Doc's Near Death Experience

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suresh
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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by suresh » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 am

Bhushan,

Best wishes for your forthcoming surgery and I look forward to a detailed report from you on the surgery. Thanks a lot for your words of caution to the younger folks in this forum. About four to five years ago, I discovered by chance that my basic parameters were off and it took some work on my part to get things in order. Now I get tested regularly and continue to work on having all parameters in acceptable range.

Suresh

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by Varma » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:07 am

Bhushanji,

Thanks for taking time to update the forumites of your health. Good luck with your surgery and our best wishes to you towards a full recovery.

- Varma

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by jaydeep » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:50 am

Doc really appreciated ur efforts to enlighten us about ur experience and heart attack ... Wish u a full and quick recovery from surgery.

Jaydeep

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by BSharma » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:02 am

The last thing I expected was a heart attack. When I went to the hospital with heart attack on Jan 10, 2009, my cholesterol level was 150 and the ratio of good versus bad cholesterol was well below normal. My triglyceride level was only 50 and I walked 2 miles a day, went to the gym and played tennis regularly. Obviously there are other risk factors that cause heart attack.
Those are a pretty complete set of factors that any normal person would rely on, if they are watching their health. So I wonder, what else should you have tested for in your annual medical checkups so that this problem was discovered early?
Here is a link to the study done on people from South-East Asian countries and it gives the risk factors, et.

Risk Factors for Early Myocardial Infarction in South Asians Compared With Individuals in Other Countries

Heart Attack, Stroke and Cardiac Arrest Warning Signs

Never be in denial if you are having symptoms of heart attack. Get to the hospital as fast as you can. The worst thing the doctor may tell you is that you do not have a heart attack. Abnormal heart beat due to heart attack is very common soon after a heart attack and it kills the patient if proper care is not available.

In my case, all I had was cold sweats and I told my wife within 10 seconds of the cold sweat to call 9-1-1 and get me to the hospital fast. Being a physician, I also was able to get two cardiologists waiting for me in the hospital on a Saturday evening when I arrived. I was taken to the cardiac catheterization lab straight from the ambulance. I had ventricular fibrillation twice in the cath. lab. and the latter is the best place to have them. Ventricular fibrillation outside the hospital is fatal. God was looking after me and it was not my time.

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by Omkara » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:24 am

Hi Doc,

I think the discussion is heading towards where I would like it most. Till I met my uncles last year, I had a very unhealthy lifestyle and was weighing somewhere around 84 kilos. My uncles used to be my chilhood heroes and I met them after a long gap. I was shocked. Starting from their toe to their head each had some problem or the other. Btw, I have 6 maternal uncles and whats common in them in each have either high triglyceride or high BP. One of them even had a minor heart attack some 4 years ago. My brother who is 4 years elder than me has a far better lifestyle. He is consciuos about his diet. He taller than me ( he is 6 feet and I am 5'8") and weighs around 76kgs. He goes to the gym 3-4 times a week. Plays tennis. He was diagonised of high triglyceride last year. The docs told him its genetic and can't be helped :mad: .

I have modified my lifestyle a bit. I lost weight and eat out less. Cut down on the chips and cold drinks.

I was just wondering does all this add up to a better heart for me or will the genetics part screw my heart eventully :-(

looking for some encuraging words.

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by BSharma » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:27 am

Hi Omkara,

The good news is that those people who have a strong family history of heart attacks (felt to be genetic in nature) can reduce their risk significantly by eliminating other risk factors of heart attack.

My suggestions would be:

1. Get regular check-ups from a physician who is an expert on heart diseases.
2. Get yourself checked for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
3. If overweight, get your weight to normal range. Measure hip and abdominal girth (central obesity - abdomen sticking out - is not good)
4. Once oked by a physician, do regular exercises.
5. Reduce stress (I can't emphasize more). Do yoga, meditation, prayers, etc
6. Eat a good diet
7. Avoid getting depressed
8. Avoid smoking

If your risk factors are very high, your doctor may recommend that you take aspirin daily.

Genetics of Coronary Heart Disease

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by gbelday » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:25 pm

I work out pretty regularly (run 15-20 miles a week) and my weight and BMI are all good. However, my glucose level has always been around 115 for the past few years and my HDL used to be quite low (34). My doctor keeps saying that low HDL are a bigger factor (for heart attacks) than high LDL. Is that true Doc?
I've also tried so many things in the past to improve these numbers. I started to take fish oil/flax seed oil every day and I've seen my HDL numbers go up (around 40 now). People who eat fish regularly should be fine but I don't. However, I haven't been very successful at lowering my blood sugar level though (my mom has type 2). I've made a lot of diet changes over the years and that probably helped me to maintain the levels but I can't seem to lower them. Any suggestions from you doc and other medical experts?

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by Peter » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:46 pm

Doc, Your surgery is scheduled to be in less than 3 days from now. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by BSharma » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:18 pm

Gautam,

Take advice from a good Internist or a cardiologist and not from someone who takes care of children with serious infections :D . HDL (good cholesterol) can be raised by doing regular exercise and dietary changes. If it is still low, a physician may prescribe you a medicne that raises your HDL (talk to a physician about it). The LDL (bad cholesterol) should ideally be less than 100. I have a friend who has high cholesterol (over 300) due to familial reasons and although he has reduced his risk factors significantly, he has not had a heart attack. On the other hand, my blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides were good, yet I had a heart attack. Interestingly, my coronary artery disease affected mainly the vessel that supplies blood to the right side of the heart (most heart attacks occur in the left side of the heart).

