Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dec 23, 2006 My Triple Bypass Surgery Part IV – A Little Blip & Why me?

Dec 23, 2006 My Triple Bypass Surgery Part IV – A Little Blip & Why me?

Hari OM! I hope that you patiently went though the links I sent you in Part III. If you could not open the graphs, charts or tables in that Article for Asian Indians, please send me an e-mail and I will resend that 3 MG file in pdf. We Asian Indians need to study and understand it.

Now I am told that my condition was due to 75% genetics and 25% life style. I feel like screaming at this STAT. Many of my well-wishers including myself have question. How could I be the victim of a Heart Attack & undergo a Triple Bypass surgery? Further, if you did not know, on June 24, 1992, I had a Stroke (called TIA – Transient Ischemic Attack) that lasted some four hours. My left side was paralyzed and I even had lost my speech, but with Hanumanji’s blessings, I was saved within 4 hours. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tia/tia.htm)

My life Style:

YOGA: I practice Asana part daily 22 minutes up to one hour.
YOGA: Pranayam – Practice of Breathing Exercises – 30 to 60 Minutes and 3 – 4 times Balanced Breathings 27 rounds.
YOGA: Meditation – 22 Minutes to 1 Hour including Pranic Healing / Cosmic Meditation.....
SUN YOGA: Sun Gazing – 30 Minutes (I have completed the HRM Protocol reaching a peak of 44 minutes!)
Aerobic Conditioning – 2.5 days a week during winter days and swimming 5 days a week in the summer of 2006.
Diet: A. Nuts – 5 to 10 pieces of Almonds, Cashews 5 to 7 pcs, Walnut 6 to 8 pcs, one fig, two dates, handful black Raisins, handful Sunflower seeds and Pumpkin seeds B. Boiled Vegetables with Green Chutney. This also includes green Legumes & Beans family. C. Salad once in a while D. Plenty of fruits esp. Grapes, Banana, and other varieties (five colorful kinds!) E. 1% Milk and Milk Products (sweets but controlled amount, more for taste). Yogurt with Honey, Resins, Dates, one table spoon of grounded Flax Seeds F. Chocolate controlled but sometimes difficult ..... G. I have avoided Rice, Wheat and other Grains in my diet. NOTE: Virtually No Salt and no spices. According to one Dietician, my diet is around 2600 calories. However, my weight has been steady around 130 lbs for over a year. I started this SATWIK Diet since April 9, 2005, Chaitri Navratri – Ramnavmi Week.
BENEFITS: The most important benefit I experienced was that (1) I lost 10 lbs and (2) my legs muscles felt Bionic. I could talk long walks or do rigorous aerobics and my leg muscles would not get tired. Also, I didn't run out of breath and maintained a lower heart rate. (3) Around 25th day, I lost almost all my cravings for the food that I loved.

SLEEP: My worst enemy. I cannot control Dreams and usually they are full of Negative Garbage. That’s why I think I have High Blood Pressure. So to help that, I fall to sleep with soothing chanting on my I-Pod.
Internally I am type “A” personality - workaholic, obsessive, and compulsive, persistently striving for something deemed worthwhile ...... Externally, I may project a type “B” personality - calm, cool, collected .......

BLIP in Recovery: I showed a remarkable recovery in the beginning. Within a day or two I started walking 15 minutes at a clip and within three days, two to three times a day. Then I walked 20 minutes with some five minutes rest at 10 minutes, twice a day. This is without pushing or showing off. As I was told, I gained 5 lbs in fluid build up right after surgery and peaked at 10 lbs within a couple of weeks. Under the direct care of Drs. Bhasker & Rita Jhaveri and Dr. Patil of Shanti Associates, I got my lungs x-rayed and blood test. They noticed some fluid build up in my lungs (Item #5 on my list of side effects, given by the hospital). I had some swelling in my both the legs but my right leg was a lot worse due to vein grafting. I took Lesix, a diuretic to get rid of the excess fluid, but to no avail. My system just gobbled that up. I was asked to keep my legs up as much as possible especially during sleep.

Then we flew 6 hours direct to LA from Wash DC. Fortunately, there was no one in middle seat, so I could keep my legs up above my chest level for the most of the journey. Within a day or so, I experienced running out of breath for the first time in my life. My legs and whole body felt tired after climbing just one flight of stairs. I reduced my walks to 20 minutes a day. We ended up staying for 5 days in LA. Two days after we came to Palo Alto, our family Cardiologist Dr. Shailan Shah ordered a lungs x-ray and found substantial fluid build up in the lungs.

