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  1. #21

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    Guess the real question here is what happens when you are 5 or 10 miles from the nearest road and you don't have any cell phone signal and you start having chest pains?

  2. #22
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    When I tried to hike the AT last year, three days in my A-fib kicked in due to dehydration plus probably the exertion. I knew how to prevent the dehydration but I wasn't really aware of how much changes between 50 yrs of age and 72 yrs of age; the body needs closer attention. So, I finally got an A-fib ablation about 2 weeks ago and haven't had even a hint of A-fib. That's not to say that I will never have another incident (had A-fib for about 10 years; meds stopped being effective), but I have a much better chance of doing stressful activities successfully, as long as I take the necessary precautions. I'm still on bp meds and a blood thinner (Pradaxa). To be able to carry those meds in the field, I purchased what is basically a minature seal-a-meal device along with packets to prepare each days' meds and keep them safe from water, dirt, etc. I can't remember where I bought it (online) and since I'm not at home right now, I can't look up the manufacturer. I'm sure a Google search will get you something. Try OpenSky or Boardwalkby. Good luck. Glad your now well.

  3. #23
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    Try PillSuite.com.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgood View Post


    My questions: Noting that I most certainly be taking four of these meds for the rest of my life plus a baby aspiran, their importance to my health absolutely necessary.
    How does one carry these meds so that they stay dry and maintain a certain level of temperature integrity ? Another words, from getting hot and sticky ?

    How has having a cardiac event while hiking the trail changed your rational judgement , your hiking itinerary going forward ?

    Calm the fears of loved ones when you begin planning your next solo hike ?
    i carry 3 different pills in one regular pill bottle. one day 8 years ago i had a major heart attack and quadruple by-pass. less than 2 months later i was running and backpacking

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Guess the real question here is what happens when you are 5 or 10 miles from the nearest road and you don't have any cell phone signal and you start having chest pains?
    Possibly the same thing that happens even if do have signal

    What if you get hit by bus on way to trailhead?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Guess the real question here is what happens when you are 5 or 10 miles from the nearest road and you don't have any cell phone signal and you start having chest pains?
    put a coupla nitros under your tongue

  7. #27
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Nitroglycerin tablet under the tongue for sure.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  8. #28

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    Sorry to hear this Johnny, but glad you're doing ok. I know how scary this can be, and how uncertain things are at first. I'm glad to see you don't plan to give up, and hope to see you on the trail again someday. We'll both be toting our statins, etc and taking it slow and easy
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    K2, author of "300 zeros" suffered chest pains in VA, went home and had a 6 way by pass. 300 days later he went back and finished the AT.

    Just finished his book. He did really well.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Rush- View Post
    I met a hiker at Sassafras Gap out of the NOC last year that went by the trail name BraveHeart. He was an EMT and had battled some serious heart problems in the recent past. Mileage varies, but he was doing 15 mile days and doing fine.
    We met Braveheart outside of Damascus last year. Do you know if he finished?



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  11. #31
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    I had a 90% blockage of the RCA 4 years ago. I've had one incident of A-Fib (2 years ago) since then that was unrelated to anything (I had a semi-annual cardiology checkup two days prior.) I've got two stents, 5mm total length. I take a statin, BP meds and a regular aspirin daily (bumped up from low-dose after the A-Fib episode.)

    I get multiple silica gel pouches in every factory bottle of medication (statin and aspirin) that I purchase - so that's my method of choice for med preservation.

    According to my cardiologist your risk after the first year post-attack is about 1% per year, and it will drop until your age starts pushing it back the other way. I've had no other symptoms or events since and at my last semi-annual checkup (last Monday) he told me that I can run and hike all I want, just to continue listening to my body and don't do anything stupid. If my body says to dial it down (in my case that is signified by ears popping and pulse slamming in my ears) then dial it down, otherwise "get busy living."

    I can tell you the first year after is the worst, every twinge and slight anomaly will have you wondering if it's "another one." Improve your diet (assuming you're like most of the population and could always eat healthier) keep your activity up and set a goal for returning to "normal." (For reference, I still have the nitroglycerin spray they gave me when I left the hospital, I've never had a reason to think about using it.) My cardiologist says eat (not swallow - EAT) a couple of aspirin and call 911 if I have a problem. Hopefully I'll be in cell range if that ever happens.