Talk with your doctor about blood sugar levels and keep them in normal range.

I cannot emphasize the importance of reducing stress. I believe that stress was an important cause for my getting a heart attack. I would stress about everything - family, friends, work, political scene around the world. Being the only physician in my area of expertise in Eastern Oklahoma, and parts of Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri, I worked 24/7/365 for the past 25 years. My medical college gives me 21 days of vacation every year and I had accumulated over 1 year of unclaimed vacation.

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by ajay » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:36 pm

First of all wish you all the best and we pray to almighty for successful surgery and fast recovery. This forum needs you back ASAP after the surgery as you are so dear to all of us here :)
BSharma wrote: In my case, all I had was cold sweats and I told my wife within 10 seconds of the cold sweat to call 9-1-1 and get me to the hospital fast.
Bhushan, this gives me goose bump as I had some experience, which is still mystery to me.Three or four years back I had a similar experience of cold sweats but thankfully it turned out to be benign. Or, should I just say it was not emergency as I still don't know the reason. I was working in my office that is fully air-conditioned. Suddenly, for no reason I started sweating. I was amused as I had no stress or any thing, I was mentally at peace and only physical work that I was doing was hitting the key strokes on my computer. But within couple of minutes, my shirt was all wet as if I had run a marathon. Actually, it was quite embarrasing at that moment as it looked like as if I had been working out in formal ofice wear. To avoid the embarrasment of facing questions from my colleagues about sweating and the wet shirt, I quietly left the office and drove back home (probably doing all the wrong things as it could be an emergency). It probably lasted half an hour or so and then it was all normal. I even played tennis probably same day or may be next day.

Later I came to know that it could be heart related. So I got an appointment and went to doctor after couple of weeks and told him about my experience. But he couldn't give any reason for the episode. He did ECG on me and said something to the effect that I'm quite healthy and there is no apparant problem. He also said that I should let him know if it happens again. Well, this did not happen again and still it is a mystery for me why did i get cold sweat. But now I do know (especially after your experience) that I should treat this type of experience as emergency.

Bhushan, if you have any comments on this, let me know.

This thread has turned into a discussion on everybodies health and I consider it to be a good thing. I'm atheletic but little overweight (5' 7" 163 lb). I should probably shed around 10 lbs - at least that is my long term goal but I'm finding it tough to even lose 1 or 2 lb (ignoring day to day fluctuation). I can't remember the numbers, but my BP is always good and close to ideal. My LDL was little high some years back at around 125 (hopefully it may be down now) and all other things were good. Last two three years I've been trying to get more fitter and doing regular exercise. Two to three times a week tennis, plus one or two times 2-3 mile run and occasionaly some Yoga. One thing I'm not good at is restraing myself from eating unhealthy stuff. Fortunately, I'm vegetarian and I like to think that it should be helping me. But I think that exercise alone won't reduce my weight further and I need to make some changes in my eating habits. My short term goal is to see the weighing scale below 160 lb consistently and clock my miles at around 8 and 1/2 minuts. Hopefully, I'll reach these milestones and then set some new targets.

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by BSharma » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:11 pm

Ajay,

There are many causes of cold sweats, for example Virus, Infection, Flu, Anxiety, Heat exhaustion, Severe pain, Migraine, Menopause, Hypoglycemia, Hypotension, etc besides heart attack. In my case, I immediately checked my pulse and it was weak and that told me that I was in bigger trouble.

I do not know what caused your cold sweats, but it could have been exhaustion, anxiety, a virus infection or something minor. I am glad that you are doing well.

There is another misconception among people and it is that a normal EKG rules out heart disease. It does NOT. It does not pick up coronary heart disease unless you are having a heart attack.

I am a vegetarian and my cholesterol levels have been good, but about 7 years back my triglyceride level was 300 and I brought it down to 50 with dietary modifications.

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by ajay » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:35 am

Thanks Bhushan for your comments.
BSharma wrote: Never be in denial if you are having symptoms of heart attack. Get to the hospital as fast as you can. The worst thing the doctor may tell you is that you do not have a heart attack. ...
:D :D
C'mon Doc! That would be the good thing to hear, not the worst! :)

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by arjun2761 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:46 pm

Best of luck on your surgery! When you check back into the forum in a week or so, Somdev's India would have crushed Tpe in tennis and Dhoni's India would have reminded the Kiwis why they are named after a fruit!!!

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by BSharma » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:46 pm

arjun2761 wrote:Best of luck on your surgery! When you check back into the forum in a week or so, Somdev's India would have crushed Tpe in tennis and Dhoni's India would have reminded the Kiwis why they are named after a fruit!!!
Thanks Arjun and everyone else for their best wishes.

The last time I was finally taken off the respirator after two weeks and I could finally talk, I asked my children to check the Sports-India website for Indian sports news. I will be doing the same this time also. The doctors expect me to remain on the ventilator for two days so I should be able to talk by Wednesday. You may never know there may be a note from me at Sports-India cheering the Indian teams to victory. :D I will not be able to type because of severe pain in chest (surgeons cut open the breast bone to reach the heart), but I will try to get my wife or kids to do the typing.

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Re: Doc's Near Death Experience

Post by punarayan » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:48 pm

Doc, You will be in my thoughts next week and hope to one day shake your hand and congratulate you on your contribution to those around you. You have done more than your share. You are quite special!

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