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Michael Johnson

Posted By Michael Johnson || 25-Feb-2019

In 2009 I underwent 5x vessel cardiac bypass surgery. Always being active ie: snow and water skiing,,, swimming,,,, hiking,,,road cycling ,,,, In fairly good shape aerobically and strength ,,,, I had no inclination that my heart viablility was comprimised. While walking up my "circle route" about 2 miles uphill and 2 miles back down, I noticed a burning in my chest the size of a quarter. The stronger I walked ,,, increased the intensity of the burn and as I paced down,, the burning reduced in intensity. I repeated the scenerio 3 days consecutivley with the same results. Back at work I talked with one of our Cardiologists and he schedueled me for an excercise treadmill. The results of that were negetive. Blood work normal ,,, no strong family history of cardiac disease,,,no history of chest pain or myocardial infarction episode. So next was my scheduled Nuclear Cardiac rest /stress scan. Result were: I was only perfusing only about 25% of my left ventricle. Most vessels were occluded at 50% or better, with the left main at about 68% ( the widow maker). I then went immediatly to the cath lab for localization of the occlusions the sched for Bypass surgery 4 days later. There was at that time still no "real" diffinative diagnosis of why I had such extensive heart disease. My post surgery was progressing well until approximatley 4 months post surgery, I came down with whooping cough. So violent were the coughing spells , caused my freshly wired sturnum to break apart. I could hear the popping as I was coughing. I was then resched for a rewire in October. After that little proceedure, I experianced a pain level at about twice as high as the initial surgery. From the first time in the surgery suite until after the rewire, about 5 months, I still didn't have time to mentally prepare or process what and why all this was taking place. As I recovered,,, the lingering question was what had caused all this fun. That following spring ,, with my follow up Dr visits going well ,, the question I always put forth to my Doc was "why". After a little joking ,,, he asked if I was sleeping well. My truth meter (my wife) was with me at that visit and she blurted out,," No,,, he snores then gags,,,, then stops breathing and I have to kick him to jump start his breathing"! My Doc says "well there you have it" ,,,, time for a sleep study"!! With the sleep study done , the results were about as pronounced as my Nuclear Rest/Stress study was. I would stop breathing 136 time and hour. The accumulated time of those pauses added up to 32 minutes of every hour I was not breathing. Thats Sleep Apnea folks. Which caused my heart disease,,,. to the extent it almost sent me to meet thy Maker. So the moral of this true to life episode is: Do not let anything that could be related to causing heart disease go un-investigated. ANYTHING.! I am 10yrs out ,,,, doing the things I love,,,, and making the adjustments to my lifestyle that will let me match my Grandfathers age at the time of his passing,,,,,, 100 yrs old ,, and spunky.
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