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Author Topic: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.  (Read 3284 times)

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Offline RetiredTech

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Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« on: March 14, 2023, 04:56:02 PM »
  After reading OlJarhead's thread I thought I'd share my own current problem. I had to have labs, chest x-ray and an EKG to clear the way for foot surgery to repair a nueroma in my right foot. My primary doctor noticed a change in my EKG from one he did for a neck surgery several years ago. He referred me to a cardiologist before he would sign off on the surgery. He thought I may have had a heart attach and didn't even know it. Finally got to see the cardiologist a few long weeks later and he diagnosed a right bundle branch block. If I  understand it right it's more like a partially fouled spark plug the doesn't fire right than an actual blockage in an artery. He said it doesn't look serious right now but would put me at a higher risk for needing a pace maker. They both OKed the foot surgery, but I have to go back later this month for a stress test and an echo cardiogram. I'm about a week out of foot surgery now and my Mill build is on hold until the swelling in my foot goes down enough for me to walk on it again. I can move around standing on the heel right now and it's getting better, just not as fast as I want. My Dad used to tell me "Getting old ain't for the faint of heart". Now I see what he meant. If I had a car that required this much maintenance I'd junk it!
Philippians 4:8

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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2023, 06:29:42 PM »
I know what you mean, it sure ain't  for sissies! 
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline jimbarry

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2023, 06:38:56 PM »
I know what you mean as well. I woke up a couple weeks ago and had almost no hearing left. Prior to that, I was 70% left ear, 50% right ear. Now its 40% left ear and 20% right ear. Waiting to see an ENT.  Then a couple days ago I got test results back from a gov program that checks for blood in stool sample. For guys over 50, they can receive a test kit in the mail from the hospital every 2 years, free of charge. Last two tests clear. This one not. Now I have a date for a colonoscopy.  Oh, and sleep apnea. Not sure what to do about that one as it seems to affect my wife more than me (since she has to hear it/not hear it while I sleep in lala land.)

Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2023, 06:57:26 PM »
  Aw man, you just reminded me. When I woke up from the foot surgery the first thing I remember the nurse saying was "You need to get tested for Sleep Apnea. I've been watching you sleep for a while and you stop breathing every few minutes". I haven't done anything with that yet. I guess we have to be thankful for the ailments we don't have.
Philippians 4:8

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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2023, 06:58:50 PM »
Doesnt have to be that way! There is a reason when I walk into a Planet Fitness I see many older people there. Their doctor probably told them to join a gym. And let me tell you Im amazed at some of the older guys and gals that are absolutely smokin the cardio machines and killing the weights!! ! I admire all of them at all levels getting after it big time!!! 

Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2023, 07:23:41 AM »
I know what you mean as well. I woke up a couple weeks ago and had almost no hearing left. Prior to that, I was 70% left ear, 50% right ear. Now its 40% left ear and 20% right ear. Waiting to see an ENT.  Then a couple days ago I got test results back from a gov program that checks for blood in stool sample. For guys over 50, they can receive a test kit in the mail from the hospital every 2 years, free of charge. Last two tests clear. This one not. Now I have a date for a colonoscopy.  Oh, and sleep apnea. Not sure what to do about that one as it seems to affect my wife more than me (since she has to hear it/not hear it while I sleep in lala land.)
  Don't worry too much about the stool sample and colonoscopy. I've had to  have them periodically since my 30's due to bleeding polyps. So far they've all been benign. I think it's inherited. Just something else you have to keep an eye on. Let me know what the ENT says. It doesn't seem right you should loose that much hearing overnight.
@Walnut Beast 
  Thanks for the thoughts, I know you mean well. I've always thought of myself as a healthy guy. I work outside most days weather permitting. Living in the country there's always something that needs to be done. Gardens to tend, grass to cut, fields to clip, firewood to cut, houses and roads to repair. It's a never ending task list and I'm trying to add sawing logs to the list. I need to build a carport, tractor and implement shed, and a sawmill shed after I finish the mill build. Along with various smaller projects like a smoke house and garden shed. The list never ends. Even if I had time to go to a gym the nearest small town is over half an hour away. They have a grocery store, a co-op, a Sonic, severa.l gas stations a used car lot, and not much else. The next larger city is an additional hour away. I'm not one to sit around staring at the walls. I doubt very many in the FF do. 
  I love all that Black walnut you've been cutting. We have a few on the place, but they're not nearly as big as what your cutting. 
Philippians 4:8

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Online barbender

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2023, 10:46:23 AM »
 I did a sleep study and was diagnosed with sleep apnea many years back, almost 20 I think. I got setup with a CPAP machine at that point and have used it ever since. Wearing it actually relaxes me, although I know of other people that hate them. Mine doesn't bother me a bit though. I don't know thatvive ever been able to say that I feel more rested for wearing it, but it definitely helps my poor wife sleep. On a practical level I wear it mostly for her, I don't snore at all when wearing it.

