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About AngioRN

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    Heart and Cardiovascular Disease Moderator
  • Birthday 12/15/1951

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    Tucson, Arizona
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    My story: While walking our dog I started noticing some chest pain. I thought nothing of it until about 10 days later I had to stop and catch my breath. Finally called my PCP, had a normal EKG, went for a treadmill stress test which I failed miserably. Was told I needed an emergency heart cath. Had 2 stents placed. Several months ago had chest pain - had stress echo done which showed stents were open. This year I was feeling "out of sorts" and belching. My wife insisted I go to the hospital for an EKG. Ran into the cardiologist who did my initial stress test. She did an EKG normal as usual. Told me to listen to my body as it was telling me something was wrong. Did emergency cath which showed stents were completely blocked and blockage in RCA was much worse. 2 days later had 3 vessel CABG. I am 52, male. My wife and I have been married since June 04. She is a saint.

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  • Personal Bio
    RN, Manage a cardiac cath lab and special procedures. Had 2 stents placed in LAD, April 03. Had 3 vessel CABG Feb 04 - LAD, 1st diagonal, and RCA. History of hyperlipidemia and HTN.
  1. Shaka brings up some good points. We use to have a forum for family members to discuss their feelings, but it seems to have disappeared. Maybe it's time to bring it back. Unfortunately, the hospital I work in has cut back drasticly on programs. Cardiac rehab came to talk with me, but no social workers or counselors. We have contacted a therapist in my Cardiologists office, but unfortunately, he is not on our insurance program as of this time. When he does get the ok, I will go in first and then Jo will join me. Jo is an avid reader. She goes through several books a week. I'll ask her about a book club. What do you all think? Happy Mothers day to all you moms. Gary
  2. The stress of our disease effects both us and our families. We get the sympathy and attention, while our families get ignored. it's not right, but those are the facts. Several years ago, when I first came to HeartBoard I recommended the book "Thriving with Heart Disease" by Wayne Sotile. It deals with the emotional effects of heart disease on you and your family. I dusted it off tonight and intend to read it again as I find myself back at the beginning of this journey. Going back to work was a little strenuous. I did not sleep well the night before. My coworkers were glad to see me on my feet, but pretty much treated me as they normally would. Jo called several times to check on me and wanted to know if I was going to stay the entire day. I did. The next day was rough. We had a very busy, stressful morning, and I was exhausted. I came home a couple of hours early. No chest pain or belching. Yeah!! Today was my regular day off and I had ran some errands. Feeling good. I just want you all to know how good it is to see that lots of the people who were here earlier are still here. It is good to hear from you all again. It's like going to a family reunion. Gary
  3. Thank you all for your kind words. I've missed you all and promise to stick around. I wanted to talk about the side of heart disease that we don't want to talk about, and that is the mental side. When I was first diagnosed with heart disease back in 2002 I went into a very deep and dark depression. Jo got online and found a message board for heart patients. She was the one who asked questions, looked for help while I pouted and moped about thinking that my world had ended. I received a phone call from a stranger in Florida who talked to me for a long time. Told me what I was going through was not abnormal and that things would get better. Soon after that, HeartBoard was started. Now, seven years later, I find myself going in and out of this depression again. As I stated in the topic heading it has been "a hell of a week", not only for myself, but for Jo also. The depression did not rear its ugly head until after I came home from the hospital after the 3rd cath. I was the model patient, pleasant to everyone in the hospital, but once I got home - look out. Poor Jo!! I have taken out all my anger and frustration on her. I challenge her on everything she says or tries to do for me. I know that she is looking out for me, but I feel like I am under a microscope. If I want to have a pity party, I feel that I am entitled to one. That said, we are doing fine. Jo was a psych nurse early in her career. She knows I need help, and so do I. I had been on antidepressants before because of my heart disease, and I intend to talk to my doctor tomorrow about starting them again. I also plan to talk to a psychologist that works in the cardiologists office. Obviously, they know that heart patients have issues. I am going back to work tomorrow. Frankly, I am scared shitless. My coworkers will all be coddling me - which I hate, but know that they do if because they care. My boss will be watching to see if I can do my job, and everyone will be asking "are you ok?" Hell no I am not ok. I have heart disease and just had 3 caths in 6 days. Are they nuts. Humor is the best medicine, isn't it. Hope you are all doing well. And thanks for your support. Gary
  4. I was diagnosed as diabetic about 8 weeks ago. My H1AC level was 7.1 and I was started on Januvia. My fasting blood sugars range from 105 to 120. My cardiologist says my risk factors are labile hypertension, diabetes and stress. I don't find my job stressful, but she ensures me that it is. My circumflex was clean in my January 08 cath, and I had a Dobutamine stress test a few months ago that was determined to be good. I wish I could tell you how fast a vessel can clot off, but I don't think there is an answer to that.
  5. It has been quite awhile since I've been to HeartBoard. I would like to share with you my past week, but first let me reintroduce myself to those of you who don't know me. I am 57, an RN who works in the Cardiac Cath Lab. I was first diagonosed with heart disease 7 years ago - failed a treadmill stress test, had an emergency cath and had two stents placed. 9 months later I had triple bypass surgery. Was doing well. January of 2008 had 2 stents placed inside my original stents as my LIMA graft was closing down. Again was doing well until last week. Last Thursday after I came home from work I developed some mild chest pain along with belching. Belching I should tell you is my classic sign that something is wrong. No one knows why I do this, but it is a big flashing sign to me that is shouting "Danger, danger". Went to the ER with a normal EKG, normal lab work. When my cardiologist arrived she told be that I had 2 options, get cathed then or in the morning. This was at 8 PM. We went to the cath lab where it was found that my circumflex was 85% blocked proximally. This was my only good native vessel. This was stented. She also noted that my LAD with the stent inside the stent was blocked approximately 40% at the distal end of the stents. She decided not to do anything about that at the time. All was good and Friday afternoon I was released from the hospital. Sunday we went to see Mama Mia on stage and went out for dinner. That night I was awakened with chest pain - the elephant on the chest syndrome. We went to the ER and again had a normal (for me) EKG and blood work. My cardiologist said she would see me in the morning. PS, I also had the belching again. When my cardiologist came in to see me she gave me the option of being cathed by one of her partners or waiting until after office hours and she would cath me. I opted to wait for her as I have had some bad experiences with some of her partners. At 5:30 that afternoon it was off to the cath lab, again. This time she found that the vein graft to my RCA had a 85% blockage at the origin of the graft and that there was a clot within the graft. She stented the narrowing and placed me on a clot busting drug for 24 hours. Seventeen hours later my nose started to bleed so the medicine was discontinued. I was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday, I went to get my haircut and while leaving the barber shop the belching and pain started again. Drove home, got my wife and off we went to the ER. Once again, normal EKG, normal lab work. Chest pain would not go away even with a Nitroglycerin drip. I relented and let one of my cardiologists partners take me to the cath lab. This time he elected to angioplasty the narrowing in the LAD. He thought he was done, but I asked him about my other vessels. He had not looked at the vein graft to my Diagonal since it had been ok the previous 2 caths. When he did look at it he was shocked to find that the origin to it was 90% narrowed and that there was a huge clot within the graft. The clot was mechanically removed and the vessel stented. The had a Hemotologist visit me to see if I have some bizarre kind of blood disorder. The cardiologists are completely stumped as to why all of a sudden I am forming clots. They have increased my Plavix to 75mg twice a day, and my aspirin to twice a day. The took me off of Aciphex as some studies have show proton pump inhibitors interfere with the Plavix. Wanted to share this with you, and to let you know that I'll be hanging around again. Gary
  6. I hope you are doing well! Miss you...

