Editor’s Note: If you love to hunt and fish, and you want to be able to enjoy the outdoors as long as you possibly can, then read and learn from this week’s information. I never can remember a time that I haven’t participated in outdoor activities. For the last 45 years, I’ve been an outdoor writer, hunting and fishing in just about every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries. However, along the way, I’ve seen some of my friends and colleagues having to shorten their outdoor careers due to heart disease. This week, I’ll tell you what’s happened to me, what I’ve done, why, and what my outcome has been. I’ve learned that anytime you can talk to someone who’s going through an experience that you may be facing, you can learn plenty and not be nearly as apprehensive, as you will have been if you don’t know what’s happening to you.
Anytime you hear that you’ve got a blockage in an artery going to your heart, you automatically think, “Am I going to die?” And when a doctor suggests that you may need to have a stent put in an artery, you may think, “Is it going to hurt?” “What’s a stent, and what does it do?” “Why do I need a foreign object in my artery going to my heart?” and “What’s going to happen to me when I get to the hospital and go in the operating room?” You also may find yourself thinking, “I wish I could talk to someone or read an article that would get me prepared for what I’m about to go through.” So, since I’ve been there and done that, I thought I’d share my experiences with you. And, I want to encourage you that if and when you have any of these symptoms I had, you should go to a doctor before experiencing a stroke or a heart attack.
I couldn’t believe how easy the procedure to check out my arteries was. I went into the operating room and counted to about 8. When I woke up, I watched on a screen to see what the doctor was doing inside the artery going to my heart. After I’d seen all I needed to see, I went back to sleep, woke up in the recovery room and then was wheeled back into a hospital room, where I spent the night. I came home the next day. I’d been to the dentist before and felt more pain than I did when the heart surgeon and interventionist,. Dr. Bradley Cavender, https://cvapc.com/ at Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, put that stent in the artery going to my heart.
To be honest, I knew I was out of shape, I realized I hadn’t kept-up an exercise program during COVID-19 restrictions, and I wasn’t that surprised about having blockage in one of my arteries. So, I write this column today to encourage all my Facebook friends and hunting and fishing buddies to make sure before you go on a hard hunt or a day-long saltwater fishing trip or try to climb mountains that are too high, that you visit your family physician. Follow his or her recommendations, and have an EKG done to make sure that your heart and the arteries leading to your heart are in good shape before you leave on one of those outdoor trips of a lifetime.
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” available in Kindle, Print and Audible versions, at http://amzn.to/YpoQHA. On the right side of the Audible page for this book and below the offer for a free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible with one click. You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the book for free, and you can hear 10% for free). To learn more about deer books by John E. Phillips go to www.amazon.com/. Also check out “Alabama’s Offshore Saltwater Fishing: A Year-Round Guide for Catching Over 15 Species of Fish” available in Kindle at http://amzn.to/VBqZPZ.
Tomorrow: Know about Cardiac Rehab and How It Can Improve Your Strength for Hunting and Fishing – All Photos by Emma Grace Phillips