I'm Still Here Against All OddsI'm Larry, a 65 yr old who is extremely lucky to even be writing this. I just got home yesterday. Last Wed the 26th of Oct 2016, I suffered what the Cardio Doctors have been telling me is called a Widow Maker. But that's only part of the story. In retrospect I had been getting worse for a couple of years.
I kept complaining to my doctor. I'm tired all the time. Lack of stamina, no drive, easily tired out. So he originally suspected my heart. I was sent to one of the best clinics in San Antonio who did the work up on me. Somehow after all that they missed it. Lesson learned don't assume doctors are always right. Ultimately we have to be our own advocates, anyway they told me my heart was in superb condition all veins open. So I had sorta checked the heart off my list. We then focused on thyroid and other possibilities.. None of those proved amiss. Meanwhile I kept eating right and going to the gym. But my workouts were suffering. I couldn't keep up. My stamina was waning. I was taking more naps and getting up a flight of stairs was causing me to breathe hard. I'm a non smoker, non drinker, no recreational drugs straight guy. I'm also a Heath nut. I take a barrage of supplements.. Including garlic, CoQ10 and Vitamins and a nightly baby aspirin. I stay on top of taking responsibility for my body. Even to the extreme of cutting salt out of my diet. Also there is no history of heart problems in our family. My father recently passed at age 90.
But I was still gradually getting worse. I was starting to get depressed and gaining weight from the lack of activity. The last few weeks I had stopped going to the gym because I couldn't even do 3 mins on the treadmill without breaking into a sweat and feeling like I ran 5 miles. Then the Wednesday came that changed my life. It was a typical morning except I felt terrible. Totally wiped out. My strength was gone I could hardly move. Then a pain dull but constant in the center of my chest. Felt like I had heart burn but it wouldn't subside. I couldn't take a deep breath and my arms felt like they weighed a 100 lbs each. My eye sight was blurred, I felt like I was getting a headache. Nothing seemed right. All signs I recognized as the on set of a heart attack..
It would get worse than subside then come back and hurt worse. I told my wife get me some baby aspirin pronto. She did. I grabbed a small wrist blood pressure device I had that had a heart beat indicator. Put it on and the typical beep beep beep was all over the map. I was in Afib. I told my wife she said I can drive you to the hospital I said no dial 911. The paramedics came and verified I was in the beginnings of cardiac arrest. So after a really fast 30 mile drive including nitro and updates to the cardio unit we arrived. They took me in and immediately it had subsided ( again ) but came back within a few minutes. They took me into the Catholic lab and went in thru my right hand wrist. I could feel I was passing. Then I was told I went into full cardiac arrest. They implanted a stint and instantly all the pain and bad symptoms were gone. They turned the monitor and did a playback showing me how left anterior descending artery was 100% blocked. That vein had been clotting and un clotting and finally blocked solid. Then it showed the blood returning to my veins and all of the sudden my body had the oxygen it needed. Instantly I was back !! Even more amazing was several hours later my heart sinus rhythm went back to full normal. I have the staff and cardio doctors at Christus Santa Rosa to thank for helping save my life. That and God.