A MUST have for me on any hunt, and is always with me.

wonderman4

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Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
193
Location
South Texas
I was visiting my Endocrinologist one day and she asked if I had a Cardiologist. When I said no, she hand wrote a list of three names of cardiologists. I picked one, made the call and the appointment. Her explanation was that being diabetic, some nerves don't always work as they should.

I went to the cardiologist, and he wanted me to start out with the calcium scan. That was not covered by insurance, so I paid the $119 out of pocket. I flunked that one. Next was the stress (treadmill) test. I almost made it the complete course, but my arms gave out and I had to quit on the last leg. By the way, I was wearing my "hiking" boots at the time mainly because I wore them all the time.

Next appointment he told me something is there but I can't identify what. So, next came the catheterization thru the wrist. The cardiologist identified blockages of 95%, 70%, 60%, and 50%. I HAD NO SYMPTOMS WHAT SO EVER. No chest pains at all.

My Primary care physician described me as a heart attack waiting to happen.

The cardiologist told me he wanted bypass surgery. He stated that stents had a limited life span and he wanted to do something more permanent. So, I had quadruple bypass. Recovery was a hard even though I had no pain afterward. Believe me, it hurt like hell to cough, and still does some close to 2 years later.

I have always had a very active lifestyle and never considered heart disease as something to worry about. My thoughts on that have since changed. I am over 70 yrs old and walk most days 1-2 miles, sometimes a little more. I ride a bike 2 days each week and I lift weights 3 days each week. I consider my self extremely lucky that GOD pointed me to the Endocrinologist who literally saved my life. And, I told her that face to face. I told the cardiologist that she saved my life. He agreed.
 

RAGGED EDGE

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Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
478
Location
Yellowstone Country
It all come down to: As you age you need to realize who you really are; NOT who you think you are. I'm 74, listen to my Doc (he's a WY native who came off a ranch) and long ago figured out I'm not Super Man. I never leave home without baby aspirin.
 

Muddyboots

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,980
Location
Michigan
I wrote this some time ago but still relevant for this thread.

LINK: Heart Attack

One point I did not mention was they missed one of my blocked arteries that caused an actual heart attack back in my room just after returning from stents. The nurse placed 2 nitro tablets under my tongue and stopped it IMMEDIATELY! Nitro DOES work and I can attest to its effectiveness since I believe it likely prevented SERIOUS damage to my heart. I was taken back to cath lab and they found it and placed another stent.

Nitro DOES work!! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

There are times to be macho but dealing with your heart and or health is NOT the time! Listen to your body, there are no penalties to be wrong! The potential catastrophe is not worth the risk.

Listen and do not delay getting help!
 

lobo56

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
122
Location
Heart of Texas
I worked in the hospital setting for 25 years and very familiar with the process of these situations. The advice and comments being posting here are excellent. Procrastination will get you nothing but dead. Whether it be stroke or heart attack, time is of the essence. Don't let your macho side do the thinking for you..........Get your butt to the hospital.
 

lobo56

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
122
Location
Heart of Texas
I read your post and it scared the crap out of me. I’m mid 60’s with a family history of high blood pressure and heart attacks but I myself have dodged those bullets so far. A wake up call for sure. Thanks
With history and so far, no problems, you should probably have a cardiologist following you. You definitely should be discussing with routine doc to do a referral, I would think. Early intervention is crucial before you have problems. Just saying, with history!
 

BearDawg

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
8
In my experience working in the ER Aspirin 324 is indicated for any person with chest pain. Nitro is not always indicated. If you give it and it’s a right ventricular main stem it can decrease the preload and after load causing making your BP to tank and you to go into a Vfib arrest. We always look at an EKG prior administration of nitro. Now with that being said cardiologists can prescribe nitro stable angina but those people had all the heart test prior as well.

The best thing is to pop an aspirin 324 and head on down the mountain. Taking it easy and try not expert yourself too much.
 

Old rooster

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Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
700
Location
Montana
It is so cool to actually have doctors on this site giving life saving advice.
When I went in "The Room" to have an angiogram I was scared as can be,terrified would be a better word.
Hearing all these accounts of their events scares me into losing weight,exercise and eating right so I can be around for my 2 grandchildren and my wife of 49 years.
A toast to Good Health to all...
 

