Open Accessibility Menu

My Post Surgery Was Progressing

Sleep Sleep

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 viability was compromised. While walking up to 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 scenario 3 days consecutively with the same results. Back at work, I talked with one of our Cardiologists and he scheduled me for an exercise treadmill. The results of that were negative. 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. Results 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 immediately 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" definitive diagnosis of why I had such extensive heart disease. My post-surgery was progressing well until approximately 4 months post-surgery, I came down with whooping cough. So violent were the coughing spells, caused my freshly wired sternum to break apart. I could hear the popping as I was coughing. I was then reached for a rewire in October. After that little procedure, I experienced 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 times an hour. The accumulated time of those pauses added up to 32 minutes of every hour I was not breathing. That's 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.