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My Heart Healthy Story by Tom B. from White Lake, MI.

Around 1980, I had my first angioplasty (balloon) procedure to clear my blocked heart arteries.  I was back to work in a few days ... feeling better than I had felt in a long time.  For over 25 years, I continued to smoke  and eat whatever I felt like eating.  Of course, I continued to have more angioplasty procedures performed and even had stents installed to try to keep my arteries open.  I was taking cholesterol drugs along with Plavix and thought life was good. In 2010, one of my buddies died from heart problems. I myself had been short of breath and knew it was probably time for another balloon procedure. I saw my cardiologist and had a catherization performed, but my luck had run out. I was no longer a candidate for a balloon procedure; I needed a  bypass. I was told to go home for a week and get the Plavix out of my system and quit smoking!  Driving back to the hospital a week later (March 2010) for my bypass, I told my wife that I didn't think I was this nervous as when I was going to Vietnam. I wound up having a triple bypass and was in the hospital for four days.  After resting up at home a few weeks, I went through physical therapy and met with a nutritionist.  I am proud to say I have not had a cigarette since my bypass and have changed my eating habits immensely.  My wife and I used to kid people that we were on the "earth tone" diet ... only eating foods that were brown/beige such as french fries, burgers, etc.   These days we're eating Laura's Lean Beef and lots of fruits and vegetables. For my last birthday, my family bought me a bike. My wife and I love to go bike riding at a local park.  I haven't felt this good since I was in my 20's.

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