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  1. #1
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    Cry for help perhaps?

    Hi everyone,
    Names Luis. I have been a constant "lurker" I guess you can say for at least 5 months, great group of people here! Especially in this sub-forum. Being a Clyde myself at 5'9'' and 234 unhealthy pounds I was able to relate with most here.

    My whole life since maybe fifth grade I remember being overweight. I topped out at 266 for most of my high school years and then lost over 40 pounds one summer (I had somehow convinced myself that I might be diabetic so Fear is what drove me to loose so much weight in 3-4months) and got down to 224 by senior year which is where I stopped AFTER I finally got my blood results back and discovered everything was normal. Anyway I have gone down and up in weight. Ranging from 210 to 250 after that and now I sit at 234.

    Last year I purchased a road bike in hopes of maybe losing weight by commuting to work (40miles round trip) but did so at the end of season just before weather got very cold here in Chicago. Its a 2011 Specialized Tricross Sport, love the bike and I am looking forward to riding. I might have to work my way up to that 40miler a day though .

    I probably would not have joined or actually posted, I am a shy guy what can I say? until the events that have happened to me this past week. Wednesday at work I started to feel lightheaded and feared that I might pass out.....This freaked me out naturally. So I made an appointment and discovered I had high blood pressure, the doctor wanted a series of tests before prescribing any medication so I had a volley of tests, ekg for the heart and some echos etc etc. (he was concerned about my dizzy spell). To top it off I had contracted a viral infection and had a fever of 102F. He was convinced that my viral infection probably had something to do with me being dizzy and light headed that whole day.

    Well I received my first test results today, I apparently have a "possible" (Nurses lingo but lets face it? I most likely do) partial clog on my left Carotid artery. Now that is really freaking me out. At the age of 25, in my mind I shouldn't be going through this, I am too young! I am starting to realize that the days of feeling invincible as a teenager eventually does run out for some at an earlier age than others. So I probably have high cholesterol (Have not received my blood tests yet, but high cholesterol leads to clogged arteries), and partially clogged artery that goes to my brain, high blood pressure, who knows what else. I still have some results I am waiting for. I have a follow up tomorrow to see what needs to be done.

    WOW this is long and I apologize. Most might not read through it, I don't know, I needed to get this off my chest. I am looking forward to getting to know you all and needed to make myself accountable somehow. SO, this is my introduction! Oh, riding the bike paths alone does tend to get boring for me haha.

    Does anyone here have any experience with a clogged or "partially" clogged Carotid artery? I have "educated" myself to the point of really scaring myself by using the internet. The Internet..its a love hate relationship. You go to it for knowledge on some health issue you might have and you end up in a fetal position after reading all these scary technical terms and "risks". I would love to hear of any experience with this and maybe even the surgery's involved.

    Thanks for reading

    -Luis

  2. #2
    Randonneur in Training B.Alive's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard!

    I'll say a prayer for you tonight in hopes of a good diagnosis.
    ---
    Ride on,
    Brad

    2010 Jamis Coda Sport

    My first bike tour could be this fall! Pittsburgh to DC October 2011???

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Alive View Post
    Welcome aboard!

    I'll say a prayer for you tonight in hopes of a good diagnosis.
    Thank you, I appreciate that.

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Hi Luis,

    You will be OK.
    Prayers your way.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  5. #5
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    time to address your eating habits and follow the dr's orders. at your age and catching the condition early you should be fine. no dr is going to tell you to stay off your bike after they get the condition under control. good luck

  6. #6
    Senior Member Crazydad's Avatar
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    Glad you joined up, welcome!

    While I do not have an experience with a clogged artery, while I was reading your story I felt like it was me. I had much the same story in high school, dropped the weight in my 20's and gained it back in my 30's (I'm 44 now). My moment came when I had bad chest pains about 1.5 years ago. Since my dad died at 44, I was really freaked and went to the emergency room. Fortunately it was basic indigestion, but it definitely got my attention and I went and had a physical with stress test.

