Triple by-pass surgery, turned to "not needed"..

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I'm keeping this summarily, but hoping folks will get the gist of our experience.

In February 2018, after an left heart angiogram, my husband was diagnosed with:

1) Myocardial Myopathy
2) Three, 100% obstructed coronary arteries (one was the "Widowmaker")
3) CHF
4)Hypertension
5) Severe Atherosclerosis
6) Left heart failure with peri-cardial effusion (fluid around the heart)
7) Pulmonary Edema
8) 12.5% Ejection Fraction of the left ventricle.
9) Cardiovascular heart muscle deterioration due to MI (Myocardial Infarction)
10) GERD

The physician/cardiovascular surgeon in Phoenix AZ, told my husband that he will need a triple bypass surgery. And if that didn't work, he would need a heart transplant over time.

I worked in the cardiovascular field, so when the cardiologist told him this news in a very lugubrious manner, my husband wasn't going to make it to the end of the month unless he had surgery? We both looked at each other and shrugged.

Actually it was the first time, the cardiologist even acknowledged i was even in the room. That physician looked over at me, and i guess because i'm a woman, expected me to faint or go into histrionics. I sat there stone faced, and returned to my notes.

He then re-focused on my husband, who kept his composure, quite well.

I knew what they wanted to do, how much money would be involved, and the chances of my husband's recovery was going to be more than the "12 to 16 weeks" if he preferred to go straight to the transplant.

We were given the "usual protocol" for cardiovascular patients: Beta Blockers 2 types of strong diuretics, lisinopril and Lipitor..

(cont'd)
 
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(cont'd)

Fast forward:

We went to another cardiologist for a second opinion in our geographic location. She seconded the first cardiologists opinion. My husband wasn't going to make it in the next 30 days, maybe 60 if he was "Lucky"..

I researched night and day. Found the works of Linus Pauling, Caldwell Esselstyn, Colin Campbell, Forks over Knives, What the Health, and so many other pioneers.

Plant based diet and supplementation, folks.. 6 weeks later, my husband is standing in the office of Biltmore Cardiology in Phoenix, AZ - again. And the cardiologist, NP (Nurse Practitioner), or the clerks can't believe he's telling them that we're hiking for 2 hours every other night, and mountain biking 1-2 hours in between with one or two days off for rest.

They couldn't believe he was even standing there. Nor could the Cardiologist here in our location could believe the follow up echocardiogram. 38% EF in May.

Last week? The EF is now 55%.. in 7 months time. She, as well as the infamous cardiologist in Phoenix AZ, both agreed that Open Heart Surgery, nor a Triple Bypass would be necessary - and finally admitting that he no longer needed to look at the option of even a stent due to his plant based diet.

1) All cardiovascular functions - normal (his ventricles were so dilated they could barely pump blood out to the system 7 months before)
2) Ejection Fraction - 55%
3) No more CHF
4) Heart size - WNL (within normal limits)
5) No peridcardial effusion
6) Cardiovascular muscle tissue regeneration with only < a small segment left..
(When the cardiologist saw heart muscle cell regeneration right there on the echocardiogram as well as in the lab results, she couldn't believe it.. She then stated: "It had to be the beta blockers." My husband and i looked over at her, and she rescinded her statement. If beta blockers could literally regenerate heart muscle tissue in 7 months, Patients (Like hers) wouldn't still be on them 20 years later, with no progress.)
7) Lab work is normal with minor issues that are being corrected with probiotics, and increased vitamin D3.

My husband was only 52 years old, when the chest pain, swelling of the hands, legs and feet occurred. His heart size on the chest x-ray was 3x larger than normal.

The only thing we're still working with is the GERD.. which can be annoying as heck.. but it certainly is pretty minor compared to what was going on with his heart.

This is just a post to show, that there's a reason to go "Vegan" or Plant Based Diet. It's not a "fad".. It saves so many lives.
 
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Emma JC

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Thank you for this story - my sister in law recently had a 'heart episode' and although I have passed all the info to my brother and her they are currently not open to listening. I may pass your story on to them if they show any interest at all.

Congrats!

Emma JC
 
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Amazing story! Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm sure it can be an inspiration for others, including myself, with a history of CAD in my own family.

*
 
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There's one big "take away" that i've learned from this.

Even if the evidence is sitting right there in front of them - cardiologists will protect their pockets. The one in AZ, didn't bother to followup with us, afterwards. Even though they looked like you could have knocked them over with a feather, obviously, i think we were quickly forgotten..