Here we go: I was admitted to my third hospital (Stanford Hospital) in a month. (Thanx to the connections of Shailan to get quick response from the Hospital!) They doubled the dose of lesix through an Intra-Veinus. First day was a bang up day for fluid excretion. They decided to see whether I could get rid of excess fluid with medication instead of an invasive draining procedure. Well three days later I was released and now I feel like million bucks, even with some fluid left in lungs. I can walk one hour a day in a couple of clips without running out of breath. Besides, some 10% people go through this. In my case, (I know this is controversial), I succumbed to family pressure by changing my diet back to normal which my salt-less & spice-less system could not take it or simply, the salt retained fluid. During those days, I started drinking lot more water. Now I am back to a minimum salt diet but am continuing with rice, wheat & other grains. Right now I am restricted to intake of 48 Ozs of fluid. I keep my scorecard where I keep track of output v/s input of fluid and I must have more output by some 500 ml! (FYI: 1 Oz is equal to 30 ml.)

I have a daily breakfast of some 10 medications and there are constant changes in daily intake. I do not need to go through that explanation as it would be a special situation per individual. We did not want others to know about this little BLIP as Uttambhai may have rushed to have another prayer session! (By the way, we appreciate all those of you who could attend that first prayer session in SATSANG Center and those who did do prayers on their own. )

Back to the original question of “In spite of my HOLY (?) Life Style, why should I suffer from these medical emergencies?”


1. Medically: Whopping 75% is genetics and 25% life style. Then why should one bother with all the rigmarole of chasing to improve one's lifestyle. Like Hirabhai Thakkar used to say: Even if you are educated, you gonna die one day anyway, so why go through the headache of studying for all these years? Incidentally, Last year, when I went through Heart attack in August 2005, I was told that I have severe CAD.

Well to me, we must strive for our BEST then “As man proposes and God or Karma disposes”.

2. Religious Philosophy: It is Karma! We must pay for bad Karmas committed in past. What we are today is the result of past. Even Lord Rama would (could) not do anything to extend life of his father Dashrath for 14 more years to fulfill his wish of installing Rama as the King? Then who are we?

3. In my Case: They found that my two stents were 100% free & clear but the build up in Left Main (LM) grew from 40% to 70%. My diet may have helped in case of stents but the build up can keep growing in spite of diet? Another explanation I heard is that 40% was a guess and five doctors would have had different answers. While this year CMC also did Ultrasound during CAT procedure, which gives you more accurate reading. Then why do they not do an Ultrasound with every CAT procedure esp. when doctors see more blockages? Who knows? Maybe there is some guidelines they have to follow .....

4. Lessons Learned: Every problem presents a challenge or opportunity to learn something new. How could we reverse the CAD – build up in our arteries, esp. Cardiac. Hopefully, with so many Asian Indian Doctors, somebody, someday, will come up with a solution. I am told that my diet surpasses Dean Ornish’s proposed diet? Hopefully the answer is already there in Ayurveda or YOGA yet to be made common knowledge?

While bypass surgery may be a child’s play for Cardiac Surgeons, but to me its medical miracle! I marvel at their work! God bless these surgeons & Medical professionals!

Enough for this time! Part V will have some of our recommendations!

Wish you Happy Holidays! ENJOY!


Sudha (Su) Jamthe said...


God Bless you. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with all of us.

Its amazing that you had to go through this after your Yoga and Diet, maybe your writing will help some researcher understand the problem and find a solution.

Best Wishes,

Rajiv Parikh said...

One thing is for certain, Dad's heart condition cannot be due to his practices over the past 10 years. When he says he has an all vegetable diet, it is truly an all-steamed, no salt or oil diet. Same thing for the sun gazing, daily yoga and meditation and everything else. It is amazing that Dad can sit there in a restaurant and literally watch everyone enjoy a very rich fully loaded Indian feast without feeling compelled to join in. That's discipline.

Because of Dad's health, you came out of surgery quickly and had a rapid recovery. I'm certain that things would have been much worse if he had followed his regimen. He will likely live a longer and healthier life because of his continued practice.

One thing we have learned by watching and living with him is that heart disease is very complex. There is no single reason why one particular person gets it. There is no one particular way for a particular person to "solve" it. All those who say that they can look at the sky every day and eat banana leaves are completely full of it. We should insist on double blind statistical data, not one person's hyperbole.

That's the point about diseases like heart disease, diabetes or asthma: it is a set of likely statistical outcomes that are difficult to predict for any given individual. Asian Indians are more likely to get heart disease, but not every Asian Indian. If you are obese, eat red meat, sedantary, and highly stressed, you are much more likely. But there are people who are in shape, have low fat diets, exercise and are relaxed who have heart attacks as well.

I have learned a lot from Dad's practices and experience. I have modified my life to decrease the potential for heart disease. I have learned to skeptically question the cure-all crowd who claims that they reversed heart disease through one anecdotal thing or another. Traditional medical practice is valuable because it requires highly rigorous study. Most drugs or devices are approved after multi-year, multi-thousand patient studies that are reviewed by a wide variety of skeptics. It's not foolproof, but it is very thorough. Also, there are many worthy alternative practices that can complement Western medicines.

Most of all, I appreciate all those family, friends, well-wishers, doctors and nurses who have supported Dad and Mom with such dedication and care. It inspired us all that so many of our Satsang family came out to pray for Dad during his surgery. It is an inspiration to all of us.

God bless you all!