  7. AngioRN

    Jo's dad update

    Well as you can see it has been a long time since I have posted. Joanne's dad has had 2 surgeries since my last post. The first one the doctor removed most of his sternum. He said that his chest was full of pus and that he never would have gotten better. The second surgery was performed about 24 hours later, the doctor performed muscle flaps where he moved the muscles in the chest to cover where the sternum had been. That was the day before Thanksgiving. Last week he was moved to a rehab institute. He demands that someone be with him 24 hours a day. Jo has been taking the afternoon shift, and will probably spend the next 2 nights with him. She is emotionally drained and has gotten to the point where she doesn't even want to see her father. We know that he will come back to live with us for awhile when he gets discharged from rehab. And we can honestly say from having him here for a month before that we are not looking forward to it. He has gotten very demanding and doesn't want to do anything for himself. Joanne has been asked to return to work in January, and she feels that she cannot, because she should take care of her Dad. You see the dilemma she is in. Hopefully, I will be more active on the board soon. Happy Holidays to all. Gary and Joanne
  8. Carebear, I am AngioRN (Gary) one of the moderators of this board. I am not diabetic, did smoke an occassional cigar, exercise fairly regularly and eat well. I am an RN and work in the cardiac cath lab. When I was 51 I experienced chest pain and had 2 stents put into my LAD (bare metal). The LAD was 95% blocked and my RCA was about 50% blocked. I was very depressed afterwards. My wife is also an RN told me to get my @@@ back to work, that if I was going to have another heart attack I would be in the right place. Nine months later, I was feeling "out of sorts". I went to the hospital and had a normal EKG. My cardiologist wanted to do another cath and found that my stents were completely blocked and my RCA was now 95% blocked. I had triple bypass surgery and was off of work for 5 months. I had 2 major setbacks during my recovery. I have been back at work now for 16 months. Yes, I am tired alot of the time, but my attitiude is that I am lucky to be alive. I see people every day that are alot worse off then I am. I suggest that you get a copy of "Thriving with Heart Disease" by Wayne Sotile. I found it very helpfull and have suggested it to many of my patients. Good luck with your recovery. Remember we are here to listen and help. Gary
  9. AngioRN

