Well, Sat 14th was interesting and exciting, for all the wrong reasons. We were meant to go to Brooklands for the Double Twelve event and put the 09 Model T on the Model T Register stand. But as I'd had a couple of angina episodes in the week I decided to take things easy until the Cardiac Clinic appt the GP had set up for next week.
9.30am Sat I got a chest pain. It wouldn't go away when I sat down, so I phoned 999 as per GP instructions. Within 10 mins, 2 lovely young paramedics (Luisa and Deana) turned up in a Volvo estate and hooked me to an ECG. 5 mins later 2 even lovelier ambulance crew arrived (Hannah 1 & Hannah 2). I was beginning to see side benefits here. These 4 angels agreed I was 'having a cardiac event'. Not a garden party for the British Heart Foundation, but code for 'You're having a heart attack, but if we say that out loud, you'll panic'. They got some pills down me and a squirt of nitro-glycerine in the mouth, then we had a white-knuckle, blues-and-twos ride with the 2 Hannahs to Frimley Park Hospital.
At Frimley, we careered with the stretcher down miles of white corridors to the PCI unit, where 6 technicians stood waiting. As they prepped me and booted up the systems, the pleasant Indian cardiologist Dr Rathore arrived, briefly discussed my history to establish how many previous grafts and stents he would find. Then they set to, sliding the catheter into my right hand femoral artery. I was fully conscious throughout. Dr Rathore popped his head round the radiation screen, set up at my waistline to protect the team from the Xrays being beamed at my chest, to keep me updated at each stage. At the end he showed me a video replay of the before and after. The whole process took a couple of hours; I had constrictions and total blockages in arteries on both sides of the heart and they used 6 stents to open them up. Bear in mind, I had bypass surgery 20 yrs ago and have been carefully supervised by my GP since, controlling my blood pressure and diet, taken statins, aspirin etc for about 18yrs, but still my coronary arteries silted up. There is obviously no substitute for a regular 'stress test' examination if you have a family or personal history of heart disease.
Today, Monday, I am home, feeling fine, on light duties for a few weeks and very glad to be alive.
Jem, as much as we old car people tend to be nostalgic for bygone days and bygone machines, I am quite happy to have available all the wonders of modern medical science. Glad to hear everything worked out well.
In the framework of "two nations divided by a common language," what is a "blues-and-twos ride"?
Jem, glad you are doing well!!
Glad you're doing OK!
I'm glad to hear you are home and recovering. Thank goodness you recognized the problem and had competent medical assistance in a short time. I hope all goes well with recovery,
Blues and twos - flashing blue lights and two-tone siren. And we dial 999 here for emergency, 112 in mainland Europe. Also, some of you may find this a bit contentious given some of the stuff I have been reading about US healthcare - I don't get a bill for this, it's all on the National Health Service, coming out of the taxes I've paid all my life.
You survived your medical emergency. Now I hope you survive following the reference to national health care.
Have a good week,
Yep, we're all dealt a hand of genetic cards at birth. If we play them right with diet, exercise, and avoiding stupid habits, we can keep the clock ticking until our genetic hand folds. So far we haven't found a way to beat genetics.
Like Dick, I'm glad for modern medicine, and glad it was readily available. Hoping for a speedy recovery.
Scary stuff. Glad you're gonna be okay.
Thanks for telling us, Jem. Aren't you glad you called for the lovelies? My friend who lives half the year in Cheltenham, drove himself to the hospital, and his heart stopped in the entry. They rushed out and revived him.
He is one who can't take statins. They caused muscle loss. I've seen on tv that statins don't improve results other than lower the test numbers. Your case validates that?
What year did you join the Forum, Jem, 1998? I wish you many more productive years here.
Ralph, I know that Jem was on the forum before 2003 because we met up at the Ford Centennial in Dearborn.
Jem : I hope that all goes well with your recovery, I know what it is.
Do's that mean, you are not in France this year?
All the best from Holland
Jem, I am glad you survived and are still with us. As for UK healthcare, my wife and I have a friend who lives in Southport (Manchester). A few years ago, he had to have major surgery. First, he had to get on a waiting list (like U.S. Veterans do) for months. Then, when he had the surgery, a problem with the incision developed and it took over a year for it to even close up, much less completely heal. His healthcare reviews weren't as 'glowing'.
OTOH, Terry, I am getting outstanding care from the VA. It's far better than either UC Irvine or the private practice, even though I have the best insurance available.
Ralph, I'm glad your local V.A. is providing you such outstanding care, Evidentially, you don't go to the V.A. in Phoenix, AZ. My late father-in-law, retired from the service in San Antonio and lived there until his death. He used private healthcare. He wouldn't have anything to do with the local V.A. He did go to Brooke Army medical Center pharmacy for his medications, though.
Wow! Take car Jem and do exactly what the docs say.
So you wuz having a heart attack and then saw angels. I bet when you meet up with them again to thank them, that they will actually be Big Mike, Eddy, Antonio and Bucky ... tattoos and all ... !!
.. nuthin' wrong with dreamin ... just sayin'
Glad yer alright Jem. It's always better to grope a nurse than rope a hearse!
