Topic: Recovering In Style  (Read 5936 times)

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Offline Ryan Culberson

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Recovering In Style
« on: May 21, 2011, 12:54 AM »
2011 has been quite a year for me.  Had a heart attack on Jan 26th.  While I was in the E.R., my heart stopped altogether and I was literally dead (flatlined) for 10 seconds.  Finally found a cardiologist willing to go the extra mile and since then, I've been through every heart-related test known to mankind.

Long story short... my heart beats too slow (called bradycardia).  My average heart rate was 45-50 bpm while normal is considered 60-100 bpm.  Basically, I'm hardwired to play ballads!    ;D

I also have other conditions that randomly make my heart rate drop even further, down into the low 30s and even high 20s bpm.  Bad stuff.  Anyway, my cardiologist called an emergency pacemaker implant surgery for me which was performed on Monday.  Now my heart rate is programmed at a very respectable 70 bpm and I already feel significantly better as a result of so much extra blood/oxygen being pumped to all areas of my body. 

Wow, what an experience this has been.  This is truly divine intervention.  As someone who was never really too spiritual before, I can say that this was quite a wake up call.  Life looks and feels different now.  Life is beautiful and I promise from here on out to appreciate all the small wonders that I so foolishly chose to ignore before. 

Here's a post-op picture of the incision site.  Main reason for posting this is to show the DC love!   :D 



Cheers,
Ryan
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" 

                          - Theodor Seuss Geisel

Offline Larry Rankine

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 09:28 AM »
God bless you Ryan!  Glad you're ok bro!
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Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 10:36 AM »
Ryan,

I'm glad you are well now; I had no idea you were going through this. Thanks for sharing your story with the community.

I've had several drummer friends go through similar flat-line experiences in the past few years. It's always a wake-up call for those going through it, but also a wake-up call for those of us around them.

Glad to hear that your recent experience has awakened you ... body, soul and spirit. Great story!

Offline NY Frank

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2011, 11:04 AM »
Sorry to hear you went through that, and very glad to hear that you are recovering.

Prayers for great health and peace for you and your family. 
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Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 11:39 AM »
It's always a wake-up call for those going through it, but also a wake-up call for those of us around them.
Boy, isn't that the truth....My family treats me completely different since my car accident. I've had several incedents where I robbed death. Someone up there likes me.  8)
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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 12:52 PM »
Thank God for your recovery Ryan. I can only imagine the emotional roller coaster youve been on. Turning your thoughts towards God can be one of the best things that can happen from adversity. Its my personal belief that God is indeed in control and that until he calls you home you are staying right here. Its funny how you can be strolling through life and bam!..something can happen to turn your thoughts towards eternal things. I think about this myself quite alot. Carry on soldier.

Offline KevinD

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2011, 03:10 PM »
Wow!

Ryan, very sorry to hear of your difficulties, but it seems you are in good hands, and on the road to recovery. Best of luck to you, nothing nothing but warm wishes and positive thoughts coming your way.

Regards,

Kevin
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Offline Mark Counts

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2011, 05:14 AM »
Ryan, God is with your and it wasn't your time man. You still have much to do. Glad you are doing better and are still with us my friend...  Prayers for you....
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Offline Ryan Culberson

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2011, 11:46 AM »
Thanks everybody for the well wishes and good juju! 

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" 

                          - Theodor Seuss Geisel

Offline Todd Norris

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2011, 11:28 PM »
Ryan, I just came across this thread.  I'm glad to hear you're on the mend! 

Now that I'm in my mid 40s I hear of people younger than me (I have no idea how old you are but you look younger than me in your photo) having heart attacks and other severe ailments and it jars me to the bone. 

I like how you said you are going to pay attention to the small wonders in life.  Having kids helped me in that department (no clue if you have kids).  This forum is not the place to get too deep into spiritual matters, so if you want, feel free to IM me.  I'm fairly knowledgeable in a variety of spiritual paths and can talk about them without judgement.  (But in full disclosure, I settled on the path laid out in the Bible.) 

Todd

Offline Ryan Culberson

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 01:37 AM »
Ryan, I just came across this thread.  I'm glad to hear you're on the mend! 

Now that I'm in my mid 40s I hear of people younger than me (I have no idea how old you are but you look younger than me in your photo) having heart attacks and other severe ailments and it jars me to the bone. 

I like how you said you are going to pay attention to the small wonders in life.  Having kids helped me in that department (no clue if you have kids).  This forum is not the place to get too deep into spiritual matters, so if you want, feel free to IM me.  I'm fairly knowledgeable in a variety of spiritual paths and can talk about them without judgement.  (But in full disclosure, I settled on the path laid out in the Bible.) 

Todd

Hey Todd, thank you so much for your words and wishes! 

I'm 39 (gonna turn 40 in August) and if I had a nickel for every time medical staff has told me I was too young to be going through all this, well...   ;D

I have a 12 year old daughter who is the center of my universe.  When the doctor ordered the pacemaker surgery, I made sure to get as much info as possible and I went over it with her very carefully, letting her know that not only was the pacemaker going to save my life, but it was also going to profoundly improve the quality of my life.  Once she was secure in that knowledge, she was cool with the whole thing.  Now she is making fun of my partially shaved chest and told me I looked like a poodle the other day!!!!   :D

I don't think we need to take it to IM or PM in regards to the spiritual matters here.  I feel blessed that one cardiologist (out of about a dozen that I saw) decided to take my experience and look at it from a different perspective.  I feel blessed that I'm even here responding to your post.  I take deep breaths now and don't feel fatigued.  These are the small wonders that I speak of, and it's very clear that higher powers are at work.  I'm thankful for that and I guess the spiritual aspect that I was referring to was acknowledgement and awareness of these new small wonders that I could not see before, but I now see in HD! 

Cheers,
Ryan

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" 

                          - Theodor Seuss Geisel

Offline NY Frank

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 12:46 PM »
+
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Offline Ryan Culberson

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2011, 10:37 PM »
Hope it's alright, but I thought I would chime in with an update...

I'm nearly two months post-pacemaker implant surgery now and gotta say that my quality of life has increased profoundly in that time.  I have much more energy, my life-long respiratory problems have all but disappeared, and I have far more stamina behind the drums and in everyday life.

There has been some continued psychological fallout, however.  My body and mind still haven't fully adjusted to this faster heartbeat.  As such, I feel like I'm in a continuous state of adrenaline rush and have to remind myself that this is my new baseline.

Went back for my one month checkup with the cardiologist and he says that my health now is better than it has ever been in my life.  I have full clearance to return to work and become a productive member of society again!  ;D 

Also, in a very nice gesture, the school district that I work for (county superintendent of schools office) graciously moved me off the campus that I was previously assigned and reassigned me to a public school campus.  The old campus was very institutional, and physical altercations/restraints were near daily in occurrence. 

The students I'll be working with now are much less severe in their disabilities and able to mainstream with the general student population on a part-time basis, hence the public school campus.  I teach middle school special education students with emotional disturbances. 

Just wanted to say thank you everybody for all your prayers, great thoughts and good juju sent my way.  It definitely helped! 

Cheers,
Ryan       
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" 

                          - Theodor Seuss Geisel

Offline Rusty Beckett

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2011, 12:19 PM »
Sounds like life is good Ryan.  (probably an understatement)
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Offline Hank Gagnon

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Re: Recovering In Style
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2011, 07:11 PM »
you had quite a rough patch. hope the pacemaker keeps you on pace for a great recovery. hang in there.

 

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