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I disappeared from the <a href="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19883" target="_blank">Weekly Running and X-Training</a> threads.<br><br>
Here is the reason ...<br><br>
How do I start?<br><br>
Tuesday afternoon, I was in my doctor's office. I was actually going to see one of the Physician Assistants, Jennifer. I arrived at about 110PM for a 130PM appointment. Initially, my pulse was 56. My blood pressure was 126/86. And my temperature was 97.9. But it very quickly went in a different direction.<br><br>
Let's back up a little. I've run at least 35 miles in every week since September, except for one where I logged 32. In December, I was up to 50 mile weeks and logged approximately 221 miles for the month. I averaged 50 miles/week for the first three weeks in January. I only ran 47 miles though in the week ending January 20 (the goal was 52).<br><br>
Let's look at what happened that week. Monday - ran the target distance and the target pace. Good run. Tuesday - good run. Wednesday - good run. Thursday - good run. Then, we get to Friday. In the morning, I ran 3 miles before work. I would say this was a good run. I also wanted to run 4 miles in the evening. I was the the YMCA. However, the first mile was very labored. I stopped, and walked for a few minutes. I started running again at a slower pace. It was ok for a few minutes, then it became more difficult than it should have been. So, I decided to call this a recovery run and alternated between walking and a slow running pace. I finished the 4 miles but was concerned about the occasional pain in my upper left chest.<br><br>
I went home and searched the Internet. I had also done a hard weights workout on Thursday so I wondered if I had strained a pectoral muscle - as I found discussed on many websites. Saturday, the plan was to run 10 miles. With the extreme cold weather, my plan was to run 10 miles on the treadmill. I had never run that far on a treadmill though. But, I had the same problems as Friday. I alternated between a walking pace and a slow jogging pace. After about 30 minutes, it became easier. And I was able to complete 7 miles. Not fast, but I completed 7 miles.<br><br>
Sunday. I tried to run but gave up after about 4 minutes. Monday. I gave up after 2 minutes. And called my doctor and scheduled an appointment for Tuesday afternoon.<br><br>
So, we're back to Tuesday. I had no problems doing normal activities - at work or at home before Tuesday. But at around 11am, I felt a pain across the top of my chest. It wasn't very intense or very long but now I was really concerned. At about 1230, I headed out to get something to eat and then to go to the doctor's office. As I was finishing eating, I had more intense pain. Choices. Call 911? Go to the doctor's office? Or got to the ER at Edward Hospital. The pain relented quickly so I went with option 2.<br><br>
And now we're back in the examination room. After explaining my symptoms to the nurse, she decided to do an EKG since the PA would want to see one. Aside from the fact that she first had to dry shave my hairy chest with a BIC razor, that went fine. She took the printout to the PA, and then came back to do another one. But as she was securing the leads again, I began to suffer a heart attack. I was sweating profusely. I was trying to find a position where the pain was tolerable. Sitting, laying down, standing. There was none. At that moment, the PA came into the room, looked at me (at that moment, I was lying on my side curled up in a ball), and asked if the paramedics had been called. The answer was no and she directed one of the nurses to call immediately. I think the entire medical staff was now in the corner of the building where I was.<br><br>
The doctor came into the room and placed a nitral under my tongue. In a few minutes, my blood pressure dropped to 80/74 and the pain subsided. When the paramedics arrived, I was pale and clammy. But soon, the pain subsided, I became calm, and color returned to my face. One of the paramedics, Bryl, took over responsibility for me. Bryl had a massive heart attack when he was 45 and I think he saw a lot of similarities in the two of us. They placed me in the ambulance and at that moment I had no pain. But the pain quickly returned. First a little, then a little more, and even more. Bryl kept insisting that they weren't going to lose me. And at that time, I didn't feel really bad so I thought he was being a little dramatic. He also kept telling me that I would have no pain when we got to the hospital. Ok, I would do my best.<br><br>
We sat in the ambulance for several minutes as they tried to be sure that I was stable. I was getting anxious to be moving. Bryl normally was the driver, but this time he wanted to stay in the back with me. We get to the hospital, they take me out, and we head down the hallway to the ER. And at that point, I passed out. The next thing I knew, I woke up Wednesday morning around 8am in a hospital room with my legs and arms strapped down and a breathing tube in my throat. Soon they, unstrapped my left arm and removed the breathing tube. I was still wearing my wedding ring and a chain around my neck with a cross. So if I had surgery, they would have taken those off, right? Every person who came in would say "You're such a lucky man." Well, yes, But after 5 or 6 times, you wonder why they keep saying that. When my PCP came in, he said "Good, I'm glad you recognize me." That seemed odd. At the time.<br><br>
But, I didn't pass out in the hallway leading to the ER. At that moment, I went into full cardiac arrest. Aka <i>The Big One.</i> My electrical system was totally screwed up. And I died.<br><br>
Wow, it's really weird to write that.<br><br>
They took me into the ER. They shocked me with the defibrillator. <i>Once. Twice. Three times. Four times. Five times.</i> God decided he didn't need me yet (but he sure took his time deciding). Finally, my heart resumed a regular rhythm. I'm told that I became belligerent, and they could not believe how strong I was. They had to sedate me so they could continue to treat me. They inserted two stents into my Left Anterior Descending artery which is key in the distribution of blood through the body.<br><br>
When they shock someone 3 or more times, this is a risk that brain damage may occur. And with 5 times, it wasn't sure whether I would remember anything or anyone when I woke up. But, I came through ok, so it seems. The cardiologist came to see me around 11am. Her, I had never seen before. So, it was ok not to recognize her. And she began to tell me what happened. The 5 shocks. The insertion of the stents. Oh, how blocked was the LAD artery? 100%. How the heck could I have been so active with so much blockage in such a critical artery? Let's just say that moment was very emotional. The rest of the day, I would slowly learn more and more of the detail of the events on Tuesday. I'd write more about them, but this is already long enough.<br><br>
They also did an echo cardiogram on Wednesday to evaluate the eruption refraction - the ability of the left side of the heart to send blood throughout the body. A normal person is 60%, an average person after a heart attack is 30%. My score is 65%. That indicates that my heart is very strong and its integrity was not affected.<br><br>
So what was the cause? I maintain a reasonably good diet, my cholesterol is in the acceptable range. I exercise regularly, to the point of being a fanatic. But, I have less control over the genetics. And although there is no heart disease on my father's side of the family, my mother has heart disease as well as her parents and all of her siblings.<br><br>
Running saved my life. Two specific reasons. One, my heart is especially strong (I just had this problem with the arteries being clogged). And I really didn't have many symptoms other than exertion stress. If I had not run Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I would have never known. I would never have scheduled that appointment which took me to the doctor's office. If I had been at home or at work, I would not be writing this message.<br><br>
I did make a very fast recovery because I am in very good physical condition. I was able to leave the hospital on Friday afternoon. The biggest challenge ahead for me is more emotional than physical. I'm not indestructible. But I already died once.<br><br>
I'm really proud of what my wife Lori and son (almost 16) Patrick did this week, as we had to work through all the events. One last thing on this almost surreal event. I'm leaving the hospital, I get into the car, and the song playing on the radio is the overplayed "I'm Going Home." Unbelievable.
 