The other cardiologist in our location - New Mexico, said this is the first time anyone has ever tried the plant based diet in this region, or even knew about. She knew about it. And from what i'm learning physicians from all over the world "know about it".. But they don't "mention it" to their patients - depending on location.

And Sax? "Scary" is an understatement. I was absolutely terrified. o_O

My husband watched a video of what an open heart surgery was like, and immediately stated "NO, i'm not going through that." He was quite adamant about it.. Especially when he thought about the "recovery time", as well as "complications" afterwards..

I've worked in cardiovascular/angio/EP studies right alongside with cardiology specialists at a famous university in San Bernadino, CA. We trained the interns regarding putting in stents, left heart caths, etc.

The scariest part was taking everything i've been taught - throwing it all out, and doing something "radical". And of course, after "Forks over Knives" what i practiced on a daily basis for years, was beyond "radical" versus a simple, plant based diet.
 
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This is an amazing story, thank you for sharing!

The path to health and healing is often so simple, yet it's labeled as "radical," and people are so stuck in their beliefs and addition to "traditions" they won't even consider sometime as simple as a diet and lifestyle change. I often wonder how we got here, because I honestly don't believe the humans began life on this planet subsisting on primarily animal flesh and their excretions. I believe those meals were fewer and far between than the "paleo" people think.
 

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This is an amazing story, thank you for sharing!

The path to health and healing is often so simple, yet it's labeled as "radical," and people are so stuck in their beliefs and addition to "traditions" they won't even consider sometime as simple as a diet and lifestyle change. I often wonder how we got here, because I honestly don't believe the humans began life on this planet subsisting on primarily animal flesh and their excretions. I believe those meals were fewer and far between than the "paleo" people think.
I agree.. I mean seriously.. I get kidded for eating "rabbit-food" (plant based diet).. But my quick comeback is: "How many rabbits do you see getting triple bypass heart surgeries?"

:p
 
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THIS IS AMAZING.

I too am in the medical field and I believe that so many illnesses are linked to one of two things

1) diet
2) mental health

Or both

Thanks for this post. May I share this with my friends and colleagues?
 

TofuRobot

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THIS IS AMAZING.

I too am in the medical field and I believe that so many illnesses are linked to one of two things

1) diet
2) mental health

Or both

Thanks for this post. May I share this with my friends and colleagues?
This brings up a question I've been having - Do you believe diet affects mental health in any way?
 

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This brings up a question I've been having - Do you believe diet affects mental health in any way?
Absolutely! There is a correlation in someway. Is it a direct cause and a effect? Maybe. I'm sure in some cases it does. But mental health can also be genetically linked.

However the endocrine system controls every single chemical and hormone our body manufactures. The brain functions on the delicate balance on the exact science of it. Foods are full of nutrients or chemicals and animal products have hormones. I believe that companies have tried cutting corners and costs to increase their profits by adding the maximum amount allowed by the FDA. Our bodies are not meant to be overloaded like that. It's why USA is the highest rate of obesity, mental health, cancer, cardiac diseases (etc). It's why people crave McDonald's, Dr. Pepper, chocolate. Can people become addicted? Yes. Does everyone? No. Just like drugs and alcohol, it's an outside influence that interferes with proper production or inhibitors. And there is a certain protein in individuals that causes addiction and food similarly pinpoints those regions.

I have thousands of personal experiences to attest to this.

A personal one I believe is my own grandfather. His mother died at 98 sharp as a tack. Healthy as a horse until the end. He is 5th of 6 siblings. All of his siblings stay healthy, exercise somehow, eat reasonably. My grandfather on the other hand, he was on that same path too.... Until he met his current wife. Over the past 3 decades, he stopped exercising(walking, hiking), became sedentary, but ALSO ATE LIKE CRAP. Fried. Junk. Tons of meat. Few to no veggies. He's morbidly obese. And now has Alzheimers. Alzheimers doesn't run in our family. I believe his diet and sedentary lifestyle led to this.

Breaks my heart. Im 10000000% positive if he went vegan. It may help him get a little better and slow the disease down. Maybe even completely.
 

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THIS IS AMAZING.

