Tuesday, November 27, 2007

i could be on the wizard of oz!

yes, i have a heart. see, i have proof.

get this, i am part of a high risk group for potential heart disease at the hospital that work for, go figure.

maybe i should exercise more???

yup i am in the top 30 of all 500 or so employees. how about them apples???

let me set a little background information for you...

you see there was some program that was done a few years ago that some doctor (i forget all the names) that took an agressive non-invasive approach to reduce the risk factors for patients that could possible be approaching a potential heart attack.

these patients did things like changing their diet, set up an exercise program, did yoga, and became educated in reducing stress managment. the result of the study was fantastic. a huge percentage of the patients reduced their risk without surgical intervention.

so, our hospital is doing the same thing except we were also put through the CT scanner to do a Cardiac Scoring to actually look at the major arteries on the heart. oh, we got blood work also obviously. oh, there is no cost to me. we are the test group. if i had to pay for this 12 week program it would run close to $10,000.

why am i one of the lucky few??? well my blood pressure for one, borderline high. i have watched it creep up as i have gotten older. second my overall chlorestoral... through the fricken' roof. 319 (high is considered anything above 200). but what 4 cardiologists and my primary don't understand is my HDL. (the good chlorestoral) is 215 mm/dl. normal range is 40-89 mm/dl. my LDL is within normal limits, 87 mm/dl (range 60-129 mm/dl). oh, the triglycerides was 83 mm/dl (range 35-150 mm/dl)

the doctor that is heading the program called me a freak. literally, a freak. he wouldn't say that normally, i just work for the hospital that is all.

the risk ratio has a range of 4.0-6.7, mine 1.5, low risk.

so i went to the first session tonight. got a huge three ring binder with stuff like diet change ideas. arrrrrgghhhhhh, what??? NO CAFFINE!!! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME. other stuff like no eggs, butter, red meat, you got it, all the good stuff (sorry Michelle, i know you already do this). and for you ladies, NO CHOCOLATE. sorry had to throw that out there. let me see, i bought a chocolate bar about a month ago, still sitting in the cupboard. it will just have to sit there a bit longer.

we get to exercise too. you would be proud of me, i learned how to walk on the treadmill today.

so anyway, the 1st picture is of my heart and one of the major arteries, the LAD. (left anterior decending) and the really small pictrues are of axial images in one millimeter increments above and below the little blue tick mark. (you would have to mag the image to see the blue tick mark). of course there are other pictures of the RCA, Ramus, PDA, Circ, AM, D1, etc.

the below pictures are of the left ventricle. one in the relaxed state and one after contraction. the difference between the two is the Ejection Fraction. normal range is 55%. mine was 73%.

oh, i had a stress test also. i had one done about two months ago also at a major hospital near me. both times i went longer than anybody previously to reach 95% of maximum heart rate.

oh, the best score of all was my cardiac calcium score was Zero. that's right yellow brick road travelers, no calcium buildup in the arteries that feed the heart.

if you click on the above pictures, look in the bottom right to see what artery is being looked at.

so there it is boys and girls of kansas. non-caffinated tom signing out.


Darin Swanson said...

The pictures are too cool. Planning to show my kids who always ask what a heart really looks like.

I don't think I could ever give up caffeine though...good luck!

Backofpack said...

You are giving me more credit than I deserve. I don't drink coffee, but I do drink tea - less caffiene, but still caffiene. I also eat eggs and cheese, but no other dairy or any type of meat or seafood. And, I eat chocolate.

I hope that the changes help with that cholesterol! I'd love to be part of a study like that - lots of good info to be had.

Sarah said...

No caffeine? I couldn't do it. : ) Sorry, but I just can't picture you walking on the treadmill....

Meghan said...


Congrats on getting picked!

Journey to a Centum said...

No caffeine, I've done that. It really levels out your metabolism and energy levels. That said, I'll have a Grande Americano with light room!

Get that BP and Chlorestoral under control dude! I don't have to tell you the long term effects that High BP can have on the elasticity of your heart.

Carrots are almost as good a chocolate, right?

If I participate in CCC next year it will only be as a pacer. Rob and I are scheming up a 100 mile race to be held on Tiger Mt. We would have 12 Summits (50K) 24 Summits (100K) and 36 Summints (100 Miles). The kicker is we are going to promote a Washington Triple Slam with CCC, 36 Summits, and Plain. It's all in the pie in the sky stage right now but we are doing some research and processing our conversations from today's run. Know anyone who might be interested?


GB said...

No caffeine? I'd never make it. But you gotta do what you gotta do, Tom! Better to take care of that ticker.

Makita said...

What an opportunity to be a part of this study! It is certainly surprising to learn that even ultra-runnners have high BP and cholesterol. Take care of yourself.

DawnB said...

you're really calm about this Tom. Goodluck with the study. Hopefully this will lead you to a heathier I just can't believe I'm saying this to a ultra marathoner.

Jessica Deline said...

that's cool! I want a heart picture like that.

WynnMan said...

Hey Tom! Well there are a couple major brands of snowshoes out there and they have all wised up and are pretty competitive in regard to how minimal they can make their shoes, which is a good thing. I know Hexum is sponsored by Atlas and they have a very minimal shoe now. I think I have the same ones you have from talk last year. Personally I would not use those for racing, but they are still quite useful. Redfeather makes a really minimal shoe, as well as a company from Vermont, in fact that guy was there racing at USSSA last year who makes the shoes, but I can't remember his last name, which is the name of the shoes. The last time I checked the rules last year on USSSA website I am pretty sure the shoe size has to be no less than 8". However the key is to tailor your shoe to not have all those damn straps and to just bolt in a pair of light running shoes. Unfortunately you can't really just buy a pair from the store that does not have straps, so therefore you have to go to the source and get the stock models. Around here there is an outdoor sports shop, where the guy sells snowshoes. He gets blank stocks as well and he will be bolt your shoes on them as well. I am sure you guys definitely have this possibility in your neck of the woods. It will definitely make a world of difference running with this setup and much more enjoyable! than having to run in clunky snowshoes. However if you run a race on an ungroomed course those Atlas shoes you have could come in handy, so don't ditch them.

BTW I was wondering if you could contact me via email on some info about Waldo for 2008. I would like any info on good camping areas near the course, as I plan to be out there 2 weeks before the race as I would like to at least get one round of course knowledge in. Maybe we could get in some running on it, if you're not busy.

happy holidays!
enjoy a cup a DEcaf (:

Audrey said...

honestly, i think this stuff is so cool. i was in a running/crew bone density study (i was on the running side of it) and i got a fee bone density test which insurance normal wouldn't cover for me for another 30 years. i also got a body fat % done and free blood work. TOTALLY take advantage and learn up. and throw off all of their results :) thanks for sharing the pics!