All this stuff is a lottery. I could have hit the day all the paramedics were on a major incident and the top cardiac man was off at the Foot ball world cup.
Some years ago my wife had a life threatening gallbladder problem. Even with insurance, nothing could be done beyond stabilising her in hospital. All the gallbladder specialists had just taken off to Scotland for a weekend conference ( code again, conference = golf at Gleneagles).
We are both still here, so some of our lotto numbers have come up.
Thanks for all the messages. I'll probably be lurking here for a while 'cos I can't play with my toys.
Jem, glad to hear you're doing fine now. What impressed me was not the medical care but your ability to remember every ones names under condition that were less than ideal. Best wishes for a continued recovery!!
I'm glad that your Harem took good care of you and kept you on the green side of the lawn.
This morning when I woke up I realized that I broke my own personal record for most consecutive days lived.
I hope you continue the streak as well.
: ^ )
Glad to read a happy ending, be sure to keep up on your regularly scheduled PM.
Wow, what a 'short story' of your medical event. I'm glad it turned out with a happy ending. Take real good care of yourself so you can soon get back with the T 'toys'
Before reading your posting I was feeling sorry for myself that I had to work a longer than normal day. Ok ... once again -- I've got nothing to complain about!
I'm so glad you made it ok and as said earlier be sure to follow the doctor's advice etc.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Well, I am glad you got help and are recovering.
It is scary for something like that to happen.
Take your time and recover and enjoy life.
I had a "false alarm" over a month ago and got the over night stay with monitor and stress test and such. All came back ok, later got a mri. Still dont know what happened that morning but for me to let my father drive my Cadillac to take me to the hospital, trust me I thought I was fixen to have the big'n.
But nothing found wrong other than blood pressure being up. I could tell a longer story but the 1 thing I will say to the crowd that has not had a stress test. It is very rough to go thru. Since I cant walk well, I could not do the treadmill. They shot me full of a chemical.150 beats a minute and I thought my heart was going to jump out and leave.And I did not get over that feeling for over a week of just total fatigue and weariness.
All clear except for something related to the second beat being premature or something.and a palpitations? anyhow, still here.
Sorry this is a little long but worth reading thru
Magic Bank Account
Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use.
However, this prize has rules:
1. Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account
with another $86,400 for that day.
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can
say, "Game Over!". It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted
right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and
care for. Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly
spend it all on yourself, right?
You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you
knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?
ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL
Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can't seem to see it.
The PRIZE is *TIME*
1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a
gift of life.
2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is
NOT credited to us.
3. What we haven't used up that day is forever lost.
4. Yesterday is forever gone.
5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can
dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT
SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?
Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in
dollars. Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life,
because time races by so much quicker than you think.
So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!
Here's wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start spending...
But in Britain those $86,400 are only £50,976. You have to live faster in England.
In Britain this is known as diet. Each day you have to take off pounds from the total.
I went through the heart attack part 6 years ago.
I got two stints. One artery was 99% blocked, one was 95.
Then last October I went and had my mitral valve repaired and they did a single by-pass.
But Jem was lucky, as I was, we stayed alive during the heart attack.
Many people just drop dead as soon as the heart attack takes place.
I was sleeping when I had a heart attack. It was painful enough to wake me up. I got up woke my wife and walked to the car and then into the hospital.
I've had Bypass after one stint get fixed, I got real lucky and got the head of thoracic surgery , who had just finished his second surg. for the day and was up for another one. My first visit to the cardiologist gave me a heart attack on the tread mill. I refuse the treadmill now and will not let them run into the ground.
Jem! Great job on calling it in quickly - when you're having an episode the sooner they can get to work on you the better.
However, you failed to get pictures with your medics and ambulance crew! Fail! LOL =) Glad you are ok.
I just got through reading an email from our family friend in Southport. He said from the time his colon cancer was diagnosed to the surgery where they removed the tumors and redirected his colon, was four months. Maybe that's average time in the UK. Maybe that's average time here in the U. S., but I would be very nervous waiting four months for something to be done about something that can spread with as devastating results. Ten days after his surgery, the incision reopened and for whatever reasons, his doctors either couldn't close it, or didn't want to close it and let it heal naturally. He had to have further surgery to insert mesh and protective barriers in place. For three years he has had to clean and change dressings on the wound on a daily basis. It is ongoing, but he has hope. He hopes the incision will be completely closed in another three months.
Jem, I'm glad you had good, prompt care and are doing as well as you are, considering the circumstances.
Good point, Terry. One of the complaints at some of the VA hospitals that are currently under fire is inordinately long wait times, As you point out, time can be of the essence and four months can make all the difference.
It became clear on the Indiana Covered Bridge tour in 2008 that something abnormal was happening in Anja's brain (language confusion, inability to remember common words, etc.). She saw her doctor when she got home, had an MRI less than a week later that revealed a mass in her brain. We were in the neurosurgeon's office the next morning. He explained what he was probably going to find (a glioblastoma multiforme - he was right) and she was scheduled for surgery nine days later. After a week or so to recover from surgery, she started six weeks of highly targeted radiation together with chemotherapy. After the radiation, she had a year of chemotherapy (five days a month). I am convinced that the combination of the skill of her doctors plus the speed of her treatment was what gave her the additional four years and nine months of life. GBMs are nasty, aggressive, fast-growing tumors and a couple of months would most probably have been too late.