 If I understand correctly, untreated sleep apnea can also be hard on your heart. Maybe @doc henderson or @doctorb could give us the nitty gritty of the condition rather than me repeating what I thought I heard somewhere, which is probably wrong😊
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Old saw fixer

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2023, 12:59:02 PM »
My wife stayed on me until I went and had a sleep study.  Like @barbender , I like using the CPAP and learned to adjust it.  Lowering the minimum pressure got rid of my morning dry mouth.  My brother hates his CPAP.
My wife finally agreed to getting a sleep study, thank goodness!  She fussed about my snoring but she stops breathing at times plus the snoring.  I took her to the initial consult, she saw the same PA that takes care of me.  She will be able to get the home sleep study equipment in April.  We will go from there.
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Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2023, 02:28:23 PM »
  Thanks Guys. I just made an appointment with my Primary Physician for next week to see about getting a referral. I guess I need to try to nip this in the bud if it'll take a little pressure off the old heart.
Philippians 4:8

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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2023, 04:18:20 PM »
Prayers for you RetiredTech and all others struggling with stressful situations like yours. Hang in there guys!

Offline doctorb

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Offline jimbarry

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2023, 06:53:01 PM »
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-dangers-of-uncontrolled-sleep-apnea
The sleep apnea this is interesting to me because that I don't exhibit any of the qualifications such as weight, been 6ft/185lbs all my adult life. Or blood glucose issues, blood tested every couple of years, everything in balance. Always been a-ok. I don't get stressed about sleep, easily asleep within 15 minutes or less. Don't get sleepy during the day. If anything, my wife is always telling me to slow down. Having said all that, for years I've known of the snoring and occasionally snort myself awake. So yeah, I dunno. Doc visit coming up in about 10 days. We'll see what happens.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2023, 08:52:32 PM »
jimbarry, ever had wax build up in your ears?
I've had it twice. Once was over night. I woke up one morning and thought, why ain't the alarm going off? I picked my head off the pillow and I heard the alarm. I laid my head back down and could not hear it. Picked my head up and I could hear the alarm. One ear was blocked.
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Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2023, 09:15:54 PM »
I got so I noticed I wasn't hearing so well one time, and the doc used a water pick to extract a truly gross amount of wax.

Going out to the parking lot after the procedure, the high-pitched frequencies, which I'd not been hearing lately, we're so prominent, let's just say it was trippy.  What's all that noise?!?
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Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2023, 09:44:45 PM »
    I'm a little heavier than Jim. I'm 5'11" and 210, but I wouldn't say obese. I do need to loose probably 15-20 pounds. My wife is always telling me I don't know when to quit working. I have had problems with high blood pressure for years. I hardly ever have problems going to sleep at night, but if something wakes me I have a hard time getting back to sleep. I'm a light sleeper. I rarely get a full 8 hours sleep. Usually around 7 hours. Maybe I've had this issue a good while and didn't even know it. I'll post back when I get some results. My stress test is scheduled for Monday.
Philippians 4:8

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Offline realzed

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2023, 04:06:34 AM »
I know what you mean, it sure ain't  for sissies!
As the saying goes:  "Old age is a luxury not afforded to all" and I have to keep reminding myself through all of my own aches and pains (and surgical interventions) of this, whenever I may sort of feel inclined to feel sorry for myself.

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2023, 07:52:47 AM »
Around here, one big hospital acquired two small ones. Can't find help. I have a colonoscopy in May. Only took a year to get it set up. ::)

Hope it goes good for you.
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Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2023, 06:13:55 AM »
  Hy folks. I had the stress test and echo-cardiogram yesterday. My followup isn't until the end of April due to a shortage of cardiologists at the center. They did say if there was something that needed immediate attention they would call me. So I'm hoping I don't hear from them. I had a treadmill stress test years ago but this was the first chemical stress test I've done. I couldn't walk on the treadmill this time because I just had surgery on my foot. I didn't have any of the reactions they told me to expect from the stress test. I could have napped through the whole process if it weren't for the blood pressure machine pumping up every couple minutes. I got more stress worrying about the test before it happened than I did from the test itself.
Philippians 4:8

