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Heart Stents and Hives

The Heart-Healthy Diet

What a year this has been! Yeah, I know it is only the middle of March. But, I got to start the year out by having a heart attack, so, you know…

And, that’s what I’m really here to talk about. The heart. I intended to do a couple of posts in February about heart health and how to maintain it, but life had other plans. What plans, you ask? Well, that’s what we are here to talk about!

You can google ‘heart health’ and get a million sites telling you almost the same thing. Eat right. Exercise. Take your meds. In fact, you can even find one or two posts on my blog that are just like that, but this post is different. Way different. This post is about what happens when all of those things don’t work and you end up having a heart attack anyway, followed by weeks of misery that the medical establishment just can’t help with.

Let’s go back to where it all started.

I had a heart attack on December 28, 2021. I’m 49. I eat healthy. I get plenty of fresh air and exercise. I do all of the things I am supposed to do to be healthy. The first thing everyone says is, “I can’t believe that you, of all people, had a heart attack!”

It started with a visit to the dentist to get some much-needed work done on my teeth. Sometime around the end of September, I was 3 visits in and they checked my blood pressure before starting the big work. It was high. Not just a little high. Like, super high. We’re talking Willie Nelson, Snoop Dog and Tommy Chong at a private party high. I believe it was something like 158/110. The dentist freaked out and highly encouraged me to head straight to the ER. Of course, that isn’t what I did.

Instead, I came home, took a small dose of my heart/blood herbal blend, decided to make some small adjustments to my diet, then moved on. I was busy. Life kept throwing me curve balls. Summer was having seizures again. Everyone around me was sick and needing stuff. My son was in the process of moving home and settling back in. We had a gazillion projects needing to be finished on the farm. Spring was just around the corner, after all! So much to do, so little time. I was feeling pretty good.

I went back to the dentist a couple of weeks later. It was still high. He pretty much told me that he wouldn’t even book me an appointment unless I had a note from my doctor saying it was okay. I was aggravated, but not at him. Just at the situation. So, I scheduled an appointment with a doctor. It was going to be first part of January before I could get in.

I didn’t take it too seriously. After all, I felt pretty good except for being tired all the time, but that was not unusual for me. I’ve been tired for years! I went on with my life and didn’t think much more about it. Every now and then I would take some of my heart blend, but more often than not I forgot about it. My diet was not what it should have been because I had gotten lazy and didn’t feel like running to the grocery store to get the stuff I should have been eating. I was most definitely not doing any of the things I should have been doing. In hindsight, I see all of that and know that it was own fault.

I woke up early December 28 and was having an odd feeling in my chest. That wasn’t terribly unusual. I always have a bronchitis attack in the winter and that’s what it felt like. It wasn’t exactly painful, just uncomfortable. I made some tea with herbs that always help with my lung issues and got in the shower. The pressure got heavier. I started to feel a bit odd. Lightheaded, but not. Like I was having a hard time staying awake, and my breathing was getting more difficult. I thought that if I could just make it to my bed I could go back to sleep and I’d be fine.

Fortunately, my son was here and he ran up to the neighbor's for help. He was a little scared and didn’t know what to do for me. By the time Terri showed up I had started to vomit. Terri had a heart attack years ago and she knew what was happening.

I can’t tell you much about what happened from there. I was in and out of consciousness while she got me dressed and they got me to her car. She says she tested the limits of her vehicle as she drove me to the hospital, but I don’t remember much of that. I don’t remember much of the ambulance ride from the small hospital she took me to, to the larger hospital that had a cardiac unit that could help me. I don’t remember more than a few seconds here and there until I woke up in the hospital a few hours later and they told me that I’d had a heart attack and they had placed 2 stents in a blocked artery, and that I would need one more stent in an artery that was 85% blocked.

Now, let me just say this…I appreciate that they saved my life. Truly, I do. However, given the option, even knowing that I was having a heart attack, I would have declined the stents. I understand that anyone who doesn’t know me is probably thinking, “Sure you would have. Easy to say now that you lived through it.” Anyone who DOES know me, believes without a doubt that I absolutely would have declined the stents and told them to find another way or to let it go. But, when I made mention of this after the surgery I was told that I should just be grateful that I was alive and they did what was necessary to save my life. So, I shut up and got about the business of getting better.

