whistle, beautiful even, in his words. So this has been a huge wake-up call for me, and it serves as a clean slate as it were, for me to start living more healthy. I already feel twenty years younger with the stent in. It's amazing; I guess I just didn't realize how bad in general I actually felt before. I can breathe so much more easily now, and I just feel much, much better in general. Now I am having to take a whole pharmacy of medications until I get back on track with my overall health, and they're even talking about doing some cardiovascular rehab in a couple of weeks. Otherwise I'm feeling like a new man, and a very blessed and thankful man. God answered many prayers for me this week.

 

And you might see me more frequently on here in the coming days; I'm not allowed to lift anything over five pounds since they went through my groin with the cath. Oh yeah...that was another harrowing detail; since they chose to run the cath through my groin, there was the possibility I could have bled to death if that had ruptured or if I didn't lie perfectly still for five hours after the procedure. So as you might imagine, I'm extremely relieved tonight. (lol) But I just thought I'd share my dramatic week with my TNI buddies, just in case you might have wondered where I've been in the past few days (although I highly doubt you did). (lol)

 

P.S. I did in fact tell my wife, among other things, that in case anything happened to me to come on here and tell you guys. I didn't want to just "disappear" one day and you all not know what happened to me. Seriously...that's how much I've come to love you guys. You're my collecting brothers, and my friendships here have meant alot to me.

 

#US1#

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man! glad to hear it man... God Blessed you in a big way with this ordeal. Of course, it was probably only like 20% blocked when you first started ignoring symptoms years ago lol

 

I am the same way too.. I don't go to the doctor and I don't really worry about anything.. If I am walkin, I am good to go :) I wonder if I went and had a full work up how much stuff they would find wrong with me? But you know us dumb guys.. "Me strong like Bull" ahahah

 

Anyhow.. thanks for sharing your story with us.. and I am really happy to hear that you are okay

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Scary... and glad you found it in time, I think it's a kick in everyone's pants to eat and be healtier.. and when I finally kick the bucket.. I want all my facebook homies to come on here and let me TNIers know(cause I doubt my wife would remember all the message boards I go to, lol).

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Glad to hear you are ok!! That sounded scary! Ive been there. I almost died in my mid 20s thanks to some stupid doctors that could not figure out I had a bacterial infection in my intestine for 9 months! @loll@ We need to start a club!!

Draven

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You almost died?! Wow, I'm glad everything turned out okay Draven. Just before my heart issues, it had taken me three months to find out I had actually been suffering from what they call a "c-diph" bacterial infection. Basically your body is depleted of good bacteria along with the bad whenever you take too many antibiotics, and that allows the naturally-occuring "c-diph" bacteria to thrive and take over your colon, making you extremely sick. The only thing I could figure is that I had taken a bunch of antibiotics back last spring because my lymph nodes kept swelling up, but my ENT doctor couldn't figure out why. They even cut one out for a biopsy, but it tested negative for anything bad. So I guess on and off I've been dealing with health scares for almost a year now. I went from the lymph node thing to some bad gout flare-ups, then on to an upper-respiratory infection, then the bacterial infection, and right into heart problems. Sheesh...I'm not sure how to feel now having been through so many health issues. I've went from worrying every day, feeling awful and not sleeping well to feeling better than I have in years probably. I just don't know how to act. (lol) As far as I know though, knock on wood, everything's alright now.

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Yep DB! That is exactly what almost got me! If unchecked it can end up killing you. I was one of the first documented young people to get it in the US last decade. It used to be considered an elderly illness. I had been on a lot of antibotics and both parents were at hospitals within a few months.... so I picked up there some how. Glad you are ok DB!

Draven

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(lol) I'll be a charter member. Sign me up. I've got scars to prove I've earned it!! (lol)

 

In all seriousness...I do feel as if God answered my prayers along with the many people and churches that were praying for me. Maybe I wasn't near death, but it sure felt like I cheated it. I've been so relieved and full of energy ever since. You guys just would not believe how good I've felt this past week. I feel like a teenager again! God has indeed been very good to me, and I so appreciate everyone's responses. Thank you all.

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Devilbat man I'm glad things are good, it's keeping up the diet and exercise that seems to be the hardest. I'm part of the club too. Few years back all I ever did was party. It almost took my life, now I have a heart problems and shaved a few years off my lifespan but at least I'm stable again. From a wheelchair to a walker to a cane now back to living a normal-unnormal life. I do thank God above ereday that I'm still around for my family and friends....that said when bad things happen and you surivive, the aftermath is the air really is sweeter, food does taste better & to hear someone say they love you is just so much more. And the toy collecting although its just stuff it is a form of therapy. When I was sick my sis bought me a Marvel Legends, War Machine (very Kewl). There I was in the back room of my mom's house all sick and depressed about being bed-ridden (I lost everything) and this one lil toy made me smile, it brought me back to a place I had lost so long ago. Summer days spent outside trading joes, losing weapons in the dirt, building forts for Joe and Transformer allied forces, building homemade parachutes and tossing joes out of my window hoping a stiff breeze would carry him back to base........So when I got better naturally I started collecting again. The thrill of the hunt took the place of the thrill of the high. I've slowly started to replace all the old toys I traded, lost or gave away and it makes my heart that much stronger. Our toy collections weren't built in a day so I hope you take it easy and slow getting better and are around for years to come, hell I hope were all around for the 50th Ann for GI Joe, ( I'll prolly still #@$#@ about not getting a Sgt Slaughter).......its good that all the hunters and madmen are here to support you as well, even if it's only our words and our prayers.....keep your head and heart up Devilbat the world isnt waiting on any of us

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Sorry Joe!! But hey look on the bright side, you have a little kid to feel like a little kid again in a way! ;) And great story GD! Glad to hear you made it back! I started collecting in a dark time in my life too and it helped me get out of that!

Draven

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