22250imp

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Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
101
Location
Eastern Colorado
Two years ago I believed I was a fit 53 year old dude, active and aware of avoiding certain “lifestyle” indulgences that “increase risk” for cardiovascular “events”. My physicals were all good and I was never prescribed a medication for blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes. The last thing on my mind was being acutely prepared in the event I experienced a heart attack. By that I mean, I worked out, avoided tobacco, ate healthy food and did not do any drugs so why would I need to have some simple items in my pack that if used during the early phase of a heart attack, could save my life and preserve heart muscle. I knew what a heart attack was and had a little bit of training in dealing with them so there really was no excuse other than I never thought it could happen to me. Wrong! Fortunately, when my heat attack presented I was not 6 miles into the wilderness on a back pack hunt, or 5 miles off shore fishing. I was .5 miles from an ER working out in the gym at 10 AM. When the tell tale symptoms started I was able to get to the ER and receive life saving treatment that cleared the proximal blood clot in my left anterior descending artery before it damaged my heart. Then, after a look at what was going on in the cath lab I was faced with the reality my coronary arteries had been building up to this moment for some time and underwent triple bypass surgery. So what should I have had with me and do carry with me now, besides the standard first aid and emergency contact devices I have had?? A botttle of Chewable baby aspirin and some nitroglycerin. Why chewable baby aspirin? In a pinch chewing up any aspirin would have the same effect but baby aspirin has flavoring that cuts the edge of the very sour and bitter taste. When experience chest pain and symptoms nausea often is part of the bodies reaction so baby aspirin is ideal. Chewing it releases the active molecules into the blood faster and they will help move blood through the blocked artery in your heart and keep downstream muscle alive!! Without blood for an extended period of time muscle cells die. In the heart this is called myocardial infarction MI. We want to get blood moving down stream past the blocked artery. Nitro helps because it almost immediately opens the arterial passage (vasodilation) giving more room for blood to flow! An acute heart attack happens when some of the arterial build up we have as we age breaks free and our body automatically recognizes this as an injured tissue and activates the clotting cascade. It’s the clot that forms rapidly inside the artery that blocks the blood and creates the symptoms of a heart attack. It also is what can kill heart muscle if not dealt with rapidly or kill you. What to do? Study the symptoms and listen to stories from your friends who have experienced this and survived to tell about it. Mine symptoms were very mild and not remarkable, but I knew they felt different and realized they were similar to the classic symptom of a heart attack, so I acted immediately.🙏🏻 My clot was very proximal (far up stream) in the artery, it has an infamous name… “widow maker”. Had I experienced this a few weeks later on a hunt last fall I most likely would be a memory and not typing this post right now. No matter how healthy you are, male or female, mid 30’s or 60’s we need to be aware this can happen at any moment as we all develop some form of arterial plaques that can potentially rupture and cause a heart attack. Risk factors just make it statistically more likely and it’s never impossible. Have some baby aspirin handy, know the symptoms of an acute event and listen to the stories from survivors like me. Stories and knowledge, that was all I had when it happened to me. That and the dumb luck of it happening in such close proximity to a hospital. So, that’s my story, and if you have one please share it whenever possible because it just may save someone’s life. Good hunting and safe adventures!
Good advice. Baby aspirin will be in my pack from now on.
 

nicholasjohn

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Joined
Feb 12, 2019
Messages
833
Location
Vancouver, WA
In my experience working in the ER Aspirin 324 is indicated for any person with chest pain. Nitro is not always indicated. If you give it and it’s a right ventricular main stem it can decrease the preload and after load causing making your BP to tank and you to go into a Vfib arrest. We always look at an EKG prior administration of nitro. Now with that being said cardiologists can prescribe nitro stable angina but those people had all the heart test prior as well.

The best thing is to pop an aspirin 324 and head on down the mountain. Taking it easy and try not expert yourself too much.

Good call, BearDawg. That's why a prescription is required to get the nitroglycerine, and aspirin is an over the counter drug. It's a lot harder for the average guy to screw up with aspirin. Not impossible, but we're talking one-time use here, and only for an episode of chest pain. A guy who is on blood-thinners for atrial fib should make sure that he isn't using aspirin on a daily basis - unless it was prescribed that way as part of the cardiologist's regimen. It can screw up the clotting time and cause all kinds of problems. ( They prescribed that for my mother years ago when she couldn't tolerate coumadin.) Years ago, I worked in the cardiac unit, and I couldn't believe what people would ingest on a regular basis, because so & so had told them "it's good for the heart." Sometimes we could fix their mistakes; sometimes not. Self-prescribing can be bad news. Far better to just talk to the doctor about things like this. The aspirin for chest pain will probably get his "thumbs-up."
 

WYO300RUM

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Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
1,831
Location
Wyoming
It all come down to: As you age you need to realize who you really are; NOT who you think you are. I'm 74, listen to my Doc (he's a WY native who came off a ranch) and long ago figured out I'm not Super Man. I never leave home without baby aspirin.
You don't look that old.... 😉
I just turned 64 and have so far not had any heart problems. Everything else is worn out though. My dad is 85. He has had 3 heart surgeries. Bypasses, stents, etc. His first he had at age 45. Smoked a lot and bad diet. He's never smoked since first and eats well now.
 
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MNbogboy

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Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Messages
927
Location
Northern MN
I do now. When I had the heart attack I “walked into the ER” as I was very close and new something was up. So, part of their protocol for a STEMI in process was to “chew up some baby aspirin” 4= 320 mg and nitro sublingual spray as needed along with the Heparin IV and other stuff we can’t really carry in the field. I have a nitro prescription filled now as a back up to have in the field. I don’t think it’s available over the counter. The Nitro really seemed to work immediately for me when I felt the pain which was coming on (feeling like a cramp in my heart). It would “relax” and I felt better. Most of us won’t go through what I did, but if you do, having some baby aspirin may buy you enough time to get EMR response and further treatment. Just something I feel we all can have handy just in case, as well as the other key stuff in our first aid kits. I thought about all the hunts, fishing and hiking I was doing without it handy over the past few years and this could have happened at any of those times where help was not available right away.
Thanks for the informative report. Like you two years ago if i had been better equipped and informed I may have avoided my ischemic stroke this past winter. Doctor that removed the clot from my brain feels it was caused by a clot which formed after plaque broke free in my aortic arch. 4 years ago during routine physical the doctor shrugged off my complaints of minor chest discomfort and shortness of breath. Subsequent blood work up showed high cholesterol levels. He based his opinion on the fact that i told him I drug my deer out that year for over a mile! My guess is that if he would have prescribed medicine to combat colesrol at that time I may not have gone through the he'll of stroke recovery. My left side was affected and my left hand now is swollen, numb and virtually useless. I will turn 70 years old while I'm on My solo hunting trip in Wyoming this fall. My recovery has gone well and i expect to be climbing, walking and packing as in any western hunt.
 

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