I too am in the medical field and I believe that so many illnesses are linked to one of two things

1) diet
2) mental health

Or both

Thanks for this post. May I share this with my friends and colleagues?
Absolutely! It's interesting that i shared this on a UK forum when we were just starting out in our journey. I was quickly admonished by a patient whose mother had a triple bypass that i should "Do as you're told" by my cardiologist. Her mom's EF was only 23% and almost house bound 11 years after her surgery. I was told, even if we don't opt for the surgery to just have a stent "just in case".. o_O

It didn't take a rocket scientist to see the contrasting difference between 38% after being on a plant based diet for a few months. Plus the hiking/mountain biking and running our small business.
 

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This brings up a question I've been having - Do you believe diet affects mental health in any way?
I think so. I've suffered from anxiety/chronic depression and PTSD (due to working in the medical field for so long). I also had borderline diabetes.

I had a hard time making it to the gym every morning. And when i did? I would have that "crash" afterwards and pretty much couldn't do anything else. Sometimes not making it to the gym at all which is "criminal" for an ex-bodybuilder/sportsmodel.

Then there were the bouts of chronic depression. I've worked "locums" through out the states and abroad. I observed one thing. Almost everyone here in the states that works in hospitals as well as clinics, were on some form of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety meds, or took recreational drugs or alcohol to deal with the constant high-volume patient loads. Day and night. (Then we have the usual work-dysfunction on top of that)..

People will gasp and say: "That's against the law" when they hear about us not only working 16 to 18 hours straight, but also being on-call when we're supposed to have those last 6-8 hours of precious sleep to ourselves. Administration is very good at making the numbers look "legal" on paper.

I remember our last mandatory meeting when a troglodyte from admin stood up in front of all us. We were exhausted, overworked - and the nurses were out on the street protesting against the horrible working conditions at Christus St. Vincents in Santa Fe. She told us "We know you're tired, mentally drained, hungry, irritated, and loosing sleep.. But "It's not about you, it's all about the patient." I almost "lost it".. and had to leave the room. That was my wake up call. We were suffering the same problems that soldiers in war have. And yes, in some facilities in low-income areas, staff members have bullet wounds to show for it. (Boston General, Belleview in NYC, Mercy in Chicago, etc. - there always has been shootings, murders and even suicides in those hospitals. Just NOW they're getting media coverage..)

I prided my self on my "balanced diet" but even after leaving the medical field, my mental health declined.

I went on that plant based diet with my husband to show my support. The difference was and still is happening slowly, but surely. I can leave the gym and run errands which is a HUGE step for me. And i'm not sleeping/Maladaptive Dreaming/fantasizing as much. And those bouts of depression/anxiety/suicidal thoughts are becoming far less.

I have read in my research that others have had "mental life changes" due to being on a plant based diet.. I, personally, am beginning to think they might be right.:blush:
 
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Thank you @new vegan & @Kristyna . I am on another forum - a sober forum - there are people who have a variety of substance abuse issues beyond alcohol that are mental health-related - people with self harm and eating disorders & the like. I made the "mistake" of suggesting a plant based diet to someone with an eating disorder and got a huge amount of hate. Comments like "suggesting veganism to someone with an eating disorder is like offering a drink to an alcoholic." My first issue was that I did *not* suggest veganism - which I made clear numerous times, but rather a *whole food plant based diet* - especially when you seek to include as much organic as possible has the effect of decreasing the toxic load in our bodies that I believe contributes to a lot of different types of mental and behavioral disorders, the most recent of which I was reading about with regards to ADHD. I had to drop completely out of the conversation and my original comments got removed. Their comments and hate and incessant focus on hating on my "vegan" suggestion (I would say that some thought I was dishing out that ubiquitous "vegan agenda" - they seriously weren't listening to what I was saying) conflict with the many stories I've read of people who had such issues who state that adopting a plant based diet and/or going vegan "cured" them of their eating disorder.

@new vegan - I originally started on this 'journey' when I was a teenager and my father suffered a heart attack. He had to change his diet and I did so as well, in support. (Funny - the doctor flat out told me then that his heart disease was caused by his lifelong diet of bacon & eggs... This was late 1970s - I was raised by my grandparents.)