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Offline Magicman

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2023, 09:30:02 PM »
Thanks for the update.  Hopefully all is OK, but you still wonder, I guess human nature.  I wish best for you.  
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Offline jimbarry

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2023, 06:21:24 AM »
jimbarry, ever had wax build up in your ears?
I've had it twice. Once was over night. I woke up one morning and thought, why ain't the alarm going off? I picked my head off the pillow and I heard the alarm. I laid my head back down and could not hear it. Picked my head up and I could hear the alarm. One ear was blocked.
I don't usually get any wax in my ears but.... the week I lost my hearing I had a shocking amount in my ears. Likely cause I say. And same here, I can turn my head certain ways and not hear bells, beeps and buzzers.

Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2023, 06:06:02 AM »
  Some good news to share. I had my first followup visit with the foot surgeon. They took off all the gauze and compression wraps and removed some of the stitches. I just have a big bandaid covering the incision now. I'm out of the special shoe and can wear a regular shoe again, just have to keep it really loose so it doesn't press on the top of my foot. There's still some  swelling and it feels like a knot under my foot, but I can walk a lot better than last week. I go back in another two weeks to get the  rest of the stitches out. Tomorrow I see my primary about the sleep study referral. Hopefully things will be getting back to normal soon. 8)
Philippians 4:8

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Offline Magicman

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2023, 07:45:03 PM »
It's good to read the good news update.  8)
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2023, 09:00:08 AM »
If you guys were in Missouri I could set you up with a really good audiologist I know.  She also washes my clothes and occasionally makes my dinner.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2023, 10:38:45 AM »
And tells you want to do.  :D
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2023, 05:06:09 PM »
Sometimes.
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2023, 08:24:09 AM »
I have had too many surgeries etc to list.
Sleep apnea diagnosed about 12 years ago been using a cpap since but dont like it.
As a previous poster said earlier I get dry mouth in the morning.
Ill look into pressure reduction, thanks for  the hint.
Left bundle branch block found 5 yrs ago, pacemaker in May 2020.
Go for an echo every year.
My cardiologist has left the local practice, I really liked the guy.
Surgery scheduled for left middle trigger finger and duputrons  contracture next wednesday.
jumping thru the hoops prior to this, Covid test and labs tomorrow, EKG tuesday surgery time to be determined wednesday.
Yup, is aint easy, but I muddle thru, as Im sure a lot of us do.
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Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2023, 01:37:15 PM »
  Finally got the rest of the stitches out of the foot yesterday. No more showers with plastic bags. The nueroma tested non-malignant. There's still a good bit of swelling around the incision area and it's very tender to walk on, but the doctor said that's normal at this stage and will get better.

  I go one day next week for my consultation visit with the sleep apnea Doctor. I'm sure he'll order a sleep study test. I was thinking about asking for a home test. Has anyone had any experience with one? I've read that they don't get as much data from the home study. Do they give enough data that you you don't have to do more tests on top of them?
Philippians 4:8

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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2023, 02:25:37 PM »
I think if they are neg. you can be done.  more of a screen.  If positive, I think you will need a formal test to qualify for home oxygen and or CPAP.  ask the doc when you go to see about it.  
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Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2023, 02:39:48 PM »
  I was kinda thinking the same thing. But I was hoping I could get the home test faster and be done with it. Between my wife and the nurse after the  foot surgery I'm pretty sure I'm going to need something. Trying to get all this behind me as soon as possible. There's just so much that needs to be done this time of year. 
Philippians 4:8

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2023, 05:29:02 AM »
Get you walking around without a lot of pain will lift your spirits.
I went through a hernia operation last year.
Spent the summer on the couch. 
All the things needed to be done was still there in August.  ;D
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Offline doctorb