It was going beautifully. I had more energy than before. No, I wasn’t taking the medicines they prescribed. I was taking all of my herbal meds which included the heart/blood formula I should have been taking in the first place. I added some supplements that people with heart issues need….magnesium, COQ10, Omegas, L-carnitine….My diet was limited to fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and fish. I found a doctor that I liked and had a follow-up with him. Things were going wonderfully.

Then, they weren’t. 6 weeks in and I was suddenly tired again. I just wasn’t feeling good. My scalp started itching. Bad. So bad that I was waking myself up clawing at it. After 2 days, I had clawed it so badly that I had open, itchy sores all over my scalp. Then, it started moving down my neck. After about 5 days, I was covered in this miserable, itchy, painful rash all over my scalp, neck and back. I knew it was an allergic reaction, but had no idea what was causing it.

So, I quit taking everything. I quit eating. I wasn’t eating or drinking anything but water for 3 days in the hope of flushing out whatever was causing the reaction.

It kept getting worse. It spread over my chest and just kept spreading. I started taking my heart blend again because I knew that was critical, and I started eating strictly fresh fruits and veggies. Then, I started researching. I researched every herb and supplement I was taking to see if any of them had ever caused this kind of reaction. For three weeks I did nothing except research, took vinegar baths to stop the burning and itching, and did my best not to claw the skin off my body. Sleep was not really an option. An hour here and there was all I could get because I would wake myself up scratching every part of my body. There was no part of me that wasn’t covered in hives and weeping sores. I cried. A lot.

Week 1
This was my back on day 4....before things got bad...

After three weeks of not being able to figure anything out it occurred to me to start taking cleansing herbs. I started taking a liver/kidney cleanse and a heavy metal detox cleanse. I started with the normal dose of 6 capsules per day. It didn’t even touch it. So, I doubled the dose and started alternating the vinegar baths with Epsom salt and castor oil baths. After 2 days, it finally started helping. My scalp started to heal. Then my neck. But, as the top of my body healed the rash continued to work it’s way down my body, eventually covering even my feet.

And then, I started researching the stents. I pulled out the handy little pamphlet they give you along with your stent card and I cried. I’m not sure if I cried in anger or relief. I finally found the answer and it was worse than I could have imagined.

See all those asterisks? Those were the side effects I was experiencing.

The ‘life saving’ implants they put in my body were the problem.

Pay attention to the underlined sentence on the above picture. It says "Formal drug interaction studies with everolimus-based stents have not been conducted". Read that again. Are you kidding me?????

Let's do a quick recap:

There are 65 adverse effects listed. I was exhibiting 22 of them. Surely it was coincidence, so say the doctors. Should you have one of these rare negative effects, you are advised to report them to your doctor. I'm unclear on why, as I have reported them to 2 'specialists' who told me that an adverse allergic reaction wasn't actually a feasible conclusion to draw...

Stents are made of a blend of metals (as stated in their literature), many of which are known to cause an allergic reaction.

Stents have a polymer coating on them that contains a drug to help the body accept the foreign material and heal. There have been no formal studies on combining the stents with any other medicines, including those that are ALWAYS prescribed following stent implants.

Anyone else seeing the problem, here? No? Okay....

I have always been allergic to metals. I have always been bitter that I can’t have piercings. My father is a jeweler and makes the most beautiful creations and I couldn’t wear them. No earrings. Not even necklaces because the metal caused a painful rash.

And, I always have a reaction to any prescription meds…some big, some small.

So, now what? Where do I go from here? I researched some more.

Stents are permanent. There is no taking them out. There is no option for stents that don’t contain metals, so having the other stent placed wasn’t an option. The prescriptions they wanted me take had caused so many issues while I was in the hospital that taking more of them wasn’t an option. I was screwed.

Once I started researching allergic reactions to heart stents what I found was that I was in no way alone. There are thousands of people who were in the exact same spot that I was in. They had experienced the exact same reaction that I had. They didn’t have any more answers than I did. In fact, they had fewer answers. They didn’t know that there were natural alternatives to the drugs. They didn’t know that the cleansers I was taking had worked so well to help ease the symptoms. But, their stories were all the same, and they went like this:

Heart attack, stents placed, everything goes well for about 6 weeks, then their body erupts in hives. Miserable, itchy, oozing, painful hives that usually started on the scalp and worked it’s way down their entire body. Doctor visits with no answers.