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Dear God in heaven, Kevin, what a story. Best wishes for a complete recovery - body and soul. Take care and enjoy that new life of yours.
 

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OMG Kevin! You're right, running saved your life. It's a good thing you got to the hospital when you did. Rest up and become whole again.<br><br>
Hope the shaved patches on your chest don't itch too much.
 

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Wow! Great to have you back. Stick around a while this time. So do they get you all unclogged and then you'll feel even better?<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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In. Credible.<br>
Thank you for telling your story.<br>
We're glad you're here, Kevin. Happy rebirth.
 

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Kevin, I am so thankful you and your strong heart are here to tell us your incredible experience. I'm going to have to read it over and over. Thank heavens for Bryl and all the medical staff.<br><br>
"Running Saved My Life." You should shout that from the hilltops (and send it to a few running mags).<br><br>
I wish you a strong recovery.
 

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Kevin,<br>
unbelievable! I am so glad that you are here with us today and this turned out to be just that, a story that <i>you</i> can tell others. You received an incredible gift...<br>
Welcome back, and thank you for sharing this amazing story. Speedy recovery in every way.<br>
j
 

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Kevin! You're freaking me out, man! So the message is, we should listen to your body, and remember that running doesn't make us invincible. Got it.<br><br>
I imagine you have some serious rehabing to do. Please keep us posted on your progress. Good luck, and thanks for the lesson.<br><br>
Mike
 

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this is one time ''welcome back'' REALLY means <b>''Welcome Back''</b>....<br><br>
..what an experience....
 

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Whew, Kevin, my heart pounded as I read this. Oh. my.<br><br>
Lean on us for a while during your recovery. And welcome back!
 

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Heckuva story.......appreciate you sharing the details from before and after, but, would you mind sharing some things from the time you flatlined until the heart started beating again? Cuz, well, we're all curious about that part. Seriously, so glad your family gets to have you around a good while longer. Hope you do exceedingly well.
 

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I read that with my jaw dropped - unbelievable is an understatement Kevin! I'm so very thankful that are you able to come back here and tell us all this . . . well, because the alternative isn't so good . . . I hope your health continues to improve and you stay on a good solid road to recovery!
 

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Hi Kevin! Scary, glad you made the right choices and survived to tell about it. Certainly a reminder that we are not indestructable. I appreciate that you came back to the forum and shared this with us. Good luck on your recovery and take care of yourself. Larry
 

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Wow.<br><br>
Kevin, welcome back, and thank you for sharing your experience. What tremendous good fortune for you and your family that you are alive and well. Please let us know how your recovery is going.
 

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OMG. Thank you for sharing your story. I giant hug to DW and DS. And a special congratulations to you . Even without knowing exactly what was going on, you were certainly fighting hard for your own life. I've seen that picture too closely before and your story made me very emotional (different outcomes).<br>
Recover well. Enjoy life and specially your family.
 

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What an incredible account. Thanks for coming back to share it here with all of us. What a frightening and yest somehow exquisite gift to be given. Be well.
 

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Glad you're OK, Kevin. Welcome back and best of luck in your recovery. Keep us posted as to what's going on. I'm sure you'll be back running in no time.<br><br>
I had a friend over in the next town who had a heart attack while "jogging" (his word) a few years ago at age 56. He's all right now but hasn't run since. Don't turn into that guy.
 

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Talk about being in the right place. My Dad died of a heart attack on the street so I know too well that timing is everything. Continued good vibes for a full recovery to you {{{{{{{Kevin}}}}}}}} and keep us updated.<br><br>
Barb
 
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