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Widowmaker discovered BEFORE heart attack
luckyman2013 posted:
I'm a 53 year old man, nonsmoker, run 10-15 miles per week, eat pretty well on average, am retired with little stress day to day, positive attitude kind of guy...however, I am finding it hard to realize and accept the significance of the gift I just short story

After returning from vacation last month, I went on a run and felt funny after 1/2 mile, slowed down and it went away. It felt like maybe indigestion or heartburn, wasn't sure..we just got back from Mexico. The next day it happened again, and I stopped running and rested. The following day I felt a similar discomfort in the middle of my chest while having sex with my wife and told her about it. She called right away and got me an appointment the next day with my country GP doc, who after interviewing me ran an EKG and asked if I had a cardiologist. He referred one and got me an appointment for the next day (Friday before Memorial weekend) That doc normally doesn't make Friday appointments so I figured he wanted to do a stress test or something like that. I met with him and he shortly called the local Cath lab to get me in right away ( 2 hours later!)
They did the heart cath and immediately spotted a 99% blockage in my LAD, called an heart surgeon to insert a stent and kept me overnite for observation. My Cardiologist told me how close I was to not surviving the weekend...
Here is my dilemma...I did NOT suffer an catastrophic or painful "event" to trigger all this action. It was very minor discomfort and PURE DUMB LUCK that made this all happen. I am having a difficult time coming to terms with everything and realizing what a gift I was given. I feel fine and the same as before all this happened. I know I need to change diet and intellectually know what happened, I just havn't grasped the immense reality of my situation. I am not asking for attention or sympathy as others have suffered this malady and didn't make it or have severe damage.
I have been a cheerleader to my middle aged friends about listening to your body, and not ignoring any signs or symptoms. I must assume that God has some work for me to do or complete somehow for me to have this happen and not have the dramatic and fearful crisis of a heart attack. I know I have bad family heart genetics and higher cholesterol, and was aware of the chances of something happening eventually, but I figured I would have some warning of some kind ( which I did)
Anyway, for anyone else who has experienced this kind of blessing, I would like to hear from you...

Thanks for reading my story,
cardiostarusa1 responded:
Hi Mike:

"...I did NOT suffer a catastrophic or painful "event" to trigger all this action. It was very minor discomfort."

As reported, the symptoms of artery-narrowing atherosclerosis are highly variable. Those with mild atherosclerosis may present with clinically important symptoms and signs of disease and heart attack, or absolute worst case scenario, sudden cardiac death (SCD) may be the first and only symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD). However, many individuals with anatomically advanced disease may have no symptoms and experience no functional impairment.

"I know I have bad family heart genetics and higher cholesterol"

Also as reported, a risk factor merely increases the probability that one will develop cardiovascular disease, BUT doesn't 100% guarantee that one will develop it, nor does its absence (or even the absence of ALL known risk factors) 100% guarantee that one won't have a heart attack or brain attack

It has been known for quite some time now that atherosclerosis begins (the process/progression of) at a very early age, even as early as in the pre-teen/teenage years.

Coronary stents (drug-eluting or bare-metal) are only a Band-aid or spot treatment, as it does not treat the underlying disease process and what drives the progression.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a life-long unpredictable condition (can exhibit periods of stabilization, acceleration, and even some regression), requiring a continuum of care,

Best of luck down the road of life.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



Be well-informed


Living with Heart Disease

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

CAD is a chronic disease with no cure. When you have coronary artery disease, it is important to take care of your....

This is especially true if you have had an interventional procedure or......

Recognize the symptoms......

Reduce your risk factors......

Take your medications......

See your doctor for regular check-ups.....

Coronary artery anatomy

Starting with the left anterior descending (LAD). The most critical, next to the ultra-critical left main (LM).


Heart-Healthy Foods

Nothing complicated, just plain and simple

AVOID foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol. CHOOSE skim or low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt and reduced-fat cheeses. Eat more fish and poultry. LIMIT servings to five to seven ounces a day. TRIM visible fat. Limit egg yolks. SUBSTITUTE two egg whites for one whole egg or use an egg-substitute. Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, breads and cereals. USE LESS salt and fat. SEASON WITH herbs and spices rather than with sauces, gravies and butter.

_ . _

Good to know, for the primary and secondary prevention of heart attack and brain attack/stroke

Epidemiologic studies (EDS) have revealed risk factors (encompasses some new, novel or emerging) for atherosclerosis, typically affecting the carotid, coronary and peripheral arteries, which includes age, gender, genetics (gene deletion, malfunction or mutation) , diabetes (considered as being the highest risk factor), smoking (includes second and thirdhand), inactivity, obesity (a global epidemic, "globesity"), high blood pressure (hypertension), Low HDL (now questionable, according to recent studies) high LDL, small, dense LDL, RLP (remnant lipoprotein), high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, HDL2b, high homocysteine (now questionable), and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP).



"Be a questioning patient. TALK to your DOCTOR and ASK QUESTIONS. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"

- Charles Inlander, People's Medical Society


It's your there.


WebMD/WebMD forums does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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