Guys, and gals too, read this PLEASE!
If you don't carry a little bottle of nitro pills you'd better start now.
When you get the symptoms of a heart attack just put one little nitro pill under your tong and let it dissolve.
The pain should go away in three minutes.
Whether it does or not, get to a hospital.
The nitro could save your life by letting you live long enough to get help.
Ya, I know, I'm not a DR. So ask yours about it.
When I had a heart attack I had my wife drive me to the near-by Kaiser Hospital.
They don't do heart attacks at that hospital.
I should have called an ambulance, they would have know that and rushed me to one that does.
The hospital I went to called and ambulance and had me taken to a non Kaiser hospital two blocks away because I was running out of time.
Ask your Dr. what to do and where to go if you should be caught having a heart attack.
TIME is VERY IMPORTANT!
I will confirm that calling 911 is very important. I think that many of us believe that driving to the hospital is okay. When - in addition to all the other stuff Anja had going on - she had a TIA in January 2013, I called 911. The emergency operator was superb and help showed up very quickly. (In our community, that meant ambulance, fire department and police.) Don't be the Lone Ranger. Call for help.
One thing we've noticed is that when you arrive at the ER by ambulance, you get attention much more quickly than if you arrive by car.
I knew a guy who tried driving himself to the ER while having a heart attack...
Ralph Statins do reduce death form heart attacks as does Aspirin and other blood thinners as well as controlling blood pressure. However the extra increase in lifespan with using them is disappointing when looked at a population level (as opposed to an individual level). I work in a health system (New Zealand) that is more like the NHS in England but has some user pays features of the American system. We have our beefs with our system as well . However overall I think we deliver reasonable healthcare at a fraction of the cost of other systems. As an outsider looking in the American health system looks really good if you have money (or are a Doctor like me) but I'm not sure how good it is for those who are more financially challenged. Certainly occasionally on forums I have heard some horrendous US$ costs for procedures people have had when I do them in my office routinely every day for what would seem like peanuts. I would be interested to learn more of how it works for your guys -Karl
Calling the ambulance is the thing to do. the Paramedics can get an EKG on you in the house before or as they load you up, transmit it to the ER, and the doc will be waiting for you. If you are in a community with a hospital that does angiography and grafting, the ambulance will take you there. Many people suffering a heart attack die from an electrical problem rather than from the MI. These often occur in the first half hour. DON'T DRIVE YOURSELF TO THE ER!! You can't do CPR on yourself if you collapse in the car, the ambulance will have to pick you up somewhere on the road with the wife trying to do CPR on you, or you'll crash and take out somebody else! Don't wait till morning thinking "it'll go away and I'll be fine". Time is heart muscle dying! There are drugs to open the arteries up that work best the quicker they get in if they can't get you to the cath lab quick enough (like my town where we have to fly them by airplane 200 miles away). That gives the cardiologist enough time to cath you later that day. The preferred system is if a cardiac hospital is within an hour, to send you straight to the lab from the ER. That is speeded up if the EKG is done by the paramedics and the lab is ready for your arrival. If you think you are having a heart attack, chew a single aspirin before the medics arrive. This simple cheap step has saved lives and heart muscle. With strokes, the same goes only quicker. Again, time is brain! The quicker you get the clot busting drug the less damage the stroke causes. This might be the situation I would have someone drive me to the ER if that was faster than calling an ambulance. If the patient has slurred speech, nonsense sentences, or can't talk, has weakness in an arm or leg, and has an irregular smile (partial facial paralysis) don't waste time.
TV said the other day: Part of the problem with statins is people think the statins will let them continue with their artery clogging diets.
Received a statement today from a heavily endowed nonprofit hospital for a couple of hours waiting in ER for a minor procedure done by Interventional Radiology.
Sterile Supplies: . . $689.15
Emergency Room: . . 470.45
Treatment Room: .. $2587.75
Total Charges . . $3747.35
Adjustments . . . -3105.02
Insurance Payment -577.33
Total Balance Due . $65.00
My insurance is Medicare $104 per month plus private insurance overlay of $100 per month. The Insurance payment above is what Medicare allows.
If I had no insurance, the hospital would be coming after me for the full $3747.35 . Medical bills are the single greatest cause of personal bankruptcies in the US.
Medicare and me will be getting separate bills from the two doctors involved.
I am a General practitioner so basically like a country doctor who is first port of call for about 3000 patients. Today I saw people with the Flu (winter here) through to people having a heart attack (Morphine, Aspirin and Ambulance to hospital). I also took out a couple of moles that had changed. The Government contributes to Health care costs ( a set amount per patient per month) and I charge for seeing the patient Currently about US$30 for about 15 minutes max of my time. About 40 patients per day The minor surgery cost the patient about US$90. Most pharmaceuticals are Government funded but some of the newer really expensive drugs aren't . Most lab tests are funded as well . Taxation rate here max of 33% and 15% sales tax-Karl