Saturday, February 20, 2010

So I was wrong

In going back through and making sure my posts have good tags I found: A stupid post where I'm absolutely sure theres nothing wrong with my heart...

That was November 3, 2009, I suffered with chest pains for almost 3 months before finally getting it fixed.

The take away lesson here is to not decide you know whats wrong based on what you HOPE is wrong. If I'd kept and open mind about the possibility of heart disease I could have been feeling better sooner.

Apparently one of the things that made General Washington so good at his job was his ability to see things as they were rather than as he would wish them to be. Smart guy that George Washington.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Every morning at 7:30 my Blackberry buzzes and the screen reminds me "PILLS!".
I take 3 pills in the morning and one in the evening before bed.

Prasugrel, this is a blood thinner. It keeps clots from forming in my stents. Realistically I'm one clot away from dead. My first month was free thanks to the good folks at Eli Lilly, I've about finished that first month so we'll find out how good my insurance really is...

Hydrochlorothiazide, also called HCTZ, this is a "water pill" which lowers my blood pressure. I'm currently taking 25mg but I think the next time I see my doc we'll see about pushing this back to 12mg since my BP is running at normal or just below.

Asprin, good old acetylsalicylic acid originally derived from willow bark. Another blood thinner, its also anti-inflammatory and fortunately my stomach tolerates it well.

Simvastatin, statins are cholesterol lowering. I'm at 40mg which I'm given to understand is a lot. My last cholesterol test was 150 which is very low, normal people can be around 200, us stent patients want to be down around 170. Unfortunately my good cholesterol is very low too at 24, it wants to be more like 70 I guess... With luck added exercise will bring that number up, my last cholesterol test was 1 week after surgery so I hadn't been exercising at all, in fact I'd been actively avoiding exercise...

So thats the pharmaceutical team at work keeping me alive. Of the 4 meds the really important one is prasugrel, the docs all say something like "Keep taking the blood thinner until taken off it by your cardiologist or God". As a friend said the first you shouldn't argue with and the second you can't...

Friday, February 5, 2010

A visit to the cardiologist

Met with my cardiologist today. The nice thing is that from now on nobody is going to want to see or poke that tender spot in my groin for awhile. Such a relief... Its a weird feeling to have people come in at all hours, pull the covers down and start poking around.
They call it "the groin" but the entrance site is really right where your leg meets your body, just inboard of the crease. Its a lousy place to have a wound because it has to move so much when you move around. If I walk around a lot it sort of pinches after awhile. Monday at work is going to be fun...

Anyway today's visit was pretty perfunctory, we went over my mix of meds (an blood thinner, aspirin, my blood pressure pill, and a statin to lower cholesterol) and he emphasized once again that I can't stop taking the blood thinner for anybody but a cardiologist or God... Thats heavy right?
The deal is that if I stop I'll probably develop a blood clot around the stent and have a heart attack. Not something I'm into so I'm religiously taking the pills.

After our little talk he cleared me for any activities I want and suggested I go to cardiac rehab at the hospital. They'll put me on some kind of exercise regimen and help with figuring out my new diet. Angie and I have already made some diet changes and I'm going to try to start hitting the treadmill at work. I'm going to give myself a week, if I can get myself on some kind of regimen on my own I'll skip rehab, if I can't I'll go.

I felt so good that when I came home I scraped the snow off the walk, its just light fluffy stuff that we've walked on, not serious labor but now I'm BUSHED...

This is really one of the last days I can allow myself a nap so I'm going to.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

242C in its glory!

Done and done... After many hours stripping paint and polishing the nickle I had to say that good enough is good enough. I put the 242C back together this morning, finished some bits and bobs like the fuel cap and this afternoon tied on a mantle and lit it up.

Thats a Peerless #24 mantle which is a Coleman #99 equivalent. I'd read that you can use a #99 in a 200A to get more light so I figured I'd give it a shot here. I don't like it, it seems very yellow and not as bright as it should be. Its hard to judge in daylight though. I'll try it again at night and see what I think then.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Would you believe?

The formerly blue 242C fount has been polished up for awhile now waiting for me to get around to reassembling. Putting the valve back in is a big first step...
It took awhile to get all the blue off and not lose the ICCC sticker. You can see in the pic where I damaged the sticker a little but overall I'm pleased with how this came out. I think I'm going to have to get the vent re-porcelined to go with how nice the fount is. Overall a guy buy at $15 I think...