The sad part about the story above is that I went back a couple of days later to the forum and the girl had relapsed (made herself throw up). I am certain the others blame me for that, but I think it was the back and forth arguing that ensued in the thread that was the likely contributor. So, I'm stuck to keeping my mouth shut now about any of it because I wouldn't want to have anything I say push someone over the edge with their ED in any way shape or form. :confused:
 
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The sad part about the story above is that I went back a couple of days later to the forum and the girl had relapsed (made herself throw up). I am certain the others blame me for that, but I think it was the back and forth arguing that ensued in the thread that was the likely contributor. So, I'm stuck to keeping my mouth shut now about any of it because I wouldn't want to have anything I say push someone over the edge with their ED in any way shape or form. :confused:
Tofu,

I read your prior paragraphs on this last quote, and i know/understand exactly what you went through and i am very sorry, you basically got "e-ganged up" for just stating your experience or sharing your knowledge.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. The good news? You didn't have anything to do with that bulimic member relapsing. I used to be a bodybuilder/sportsmodel/model. Throwing up was basically part of the lifestyle if you planned on competing to with others in the field. The guys did it, the females did it, i did it.. When I began dating other types of athletes/models, from football players, soccer players, military, yes - the military, wrestlers, strippers, aerobic teachers, baseball players, gymnasts, personal trainers to jockeys (yep the ones that race horses have dedicated bathroom stalls with a sign over them that reads: "Flippers Only" - it means specifically for throwing up).. For all of us, it went from "mandatory" to our job to addiction.

We were also the drug users (cocaine/heroine were the drugs of choice for appetite suppression), laxative abusers, anorexics, alcohol bingers, as well.

ANYTHING will trigger bulimia. Trust me on this one. ANYTHING. The sky, trees, the air, the dog, the cat, but the main trigger? Watching Television. Those commercials had me running out there buying up every fast food, baked good, candy, etc., i could get my hands on.

Why didn't anyone bring that up? Did anyone bring up the fact that just passing by a vending machine, restaurants, hell, even a bodega can trigger the act. And i haven't heard of any of them in all of their self righteous indignation, go running into the local Dunkin Donuts, and yelling at the bakers to stop baking "weaponized donuts" created to trigger any unassuming bulimic as they are passing the shop.:rolleyes:

Hypocritical Hysteria is an amazing, phenomena in humans.
 
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@new vegan - thank you for your response. Yes, I am fully aware of that, though I imagine a bunch of people arguing over this issue on her thread didn't much help any (or anyone for that matter). For an addict, just waking up is a trigger. It was not unlike that for me and alcohol, towards the end.
 
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Kristyna

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Thank you @new vegan & @Kristyna . I am on another forum - a sober forum - there are people who have a variety of substance abuse issues beyond alcohol that are mental health-related - people with self harm and eating disorders & the like. I made the "mistake" of suggesting a plant based diet to someone with an eating disorder and got a huge amount of hate. Comments like "suggesting veganism to someone with an eating disorder is like offering a drink to an alcoholic." My first issue was that I did *not* suggest veganism - which I made clear numerous times, but rather a *whole food plant based diet* - especially when you seek to include as much organic as possible has the effect of decreasing the toxic load in our bodies that I believe contributes to a lot of different types of mental and behavioral disorders, the most recent of which I was reading about with regards to ADHD. I had to drop completely out of the conversation and my original comments got removed. Their comments and hate and incessant focus on hating on my "vegan" suggestion (I would say that some thought I was dishing out that ubiquitous "vegan agenda" - they seriously weren't listening to what I was saying) conflict with the many stories I've read of people who had such issues who state that adopting a plant based diet and/or going vegan "cured" them of their eating disorder.

@new vegan - I originally started on this 'journey' when I was a teenager and my father suffered a heart attack. He had to change his diet and I did so as well, in support. (Funny - the doctor flat out told me then that his heart disease was caused by his lifelong diet of bacon & eggs... This was late 1970s - I was raised by my grandparents.)

The sad part about the story above is that I went back a couple of days later to the forum and the girl had relapsed (made herself throw up). I am certain the others blame me for that, but I think it was the back and forth arguing that ensued in the thread that was the likely contributor. So, I'm stuck to keeping my mouth shut now about any of it because I wouldn't want to have anything I say push someone over the edge with their ED in any way shape or form. :confused:

ED is a tricky one. Any and every food will trigger it somehow. I can't speak for bulimics but I can for anorexics and it doesn't matter if it's just a single leaf of lettuce or one carrot. It's enough to torture an inner soul and you'd think mental torment is punishment enough. People with an ED are consumed by any and every thought of food. Regardless if it's healthy or not. Any consumption of food is a "failure".

Sorry they attacked you like that though
 
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