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  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member houghchrst's Avatar
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    I sit here and started actually dwelling on my appointment with my cardiologist. He said it so quick and so casually that I heard it but it made no impression though it rang out but he kept talking and I was trying to stay focused. 40% blockage in both carotids. I kept hearing it but my mind was sort of blocking it out, the importance of the statement. The impact this is going to and should have on my life. So I Googled. Yep, scared. My mom had both of hers done and the doc who did the surgery butchered her and she had terrible scars on both sides of the neck from her surgery. Almost bled out on the OR table. They had to crawl on top of her to apply enough compression to stop the bleeding. She was so horribly bruised everywhere afterwards.

    I am now officially terrified. I don't know why the doc who ran all of the tests neglected to tell me. He made like everything was fine. This new doc seems to be nicer and more caring and I like him a lot better but I am pissed that the first cardiologist let me believe everything was okay for almost two years. So I sit here and cry while I wait for it to sink in and decide how I am going to tackle this because it needs to be addressed. Immediately.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Community Member jingle's Avatar
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    Oooooooooohhhh, Chris --- what a blow, what a SCARY blow. I am so sorry this is happening -- even sorrier that you are facing this mostly alone.
    I am praying for you.

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    Distinguished Community Member tic chick's Avatar
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    chris ,

    i know you were planning to quit smoking. it's probably the most important thing you can do. your health improves so much even within a month of quitting. you're going to have to quit if you decide to have surgery. give yourself a health-start and do it asap.

    i think you said your mom smoked, too, but she also drank. the combination makes things synergistically worse, maybe why your mom had such a bad outcome to her surgery. you don't drink, so that's a good thing.

    here is a link to 3 types of surgery you can discuss with your doctor: https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/d...arotid-artery/ you mentioned dyslipidemia in a previous post. perhaps discussing a statin drug with your cardio doc, if you aren't on one, would help. another discussion you could have is if a combination of quitting smoking, going on a diet and a statin plus maybe aspirin would be an alternative to surgery. it's probably going to be your rx after surgery. i don't know if having a 40% blockage in both arteries means you can't do anything short of surgery to make it better.

    dunno why the first doc seemed so nonchalant, but chris, you have to know you have probs if you had a heart attack in your 50's. i'm not trying to be mean, but you know you take care of everybody and everything before yourself. you have not loved yourself at full capacity! there is a diet called the DASH diet for hypertension. it looks like a sustainable plan.

    you know we are all in your corner. so many people are ready to support you. it's hard. it's scary. it's life or death now. really.

    love you,
    jeannie

    ok...9/1. i read this article: https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/d...otid-arteries/ i'm interpreting it to mean that 40% blockage is noot yet a moderate blockage. you haven't mentioned symptoms, so you could be asymptomatic. maybe this bodes well for the cardio doc to do aggressive therapy less than surgery. i hope so.
    Last edited by tic chick; 09-01-2019 at 01:40 PM.
    Here's to good women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
    "The world is a better place when you're barefoot." Mark
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  7. #4
    Distinguished Community Member houghchrst's Avatar
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    Rose I think of Forks OVer Knives every time I turn on my computer or think of BT or you. I have watched it three times and even looked up vegan recipes for meat lovers. There is a lot out there. We are both big water drinkers so that is not an issue. The trick is to turn off that pop craving. Switching to sparkling water really helped both of us but then you have to be careful because of the salt. I have already cut my intake of salt for both of us except for what comes prepackaged.

    Cutting out red meat will be hard as we both crave meat but we love fish and fowl so maybe ease more of that in. We love veggies and Jared swears he is allergic to peach family foods but I think it was just a one time thing but he likes apples and grapes and berries and other fruits.

    My counselor in rehab told us that if we are giving up an addiction to do one at a time. Failure is more likely if trying too much at once. They never bothered us to quit smoking because we had all given up our drug addictions or were trying. I waited three years after that to quit smoking. Took three tries but we did it. I had support then.

    I wish it we had started the walking last spring. now it is getting ready for winter and we won't be doing much walking around here. I told my PT that I wanted to be able to get on my bike and ride. My house backs onto a path that was built by the county that goes from one side of the city to the other and I see a lot of bike riders and walkers there. Jared even expressed a desire to learn to ride. Blew my mind. No my child cannot ride a bike. I was so disappointed when he threw in the towel.

    I know what I need to do, I know how to do it, I have the skills and the knowledge now it is a matter of making my will stronger than my addictions to food and cigarettes.

    Another issue I have is cooking. I cook dinner every night and pay for the standing time but Jared is left to his own devices for other meals which means he might have a bowl of cereal, every once in a while he will make himself something easy during the night. Chicken nuggets, a sandwich, another bowl of cereal or whatever was left over from dinner. Our hours are different and that is all my fault. I am up early and he sleeps all day then is up all night playing with friends. Does this mean I need to make his meals to start or just offer healthy alternatives, I can't picture him nibbling on carrot sticks then munching an apple and being satisfied or happy about it lol.

    If I was to get rid of everything that was not good for us my kitchen would be pretty much cleared. I will be grocery shopping week after next I will check out some appetizing easy cheap dishes to start with that could be appealing for him.