    Jo's dad update

    Hi everyone. Just an update of Jo's dad. He is back in the hospital, this time with pneumonia. He started running a fever last night and today Jo had gone to the doctor because her asthma has been really bothering her. While she was gone, he called her and told her he didn't feel well. She called me at work and I rushed home to find him feverish. It took us a while to convince him to go to the hospital - he is afraid that he will die if he went back again. He had a temp of 102.3, his white count was normal, but the CXR showed a pneumonia in his left lung. Jo is quite upset. No help from her sisters, though one of them came to the ER to relieve me. She has bronchitis and was put on steroids and antibiotics. We are hanging on, but only by a thread. Gary
  10. AngioRN

    Jo's dad update

    Thank you all for you kind words and prayers. Jo's Dad came home today. It has been a fiasco so far. The wound vac is not working right, the IV people never showed up and the home health nurse who is suppose to come tomorrow has already upset Jo by shirking some of his responsibilities. The PICC line that was put in at the hospital is leaking and Dad doesn't want us touching it. He was been sitting in a recliner sleeping off and on and telling us that he is talking to Jo's sisters. Needless to say, Jo is quite upset about all this. On the good side, Simon's seizures seem to have stopped. He had one at 4AM today and I was going to take him to the 24 hour vet hospital. We gave him some rectal valium and it stopped the seizure. Tonight he has been acting like his old self. Will keep you all posted on what happens. Gary
  11. AngioRN

    Jo's dad update

    It has been awhile since I've posted. Jo's dad has had several hospitalizations since I last posted. He went to the surgeon who ordered some blood work, that afternoon we got a call that he had to see the cardiologist ASAP. ASAP was 2 days later, and he was promptly admitted to the hosital in CHF and a new onset of atrial flutter. He spent 3 days in the hospital, came home with us for several days and then his sternal wound opened up when he moved a chair. Apparently he had a huge abcess in his chest because he had a lot of drainage. Jo rushed him back to the hospital where he had his surgery. They cultured the wound, and the surgeon said that the sternum was not healing, that the wires were cutting through it. He said that he would probably have to take him to the OR and remove the sternum and use muscle flaps to seal the site. Thank goodness that the cardiologist opted for a more conservative approach. They put him on antibiotics, admitted him to the ICU, where he still is 1 week later, and put a wound vac on his sternum. The first culture came back MRSA, but the last 2 have been negative. They are now planning on sending him home to us with a portable wound vac, and he is to receive IV antibiotics for the next 5 weeks. He is despondent, as is Jo. He is tired of being in the hospital, and convinced that he will never get better. Jo has been fighting with her 3 sisters, because they can't "cope" and will not help take care of her father. She has asked each of them to stay with him 8 hours a week so she can have some time for herself. They all have excuses. As far as Jo is concerned, she is screwed. She has given up her job for now and does not know how long this might go on. She feels that her Dad will continue to have episodes of CHF, and that he is unable to take care of himself or her brother who has cerebral palsy. One of the sisters has been staying with him. If he dad does die, then her brother's care will fall on her. To say the least, it has not been good for awhile. We are both tired and mentally exhausted, and to top things off our beloved poodle "Simon" started having seizures again. Thanks for listening. Hopefully I'll be able to post more soon. Gary
  12. AngioRN

    Hello Everyone

    Jerry, I hope you are doing well. Please let us know how you are doing. Gary
  13. Hi everyone. As you might have noticed I've been gone awhile. Jo's dad was discharged from the hospital - against our wishes 2 weeks ago. He told them he could not breath and he had huge blisters on both of his feet. We took him home and he was up all night coughing. I wanted to take him to the ER, he wanted to wait. He agreed to see what the home health nurse would say in the morning. She took one look at him and told him he needed to be in the hospital. I took him to the ER of a different hospital then from the one he had been in. He was admitted with CHF and to treat the blisters on his legs. He was there until Saturday night when he came home with us. He is doing better. Jo is taking care of him during the day - changing bandages on his feet, walking him around the house. She is exhausted. I try to do my share at night. Gary
  14. Jo's dad has turned the corner and is doing well. He has gotten up and walked around the ICU a few times. We are hopeful that he'll be able to go home in a few days. Gary
  15. AngioRN


    Definately brain fog. Did I spell that correctly? Gary
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