    I will be praying for you and I hope it is not as serious as a clog. Just make sure to do what the doc says and tell him/her you want to ride as a way to help drop the weight. Then follow whatever plan they set up so you don't do more harm than good. And let us know what is happening, you will get support from the folks in this forum.
    James


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  7. #7
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Modern medicine can be scary sometimes. Try to stay off the morbidly negative thoughts.
    Think about good things in your past. Plan to do good things in the future.

    I'll say a prayer for you to have peace, and patience... and a positive outcome.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ecovelo's Avatar
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    Hi Luis~

    You came to the right spot for support and encouragement, and sounds like you are doing all the right things in seeking medical assistance immediately and educating yourself. And it is true.... the information on the internet can be scary. Use that fear as a wake up call and let us know how you are doing.

    You will find countless stories of inspiration among these threads. I'm glad you got started and thanks for sharing the beginning of your journey...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    I love the smell of bicycle grease in the morning.
    I am not, associated, affiliated, nor in any way responsible for any of the creative and informative material, (and incredibly beautiful pictures) posted on the EcoVelo blog/website. (I chose my username before I was ever aware of the website).
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Luis, welcome to BF! Your writing is interesting so don't worry about people not reading through the whole post.

    About the information overload on the Internet... I often found myself worrying too much when my little daughter used to get sick. Browsing the Internet made it even worse, because there are always too many symptoms and even more diagnoses. Then I decided not to "diagnose" on my own for more than 10 minutes every time, until I talk to a doctor. 10 minutes is just to gather as much info as possible to know what I might be dealing with.

    So my advice is, wait for the test results, then talk to your doctor. Then come here and tell us all about it.

  10. #10
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    Your first mistake was going to the internet for information There are way to many sites that tend to the extremist scaremongering. Check with your doctor and possibly a cardiologist, and see how concerned they are about it, and what they think you should be doing about it.
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

    Pogo

  11. #11
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    I really appreciate all the responses. They all have helped tremendously as far as keeping me sane. This was unexpected for me. All of my family from what I know of did not really have to go through this whole clogged arteries thing. I must have really wrecked my body with bad eating habits, and I admit, not much exercise at all. I always thought I wouldn't have to worry about these things at my age, I was slapped back into reality. Today I go in for an MRI and a good long talk with my Doctor. I never really built any relationship with a doctor because I never really had to. This is my 4th? ever visit with this particular doctor in less than one week. In any case I will post an update and come back for some support. I feel I will probably become a normal poster here anyway, especially after all of this.

  12. #12
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Welcome, Luis. I can't offer any advice on the artery blockage, but I share in the hypertension and high cholesterol issues and I'm convinced I was half a step from being at least pre-diabetic when I woke up and decided to do something about it. Don't be shy about posting. We're all a pretty supportive bunch.
    Craig in Indy

  13. #13
    Neil_B
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    Luis, first of all, welcome.

    Second of all, don't borrow trouble. You MAY have a partially clogged artery. You don't KNOW that you do. And whatever source gave you the idea listed it as a POSSIBLE cause. Chill out, man.

    You are doing the right things - being concerned, perhaps even to the point of being scared, and starting to make the changes that will avoid or lessen the problem. Panic won't help.

    So consult with the doctors, and come back and tell us how everything went. And when you are done telling us, join into the discussions here. Bike Forums is a poorer place without you here, Luis.

    PS. I'll be in Chicago summer 2012. Wanna meet for a ride?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    Hi Luis,and good luck. Of course, get your medical advice from doctors, not the internet. Having said that, there are all types of doctors -- some who take the low-fat/high carb approach, and others who are skeptical about that. Pay special attention to your blood tests, especially HDL and fasting glucose. Overall cholesterol numbers are not very reliable predictors of heart problems, LDL is better (high numbers are bad), but HDL (higher is good) seems to be the most reliable. Pay a lot of attention to your fasting glucose number. If it's over 100, you may be pre-diabetic. If it's over 120, you need to take some immediate corrective measures in your diet.

    Don't freak out too much about the possibility of a clogged artery -- get confirmation before you do that!

    And remember, you won't lose any weight from exercise if you don't simultaneously change the way you eat. There are lots of competing theories on that. Mostly you will hear the low-fat/high carb advice, but if you want a very different viewpoint, check out Gary Taubes.

