My family history of heart disease probably goes back many generations on my father's side, my grandfather died of heart problems and my father had a heart bypass when he was in his early sixties when Tasmanians had to travel to Adelaide for the operation. My younger brother had a heart attack at the age of fifty-two.
In April 2017 my older brother who lived in country Victoria had a cardiac arrest and fortunately, he was in the hospital at the time and survived it but would need bypass surgery. I was in his hospital room when the surgeon explained to him the procedure of the operation. As my brother introduced me to her she just said to me when I get back home to have myself checked.
On arriving home my wife made an appointment with my GP who gave me a referral to see Dr Bishop. I had a CT scan in September which showed calcium buildup in my arteries which Dr Bishop said he would keep monitoring. November 17 I had a stress test the result showed that my heart worked better under stress than being relaxed. May 22, 2018, another stress test the result the same as before.
November 30, the result from this stress test was different from the previous two to quote Dr Bishop "We have a problem. " On December five I was in the hospital for an angiogram (the first time I have been in hospital) which indicated I had two arteries totally blocked and another 80 per cent blocked. As we are going overseas in April Dr Bishop suggested we should do something sooner rather than later as he said I could have a heart attack in six days, six weeks, six months or could be at any time, but it will happen. December 6 I had an ECG December 7 an appointment with the surgeon he explained to my wife and I what the procedure was and that he could perform the operation on December 20 the Thursday before Christmas. I agreed to this.
The interesting thing about all this is that I did not have any noticeable symptoms I am reasonably fit for my age very active and never been a smoker or overweight.
I had the operation on a Thursday morning and was out of surgery early in the afternoon. My wife and youngest daughter came to visit me in the CCU while I was still under the effect of the anesthetic. That evening my wife returned to find me sitting up and as bright as a button. The next day I was walking around the CCU dragging half of the hospitals monitoring equipment with me. My recovery was quick and three days after the operation I surprised the young physiotherapist when she said we need to walk up some stairs and I said to her "do I do that they way I always did", she said yes, so I took the stairs two at a time, she had to chase me. Five days after the operation I was home and in time to have lunch with all the family on Christmas day.
We went on our trip through China, Korea and Japan in that 42 days we walked 440k were 2300mtrs up on mount Fuji, climbed the great wall of China with no side effects from the operation. The thing is if I had not had the operation I could have had a heart attack while on that trip.
(Personal Story provided by a Patient)