    As for me, I haven't done any hiking/backpacking to speak of in a LONG time, but I'm in the process of changing that. Hopefully I can start hiking some segments in a year or so and, perhaps, one day, knock out a thru hike. If they find my body in a sleeping bag one morning then everyone will know I went out swinging instead of looking. The grim reaper is going to have to chase me down, I'm not about to sit and wait for him to show up!

  12. #32

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    There is an individual up in NH, Big Earl that had significant heart issues. He changed his lifestyle and then did the "grid" which is all the 48 highest summits on every month of the year (48 x 12).

  13. #33

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    I don't know the details of your condition, but I had a heart attack 5 years ago and had two stents inserted in the two blocked arteries. I take three pills a day.

    On my hike this year I received a maildrop about every 20 days that included about 20 of each tablet, in it's own small plastic pill Ziploc. Every pharmacy sells these for next to nothing. I kept them in a larger quart Ziploc with other items I needed to keep dry. Never had a problem.

    Last winter I asked my cardiologist if he had reservations about me taking a long hike. He said none whatsoever. When I came home from Maine this summer 30 lbs. lighter, he asked how I lost the weight. When I told him I walked from GA to ME he flipped out. Took me into the hallway with all the staff and kept talking about it.

    I took my heart incident as a wakeup call to start doing the things I always talked about. I sure wasn't getting any younger. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KCNC View Post


    According to my cardiologist your risk after the first year post-attack is about 1% per year, and it will drop until your age starts pushing it back the other way.
    The heart association statistics show 18% of men and 35% of women have another hesrt attack within 5 yrs.

    It usually kills them too.

    Mostly because didnt change diet, stop smoking, and start excercising like they were told.

    My mom saw the people in her rehab classes die off one by one .....she heeded warnings and never had another issue. She was given 5% chance of survival her attack did so much damage. Two years later later she was taking aerobics classes several days per week. Ate a lot of dishes made with ground turkey....
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 08-29-2017 at 17:39.

  15. #35
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    In 2003 I had a double by-pass although I never had a "heart attack". What I do know is you can't live by what if this or that happens. You take control of your life. To me there is still nothing better then solo hiking and getting out into nature.

  16. #36
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    Sorry about your heart attack. It sounds as if it was mild and caught soon enough that you had minimal if any damage to your heart muscle.

    For my long distance hikes, I sort out my daily pills (low-dose aspirin, statin, CoQ10, multi-vitamin, D3, CA+D, Alegra, Tumeric) into those 7 day pill organizers and then wrap up each day's set in a square of Glad Clingwrap, tie a knot around the pills, and cut off the excess. These daily packs go into a Ziploc freezer bag and get buried in my pack, inside a trash compactor bag. Never had any problem with meds using this technique.

    Haven't had a heart attack. Do occasionally have PVCs (pre-ventricular contractions) when the ventrical compresses before it is filled with blood. Feels like a pounding in the chest. This led to a nuclear stress test at age 49 with thallium as the imaging agent, which showed problems, which led to a heart cath the next day, which showed only minor narrowing of cardiac arteries, which led to RX for calcium channel blocker(CCB) which caused further problems, until a new doc took me off the CCB.. Had repeated nuclear stress tests before every long hike (see signature line) with Cardiolite as the imaging agent and never showed any problems. Doc recommended I avoid becoming a "cardiac cripple" and maintain an active life style, but carry a couple full strength aspirin as first aid if I experience any heart attack symptoms. Five years ago another stress test using thallium (the 3 reactors that made Cardiolite were down) again showed a potential problem. Subsequent cardiac cath showed, to quote my doc, "His arteries are clearer than mine." (My doc is a very fit 50 something who looks like he's in his late 30s). Cath showed my arteries clearer than 18 years earlier. I ascribe this to the effects of long distance hiking along with a conscious effort to stay in shape, a significant reduction in stress after retiring at age 60, and the use of statins to lower my cholesterol). Conclusion was that my heart doesn't like thallium.

    I do a great deal of solo backpacking. To help my wife overcome her inclination to worry, I carry a SPOT and send an OK message daily. It could be used in an emergency to summon help should a backcountry emergency occur. The SPOT, along with the full-strength aspirin, resides in a fanny pack which I wear in front.