    Good luck and happy riding!

  15. #15
    Non sibi sed patriae thestoutdog's Avatar
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    Luis, welcome to the heard, you're in relatively good company. Many of us understand the health scare as some of us have had similar scares. It is alright to be concerned, but you need to listen to the medical experts and not the good intentioned medical novices that we try to be. Now is the time for you to act(consult your doctor first) on the weight. Weight loss comes down to calories in/ calories expended. Tons of helpful "diets" out there, but really it all comes down to your commitment. Find something that works for you. Take it slow and work on something you can maintain for the long haul; you don't need to lose 30 lbs in two weeks. I know that I did not gain all this weight in two weeks and know it will take longer to lose it. So, come on in and make yourself at home, we welcome you. Post when the mood strikes you and don't if it doesn't. I've been a member since 2004 but did not post much in the beginning and I still don't post that often. Please don't be shy, we want to hear what you have to say. Fingers crossed for your health and if you have any questions, please ask. Welcome!
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  16. #16
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Welcome IcanIwill your avatar says it all.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    There's a guy on my triathlon team who is about 5'8"-5'10" and was 300 lbs when he had a heart attack at 28. He's now south of 200 lbs, and completed Ironman Lake Placid last year.

  18. #18
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    Welcome IcanIwill!

    The first part is to get diagnosed correctly and then find out what options you have. Then go over those options with your doctor to see what is the best course of action for you.

    Changing your diet and exercise habits will only help. You might also gain insight into contributing factors associated with your condition. Just keep at it and do your best. This forum is by far the most helpful and supportive.

    Good luck and I hope everything works out.
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

  19. #19
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    Thanks everyone.

    I was mistaken I will have to wait for pre-approval from my Health Insurance before taking the MRI test. I payed the Doctors office a visit for a follow up. The test results listed a possible partial blockage because I was only positive on one part of the test as the doctor put it. The echo pictures show a 50% partial blockage but the blood flow does not support that. So the tests were inconclusive. The MRI results is the golden standard way of 100% diagnosis according to the doctor.

    On a good note, my blood tests results were normal. My good cholesterol was a little low at 38 instead of 40 but other than that nothing out of the ordinary. Now, the doctor did inform me that because my blood tests results were normal that if God forbid the MRI results came back positive with me having a partial blockage then I would most likely have to start taking cholesterol medicine for life. Now, I highly doubt its that simple. I am pretty sure by changing my life style around I might make do without medication but the doctor did not want to cross that bridge until we had to when I started to ask questions.

    I can tell he was getting frustrated with my bombardment of questions, but he kept his cool.

    And Historian, I will gladly meet up with you and join you for a ride that would be a blast. Just let me know when exactly .

    Ahh, and I have lost weight albeit maybe a bit on the unhealthy way of doing so with my being sick and worried and all. In the 1week that this ordeal started with me I have gone from 238 - 229.

    Thanks again everyone.
    Last edited by IcanIwill; 02-23-11 at 06:46 AM.

  20. #20
    Neil_B
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    IcanIwill,

    Five years ago my HDL was 26. After a couple of years of exercise it got up close to normal. Your 38 is a little low but I doubt your doctor would give you a script for it.

    I'll let you know when I'm in Chicago. Just don't drop me on the ride. The Windy City is a big place.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Crazydad's Avatar
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    Really glad to hear the blood work came back normal and I hope the MRI does too. then you can work up a plan with your doctor to get on the bike and get healthy.
    James


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    IcanIwill,

    Five years ago my HDL was 26. After a couple of years of exercise it got up close to normal. Your 38 is a little low but I doubt your doctor would give you a script for it.

    I'll let you know when I'm in Chicago. Just don't drop me on the ride. The Windy City is a big place.
    Oh, I wont. And yes the Windy City is indeed a very big place. And at times a very cold big place.

    Crazydad
    "Really glad to hear the blood work came back normal and I hope the MRI does too. then you can work up a plan with your doctor to get on the bike and get healthy. "

    I pray every night that everything turns out to be normal, but I have to be mentally prepared if it doesn't and just move on. I plan on working up a plan with the Doctor either way really. I have already changed my eating habits.

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