    Love Instacart and have used it quite a few times. One of my local stores offers it to EBT clients you just have to pick up. Can't be delivered but I like that you can make an order to pick up at a later date. So I can go right from recipe to shopping and arrange to have transportation at that time.


    I still have my motivational chalkboard with some sayings on it I need to work on that, some rewrite and add ons, get back on to therapy regularly and Nan can help me with things, another person to be 'accountable' to. Last time I used post it notes everywhere and had some projects planned to keep myself busy, LOL washed walls in the entire house last time. Can't do that now but I do have lots of crafting hand work that can be done.

    Another thing is that you guys are the only ones who know. I have not told anyone else. I did make a comment on FB about quitting smoking due to my health and my ex "SIL" told me to call her. I have not yet. I know that I will cry so I have been putting it off. I don't want to tell Jared because I do not want to lay another burden at his feet. He is already so anxiety ridden it is terrible. My SIL will be matter of fact about it and try to be a comfort and give advice. I will not find any comfort and she will tell my ex "MIL" and she will be hysterical about it and act like I am dying.

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  9. #5
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Chris)))))) ~

    This is overwhelming news for you, and you need a little time to process it, as well as make a plan. As Jeannie said, it's time for you to make yourself the number one priority.

    When is your next appointment with your new cardiologist? I suggest that you make a list of questions to ask him at that appointment, including why your first cardiologist didn't tell you about the 40% blockage, and also ask whether the blockage could be less or the same now. New testing seems to be in order, before anything is done.

    Ask your new cardio what kind of surgery you will need, other alternatives, as Jeannie mentioned, and what you can do for yourself to improve your condition.

    In fact, call his office and make an appointment for this purpose, if you don't have one scheduled.

    Stewing about what might be and could happen is not healthy nor helpful to you. Ask questions and get straight answers, so that you know the facts and aren't wondering or guessing.

    We're here for you. You're in my prayers. Stay strong and be your own best advocate.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. Now, they watch over Jim and me.

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  11. #6
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    red hot pepper and or mexican food could clear arteries maybe
    "Here's an unpopular opinion: I'm actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations. Sorry. If some innocent men's reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay." Teen Vogue writer Emily Lindin

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  13. #7
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    reading too much medical info could be bad -dont smoke and eat right and maybe only a little red wine is ok i pray youre ok
    "Here's an unpopular opinion: I'm actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations. Sorry. If some innocent men's reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay." Teen Vogue writer Emily Lindin

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    brown rice and green tea might help-i dont like doctor shows or med ads now -they stress me out
    "Here's an unpopular opinion: I'm actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations. Sorry. If some innocent men's reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay." Teen Vogue writer Emily Lindin

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  17. #9
    Distinguished Community Member houghchrst's Avatar
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    Thank you clouds for the advice. You are right watching and reading too much medical info can be a huge stressor. I didn't know about the mexican food but I do not a lot of spices and herbs they use are beneficial.

    As for questions to ask the doc, all I can think to ask is the how do we fix it and why wasn't I told last year. I don't know what to ask.

    I am so scared, I found a whole plethora on things through Google. Most of what I am finding is prevention and ways to keep it from getting worse, there really is no way to reverse it that I am finding except for surgery. I am hoping it does not come to that. All I can think about is quitting smoking. Ha lol, I was just getting ready to buy a new cigarette roller. I haven't had a whole cigarette in days, maybe a week.

    Last night I thought of all the things I need to do to prepare myself for quitting smoking, the mind set, then I thought how nice it would be to just get up and throw everything away and have that be it. This sucks enough to drive me to tears. Who cries over quitting smoking.

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  19. #10
    Distinguished Community Member tic chick's Avatar
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    chris ,

    why not just throw everything away and have that be it?

    it's going to suck quitting whether you do it in 5 minutes or get into the "mind-set" for quitting. what is your mind-set for quitting process? i really want to know. i know you understand this is serious and life threatening. what i don't understand is why not just quit now? you know what it was like watching your mom die, the grief after, the missing your mom still. you don't want to do this to your boys.

    you know, all the years my husband was drinking, i asked him to quit. i asked him to go get help. i cooked healthy food. he got a check-up every year. then we separated. i watched him go downhill with his eating habits, not moving around enough, getting a-fib. hte kids didn't say much to him, maybe my younger daughter did when they lived together the last 4 yrs. of his life. all i got was denial, that he had everything under control. i realized adults have free will. at a certain point, people will do what they want to do, oblivious to the consequences coming. and who was i to tell him what to do? i loved him. it didn't matter. he had 3 great kids. it didn't matter. the addiction was stronger than any love he had, even for himself. it makes me incredibly sad, still.

    so, come on, chris. please quit. get a group together of former smokers. smoker's anonymous. ask if you can call them anytime you feel an urge to light a cigarette. i volunteer to be on your list. i smoked. i was an emotional eater. i beat both addictions. eating was harder than smoking for me. once i lost the craving for cigarettes, i never even wanted to light up. i still deal with the eating part everyday, though because you have to eat, just not the way i used to.

    don't cry, pull up your big girl panties and do it!

    written with much care and empathy and love,
    jeannie
    Here's to good women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
    "The world is a better place when you're barefoot." Mark
    "Don't go there unless you know the way back." TC
    "...there will be an answer. Let it be." Paul McCartney

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