CABBAGE "4" (C)ardiac (A)rtery (B)ypass (G)raft

by M. J. M.
(Phila, PA)

I sure never knew I was a "CABG 4" until four and a half months ago. The home healthcare nurse showed up at my house for the first time and explained it to me because I had no idea how to answer her when she asked me that question.

There is some family history of heart problems but I run 3 or 4 miles four days a week and walk. I am not overweight and do not smoke or drink. I also ate what I wanted because I tried to run everything off. I never thought I had to much to worry about.

I mentioned to the doctor during a routine physical that I would get a small cramp in my left arm only when I ran and I did not feel it until a quarter of a mile into my run. I never had chest pain, tightness in the chest or throat, pain running up and down arms or dizziness. My doctor said just to be sure get a stress echo test. I ran as usual and scheduled the test a few weeks out. At the conclusion of the test the doctor said go home and get a tooth brush and meet me in the emergency room.

Two days later I had a quadruple bypass. The doctors say it is most likely genetics when you have that much coronary artery disease with my set of circumstances. I realize how lucky I am to have no heart damage with that much blockage. Get everything checked out!! I've been running for a month now. Thanks.

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Keep it up
by: BT in North Carolina

Hey MJM. Great to hear you're alive and returning to your routine. New and improved is how I like to think of it. I exercised about as much as you but smoked a pack a day for 30 years. So they're gone for good and I was back jogging about as soon afterward as you. Best of luck to you, keep doing what you're doing and don't forget - there are so, so many brothers and sisters out there just like you.

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