    You should seek the advice of your cardiologist as to whether and when you can resume hiking as well as what precautions you should take. You should also ask what extent of damage your heart may have suffered.

    As someone above remarked, we are all going to die. As for me, in the words of a James Taylor lyric, "I'd rather die while I'm living, than live while I'm dead."
    Handlebar
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  17. #37
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    When I was 52 (I'm now 69) I ran my first&last marathon. I did over 900 miles running to get ready for it. One month later a 'feeling' in my chest sent me to the Dr. for a look-see: needed 2 stents (95% in once artery and 75% in another-not the major ones). Since you are then put on a frequent check-up routine I ended up with two more stents within 5 years. I never had a heart attack but do have a family history of heart trouble.

    Some of the good news is: my Dr. staff gets bored with how long it takes for my stress test to get me up to the prescribed heart rate for checking things out. Eventually they increased the incline dramatically, and finally went with the nuclear stress test (chemical induced).

    Now? I'm gearing & training -up for a 2020 NOBO. All medical folks in my 'world' gave me a thumbs up and 'atta-boy'! Keep hiking - the 'dude' with the syche can't keep up
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  18. #38
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    Before believing you'll need to take all those cardiac and anti statin drugs for the rest of your life or how you'll approach your next hike perhaps you're better off addressing the cause(s) of having a 100 % blocked RCA? Perhaps, you need to make different more healthful lifestyle choices to address this?


    I will also assume you are best initially strengthening your heart muscle off trail under medical supervision/closer proximity to medical assistance should the situation arise you need to rely on it than going immediately back to the trail.


    I wish you well and all the Godspeed

  19. #39
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    [QUOTE=Dogwood;2167569]Before believing you'll need to take all those cardiac and anti statin drugs for the rest of your life or how you'll approach your next hike perhaps you're better off addressing the cause(s) of having a 100 % blocked RCA? Perhaps, you need to make different more healthful lifestyle choices to address this?
    It would be easy to understand if I had poor lifestyle choices but sometimes it comes down to just plain genetics. I happen to fall into that category . The Cardiologist at Augusta Regional told me exactly that when accessing the cause of my heart attack. I was fit, not overweight(BMI of 24.8), non smoker, and physically active. I had been on cholesterol reducing medication for 10+ years. Family history was the next box to check, oops ....now that's another story.

    My father died, his father died, both in their 50's, both of heart attacks. Add that both of my brothers have survived heart attacks in their 50's. The likelihood of me having a heart attack in my 50's was pretty high I'd say.

    Fast forward almost 6 months, with Sept. 7th being the six month mark. I feel absolutely great, more energy than I've had in years. I'm down to taking 3 meds, one of which is the cholesterol medication I previously was taking. The blood thinner is a must for the first 12 months after the cardiac event . Carvedilol is a beta-blocker which also goes away in due time. A low dose baby aspirin will remain a fixture for the rest of my life.
    After 12 weeks of Cardiac Rehab I feel that my stamina is much improved and I am currently in the non monitored maintenance class which I continue for the next 12 weeks.

    Thanks for the well wishes, good vibes, thoughts and prayers.

    JBG
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  20. #40
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    Don't fall for genetic determinism. Genetics are but one component in risks. Genes don't always determine your destiny! Genetic predispositions don't equate with an absolute predetermination. Genes can be "turned on" or "off." Seek to positively address those predispositions through appropriate lifestyle decisions that cumulatively reduce risks. You might want to review more updated scientific approaches such as epigenetics.

    This is spoken to you as a fellow cardiac patient who had open heart surgery two yrs before my first true LD hike - a thru-hike of the AT and later, and most recently, followed up with more than 25 other LD thru-hikes. It's also spoken to you as one daily taking a lifetime of blood thinning holistic meds both on and off the trail. Lastly, it's spoken to you as one with a seemingly high risk of heart failure as having both a mechanical mitral valve replacement and atrial fibrillation.


    Again, I ask what caused the 100% RCA blockage? Are you saying that condition was entirely a result of genetics? If so I question that. ???Could it be that 100% RCA blockage had more to do with lifestyle, such as dietary and exercising choices, thereby being the main contributors to the myocardial infarction rather than the genetics in the family tree???

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