But, the most interesting thing was that, when they went to the doctor and asked about the stents being the cause of the reaction, doctors repeatedly insisted the stents couldn’t possibly be the cause. It had to be something else. They didn’t know what, in spite of allergy tests, elimination procedures, and meds like steroids or cortisone that failed to ease the symptoms, the doctors refused to look at the stents as the culprit. Or, they would chalk it up to a reaction between the stents and the heart meds.

So, I started searching for studies that had been done on the stents. What I found was this: In the last few years, several studies have been done that show stents don’t necessarily improve the outcome of heart patients long term. They also show that allergic reactions to stents are not all that uncommon, and in patients with known metal allergies they are quite common. Not only are they more common than most doctors will admit, in patients who have an allergic reaction it is quite likely that the stents will fail or cause other issues that can lead to a bigger, or even fatal, heart attack.

I know this post is long, so I’m just gonna set these links down right here for you to browse through as you will. They are long and boring and filled with medical terms that you most likely won’t understand without doing some serious research, but they are important. They are all from reputable ‘medical’ entities and contain plenty of references to back up their info.

If these studies aren’t enough, feel free to browse medical websites and message boards to read the thousands of stories of those experiencing an allergic reaction to stents. It is all truly horrifying for anyone going through this.

But, this is my story. It has been almost 6 weeks and I finally have the hives under control. I went to the cardiologist March 14, 2022 and, as luck would have it, the rash had mostly disappeared that morning. I guess it’s kinda like taking your car to the mechanic only to find that the car is no longer making the noise it was when you scheduled the appointment. Keep in mind that the doctor I went to see was described as, “The head honcho at DePaul hospital. Everyone sees him as a cardiac God! He’s the absolute best cardiologist!”

It went almost exactly as I knew it would. The instant he saw that I was refusing to have another stent placed and wasn’t taking my prescriptions he was done with me. As I sat in his office itching various parts of my body that were already visibly irritated and scabbed, he brushed off my allergic reaction as ‘a minor rash’ and declared that, in all of the thousands of stents he has placed he had never come across anyone who was allergic to them, nor had any of his very important colleagues. He said it was highly unlikely that the stents were causing the problem, but anything was possible. He suggested I see an allergist that could prescribe me something to help with the ‘discomfort and itching’, even though I had already explained to him twice that I have reactions to every prescription med I have ever taken in my life.

He then went on to tell me how irresponsible I was for not taking my meds, and how the first 3 months after the stents being placed were the most dangerous and critical, and I was lucky to be alive since I had been doing ‘nothing’. I explained that I wasn’t doing ‘nothing’, and that I was, in fact, taking several natural medicines that have been shown to be extremely effective for the heart, blood, and body. He waved his hand and brushed them all off as ‘nothing’ again.

He listened to my heart and told me that, amazingly, everything sounded great and told me again how lucky I was that I hadn’t died after not taking the prescriptions. He checked my blood pressure and told me it was a tad high, but acceptable. Then, he told me that if I was refusing the other stent and wasn’t going to take prescriptions he couldn’t help me. Call him if I changed my mind and wanted another surgery or some meds.

What he DIDN'T do was ask me about my diet. He didn't ask if I was exercising. Or about any of the things I was taking. Or look at any of the info I had acquired in my research of allergic reactions to stents.

This is the big pile of nothing that I take every day

I really don’t like doctors. Not at all. They are mostly useless to me, and have never once improved my situation.

But, that isn’t really why I am writing this. I am writing this to let people know that this CAN happen. This DOES happen. If you had stents placed and are having a reaction that you just can’t explain, you aren’t crazy. You aren’t alone. What is happening to you is real, and there is hope.

As of today, it has been just under 6 weeks since my reaction started. I am taking all of my supplements and my heart/blood blend. I am still taking 12 detox caps a day and a salt/oil bath every day, but the rash has almost completely faded. The itch remains, though not as severe. My energy levels are slowly coming back up and I’m generally starting to feel better. I can walk 7 times around my driveway (9 3/4 is a mile). My BP is good (Today it was 110/83), and I’ll be getting blood work done in the near future to check my cholesterol and other levels and make sure that what I am doing is controlling the situation. I’m spending a lot of time doing ‘nothing’ to fix what modern medicine caused to go haywire, against the advice of every medical ‘professional’ out there, and it seems to be working.

Nobody knows if my body is really learning to accept the stents, or if this is just a lull in the program. There are no reliable tests to evaluate what caused the reaction, or what may cause it to come back. The future is pretty uncertain, but for today all is good. I’m still here. Still fighting. There is hope. There is always hope.

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