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2023, 10:12:41 AM »
I did the home test a year ago.  Not too intrusive.  I am not familiar with what data is obtained from one test to the other.  Mine was negative for sleep apnea, so I dont want to look for it again!
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2023, 10:27:19 AM »
I did sleep studies back in the mid 80s when sleep medicine was catching on.  we did them in the ICU in an otherwise empty room.  I put up a partition so the pt. had some privacy, and I could also take naps in a recliner.  I was there for the bad ones, we would sometime add O2, or try some CPAP.  If I was ornery, a nurse might sneak in though the adjoining bathroom and squirt me with a little dey dose saline packet.  even 3 cc seems like a lot when you are sleeping.  this was Lawrence Memorial Hospital, home of KU.  Grad X 2.  Oh and that nurse got a near full squirt bottle of ultra sound/doppler gel down her scrub top.  Do not mess with the bull!   smiley_bull_stomp   :)
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Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2023, 07:44:47 PM »
  I went to see the Sleep Dr. this morning. She indicated that since I have the heart problem, sinus issues and several other small issues that I needed to have the full study done instead of the home study. She said the home study basically focuses on breathing and O2 levels where the full study monitors the arms, legs, heart, brain and how everything is working together during an event. She said the full study sometimes brings problems to light that would otherwise go un-noticed. Waiting for insurance approval and an appointment now. It will likely be early May before they get to me, but that's OK.
 The foot is still healing. I have a pair of very soft soled shoes that I can wear fairly well. I can get most things done with minimal discomfort, except working on a steep slopes. I tried cutting brush on the pond levee a few days ago and paid for that one big time.
 I go back to the Cardiologist in about 2 weeks. Hopefully, I'll get good news from him. I feel a lot better about things now. They had my head spinning for a while. :)  
Philippians 4:8

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Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2023, 09:36:46 PM »
  The sleep doctor and the the insurance company are trying to work out if they will pay for the home study or the full study. Hopefully they'll get it worked out soon.
  In the meantime I saw the cardiologist today and he wants to do a heart cath. to see if I have any blockages that need attention. Looks like the saga continues.
  All in all I feel pretty good. The foot is still healing. I do get winded fairly easily, but I just take a break and then get back to it again. At least I can see from the posts above I'm in good company. I hope everyone else is on the mend.
Philippians 4:8

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2023, 01:46:42 PM »
I glad to hear that your foot is healing @RetiredTech , that will be one problem done. 
I had a procedure last month that segued into wearing a heart monitor for a month.  That was one itchy 30 days with the monitor taped to my chest.  In the 30 days there was 2 minutes of Afib. Now taking Xarelto instead on low dose aspirin.  I have had an Echo cardiogram and go back to see my cardiologist next week. 
A few years ago I had a cardiac ablation to fix an atrial flutter.  I am sure that was caused by an improperly wired strobe power supply that shocked me when I reached in the trunk to see if all the strobes were connected.  I was thrown back from leaning in the trunk when I touched the bare wire.  I was a good 270# then.  All I noticed that I had to stop frequently and catch my breath when walking our Basset, Murphy.
We all have problems as we get older...
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Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2023, 08:17:20 PM »
  I had the heart cath done today. They went through the left wrist instead of the groin. The Doctor said there were only a couple partial blockages in the 30%-50% range and none that would require a stint or change in medication . He also said that they were on the opposite side of the heart from the area where the stress test showed the slight abnormality. So the stress test was a false positive. I've got to take it easy for the next week and can't lift more than 7 pounds with the left arm. Then I should be good to go. The foot is still getting better. I might try resuming my morning walks in a few days. Things are looking up.
  Oh, the Sleep Test is next week. Insurance won't pay for the in lab test unless you're in worse shape than I am. They will pay for the home study so that's what we'll do. By the end of the month I should be completely out of doctor appointments. thumbs-up
Philippians 4:8

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Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2023, 03:39:18 PM »
I think if they are neg. you can be done.  more of a screen.  If positive, I think you will need a formal test to qualify for home oxygen and or CPAP.  ask the doc when you go to see about it.  
Well you nailed that one on the head. My insurance would only pay for the home study because I had not had heart failure. The home study showed I was on the higher end of moderate sleep apnea. Now they want to do the in lab study to find out what the settings will be. Now we go back to the insurance company for another attempt to approve the in Lab test. It's all strange to me. I'm not one of those people that sit down to talk to you and fall asleep. I thought I slept pretty good at night.
Philippians 4:8

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2023, 06:13:00 AM »
I think I sleep good too. But ask Brenda.  :o
Toss and turn all night and talk too.
I have even stood up in bed to work on the fan when it was going. ::)
She hollered at me to get down and go back to sleep. Like a good husband I did and had no idea what I was doing the next morning.
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Offline RetiredTech

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Re: Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2023, 07:09:54 AM »
Wow, I do toss and turn a lot, but I don't think I've ever tried to stand up and work on the fan.lol
Philippians 4:8

Branson 4520R, EA Wicked Root Grapple, Dirt Dog Pallet Forks
Echo cs-450 & cs-620p , Husqvarna 136, Poulan Pro, and Black Max Chainsaws
Partially built bandsaw mill


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