Jan 10
robinsaunders
robinsaunders , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

At 52 I was in top shape, how did I end up with a Quad Bypass?

Hello, my name is Robin. I am 52yrs old. My story involves genetics. I had been in great shape as a Personal Trainer, Crossfitter and Competitor. January of 2016 I started to feel burning of the skin in my neck area down to the upper chest area like I had a bad sunburn. After a couple of months of letting this go I finally went to see a Doctor. He said I had walking pneumonia. After a week I was all better. Then a week later it came back with a vengeance. I had to go see a Cardiologist that week. After he looked at me he recommended a Heart Cath. Twenty mins into this cath they found 5 blockages, two of the main arteries were 100% blocked while three others were 70% blocked. I was totally shocked when he told me that there was nothing he could do for me but open heart bypass. I went in on June 22nd of 2016 and had a Quad bypass. I thought.....I am in shape, I eat SUPER clean and have for years. The Cardiologist said it did'nt matter in my case and nothing I eat or how hard I trained would make this go away. I had bad Genetics!! So you see folks this Heart disease can affect just about anyone. Luckily I didn't have a heart attack because the Doc said I probably would'nt have survived! This Artery disease is the number one killer by far in America..... like my Cardiologist says "Business is good unfortunately and the future looks good for his practice. The problem isn't going away anytime soon". Although that is sad to say, its true. Genetics does'nt play the biggest role in this disease, the unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle does. Most of you probably think you are eating somewhat healthy and "Moderation" you will be ok. Wrong! Americans way of "Moderation" is still the worst thing you can do for your Heart Health! I now love telling my story to everyone I meet and to anyone who will listen. Its been 6 months of rehabilitation and I thought in the beginning that I would never feel better. It does get better. I am back to working out several times a week and gradually building up my Cardio. If you have had a bypass, do what the Doc says!! If he says nothing over 5lbs, then listen to him! I have seen patients not listen and ended up having a Re-Cracked or Popping breast plate... you don't want that!
Thanks for listening.
4 Comments
  • Rhesus
    Rhesus,
    Hi Robin. I like to say that I'm living proof that it can happen to anyone. I had no risk factors either including no family history. I had just finished a half hour on the Stairmaster and was bench pressing when my M.I. hit. In the hospital, the cardio guys were almost indifferent because of my fitness. When the blood work showed that it was real, they conceded that I may need a stent. They administered an angiogram to see where it might go. They took one look at the results, slapped their foreheads, and threw me into a helicopter to St. Vincent's in Billings. Six bypasses later, I was feeling as puny and thankful as I ever had before. In the cardio ward, they kept asking me "What are you doing here?" and "Do you smoke?". A month later, I was back on the slopes (don't tell the docs) and six months later, I was back on the river as a guide with more stamina than ever. It's now 11 years without incident later and I'm still skiing and kicking the Stairmasters' butts. I'm 30 lbs. lighter because my lifting is strictly about toning, not building. And yes, I tell everyone who gets caught within 30 feet of me to keep an eye on your ticker. All the best!
  • ActiveLarry
    ActiveLarry,
    I too was in great shape. Hubris among crossfitters tells them too intense of exercise is good for them. Oops, not true. Eleven years aftrr mine emergency bypass, I know to never be out of breath, but uave a max heart heart rate over 180 at age 64. I play volleyball for hours, known for speed, quickness. But excess CO2 is bad for arteries. May as well smoke. All thosr adrenaline fueled workouts will lead to massive heart disease. Better to do gradual warmups. Feeling the burn, will be so they know what their heart attack will feel like a few years down the road.
  • knowbetterdobetter
    knowbetterdobetter,
    Just wanted to say thank you Robin for sharing your story and the information you provided. Keep telling it to as much as possible you are helping people become more educated and this I pray will save lives!
  • Inrecovery
    Inrecovery,
    Thanks everyone for sharing!
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